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Holy Week Liturgy

Una Hora Non Potuistis

Responsory

Una hora non potuistis vigilare mecum (Could you not watch just one hour with Me?) is the eighth of the nine responsories for Matins of Holy Thursday. A responsory is a two part song of a Scripture reading made of a versicle and a response. After the versicle – indicated below by V. – the second part of the responsory – indicated below by a R. – is repeated.

The music for this Responsory was set by the 16th century Spanish composer Tomas Luis de Victoria for four voices. Its grave, intense mood is most fitting for the Holy Week liturgy. The text has its own impact, which may be discovered by reading it aloud.

Here it is sung by the Brazilian TFP choir in 1967.



Listen to Una Hora Non Potuistis

Latin Lyrics:

V. Una hora non potuistis vigilare Mecum,
Qui exhortabamini mori pro Me?

R. Vel Judam non videtis,
Quomodo non dormit,
Sed festinat tradere Me Judaeis?

V. Quid dormitis? Quid dormitis?
Surgite, surgite et orate,
Ne intretis in tentationem.

R. Vel Judam non videtis,
Quomodo non dormit,
Sed festinat tradere Me Judaeis?


Translation:

Could you not watch just one hour with Me?
You who boasted you would die for Me?

Can you not see Judas?
How he sleeps not,
But rushes to deliver Me to the Jews?

Why do you sleep? Why do you sleep?
Wake, wake and pray
Lest you fall into temptation.

Can you not see Judas?
How he sleeps not,
But rushes to deliver Me to the Jews?


una hora victoria 

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