Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Communio for Lent 2: Visionem quam vidistis ("The Vision you have seen")

This very short - and beautiful - chant is the Communion song for the second Sunday of Lent (and also for the Feast of the Transfiguration, one of the very few instances of this kind of double use):

The text comes from Matthew 17:9. a passage that immediately follows the story of the Transfiguration on the Mountain in that Gospel:
Visionem quam vidistis, nemini dixeritis,
donec a mortuis resurgat filius Hominis.

Tell the vision you have seen to no man,
till the Son of man be risen from the dead.

 Here's the chant score:

The Introit for today, Tibi dixit cor meum, is also used as the Introit for Transfiguration (although the other propers are different between the two days).  This is because the Second Sunday of Lent was,  I believe, at one time a commemoration of the Transfiguration, in the same way we now commemorate on the Last Sunday after Epiphany, the Sunday prior to Ash Wednesday.

The Gospel reading for today in the Historic (Roman Catholic) Lectionary was taken from  Matthew 17:1-9, which contains the entire story of the Transfiguration; this certainly explains very well why the Transfiguration Introit is used on this date.   (But, oddly, the Tridentine Introit was not Tibi dixit, but Reminiscere Miserationum ("Remember Your Mercies")!  So this adjustment in the use of the Transfiguration propers here is actually quite odd; I'm guessing that we may actually be moving back in time, before the Tridentine Rite, in some way.  My hunch is that it all has something to do with the Liturgical Renewal movement during the 20th Century; I will need to do some more research on that.)

(Just for the sake of interest, in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and in the Historic Lutheran Lectionary, the Lent 2 Gospel reading was taken from Matt. 15:21–28, the story of the Canaanite woman whose daughter was "grievously vexed with a devil.")

In any case, the old, Tridentine, rite, the Communio for today was Intellige clamorem meum; here it's sung by the Schola of the Vienna Hofburgkapelle.

Rene Goupil notes that the text is taken from Psalm 5: 2-4, and offers this translation:
Understand my cry, heed my voice in prayer, my King and my God, for to thee, Lord, shall I pray.

So Visionem itself may be a new chant; again, I'll have to try to find out.

Whatever the case, Ambrosio Cotes (Villena/Valencia, 1550 - Sevilla, 1603) set the very same text, here sung, I believe, by Victoria Musicae (and directed by Josep R.Gil-Tàrrega?):

Here are all of today's chant propers, sung by the Sao Paulo Benedictines:

Hebdomada secunda quadragesimæ
Introitus: Ps. 26, 8.9 et 1 Tibi dixit cor meum (cum Gloria Patri) (2m59.6s - 2808 kb)
Graduale: Ps. 82, 19. V. 14 Sciant gentes (3m00.8s - 2828 kb) score
Tractus: Ps. 59, 4.6 Commovisti (2m18.1s - 2160 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 118, 47.48 Meditabor (1m16.1s - 1192 kb) score
Communio: Mt. 17, 9 Visionem (2m36.4s - 2446 kb) score

Here are links to Chantblog articles about the propers for today:

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