Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Introit for the fourth Sunday in Lent: Lætare Ierusalem

Lætare Ierusalem is the introit for today, the fourth Sunday in Lent. Lætare means, of course, "Rejoice" - and so the introit proclaims, "Rejoice with Jerusalem." The text comes from Isaiah 66:10-11, and Psalm 122 (121 in Roman numbering).
Isaiah 66:

10 “ Rejoice with Jerusalem,
And be glad with her, all you who love her;
Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her;
11 That you may feed and be satisfied
With the consolation of her bosom,
That you may drink deeply and be delighted
With the abundance of her glory.”

Psalm 122:

1 I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
2 Our feet have been standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem!

3 Jerusalem is built
As a city that is compact together,
4 Where the tribes go up,
The tribes of the LORD,
To the Testimony of Israel,
To give thanks to the name of the LORD.
5 For thrones are set there for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David.

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
7 Peace be within your walls,
Prosperity within your palaces.”
8 For the sake of my brethren and companions,
I will now say, “Peace be within you.”
9 Because of the house of the LORD our God
I will seek your good.

It is a "lighter" mood in the middle of Lent, and today in some parishes rose vestments, not purple ones, are used.

I've found two recordings of the introit. The first is an mp3 from the Benedictines of Brazil, who also offer the chant score in square notes:

The second is from, a new resource on the web, and a nice one. The mp3 is here, and is hosted at; not sure what the connection is. They also offer a nice PDF of the chant score. The mp3s are much clearer on this site, and they offer all the chant propers for each Sunday, it looks like, just as the Benedictines do. Very nice.

St. Clement's Philadelphia has a photos page where you can see an example of the rose vestements; click the images labeled "Altar."

I wanted to write more about today's Lætare theme; what was its origin, for instance, and did it come from the readings out of one of the historical lectionaries? Well, I will do that at some point, but first wanted to link to something I found while searching: a site called Historic Lectionary: Preaching, insights and notes on the traditional one-year lectionary of the Western Church. It does look interesting, and it's something I've had a curiosity about for awhile now, while trying to understand how the chant propers came to be what they are.

So there are two interesting new resources. Will write more about Lætare later, if I can.

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