10 May 2015, 6th Sunday of Easter (Year B)
Introit: Vocem jucunditatis, begin on E (as mi)
In place of the Penitential Rite today, we will use the Rite of Sprinkling. While the celebrant sprinkles the congregation, all sing the antiphon after intonation, women of schola sing the verse, then all repeat antiphon. Since the Rite of Sprinkling replaces the Penitential Rite, there is no Kyrie.
Antiphon: Vidi aquam, PBC, p. 23, begin on E♭ (as sol).
Offertory: Concordi laetitia, PBC, p. 154, begin on E♭ (as fa)
Communion (Year B): Ego vos elegi, begin on A (as la)
Recessional: Be joyful Mary, p. 248, begin on F
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.
The Introit antiphon has three phrases:
1. Vocem jucunditatis annuniate, et audiatur, alleluia
2. nuntiate usque ad extremum terrae
3. liberavit Dominus populum suum, alleluia, alleluia.
One might—reasonably—expect Easter joy to gradually diminish in the successive Sundays after Easter, for the more we recede from the feast day, the closer we approach the day of the Lord's ascension and departure from earth. But it does not. The melodies for the Introits of the first, second, and fourth Sundays are devout, rather than jubilant. Into these the brilliant third Sunday is inserted. Now, rising above all these, comes the Introit of the fifth Sunday: a clarion call of real Easter joy which would resound to the uttermost ends of the earth.
In its first half, the first phrase has an energetic ascent for its arsis, followed by a similarly proportioned thesis. The melodic line here is delicate, avoiding everything rough or severe. By preference the new neume sets in on the last note of the preceding one (dge-eg-ga-acb, and the descending ca-ag-gag). After a brief arsis the second half brings a drawn-out thesis with the tetrachord d-g, gaining strength for a renewed and powerful ascent. The second phrase begins with the same motif as the first, but increases greatly in force with the fourth over usque. The effect is heightened still more by the two identical clives. And now comes a loud cry of joy with the torculus. It is not only tone-painting, but should manifest a long-pent-up, surging joy in the heart of the singer. The third phrase brings the message itself. One might expect a still greater enhancement of the melody here. But a further development upward is hardly possible, for the third mode, the one selected for this piece, very rarely reaches above the high e used over extremum. And a repetition of that note might sound weak. Moreover, a royal message is announced with a fanfare followed by the solemn and quiet proclamation of the message. So
we sing these words with deep emotion and heartfelt thanksgiving, then with the twofold alleluia joy breaks forth anew. Over suum it has already reverted to the motif of the first phrase over audiatur; this it varies pleasantly toward the end and culminates in the florid neums over the final alleluia. This melody was adopted for the Introit of the feast of the Immaculate Conception; and also, though less happily, for the feast of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria (July 5).
(Year B) The Communion antiphon is in the former Graduale in a number of feasts, including SS. Primus and Felicianus, Martyrs (9 June) and Seven Holy Founders (12 February). It was also sung on the feast of St. Luke and in the Common of Apostles in several manuscripts. It has three phrases:
1. Ego vos elegi de mundo ut eatis et fructum afferatis
2. et fructus vester maneat
This Mode I antiphon again tracks the sense of the text as the melody ascends over Ego vos, then descends over de mundo, rises again slightly over eatis, then more over fructus, as if to depict the disciples lifted up by our Lord to a higher plane as their efforts bear fruit. The termination over maneat is a firm and settled one, as befits the word. The Saint-Gall manuscript is replete with rhythmic and expressive detail for such a brief chant. We'll spend some time with those details during our practice on Tuesday 1 May.