Tracts in Mode 8

Of all the Gregorian chants for the Mass, the Tracts have been the least well understood from their liturgical or historical context (as melodies they virtually disappeared from chant practice since the Middle Ages). Careful listening, however, with musical sensitivity and intuition will eventually reveal the melodic wealth latent in the Tracts---wealth most easily accessed through the literal meaning of the words and the way the sound of the Latin words is set to the rhythmic, melodic configurations considered note-by-note.

Abbreviated references here include the following:“Ps. 129: 1, 2, 3, 4” means that the words of the Tract are taken from Psalm 129, verses 14.
GT673 is the page reference to the Graduale triplex. “M34” is the number of the Mass formulary in the Sextuplex.
Click here to read the notes on Tracts in Mode 8.

Click on each track below to listen to the chant.

Scroll down to view the original lyrics in Latin and their English translations.

De profundis clamavi ad te Domine:
Domine exaudi vocem meam.
Fiant aures tuae intendentes in orationem servi tui.
Si iniquitates observaveris Domine:
Domine quis sustinebit?
Quia apud te propitiatio est:
et propter legem tuam sustinui te Domine.
Translation: Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice. Let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, and on account of thy law I have waited upon thee, O Lord.
Ps. 129: 1, 2, 3, 4 GT673
M34: Septuagesima
Commovisti Domine terram
et conturbasti eam.
Sana contritiones eius quia mota est.
Ut fugiant a facie arcus ut liberentur electi tui.
Translation: Thou hast made the earth to tremble and thou hast broken it. Heal the breaches thereof, for it shaketh. That they may flee from the face of judgment: That thy chosen may be delivered.
Ps. 59: 4, 6 GT89
M35: Sexagesima
Iubilate Domino omnis terra:
servite Domino in laetitia.
Intrate in conspectu eius in exaltatione.
Scitote quod Dominus ipse est Deus.
Ipse fecit nos et non ipsi nos:
nos autem populus eius et oves pascuae eius.
Translation: Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands! Serve in the Lord in gladness, Enter into his courts with praise. Know that the Lord he is God: It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves: We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Ps. 99: 2(=1), 3 GT185
M36: Quinquagesima
Laudate Dominum omnes gentes:
et collaudate eum omnes populi.
Quoniam confirmata est super nos misericordia eius:
et veritas Domini manet in aeternum.
Translation: O Praise the Lord all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is ever more and more towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever.
Ps. 116 GT187
M46: sabbato in the First Week of Lent
Ad te levavi oculos meos qui habitas in caelis.
Ecce sicut oculi servorum in manibus dominorum suorum:
Et sicut oculi ancillae in manibus dominae suae:
Ita oculi nostri ad Dominum Deum nostrum donec misereatur nobis.
Miserere nobis Domine miserere nobis.
Translation: Unto thee do I lift up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress: so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
Ps. 122: 1, 2, 3 GT97
M53: Third Sunday in Lent
Qui confidunt in Domino sicut mons Sion:
non commovebitur in aeternum qui habitat in Jerusalem.
Montes in circuitu eius:
et Dominus in circuitu populi sui
et hoc nunc et usque in saeculum.
Translation: They that trust in the Lord, just as mount Zion will never be moved, so they who live in Jerusalem: As the mountains are round about her, so is the Lord round about his people from henceforth even for ever.
Ps. 124: 1, 2 GT109
M60: Fourth Sunday in Lent
Saepe expugnaverunt me a iuventute mea.
Dicat nunc Israel: saepe expugnaverunt me a iuventute mea.
Etenim non potuerunt mihi
supra dorsum meum fabricaverunt peccatores.
Prolongaverunt iniquitatem sibi:
Dominus iustus concidet cervices peccatorurn.
Translation: Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, May Israel now say: many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me. The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows. The Lord is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.
Ps. 128: 1, 2, 3, 4 GT122
M67: Fifth Sunday in Lent
Cantemus Domino: gloriose enim honorificatus est:
equum et ascensorem proiecit in mare:
adiutor et protector factus est mihi in salutem.
Hic Deus meus et honorabo eum:
Deus patris mei et exaltabo eum.
Dominus conterens bella:
Dominus nomen est illi.
Translation: I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. My helper and protector, he has become my salvation. My father's God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.
Exodus 15: 1, 2 GT186
M79: Holy Saturday
Attende caelum et loquar:
et audiat terra verba ex ore meo.
Exspectetur sicut pluvia eloquium meum:
et descendant sicut ros verba mea sicut imber super gramina.
Et sicut nox super fenum:
quia nomen Domini invocabo.
Date magnitudinem Deo nostro:
Deus vera opera eius et omnes viae eius iudicia.
Deus fidelis in quo non est iniquitas:
iustus et sanctus Dominus.
Translation: Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak: and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
Deuteronomy 32: 1, 2, 3, 4 GT189
M79: Holy Saturday
Vinea facta est dilecto in cornu in loco uberi.
Et maceriam circumdedit et circumfodit:
et plantavit vineam Sorec et aedificavit turrim in medio eius.
Et torcular fodit in ea:
vinea enim Domini Sabaoth domus Israel est.
Translation: My well beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: For the vineyard is of the Lord of hosts, it is the home of Israel.
Isaiah 5: 1, 2 GT188
M79: Holy Saturday
Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarurn;
ita desiderat anima mea ad te Deus.
Sitivit anima mea ad Deum vivum:
quando veniam et apparebo ante faciem Dei mei?
Fuerunt mihi lacrimae meae panes die ac nocte
dum dicitur mihi per singulos dies: Ubi est Deus tuus?
Translation: As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is now thy God?
Ps. 41: 2(=1), 3, 4 GT190
M79: Holy Saturday
Qui seminat in lacrimis in gaudio metent.
Euntes ibant et flebant, mittentes semina sua.
Venientes autem venient cum exsultatione portantes manipulos suos.
Translation: He that soweth in tears shall reap in joy. Going forth they weep, bearing precious seed. But coming again shall come with exultation bringing their sheaves.
Ps. 125: 5, 6 GT465
M23: Prisca (18 January; M only)
M30: Agatha (5 February)
Desiderium animae eius tribuisti ei:
et voluntate labiorum eius non fraudasti eum.
Quoniam praevenisti eum in benedictione dulcedinis. Posuisti super caput eius coronam de lapide pretioso.
Translation: Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.
Ps. 20: 3, 4 GT432
M31: Valentinus (14 February)
Beatus vir qui timet Dominum: in mandatis eius cupit nimis. Potens in terra erit semen eius: generatio rectorum benedicetur.
Translation: Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
Ps. 111: 1, 2, 3 GT481
M32: Gregory (12 March)
Qui regis Israel intende:
qui deducis velut ovem Joseph.
Qui sedes super Cherubim appare coram Ephraim Benjamin et Manasse.
Excita Domine potentiam tuam et veni ut salvos facias nos.
Translation: Give ear, O shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock: thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh: stir up, O Lord, thy strength, and come and save us.
Ps. 79: 2(=1), 3
M7: sabbato in Third Week of Advent
M33: Annunciation (25 March)
Vatican Graduale 18