This beautiful example of Ambrosian chant is Nicolas Gombert’s arrangement of the classic responsory Media Vita in Morte Sumus, which translated essentially means in the midst of life we are in death. It is generally sung during Lent at the office of Compline, and is reputed to have moved St. Aquinas to tears.[1. Lawrence Lew, OP, http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2008/02/media-vita.html] The Latin text is as follows:
Media vita in morte sumus
Quem quærimus adjutorem nisi te, Domine?
Qui pro peccatis nostris juste irasceris
Sancte Deus, Sancte fortis, Sancte et misericors Salvator,
Amaræ morti ne tradas nos.
In Te speraverunt Patres nostri,
speraverunt et liberasti eos.
Ad Te clamaverunt Patres nostri,
clamaverunt et non sunt confusi.
Sancte Deus, Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto:
sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
And the English:
In the midst of life we are in death
of whom can we seek aid except you, Lord?
You who for our sins are rightly angered.
O Holy God; O Holy, almighty; O Holy and merciful Savior;
may you not surrender us to bitter death.
In you our Fathers have trusted;
they have trusted and you have delivered them.
To You our Father have cried out;
they have cried out, and they have not been brought to ruin.
O Holy God, Glory to the Father, and the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, now and always and for ever and ever.
If you wish to purchase a rendition of this piece, I would strongly suggest this one. It is 99 cents that will be well spent.