20 March 2015, Friday of the 4th week in Lent
08.00 Missa Cantata (EF)
The chant propers are taken from the Graduale Romanum 1961. Introit and Communion, p. 148f. Gradual, p. 358. Tract, p. 89. Offertory, p. 341.
Introit: Meditatio cordis mei, begin on A (as la)
Gradual: Bonum est confidere, begin on E♭ (as fa). Women sing the verse.
Tract: Domine non secundum, begin on E♭ (as re). Men sing the verse
Offertory: Populum humilem, begin on E ♭ (as fa)
Communion: Videns Dominum, begin on F (as fa)
Recessional: Ave Regina Caelorum, PBC, p. 110, begin on A
Ordinary from Mass XVIII. No Credo.
The Introit antiphon has two phrases:
- Meditatio cordis mei in conspectu tuo semper
- Domine adjutor meus et redemptor meus
The limited neumatic development in this short Introit is more akin to an Office antiphon than an Introit in the Graduale. The high points over (Medi)-ta-(tio) and me-(i) stress the importance of contemplative reflection in seeing the work of God as our helper and redeemer, and the matching cadences over (sem)-per and (me)-us remind us that our focus must be constance is we are to recognise the saving work of God unfolding before our eyes.
There are two phrases in the corpus and two in the verse.
- Bonum est confidere in Domino,
- quam confidere in homine.
- Bonum est sperare in Domino
- quam sperare in principibus
This gradual proclaims the antithesis that exists between God and the world, flesh and spirit, and God and Mammon. And were worldlings endowed with all power and wealth, they would yet remain mere humans, mortals, incapable of bestowing upon us lasting happiness. David, the composer of Psalm 117, knew this from his own experience as well as from the history of his nation. •God alone is the source of true happiness of heart: His fidelity is never wanting; His riches are boundless; His love is eternal. Hardly a single musical turn is found in the corpus which does not occur also in other Graduals of the fifth mode. Thus the beginning of the first phrase bears great resemblance to that of the fourth and sixth Sundays after Pentecost. The first phrase of the verse is also much like the second phrase of the Gradual for the second Sunday in Lent. Its second phrase echoes the second phrase on the fourth Sunday after Pentecost. The melodic development is not influenced by the meaning of the individual words; it is purely harmonic, or, better perhaps, it portrays but one sentiment: that of joyous confidence in God.
This is the standard Lenten weekday Tract. Verse 1 has two phrases and the other verses have three.
- Domine non secundum peccata nostra quae fecimus nos
- Neque secundum iniquitates nostras retribuas nobis.
- Domine ne memineris iniquitatum nostratum antiquarum
- Cito anticipant nos misericordiae tuae
- Quia pauperes facti sumus nimis
- Adjuva nos Deus salutaris noster
- Et propter gloriam nominis tui Domine libera nos
- Et propitius esto peccatis nostris propter nomen tuum
This tract is not found in the oldest manuscripts. It would seem thatit received its present form no earlier than the twelfth century. Thesimilar middle cadences are indicated above by the mark f, and thecaesura (—). In the first verse the phrasing of the text and the melodicphrasing are not quite parallel. The second and third verses have muchin common. In the third verse, the introductory notes and the prolongedclinging to a reveal the underlying emotion of the soul; it is a suppliantcall, heartfelt and urgent. It presents one of the more dramatic momentsof the liturgy, the kneeling of all the faithful to the accompaniment ofthis chant. We cry to the Lord: Your Being and the glory of Your Namedemand that You enter the lists for us and grant us Thy lasting help.
The Offertory has three phrases:
- Populum humilem salvum facies, Domine,
- et oculos superborum humiliabis
- quoniam quis Deus praeter te, Domine!
Humilem may, however, also be understood of an entire people that is lowly. Thus the Offertory points out the antithesis between the spiritual man and the earthly man; the children of light versus the children of this world. What is more elevating than the divine grace which is infused in those who participate in the sacrificial Mystery!
The Communion antiphon has three phrases:
- 1.Videns Dominus flentes sorores Lazari ad monumentum
- 2.Lacrimatus est coram Judaeis et clamabat: Lazarre veni foras:
- 3.(a) Et prodiit ligatis manibus et pedibus
(b) qui fuerat quatriduanus mortuus.
A long-ish text for a Communtion but a very quick, sharp, and very descriptive melody vividly depicts the high emotion of Jesus’s encounter with Martha and Mary at the tomb of Lazarus. The melodic high point at Jesus’s command that brings Lazarus back to life points to His power over death, soon to be shown in His own resurrection. The last phrase paints a ‘melodic picture’of Lazarus slowly rising up to come forth still bound at his hands and feet.