21 June 2015, 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Introit: Dominus fortitudo, begin on D (as la)
Offertory: When I survery the wondrous cross, p. 341, begin on D
Communion (Year B): Circuibo, begin on F (as do)
Recessional: Lift high the cross, p. 244, begin on A
Mass XI, PBC p. 58. Credo III, PBC p. 77
The Introit has two phrases, the second of which is subdivided:
- (a) Dominus, fortitudo plebis suae,
(b) et protector salutarium Christi sui est
- (a) salvum fac populum tuum, Domine,
(b) et benedic hereditati tuae,
(c) et rege eos usque in saeculum.
Today's Introit begins in a similar manner to Dominus illuminatio, (OF, 10th Sunday in OT; EF, 4th Sunday after Pentecost) and is also cast in the same mode. The usque in saeculum and the preceding (fortitu)-do plebis suae resemble ceciderunt in the former. The present Introit, however, has a very different development and sentiment. The range of the former is from low a to high b♭; here it is only from a to g, beyond which it never goes. In the former there is but slight difference between the individual phrases, and one experiences something almost oppressive—as if the psalm-verse, which speaks of those who descend into the pit, supplied the leading thoughts for the singer. Still, the fourths over (fortitudo) plebis and especially over (pro)-tector, as well as the vigorous accents of suae and rege following the frequent stress of the dominant and the return to the tonic, produce an enlivening effect. They energetically express the thought: We are Your inheritance, Lord, and You shall be our King! Two musical phrases are distinguishable, each beginning with low a and again returning to it after having reached their peak with g.
Here, even more than elsewhere, we must be guided by the text, which is most thought-provoking. In the first part David praises the Lord as the ‘strength of His people’ and gratefully recalls the armor of divine grace which has been bestowed upon him, the Lord's anointed. It is also a prayer of thanksgiving. The second part is a prayer of petition. But the king's petition is not for himself; it is for his people, or, more correctly, for the people of God. He says to His Father: It is Your people, Your inheritance, which You have acquired for Yourself. These words of the second part have been incorporated in the Te Deum, except that in saeculum is replaced by in aeternum. This Introit exhorts us who are assembled for divine service not to think only of ourselves and our own personal needs, but rather of the entire people of God, of that corporate whole to which we are privileged to belong. The solemn annointings at Baptism and Confirmation impress upon us that we are the elect of God, the inheritance which He so dearly purchased at the cost of His own blood. With these sentiments we should sing salvum fac, benedic, and rege.
(Year B) The Communion antiphon has two phrases:
- Circuibo, et immolabo in tabernaculo ejus hostiam jubilationis
- cantabo, et psalmum dicam Domino.
The beginning is filled with awe, and reminds one of a reverential bow. But then the singer is impelled to pour forth his jubilation vigorously and enthusiastically. The holy Sacrifice, with all the honor it gives the Holy Trinity, with all the blessings it brings to souls, especially in the sacrificial Banquet, has become a sacrifice of jubilation. Filled with these sentiments, the faithful soul prepares to return again to the life that awaits its outside. There also it will not forget to sing and play before the Lord and to remain a cheerful giver.
The melody rises in a well-graduated ascent, its highest points forming the ascending line c d e f g a. How clearly hostiam jubilationis, with its recitative on high g and the graceful conclusion, rings out! The second phrase returns more to the spirit of the introductory Circuibo. But in dicam the song reasserts the tone of jubilation. Both phrases close with the same formula. The reason for the transposition to c is found in the beginning of this chant. Usually we should have f c e♭. We are here dealing with a formula that begins many pieces, especially antiphons of the eighth mode. Thus the Magnificat antiphon for the first Vespers of Christmas, set a whole step lower, begins as follows:
f c e♭ f g f f g f f
Cum ortus fuerit
The same holds true of the beginning of the Introit for the first Sunday of Advent.