3 May 2015, 5th Sunday of Easter (Year B)

IntroitCantate Domino, begin on E (as re)

OffertoryO Thou the heavens eternal King, p. 357, begin on E♭

Communion (Years B & C): Ego sum vitis, begin on G (as ti)

May Crowning (see Order & prayers below): 
            Hail, Holy Queen Enthroned Above, V2H, p. 261
            Bring flowers of the fairest, (cf. pdf below)

RecessionalRegina Caeli, PBC, p. 121, begin on E♭ (as fa)

Dismissal from Mass I, as in Paschaltide apart from the Octave and Pentecost, PBC, p. 48. 

Mass I (Lux et origo) PBC, p. 46ff. Credo III, PBC, p. 77ff. No Kyrie, as above.

The Introit antiphon has three phrases:

1.     Cantate Domino canticum novum, alleluia
2.     quia mirabilia fecit Dominus, alleluia
3.     ante conspectum gentium revelavit justitiam suam, alleluia, alleluia

The melody expands steadily. The first part of the first phrase has a range of a fourth, the second of a fifth; the second and third phrases have a range of a sixth. And there are many similarities with the Introit for Low Sunday, Quasimodo. Both have the same mode and the same range; the close of the first phrase and almost the entire second phrase show great similarity. The motif of Cantate Domino recurs over fecit Dominus and the following alleluia, recalling sine dolo. Compare: (novum) alleluia: quia mirabilia fecit Dominus, alleluia, and (infantes) alleluia: rationabiles, sine dolo. The small variant seen here shows the refined sense the ancients had for forming endings. The formula over sine dolo has its final torculus a third below the tonic, thus facilitating immediate continuance of the melody over lac. The alleluia after Dominus, however, brings the entire second phrase to a close; for this reason the final torculussuggestive of pleasant rest, is placed a fourth below the tonic. This also provides a contrast to the endings of the first and third phrases.

            The third phrase begins with a sort of inversion of the preceding motif, vigorously stresses revelavit, and accords still greater prominence to justitiam suam. According to melodic sense, the second last alleluia finds its fulfillment in the resolved major chord of the subdominant. The last alleluia is almost the same as the one which ends the first phrase. From the obvious similarity of this chant with the Introit Quasimodo, and from its restricted range, we can readily infer that it is not intended as a powerful song of victory, but rather a heartfelt song of thanksgiving for the wonder of wonders which the Father has wrought in the resurrection of His Son. The resurrection must also be ascribed to Christ Himself. For He indeed has the power to lay down His life and the power to take it up again. On the cross His right hand was cruelly pierced by a nail and His sacred arm was most painfully wrenched out of place. But by His own strength He overcame everything: sin, suffering, and death.

 (Years B & C) Although the Communion antiphon is part of the 'authentic' Gregorian repertory, dating from at least the 10th century, it is not found in the older Graduale Romanum (1908, last updated 1961). In centuries past, it had been assigned to formularies for various martyrs and other saints, most notably the apostles Phillip and James. It has three phrases:

1.     Ego sum vitis vera et vos palmites

2.     qui manet in me et ego in eo

3.     hic fert fructum multum, alleluia, alleluia

It is sung in Year B & C because we hear in Year B the Johannine pericope of the vine and branches. It speaks of some key Easter themes:

•       The dying and raising of Jesus is the definitive pivotal event of human history.

•       The apostles had a special role as primary witnesses to that event.

•       In the light of the risen Saviour, all of salvation history and the Scriptures intended to announce and explain it are now subject a radically new understanding.

•       Everything ultimately points to Jesus as the center point and meaning of human life; without Him, there is no life at all.

The declarative Mode 8 serves well the straightforward statement excerpted from the Gospel. The melody in the first phrase is very tightly bound, reflecting the connection of vine and branches. The only expansive neume is over ve-(ra), where the manuscripts also prescribe a strong emphasis over (ve)-ra, to better depict Him who is Truth. Next the melody rises as we are in Him, and descends as He remains in us. It becomes expansive again as the fruit we bear from union with Him begins to grow, and even more in the first alleluia, then ends with a restful alleluia in the cadence.

Order for the May Crowning (Done at the end of Mass on the first Sunday of May)

All sing the first verse of Hail, Holy Queen Enthroned Above, V2H, p. 261, as the ministers leave the altar and process to Our Lady's statue. After that, the celebrant will say:

Celebrant: As we begin the month of May this year while celebrating the glorious Season of Easter, we wish to add to our joy in praising the Risen Christ by carrying out a special act in honor of his Holy Mother, crowning this image of Saint Mary of Victories, Patroness of our church. This image reminds us of the close ties of Mary to Christ and his Church. First of all, she is Christ’s Mother, the Mother of the visible image of the invisible god. But she is also the image and the model of the Church, and she is its exemplar. In Mary the Church joyously contemplates the image of all that the Church itself desire and hopes wholly to be. The Church recognizes in Mary the model of the path and the practice it must follow to reach complete union with Christ. As the Spouse of Christ, the Church raises its eyes to Mary, the exemplar it must look to in carrying out the work of the apostolate. We should strive to take part in this service with the greatest intensity and reverent devotion.

The statue is crowned while all sing the crowning hymn, Bring flowers of the fairest

When the hymn ends, the celebrant says:

Celebrant: Let us ask Mary to pray for us saying:

(All then pray together:)

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope!

To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;

to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us,

and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

Celebrant: Almighty God and Father, you have given us the mother of your Son to be our queen and mother.

With the support of her prayers, may we come to share the glory of your children in the kingdom of heaven.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

All: Amen. 

As a recessional hymn, all sing the Regina Caeli as indicated above, with its conclusion led by the celebrant:

V. Gaude et laetare Virgo Maria, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: : praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam*, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.