6th January 2013, Epiphany of the Lord

6th January 2013, Epiphany of the Lord

Introit: Ecce advenit, begin on D (as la)

Offertory: Songs of thankfulness and praise, p. 237, begin on A

Communion: Vidimus stellam, begin on E (as mi)

Post-Communion: During the ablutions we will sing the venerable antiphon Tribus miraculis. A translation is appended below.

Post-Communion: Epiphany Proclamation of the year's feast days (chanted by celebrant)

Recessional: As with gladness, p. 236, begin on G

Mass VIII, PBC, p. 52ff; Credo III, PBC p. 77ff.

The Introit has three phrases:

1.      Ecce advenit dominator Dominus:

2.      et regnum in manu ejus

3.      et potestas, et imperium.

            The melody begins with the notes of the Per omnia saecula, which in the EF is part of the introductory dialogue to the Preface. That tells us that we are about to announce something important, something both solemn and sacred. It next increasingly emphasizes the word advenit, thenleaps an interval of a fourth over dominator, to come directly to the dominant fa, where this dominant really dominates and then over Dominus rises above it. The second phrase again shows an ascending fourth and the clear dominant, which it accentuates still more by means of the pressus over manu and ejus. Toward the end there is a modulation of exquisite construction on the full tone below the tonic. The third phrase gives an elastic form to the word potestas (the descending fourth is to be well brought out); several times it extends above the dominant and closes with a passage corresponding to Dominus in the first phrase.

            Some have noted that this melody is composed of undulations, each of which attains its melodic summit on the accented syllable of the principal word: Ecce advenitdominator Dominuset regnum in manu ejuset potestas—et imperium. Throughout Advent we've been praying: Veni. Now we sing: Ecce. Behold, the one we prayed to come is now at hand. The melody wants to draw out attention to this shift in focus, lest we miss what is before our eyes.

The Communion antiphon has two phrases:

1.      Vidimus stellam ejus in Oriente

2.      et venimus cum muneribus adorare Dominum.

The first phrase moves joyously; the second has a spirit of adoration. Only with venimus do we perceive an echo of the joy of the first phrase. For the closing formula of the first phrase the cadence of the psalm tone of the fourth mode, ti sol mi, served as a model. The tritone over Oriente is notas odd as it might otherwise be, since a twofold ti has preceded it. Still, it heightens the peculiar 'Oriental' effect of this passage. Another unusual element here is that in three words the unaccented "i" of the penult is prominent in the melody. This may be because common people accented the Latin language differently from the learned class, and plain song was considerably influenced by this 'vulgar' Latin. Or is this more Byzantine (Eastern) influence?

Translation of the antiphon Tribus miraculis

We venerate this holy day adorned with three wondrous events: today, a star led the Magi to the manger; today, wine was made from water at the wedding feast; today, Christ willed to be baptized by John in the Jordan to save us. Alleluia.

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