Friday, November 12, 2010

Dicit Dominus: Ego

Another Dicit Dominus for the introit for November 14, the 25th Sunday after Pentecost (see the one - a different text entirely - used as the Communion song during Epiphanytide here).

Here's JoguesChant's lovely sung version on mp3, and below is the score from the Brazilian Benedictines.

The text is from Jeremiah 29:11-12,14 and Psalm 85:1; here's Jogues' English translation:
The Lord says: "I am pondering thoughts of peace and not of affliction; you shall call upon me, and I will hear you; and I will bring you back from all the lands where you are held captive." O Lord, you have blessed your land; you have put an end to
Jacob's captivity.

Jeremiah 29 starts out this way:
This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.  (This was after King Jehoiachin and the queen mother, the court officials and the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the skilled workers and the artisans had gone into exile from Jerusalem.)  He entrusted the letter to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon.

Psalm 85 is about "the captivity of Jacob":
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
 1 You, LORD, showed favor to your land;
   you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
   and covered all their sins.
3 You set aside all your wrath
   and turned from your fierce anger.
 4 Restore us again, God our Savior,
   and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
   Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
   that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, LORD,
   and grant us your salvation.
 8 I will listen to what God the LORD says;
   he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
   but let them not turn to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
   that his glory may dwell in our land.
 10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
   righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
   and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The LORD will indeed give what is good,
   and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
   and prepares the way for his steps.

So this introit speaks of God's promise of restoration after suffering, using the Babylonian Captivity as its theme. 

Here's a very lively hymn-with-organ piece based on Psalm 85; the page is in Dutch, so that's all I know so far!

Later, both the Gradual and the Offertory will come from Psalm 130, De Profundis, ("Out of the depths have I called to you O Lord; Lord, hear my voice."). And the Gospel reading (from the BCP) for the day is Luke 21:5-19:

When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, "As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down."

They asked him, "Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?" And he said, "Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, `I am he!' and, `The time is near!' Do not go after them.

"When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.

"But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls."

So there's a bit of apocalyptic going on here on this Sunday as well; the overall theme is captivity and suffering - and then release.  And of course, this is just two weeks before the old year ends and a new one begins at Advent.   Advent for us, though, is later than it used to be; at one time it began, unofficially, after the Feast of St. Martin of Tours on November 11.  It's not surprising, then, to find these themes. 

As a matter of fact, I believe that Catholics consider this Sunday "the Last Sunday after Pentecost," although Anglicans save that for next Sunday, "Christ the King."  CtK is very much an "unofficial" holiday for Anglicans; it's not a feast day on our Calendar at all.

Here, in fact, is a video of a Catholic celebration, including Procession and Introit, on the day. It's described as "The last sunday of the church year at the Institute St. Philipp Neri in Berlin, Graunstraße 31,13355 Berlin, nearby the underground station Gesundbrunnen," (You'll hear the Kyrie, too - the one from Missa Orbis Factor.)

For Anglicans, the Collect for this day is this famous one:
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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