Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ecce Deus

This is the Introit for today, the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (the 8th after Pentecost to you and me, fellow 'Piskies). The text is from Psalm 54:4-5, 1; here's the English translation:
Behold, God is my helper, and the Lord is the upholder of my soul; turn back all the evil against my enemies, destroy them in your fidelity, O Lord, the Protector of my life. Save me, O God, by your name, and render justice unto me in your strength.

A lovely multi-singer version this morning (mp3) from Jogues Chant. (EDIT: Actually, I think this is one person singing on one track laid over several times! Very tricky.) The score is below.

There's another nice version of this at YouTube, but embedding has been disabled. I don't read Dutch, but here's the Google translation of it:
In this video you can see some pictures that relate to the way we celebrate liturgy. Liturgy is celebrated mainly in the abbey church, but sometimes we pull it out in procession, as during the light procession on February 2 the feast of Candlemas, or in the procession on Palm Sunday. The songs you hear are the Latin hymns of the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, from the Roman Gradual. When you first hear Introit (entrance song) "Ecce Deus adiuvat me. Following is the Gradual Si ambulem.

Everyday we sing hymns for the Eucharist in the St. Mass from the Graduale Romanum, the other prayers we sing the Psalms, including in the translation by Ida Gerhardt, Marie van der then said. There are five prayer services and a daily Eucharist. For more information see our website

Here's the site the link point to. The site says that these are Benedictine Sisters at the Abbey of Our Lady in Oosterhout, Netherlands. They're good singers! (Here's Google Translate so you can see what they've written about themselves.)

Today the instruction to the Choirmaster is what interests me! Here it is, according to the ESV (from the link above):
To the choirmaster: with(A) stringed instruments. A Maskil[a] of David,(B) when the Ziphites went and told Saul, "Is not David hiding among us?"

As you'll see in the notes on the Psalm page, not much is known about these instructions generally, and what they refer to when they introduce a Psalm. Something I'd sure like to find out about! Maybe I can get a grant or something....

But I will make a separate post about this at some point, because I realize I haven't talked about it ever, and I'd like to. Psalms are my favorite form of prayer; they talk about everything there is to say about the soul's relationship with God and the world, as far as I can tell. And they are so mysterious! (Well, I guess that actually follows, in a way, doesn't it?)

Here's Michaelangelo's David, not hidden at all:

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