Friday, May 20, 2011

The Introit for the Fifth Sunday of Easter: Cantate Domino ("Sing to the Lord")

The text for this Introit comes from Psalm 98, verses 1-2; here's an mp3 from JoguesChant, and their translation:
Sing to the Lord a new song, alleluia; for the Lord has accomplished wondrous deeds, alleluia; he has revealed his justice in the sight of the Gentiles, alleluia, alleluia. His right hand and his holy arm have given him victory.

Here's the Liber Usualis chant score:

The Gospel reading for today is from John 14:1-14:

Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."

Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it."

Stephen Gerth, the rector of St. Mary the Virgin in Times Sq., was just writing about the extended readings from John during the Sundays after Easter in the new RCL Lectionary. While he has criticisms of other aspects of the new Lectionary, he praises it for this and for several other things:
I think it matters that for 1500 years no ordinary Sunday congregation in the West ever heard the accounts of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well (John 4:5-42), the Healing of the Man Born Blind (John 9:1-38), or the Raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-44). Even now, they are appointed for use only once every three years. And let me give recognition to this good thing in the new lectionary: there is no longer permission to shorten these lessons. I certainly appreciate the real pastoral need for Sunday services to be a manageable length. But there are some things that can’t be shortened. (Interestingly, the permission to shorten the gospels for the Sunday of the Passion was retained, but the permission to shorten the passion on Good Friday is also gone.)

I’m thinking about all of this because I realized a couple of weeks ago that the lectionary of the 1979 Prayer Book (and the new lectionary) has us reading on the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Sundays of Easter, in every year, from John’s account of the supper before the Passover – the longest passage in any of the gospels. In the old Prayer Book, we had a passage from this part of John on Pentecost and a moving passage (John 16:16-22) on a Sunday after Easter Day about the joy that will be with his disciples after their sorrow. Now, many more riches of this account will be read and preached every year.

This is the Collect for this day:
Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Hatchett's Commentary says, about this collect, that:
This is a revision of a collect formerly appointed for the feast day of Saint Philip and Saint James. It was composed for the 1549 Book and the result clause added in 1662. It has a particular allusion to the Gospel for Year A but is appropriate for readings of the other years as well. The prayer is that we may know Christ who is truth and follow Him who is the way that we may be led to Him who is the source of eternal life.

I'm sorry to say that I can't resist posting this beautiful Hassler Cantate Domino, even though the text comes from that other Psalm:

And as long as I'm going there, why not post the Monteverdi version, too, sung by those amazing BYU singers?  (This one does include bits of Psalm 98.)

As always, I can't resist Arvo Part, either:

And at that point, how can I leave out the Taize chant?

Here are all the chants for today from

Hebdomada quinta paschæ
Introitus: Ps. 97, 1.2 Cantate Domino (cum Gloria Patri) (4m35.5s - 4308 kb) score
Alleluia: Ps. 117, 16 Dextera Dei (2m02.2s - 1912 kb) score
Alleluia: Rom. 6, 9 Christus resurgens (3m10.5s - 2978 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 65, 1.2.16 Iubilate Deo universa terra (3m31.6s - 3306 kb) score
                (anno A)Io. 14, 9 Tanto tempore (1m24.6s - 1324 kb) score
                        Io. 15, 5 Ego sum vitis vera (1m01.1s - 956 kb)

To go along with the Gospel reading - part of the discourse at the Last Supper from John - here's a fresco by Domenico Ghirlandaio, (400 x 880 cm) at Ognissanti (All Saints), Florence (where, BTW, Sandro Botticelli is buried):

Friday, May 13, 2011

Misericordia Domini ("The Mercy of the Lord"): the Introit for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Here's an mp3 of this Introit, from JoguesChant; their translation of this text from Psalm 33:5-6, then 1:
The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord, alleluia; by the word of the Lord, the heavens were established, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! Praising befits those who are upright.
The chant propers for today were once used on the previous Sunday; I'm not sure why everything got moved back one week, but will try to find out.

These days, this is "Good Shepherd Sunday," reflected both in the reading from John and the Alleluia and Communion Song which both use the text Ego sum Pastor bonus - "I am the Good Shepherd."

Here's the chant score for the Alleluia:

Here's a video labeled "Domenica IV di Pasqua - Alleluja" - but it's definitely not the chant in the score above! As far as I can tell - by going to the YouTube uploader's page - it's an Ambrosian chant version of the Alleluia. And it is beautiful!

That was recorded in 2008; here's the same chant from 2009:

I must get to know more about Ambrosian chant! I'll be checking out that YouTube account to get the skinny, I promise.

Here's the (Gregorian) Communio, with the score embedded in the video:

(I must add that, strangely enough, our reading from John leaves "I am the Good Shepherd" out entirely!  We read only John:1-10, but the Good Shepherd parts of the text are in verses 14 (the Communion Song) and 11 (the Alleluia above) (see all of John 10 here).   Very odd!   But, we do get these verses (11-16) in Year B, so we'll hear them eventually.)

And how about this, for Good Shepherd Sunday? Wikipedia says it's from around 300 CE; that it's marble, 92cm high, and that the legs have been restored. The sculpture resides in the Vatican Museum in Rome.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Introit for the Third Sunday of Easter: Jubilate Deo

Here's a lovely version of this Introit, sung by "the Schola of the Hofburgkapelle Vienna (1984)," and below that is the full chant score:

JoguesChant gives this translation of the Introit; the text is from Psalm 66:1-3:
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth, alleluia; sing a psalm to his name, alleluia; praise him with magnificence, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Say to God: "How awesome are your deeds, O Lord! In the greatness of your power, your enemies will be convicted of lying to you".
But the King James version has this:
1Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:
 2Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.
 3Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

So I'm not quite sure where the "lying to you" aspect comes in; I don't find that in any translation, including the Douay-Rheims.

Here's the collect for the day:

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Because of course the Gospel reading for today is one of the best of all stories:  the road to Emmaus (from Luke 24:13-35):

That very day, the first day of the week, two of the disciples were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" He asked them, "What things?" They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him." Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Interestingly, the Collects for Easter Week are used again on the second and third Sundays during Easter.  Hatchett's Commentary says this about today's collect, the one used on Wednesday of Easter Week:
This is a revised version of the collect for the Monday in Easter Week of the 1928 Boo, composed by the Rev. Dr. John W. Suter, Sr. It is associated with the story of our Lord's appearance to the disciples at Emmaus after the resurrection, when He made Himself known "in the breaking of bread" (Lk. 24:35). The original form of the result clause read: "That we may behold thee in all they works." This collect is also appointed for the third Sunday of Easter.

I would imagine that the reason for this duplication is similar to the reasoning that determines what happens during Holy Week: there are really important aspects of the Gospel story that are told twice so that people who miss them during Easter Week, because they are working, will still be able to hear them. The Gospel reading for today is the same as the reading for Wednesday of Easter Week.

Here are all the chants for this Sunday's mass, from, and sung by the Sao Paolo
Hebdomada tertia paschæ
Introitus: Ps. 65, 1.2.3 Iubilate Deo (2m58.9s - 2798 kb) score
Alleluia: Lc. 24, 35 Cognoverunt discipuli (2m40.0s - 2504 kb) score
Alleluia: Lc. 24, 32 Oportebat (3m20.3s - 3132 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 145, 2 Lauda, anima mea (1m33.8s - 1468 kb) score
(anno A) Lc. 24, 34 Surrexit Dominus (44.8s - 702 kb) score
                   (anno B)Ps. 95, 2 Cantate Domino (1m22.5s - 1292 kb) score
                   (anno C) Io. 21, 15.17 Simon Ioannis (1m23.7s - 1310 kb)

Here are posts for the some of the chants for this day on Chantblog:

I was going to post "Caravaggio's Supper at Emmaus" here - until I realized that there are two of these! I'd only ever seen the first one below, which I think is so terrific; that's from 1601. But there's a 1606 version (the second one below), too, it seems.

If I can find out the reason for these two different versions - was one done for a church and the other for a private client, for instance? - I'll come back and edit this post with that information.

Well, I am going to seriously cheat now, because it's not the same text at all - this one comes from the better-known Psalm 100 - but here's Cristobal Morales' Jubilate Deo; the words are below:

Iubilate Deo omnis terra.
Servite Domino in lætitia.
Introite in conspectus eius in exsultatione.
Scitote, quoniam Dominus ipse est Deus:
ipse fecit nos et non ipsi nos;
populus eius et oves pascuæ eius,
introite portas eius in confessione,
atria eius in hymnis: confitemini illi.

And here's one of my all-time favorites of that Psalm 100, and in English, too, by William Walton. A little bit of outer space, I always thought. (I got to sing one of the trio parts at a service one time; much fun.)

O BE joyful in the LORD, all ye lands: * serve the LORD with gladness, and come before his presence with a song.
Be ye sure 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.
O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; * be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name.
For the LORD is gracious, his mercy is everlasting; * and his truth endureth from generation to generation.


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