10 June 2018, 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Introit (Year B): Si iniquitates
Offertory: O Lord I am not worthy, p. 304
Communion (Year B): Quicumque fecerit
Recessional: Sing praise to God, p. 219
Mass XI, PBC p. 58. Credo III, PBC p. 77
The Introit antiphon is in two phrases, the first of which is subdivided:
- (a) Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine,
(b) Domine, quis sustinebit?
- quia apud te propitiatio est, Deus Israel.
The well known and often prayed Psalm 129 anticipates the spirit of All Souls' Day and is very fitting near the end of the liturgical year. We are grateful that God's forgiveness is more generous that ours. Otherwise, who would be able to stand it? God indeed looks upon (observaveris) our sins and weighs them in the balance of His holiness and justice, but His mercy prevents His justice from punishing a repented sin in the manner it deserves.
The divisions of the melody are evident enough. To the soaring ascent of the first phrase, a second, filled with rest and relaxation, answers. All three members of the first phrase close on the half tone b c. Domine here carries the same melody as in the Introit Omnia quae fecisti, with the difference that there it closes with c b, instead of with b c as in the present melody. There the second phrase begins with a higher note; here on a lower. The very same reason holds for the close of sustinebit. Here again the following phrase sets in a third lower. It might also be pointed out that we have to do with a question, and that the tension contained in a question naturally evolves itself in an ascending melodic movement. One would perhaps want more prominence to the significant quis than is done here. If the first half of the phrase has c for its dominant, then the second receives special force from its dominant d. Care must be taken that the recitation be not too precipitous on this d; in fact, a moderate martellato might be recommended. It seems as if a trembling before God's holiness pervades the melody.
The second phrase, however, brings rest. It never extends beyond c and has only minor thirds and seconds in the beginning. Over the accented syllable of propitiatio the melody becomes an expression of fervent thanks; it comes to full bloom in the more florid melismas over the word Deus. Only with God can we find such judgment and forgiveness. The final groups of neums are frequently seen at the close of Mode III Introits (cf. the Introits Vocem jucunditatis and Cum clamarem). The last two groups of neums represent a rhythmically united and inseparable whole; they always occur over the two final syllables. That explains the peculiar treatment accorded Israel.
(Year B) This Communion has two phrases:
- Quicumque fecerit voluntatem Patris mei qui in caelis est
- Ipse meus frater soror et mater est, dicit Dominus.
This antiphon is borrowed from the feast of the 40 Holy Martyrs (10 March in the EF calendar). The high point of the closely held melody is over voluntatem Patris, making obvious the lesson that Jesus was teaching in this declaration. The low point is over mater est which reflects the true nature of Mary’s maternity: a complete submission to that will of the Father, just as her divine Son also did. We are called to emulate that example and reflect her maternal devotion to the world if we would truly be part of the family of the Lord.