Friday, February 15, 2013

The Lent I propers and Psalm 91

As I mentioned a couple of years ago, Lent 1 is an interesting - and I think unique - Sunday for a particular reason, leaving aside its own standalone importance:  all of the chant propers come from a single source, Psalm (90/)91.  Here it is, from the 1979 US Book of Common Prayer Psalter:
Psalm 91 Qui habitat
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, * abides under the shadow of the Almighty.
He shall say to the LORD, "You are my refuge and my stronghold, * my God in whom I put my trust."
He shall deliver you from the snare of the hunter * and from the deadly pestilence.
He shall cover you with his pinions, and you shall find refuge under his wings; * his faithfulness shall be a shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of any terror by night, * nor of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the plague that stalks in the darkness, * nor of the sickness that lays waste at mid-day.
A thousand shall fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, * but it shall not come near you.
Your eyes have only to behold * to see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the LORD your refuge, * and the Most High your habitation,
There shall no evil happen to you, * neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over you, * to keep you in all your ways.
They shall bear you in their hands, * lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the adder; * you shall trample the young lion and the serpent under your feet.
Because he is bound to me in love, therefore will I deliver him; * I will protect him, because he knows my Name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; * I am with him in trouble; I will rescue him and bring him to honor.
With long life will I satisfy him, * and show him my salvation.
The Gospel reading each year on this day is the story of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness.  This year it's from Luke; as you can see, Satan quotes from this Psalm several times:
Luke 4:1-13

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread." Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone.'"

Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, "To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered him, "It is written,
'Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.'"

Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,
'He will command his angels concerning you,
to protect you,'

'On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'"

Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
We always like that that last part, about the devil waiting till "an opportune time."  Drama!

(In fact, I happen to be reading about the temptation in another book right at this moment, as Ivan elaborates on it in The Brothers Karamazov,   Yow.)

Psalm 91 is also read on the day, of course - and it's an important Psalm for another reason:  it's read every night at Compline as well.

You can read about the collect on the day here.

Here are the propers for for Lent I, from the Brazilian Benedictines:

Hebdomada prima quadragesimæ
Introitus: Ps. 90, 15.16 et 1 Invocabit me (cum Gloria Patri) (4m21.1s - 4083 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 90, 11-12 Angelis suis (4m03.3s - 3805 kb) score
Tractus: Ps. 90, 1-7 et 11-16 Qui habitat (2m59.0s - 2801 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 90, 4-5 Scapulis suis (1m04.4s - 1011 kb) score
Communio: Ps. 90, 4-5 Scapulis suis (4m32.5s - 4261 kb) score

And these are posts on Chantblog about each of the propers for today:

Here's J.M Haydn's Angelis suis:

Here's what's at the YouTube page about that piece; I don't read Dutch, but maybe you do:
Angelis suis - J.M. Haydn gezongen door Chorus ad Hoc o.l.v. Eric Jan Joosse in de cantatedienst van 21 februari 2010 in de Amstelkerk te Ouderkerk a.d. Amstel (Nederland).
geluidsregistratie: Jan Cuiper & Eric Jan Joosse
engeladviezen: José Niekel

And here again is Josquin's amazing 24-voice (!) setting of the tract, Qui Habitat, here sung by the Huelgas Ensemble:

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