Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dominica in albis (or, Quasi Modo) Sunday

Here's CCWatershed's video of Quasi Modo, the Introit for the Second Sunday in Easter:

The text is from 1 Peter 2:2:
2 like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual milk so that through it you may grow into salvation,
3 for you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Here is an mp3 of the same chant, sung by the Sao Paolo Benedictines; the chant score is below:

Dominica in albis means "White Sunday," one of the names (formerly) given the Sunday after Easter. Says New Advent, at the article "Low Sunday" (another name for this day):
Its liturgical name is Dominica in albis depositis, derived from the fact that on it the neophytes, who had been baptized on Easter Eve, then for the first time laid aside their white baptismal robes. St. Augustine mentions this custom in a sermon for the day [apparently in "260A" - which I couldn't find on the web, but will post if I ever do], and it is also alluded to in the Eastertide Vesper hymn, "Ad regias Agni dapes" (or, in its older form, "Ad cœnam Agni providi" [here]), written by an ancient imitator of St. Ambrose. Low Sunday is also called by some liturgical writers Pascha clausum, signifying the close of the Easter Octave, and "Quasimodo Sunday", from the Introit at Mass — "Quasi modo geniti infantes, rationabile, sine dolo lac concupiscite", — which words are used by the Church with special reference to the newly baptized neophytes, as well as in general allusion to man's renovation through the Resurrection. The latter name is still common in parts of France and Germany.

According to Wikipedia:
Quasimodo, protagonist of the 1831 French novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, was found abandoned on the doorsteps of Notre Dame on the Sunday after Easter and was named after this day.

Here's the wonderful, very melismatic Alleluia:

There are, in fact, two Alleluia chant propers on this day, and on every Sunday in Easter; it seems that the first of them - the one shown here for this Sunday - replaces the Gradual during this season.

Sunday, April 19th, is also Easter Sunday in the Orthodox calendar. A blessed Pascha to all who are celebrating it!

Here's the full list of chant propers for the Second Sunday in Easter, from; the modern propers are identical to the historical (Tridentine) ones:

Hebdomada secunda paschæ
Introitus: Quasi modo (3m38.5s - 3416 kb) score
Alleluia: In die resurrectionis (2m18.2s - 2162 kb) score
Alleluia: Post dies octo (2m11.9s - 2064 kb) score
Sequentia: Victimæ paschali (1m36.6s - 1510 kb) score
Offertorium: Angelus Domini (2m00.0s - 1876 kb) score
Communio: Mitte manum tuam, et cognosce (45.1s - 708 kb) score
Ite missa est (28.7s - 451 kb) score

Here are Chantblog posts on some of these:

The Eastertide Office hymns are here.

This Sunday is also "St. Thomas Sunday," because the readings center on the "doubting Thomas" episode in John. Here's a favorite Carravaggio, "The Incredulity of St. Thomas":

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