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“O Unfathomable Trinity” Hymnal

volume one and two

673 pieces in a format that is both elegant and practical

We have prepared a two-volume liturgical songbook for singers, chanters, choir conductors and scholars. It contains compositions by such authors as Dawid Kusz OP, Paweł Bębenek, Urszula Rogala, Piotr Pałka, Jacek Sykulski and Marcin Pospieszalski.

The liturgy transforms culture into something sacred. Stone, color and sound is subjected to human creative processes in order to bridge the material world and the spiritual world. Through the liturgy, the spirit is shaped by matter and the soul rises to heaven. Through worship, culture obtains its fulfillment and creation reaches its full vocation, that being praise of the Creator. Every Christian is a priest of creation- through culture he processes the world around him and offers it to God and His Church.

Saint John Paul II notes that faith assuredly will survive through culture. “It is only within and through culture that the Christian faith becomes history and creates history” (Christifideles laici, 44). The experience of faith becomes complete when it creates culture; if it does not do so, faith dies with believers.

The hymnal first appeared as a studio edition in the ’90s. It was finished in 1998. Since then, thousands of singers, in Poland and abroad, use the book that both preserves and renews liturgical music. The revised two-volume set Niepojęta Trójco was published on the twentieth anniversary of the Dominican Liturgical Center. It reflects the work of dozens of individuals involved in post-Vatican II liturgical renewal. Their compositions, arrangements, performances and institutions allowed the Order of Preaches to increase piety within the Catholic Church.

Since 1994, the Dominican Liturgical Center has helped the faithful find ways to fulfill their duties as part of the universal priesthood. We guide others to communally celebrate the liturgy so that the liturgy is not only beautiful, but also transformative for the faithful and their community. Singing is simultaneously a common and grandiose way to serve. Sacred music makes spiritual exercise available to all members of the community, as anyone can join the common action, submitting themselves to the loving power of God, and witnessing how the beauty reflects his majesty.

O Unfathomable Trinity ebook


Z przyjemnością prezentujemy elektroniczne wydanie śpiewnika, zawierające cały zbiór pieśni z i i II tomu drukowanego śpiewnika łącznie.

  • Volume One

    The first volume of the songbook (in its current form – the second edition revised and supplemented) contains 343 pieces that comprise contemporary, ancient – renaissance, medieval and traditional compositions – often in contemporary works, folk – both Polish and other cultures – and Gregorian chant. Over 100 compositions have not been published so far by our Foundation, others are from previous editions of the songbook.

    Most of the songs included in the songbook have already taken root in the executive practice of pastoral care (especially in academic circles) throughout Poland. Some of the songs included in this edition of the songbook are completely new, created in the last few years. Others at the same time were only discovered. Therefore, this edition is significantly different from the 1998 edition. During the work on the resumption of the songbook it became obvious to us that changes are necessary. Many works have already come out of use, some have proved useless, and consequently have been forgotten or rejected by liturgical musicians. In addition, some of the previously published songs aroused controversy and misunderstandings. In addition, we introduced a number of chorale chants to the song, both Latin and adapted to the Polish language.

    The collection of songs that we have included in this edition of the songbook is in the first place our thanks to God for the fact that we can participate in the work of renewing the liturgical song, and thus the Church. When we are publishing a songbook, we would also like to thank all those in whom the Lord has taken delight, for all their efforts and commitment, which they have made and which have made us depositaries. We know many of these people and we can be proud of their friendship, others remain in the shadow of their works, which often came to our hands through a number of intermediaries. Since the study edition, the song The Uninterested Trinity was the work of community, it remains so today. Let it serve the community, because it was built for its construction.

    The compositions included in the songbook were sorted into subsequent sections:

    • Parts of the Mass
    • Responsive Psalms
    • Acclamations before the Gospel
    • Prayers of the faithful
    • Liturgical songs divided into appropriate periods of the liturgical year: Advent, period of the Nativity of the Lord, Per Annum period, Lent, Easter period
    • Eucharistic songs
    • Marian songs
    • Songs for various occasions: in honor of the Holy Trinity, the Heart of Jesus, Jesus Christ the King of the Universe, the dedication of the church, on the days of the memories of the Saints, the funeral songs
    • Ostinato
    • Addition: a collection of prayers and litanies, two akatysty to worship the Mother of God, melodies of readings of the Mass, melodies of the Liturgy of the Hours etc.

    Each work has been meticulously described in terms of authorship, origin, elaboration and performance notes (when necessary). In addition to the physical census, the publication contains an alphabetical list of works and an index of biblical passages used in singing. In the songbook, the score was adapted to the character of the songs. Composition, selection of paper and illustrations used in the songbook makes the publication characterized by nobility and elegance.

    Alphabetical table of contents of the first volume
    Refine table of contents of the first volume
    Recordings to the first volume of the hymnal

    © Copyright 2014 by Fundacja Dominikański Liturgiczny
    © Copyright by Editions de L’Abbaye de Sylvanès, 12360 Camarès (France) & Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, Communauté de Taizé, 71250 Taizé (France) & Musica Iagellonica
    Cover design and drawing preparation: Michał Dudek, polskainspiruje.pl
    Editorial staff: Mateusz Solarz
    Correctors: Magdalena Rychlak, Mateusz Czarnecki, Grzegorz Doniec OP
    Composition of Gregorian chant: Robert Pożarski
    ISBN 978-83-939034-1-2

  • Volume Two

    The second volume of the song “Niepojęta Trójco” contains 330 songs. Analogously to the first volume, these are contemporary compositions by Paweł Bębenk, Dawid Kusz, Piotr Pałka and other composers, as well as early polyphony, Gregorian chant and traditional songs.

    The joint celebration, enriched with songs from the first volume, prompted many young artists to compose liturgical works. They created both compositions based on the texts of prayers as well as polyphonic arrangements of traditional melodies.

    At the same time, we were discovering together the beauty of one-voice traditional songs, performed for years by the communities from which we grow. In addition, we are still amazed by the enormous wealth of Gregorian chant, which remains the first and the Church’s own singing, and over the years thanks to the ever-wider practice, it also becomes our song. That is why in this volume of the songbook, despite the fear of eclecticism, we decided to include contemporary compositions and balance their repertoire with traditional, Gregorian and polyphonic pieces of ancient ages. We are convinced that without them the works of liturgical music would be deprived of their life-giving roots. So in this volume you will find songs that accompany us during the celebration of the liturgy of the Holy Mass and all services such as the Lenten mysteries, prayer vigils, the Way of the Cross or the Rosary.

    The compositions included in the songbook were sorted into subsequent sections:

    • Parts of the Mass
    • Responsive Psalms
    • Sequences
    • Acclamations before the Gospel
    • Prayers of the faithful
    • Hymns
    • Antiphons and responsories
    • Liturgical songs divided into appropriate periods of the liturgical year: Advent, period of the Nativity of the Lord, regular period, Lent, Easter period
    • Eucharistic songs
    • Marian songs
    • Ostinato
    • Addition: a collection of prayers and litanies, akatist in honor of the Holy Spirit, lace for the Divine Mercy, etc.

    In the songbook there is also Passion according to Saint. Jan and Exsultet in the Gregorian version adapted to the Polish language.

    Each work has been meticulously described in terms of authorship, origin, elaboration and performance notes (when necessary). In addition to the physical inventory, the publication contains an alphabetical list of works. In the songbook, the score was adapted to the character of the songs. The composition and illustrations used in the songbook make the publication characterized by nobility and elegance.

    A description of the content of the second volume
    Errata to the second volume

    © Copyright 2010 by Fundacja Dominikański Liturgiczny
    © Copyright by Editions de L’Abbaye de Sylvanès, 12360 Camarès (France) & Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, Communauté de Taizé, 71250 Taizé (France) & Musica Iagellonica
    Cover design: Joanna Jarco
    Elaboration of engravings: Barbara Bodziony
    Development of ornaments: Joanna Maryon
    Music editors: Monika Mączyńska, Mateusz Solarz
    Correctors: Kazimierz Dąbrowski, Ewa Kieres, Dominika Krupińska
    Composition and technical editing: Studio Orfeo, Kraków
    Composition of Gregorian chant: Robert Pożarski
    ISBN 978-83-924447-3-2

    Description of the songbook cover

    Christian art, like theology, encountered difficulties in expressing the Revelation of the Holy Trinity from the beginning, although the desire to speak about this unspeakable mystery in the language of art was already born in the times of the first Christians.

    Relatively early, the theme “The appearance of three angels to Abraham” (otherwise: “Hospitality of Abraham”) appeared in the play. We find this motif in catacomb painting, for example Via Latina (4th century), and also on early mosaics, for example in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome (5th century) and in the church of San Vitale in Ravenna (6th century). Already on these monuments, the iconographic scheme has a fully thought out, dogmatic character. However, not all theologians of the early Church saw in this story the appearance of God in the Three Persons. It was only with time that this subject became the basis for presenting the image of the Trinity in painting, which can be observed, for example, on the example of the most famous Trinity show of this type, by A. Rublev.

    During the iconoclasm many theologians expressed doubts about the possibility of presenting the Trinity with human means. In order not to foment disputes on this subject during this period, attempts were made to avoid figurative representations, replacing them with symbols. The best-known of such compositions is “Prepared Throne” (Greek etoimasia) from the church of the Dormition in Nice (VII century). It presents the Throne in this case, signifying the kingdom of God the Father. A book is placed on it – a symbol of God’s Word, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, God’s Son. A dove descends on the book – the symbol of the Holy Spirit, the Third Hypostasis.

    One of the unique representations of the Holy Trinity, and at the same time referring to symbolic representations from the iconoclasm period is the painting by Alberegno Jacobello, located at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice. Originally, this work was in the church of John the Evangelist in Trocello, and was part of a polyptych depicting scenes from the Apocalypse according to Saint. John. It is a tempera on a board measuring 95 x 61 cm. It was most probably made between 1360 and 1390 (because the author’s death dates back to 1397).

    The painting by A. Jacobello very faithfully reproduces the first verses of the prophetic vision of the Apocalypse of Saint. John. The central point of the picture is the mandorla, in the middle of which sits the Father, who lives on the throne, God-living forever and ever.

    I immediately became delighted: There was a throne in Heaven, and on the throne [someone] sat. And the sitting was similar in appearance to jasper and to yarrow. (…) Around the throne – twenty-four thrones. And on the thrones of twenty-four Seated Elders.

    On the knees of God the Father is a Lamb holding a book with seven seals. Undoubtedly the Lamb is the representation of the Son of God, who alone is worthy to keep and open the book of destinies:

    And I saw between the throne and the four living beings. And the circle of the Elders of the Standing Lamb, as if slain. And he had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, sent to the whole earth, he went and took the book from the right hand of the sitting on the throne.

    Usually, the Holy Spirit is depicted in the symbol of a dove, here such a representation does not appear, although it also appears in symbolic representations. The reason for this approach to the subject is the fact that in the Apocalypse the Holy Spirit does not appear in the form of a dove, he is present under other symbols. In the passage quoted earlier Christ is presented as the paschal Lamb, possessing God’s attributes: full power (horns) and fullness of knowledge (eyes), sends the Holy Spirit.

    Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who comes, and from the seven spirits that are before his throne.

    The Seven Spirits signify the Sevenfold in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

    And lightning, voices and thunders come from the throne. And seven fire lamps that are the seven Spirits of God are burning before the throne.

    The symbol of the Holy Spirit is in this passage seven fiery lamps, modeled on the Tabernacle of the Tabernacle.

    Joanna Maryon-Golonka

  • Step by Step

    The songbook was divided into thematic parts corresponding either to the liturgical periods (Advent, the period of the Nativity, ordinary period, Lent, Easter), or the destination of the songs (Eucharistic and Marian songs), and finally their form (ostinata). Add-ons complete (akatyst, litanie, prayers).

    We have included two tables of contents: factual and alphabetical. If the title of the work is not identical to its incipit, it will appear in the table of contents twice with a link to the same page.

    We tried to make the songs as accurately described as possible, giving the text, its possible translation, the origin of the melody, and finally the author of the work or the whole composition.

    In most of the songs, we used bows to facilitate the performance of melismatic sections, especially helpful in multitrot singing. We have departed from this principle in a few old songs, in which there are different number of syllables in subsequent stanzas. In such cases, the arcing will make it difficult to place the text correctly.

    The one-voice traditional songs are mainly taken from the hymns of priest. Michał Marcin Mioduszewski, published in 1838, and priest Jan Siedlecki. As a model, we adopted the ninth edition of the songbook of Fr. Siedlecki from 1920, uncontaminated with editorial “appeasements” and contemporary publications, present in later editions.

    While maintaining fidelity to the sources, we present the songs in original tones, but we encourage them to be transposed to enable all the faithful to perform. At the same time, we call for prudence in interfering with local tradition. If in the parish communities there are songs in their local versions, it is not worth pushing “only legitimate” variants, taken from any songbook, because it may strike the local tradition of a singer.

    All messages and music notations are only an attempt to preserve the phenomenon of songs, which function in countless varieties. Let us respect this diversity, enjoying the richness of tradition.

    Songs included in the song are works on liturgical use, which should be the main criterion for the selection of implementing measures and a priority in determining their sound character. It should be ensured that it is the singing of the entire community, and that the songs should not be performed on the model of stage songs, which would destroy the proper purpose and shape of the liturgy.

    Therefore, we are asking you for liturgical prudence. It seems that we all know how liturgical music differs from concert music. Often, however, one can get the impression that the clarity of this distinction gets blurred. In the liturgy, we only join the celebration that God’s Son celebrates before his Father, which is why it is governed by sacred laws and it is the person who dictates the content, character, shape and form of singing. In many cases, it is worth to forget about the placed signs of pace and dynamics, and instead to listen to the meaning and Word shaping the liturgy.

    Małgorzata Gadomska
    based on the introduction to the songbook

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