Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Lent 5 Offertory: Confitebor tibi, Domine

Here's a really interesting video of Confitebor tibi, Domine; it's got, according to the YouTube page, a hurdy-gurdy drone!  Not to mention the old chant notation above the square-notes:




Here's an mp3. of the same chant from Renegoupil; this is also the Offertory for Lent 5 in the Extraordinary Form.

The text comes from Psalm (118/)119, vv. 7,10,17, and 25; here are those four verses:
I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.
With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
Deal bountifully with your servant,
that I may live and keep your word.
My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!

The text itself rearranges and leaves out some of these words, though, which  comes out to this:
I will praise you, Lord, with my whole heart.
Give bountifully to your servant,
that I may live and keep your word;
Quicken me according to your word!

Here's the full score:


I quoted The Catholic Encyclopedia two years ago on this day, previously called "Passion Sunday."  Here's more about it, from Wikipedia:

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Until 1959, the fifth Sunday of Lent was known as Passion Sunday.[7] It marked the beginning of a two-week-long period known as Passiontide, which is still observed by various denominations in Protestantism and by some traditionalist Catholics. In 1960, Pope John XXIII's Code of Rubrics changed the name for that Sunday to "First Sunday of the Passion"[8] bringing the name into harmony with the name that Pope Pius XII gave, five years earlier, to the sixth Sunday of Lent, "Second Sunday of the Passion or Palm Sunday".

Pope Paul VI's revision in 1969 removed a distinction that existed (although with overlap) between Lent and Passiontide, which began with the fifth Sunday of Lent. The distinction, explicit in the 1960 Code of Rubrics,[9] predates it.[10] He removed from the fifth Sunday of Lent the reference to the Passion.

Although Passiontide as a distinct liturgical season was thus abolished, the Roman Rite liturgy continues to bring the Passion of Christ to mind, from Monday of the fifth week of Lent onward, through the choice of hymns, the use on the weekdays of the fifth week of Lent of Preface I of the Passion of the Lord, with Preface II of the Passion of the Lord being used on the first three weekdays of Holy Week, and the authorization of the practice of covering crosses and images from the fifth Sunday of Lent onward, if the Conference of Bishops so decides. Where this practice is followed, crucifixes remain covered until the end of the Good Friday celebration of the Lord's Passion; statues remain covered until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.[11]

Other names

The entrance antiphon of the Mass on the fifth Sunday of Lent begins with the word "Iudica" (older spelling, "Judica"). This provides another name for that Sunday: "Iudica Sunday" or "Judica Sunday", similar to the name "Laetare Sunday" for the fourth Sunday. Because of the custom of veiling crucifixes and statues in the church before Mass on the fifth Sunday of Lent, this Sunday was called Black Sunday in Germany, where the veils, which elsewhere were generally violet, were of black colour.

Passion Sunday is also known as Carlin or Carling Sunday in the north-east of England, when carlin peas are eaten.[12]

Those who continue to observe earlier forms of the Roman Rite or of liturgies modelled on it refer to the fifth Sunday of Lent by one or other of its previous names.

Anglican usage

In those Anglican churches which follow the Sarum Use, crimson vestments and hangings are pressed into service on the fifth Sunday of Lent – replacing the Lenten array (unbleached muslin cloth) – and vestments are crimson until (and including) Holy Saturday. Reflecting the recent playing down of Passiontide, the Church of England's Common Worship liturgical resources suggest red for Holy Week only (with the exception of the Maundy Thursday Eucharist).

The Gospel reading for today is John 12:1-8:
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?" (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

ChristusRex.org provides the full complement of propers, sung by the Sao Paulo Benedictines;  note that the Communio again depends on the Gospel for the day.  Since it's not either of the first two readings, the Communion Song for today is Qui mihi ministrat:
Hebdomada quinta quadragesimæ  Dominica
Introitus: Ps. 42, 1.2.3 Iudica me, Deus (3m09.1s - 1293 kb) chant score
Graduale: Ps. 142, 9.10. V. Ps. 17, 48.49 Eripe me, Domine (3m49.9s - 1572 kb) chant score
Tractus: Ps. 128, 1-4 Sæpe expugnaverunt (1m50.9s - 759 kb) chant score
Offertorium: Ps. 118, 7.10.17.25 Confitebor tibi, Domine (1m41.8s - 697 kb) chant score
Communio:
                 quando legitur Evangelium de Lazaro:
                 Io. 11, 33.35.43.44.39 Videns Dominus (3m43.2s - 1526 kb)

                 quando legitur Evangelium de muliere adultera:
                 Io. 8, 10.11 Nemo te condemnavit (2m35.9s - 1213 kb)

                 quando legitur aliud Evangelium:
                 Io. 12, 26 Qui mihi ministrat(49.0s - 382 kb)

Here are posts on Chantblog about some of the other propers:

There are many, many polyphonic settings of "Confiteor tibi, Domine, in toto cor de meo" - but only a couple of them are taken from this text, since in fact, those words never actually appear in Psalm (118/)119!  They do appear in many other Psalms, however, beginning with Psalm 9.  The phrase is also found in Psalm (85/)86, Psalm (110/)111, and Psalm (137/)138.

Orlando di Lasso set this particular text - it's not online, alas - but most of the others have set Psalm 111.  Here's a beauty, from Michel-Richard Delalande (1657-1726):



Here's Monteverdi's (1567 - 1643):




The scene in today's Gospel is one of the many and various "woman-anoints-Jesus" in the Gospels.   This happens in various ways, and various women seem to be involved; what's interesting to me, though, is that it's not easy to find Western artists who accurately record that it was Mary of Bethany (or, in Luke, an unnamed "sinner") and not Mary Magdalene who did the anointing.

I found only one such piece (which actually isn't from John at all, but from either Matthew or Mark, since this happens at "Simon the Leper's" home); it's an oil by Dieric Bouts, from the 1440s.


All the other Western art I found created around the "anointing" theme misidentifies the woman as Mary Magdalene.   But there is quite a bit of confusion around this scene in any event; the Marys aren't the only one getting mixed together.  Here's an explanation at Wikipedia's "Simon the Leper" page:
Simon the Leper is a biblical figure mentioned by the Gospels according to Matthew (26:6-13) and Mark (14:3-9). These two books narrate how Jesus made a visit to the house of Simon the Leper at Bethany during the course of which a woman (this woman was Mary, Lazarus' sister John 11:1-2) anoints the head of Jesus with costly ointment. Bethany was the home of Simon the Leper as well as Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. The Gospel according to John (12:1-8) recounts that Mary, Martha and Lazarus attended a supper for Jesus Christ two days before the Passover and Crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus arrived to Bethany six days before the passover, but attended to the dinner two days before the Passover. Martha served and Lazarus sat at the table. According to John's Gospel, the feet of Jesus were also anointed by Mary. Comparing them suggests that Judas Iscariot and other disciples of Jesus also attended and protested the costly anointing of Jesus.

Simon the Leper is sometimes identified with Simon the Pharisee (see Shimon ben Gamliel), who is mentioned in the Gospel of Luke (7:36-50) as the host of a meal during which the feet of Jesus are anointed by a woman.[1] Because of these similarities, efforts have been made to reconcile the events and characters but some scholars have pointed out differences between the two events.[2]An alternative explanation for the similarities is that the Luke 7 anointing and the anointing at Bethany (Matthew 26:6Mark 14:3John 12:1) happened with some of the same participants, but several years apart.[3]

Simon the Leper is also sometimes identified as the same person as Lazarus of Bethany, or identified as his father or brother. This is because Matthew and Mark mention Simon, while John mentions Lazarus, but all four gospels assume one lodging at Bethany during the last week. Abbé Drioux identified all three as one: Lazarus of Bethany, Simon the Leper of Bethany, and the Lazarus of the parable, on the basis that in the parable Lazarus is depicted as a leper, and due to a perceived coincidence between Luke 16:30 and John 12:10 - where after the raising of Lazarus, Caiaphas and Annas tried to have him killed.[4]

The East seems to have had far less trouble with all this; the three women - Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and the unnamed "sinner" - have never been conflated.  (I'm not sure about all the Simons and Lazarus, though!  There is definitely some built-in confusion about all this, due to the different tellings of the story in the Gospels.)

What's interesting to me - at least as far as I can tell so far - is that Eastern icons conflate all the events into one image.  That is, at the same time Jesus is raising Lazarus, Mary of Bethany is anointing his feet!  See this image, for instance:


It's hard for me to tell if this is what's actually happening, although clearly, something is going on with the feet.  It could be a more modern take on the older icons - that one's from goarch.org, and I'm not sure how recent it is - and in almost all of them, the women in particular are huddled on the ground.  Perhaps some icon-writer decided that while Mary was down there anyway, she might as well be doing something!  Of course, in John, Mary "falls at Jesus' feet" in mourning, too - and that could be what's being shown here.  But what's she doing with the cloth wrapped around his feet?  If anybody knows, I'd be really happy to find out about this.

Here's another icon, apparently from the 12th Century:


And another, from the 16th:



This one's really stunning; it's a fresco by Lippo Memmi (14th Century), at the Duomo di San Gimignano. As you can see, one of the women - Mary? - is in the same lowered posture at Jesus' feet (but with no active anointing), while Martha, no doubt, is standing and pointing out to Jesus that Lazarus has been dead for four days and therefore stinketh.


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