Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Advent 2 Offertory: Deus, tu convertens ("God, wilt Thou not turn again?")

Here's a video of the Offertory for today; no word on who the singers are here:

Here's another version, sung by a member of "The Schola Cantorum, The Catholic Parish of St Canice, 28 Roslyn Street, Elizabeth Bay, Kings Cross, Sydney NSW, Australia":

The text is taken from Psalm (84/)85, vv. 6-7; it's a rather famous section from one of the Verse-Responses at Compline.  Here  it is, from the Coverdale Psalter:

6 Wilt thou not turn again, and quicken us, * that thy people may rejoice in thee?
7 Show us thy mercy, O LORD, * and grant us thy salvation.

And there's "Ostende nobis Domine" ("Show us thy mercy, O LORD") again, which we heard last week at the Alleluia.

Here's the full chant score:

There are some lovely readings in Year B for this day, among them Isaiah 40:1-11, Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13, 2 Peter 3:8-15a, and Mark 1:1-8:

Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the LORD's hand
double for all her sins.
A voice cries out:
"In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
A voice says, "Cry out!"
And I said, "What shall I cry?"
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
"Here is your God!"
See, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 Page 708, 709, BCP

Benedixisti, Domine

You have been gracious to your land, O LORD, * you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
You have forgiven the iniquity of your people * and blotted out all their sins.
I will listen to what the LORD God is saying, * for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.
Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, * that his glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth have met together; * righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth shall spring up from the earth, * and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
The LORD will indeed grant prosperity, * and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness shall go before him, * and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

2 Peter 3:8-15a

Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.

Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
"See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
`Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,'"
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

For comparison, the Historic Lectionary used these texts - also beautiful, but far more focused on the Second, rather than the First, Coming:

Malachi 4:1–6

For behold the day shall come kindled as a furnace: and all the proud, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall set them on fire, saith the Lord of hosts, it shall not leave them root, nor branch.
But unto you that fear my name, the Sun of justice shall arise, and health in his wings: and you shall go forth, and shall leap like calves of the herd.
And you shall tread down the wicked when they shall be ashes under the sole of your feet in the day that I do this, saith the Lord of hosts.
Remember the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, the precepts, and judgments.
Behold I will send you Elias the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers: lest I come, and strike the earth with anathema.

Psalm 50:1–15

50 Unto the end, a psalm of David,
When Nathan the prophet came to him after he had sinned with Bethsabee.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy. And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my iniquity.
Wash me yet more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my iniquity, and my sin is always before me.
To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee: that thou mayst be justified in thy words and mayst overcome when thou art judged.
For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother conceive me.
For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.
Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.
10 To my hearing thou shalt give joy and gladness: and the bones that have been humbled shall rejoice.
11 Turn away thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
12 Create a clean heart in me, O God: and renew a right spirit within my bowels.
13 Cast me not away from thy face; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
14 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and strengthen me with a perfect spirit.
15 I will teach the unjust thy ways: and the wicked shall be converted to thee.

Romans 15:4–13

For what things soever were written, were written for our learning: that through patience and the comfort of the scriptures, we might have hope.
Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind one towards another, according to Jesus Christ:
That with one mind, and with one mouth, you may glorify God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Wherefore receive one another, as Christ also hath received you unto the honour of God.
 I say that Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.
But that the Gentiles are to glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: Therefore will I confess to thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and will sing to thy name.
10 And again he saith: Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.
11 And again: Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and magnify him, all ye people.
12 And again Isaias saith: There shall be a root of Jesse; and he that shall rise up to rule the Gentiles, in him the Gentiles shall hope.
13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing; that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 21:25–36

25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves;
26 Men withering away for fear, and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved;
27 And then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty.
28 But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand.
29 And he spoke to them in a similitude. See the fig tree, and all the trees:
30 When they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh;
31 So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand.
32 Amen, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away, till all things be fulfilled.
33 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
34 And take heed to yourselves, lest perhaps your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly.
35 For as a snare shall it come upon all that sit upon the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye, therefore, praying at all times, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are to come, and to stand before the Son of man.

Here are all the propers for today, from and sung by the monks of St. Benedict's Monastery, Sao Paulo, Brazil.   These are the same propers used in the Extraordinary Form, which means they've been around for a very long time. 

And as previously noted, it's quite interesting to me that almost all of them - except this one, in fact - are focused on Jerusalem and/or Sion; that may also be an oblique reference to the Second Coming, and in particular to the Book of Revelation.  I am going to try to find out more about this.  EDIT:  I have discovered the reason for the Sion emphasis;   Dom Dominic Johner points out, in his Chants of the Vatican Gradual, that:
[On Advent 2] the Introit, Gradual, and Communion speak of Sion, i.e., of Jerusalem.  The Alleluia-verse also alludes to this.  For at Rome the principal service was held in the Church of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, close to the Lateran.  It was a royal palace; now it shelters a most venerable relic of the holy cross.  Our present Sion is the Catholic Church.  It is also our individual soul, and likewise the church building in which we look for the Redeemer today.  Here it is that we are being prepared for the heavenly Sion.
So there it is.

Hebdomada secunda adventus
Introitus: Cf. Is. 30, 19.30; Ps. 79 Populus Sion (3m15.8s - 3061 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 40, 2.3. V. 5 Ex Sion (2m50.7s - 2675 kb) score
Alleluia: Ps. 121, 1 Lætatus sum (2m11.2s - 2057 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 84, 7.8 Deus, tu convertens (2m01.6s - 1901 kb) score
Communio: Bar. 5, 5; 4, 36 Ierusalem, surge cum Ps. 147, 12.13 (1m56.7s - 1825 kb) score

Here are posts on Chantblog for today's Propers:

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