Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Communio for Lent 4: Ierusalem, quæ ædificatur ut civitas ("Jerusalem is built as a city")

Ierusalem, quæ ædificatur ut civitas is the Communion Song for the Fourth Sunday in Lent (when the Gospel is other than that of the man blind from birth or the parable of the Prodigal Son - in Year B, in other words).

Lent - Fourth Sunday: Communio from Corpus Christi Watershed on Vimeo.

The text is taken from the beautiful Psalm 122:3-4:
Jerusalem, quæ ædificatur ut civitas, cuius participatio eius in idipsum: illuc enim ascenderunt tribus, tribus Domini, ad confitendum nomini tuo, Domine.

Jerusalem is built as a city that is bound firmly together, to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.

Here's the chant score:

Ierusalem, quæ ædificatur ut civitas is the old, Tridentine, Communion Proper for today; the others,  Lutum fecit and Oportet te were added as alternates that depend on the Gospel reading, after the 3-year lectionary was adopted.

Today is Laetare Sunday in Lent:  "Rose Sunday," a day when the penitential mood lifts a bit.  The vestments are rose-colored, and the theme is throughout one of grace.  It's a parallel, in that way, to Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday in Advent.

Another, very interesting, parallel, though, is Lent IV's similarity to Advent II, in that all the chant propers for these Sundays mention Jerusalem (or "Sion").  Last year, as readers of this blog might recall, I was wondering why this was the case for the Advent II propers; I asked Derek about it, and he referred me to Dom Dominic Johner's book. The Chants of the Vatican Gradual.   Here's what Johner has to say about today, Laetare Sunday, in Lent:
Even more than on the second Sunday of Advent (q.v.), the station "at the church of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem," in which the solemn services were conducted at Rome, has determined the selection of the liturgical texts of today's Mass. All the chants contain allusions to Sion or Jerusalem. Only the Offertory in its present form is an exception.

In other words, the chant propers for today refer to Jerusalem because the Church of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem was the stational church in Rome on the Fourth Sunday in Lent during the church's early years.

This page describes the custom, and lists all the stational churches for Lent; you'll see that the Fourth Sunday in Lent was celebrated at "Santa Croce in Gerusalemme," i.e., The Church of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem.   Here's the introduction from that page:
Pilgrims who travel to Rome during Lent can participate in a beautiful custom that dates back to the fourth century. It’s a custom that began as a way to strengthen the sense of community in the city while honoring the holy martyrs of Rome. The faithful would journey through the streets to visit various churches. As they walked they would pray the Litany of the Saints. The bishop of Rome, that is the Holy Father, would join them, lead them in prayer and celebrate Mass at the church.

Though this practice was around for years, Pope Saint Gregory the Great established the order of the churches to be visited, the prayers to be recited and designated this as a Lenten practice. The tradition continued until 1309 when the papacy moved to Avignon. Pope Leo XIII revived the tradition and it was fully restored by John XXIII in 1959.

The PNAC apparently observes this Lenten custom even today, and elaborates on the history at this page.  Here's a short excerpt, with much more at the link:
Our modern observance of the stational liturgy traces its roots back to the practice of the Bishop of Rome celebrating the liturgies of the church year at various churches throughout the city, a tradition dating back as far as the late second or early third century.  One reason for this was practical: with the church in Rome being composed of diverse groups from many cultures, regular visits by the bishop served to unify the various groups into a more cohesive whole.  Another reason, particularly following the legalization of Christianity in A.D. 313 which permitted public worship, was to commemorate certain feast days at churches with a special link to that celebration.  Therefore, Good Friday came to be celebrated at the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem and Christmas at St. Mary Major, where a relic of the manger was venerated.  In time, the original churches in the city, known as tituli (sing. titulus) because they often bore the name of the donor, took on an additional significance as the places that held the relics of the martyrs and the memory of the early history of the church in this city. 1

As time passed the schedule of these visits, which had earlier followed an informal order, took on a more formalized structure.  By the last half of the fifth century, a fairly fixed calendar was developed, having the order of the places at which the pope would say Mass with the church community on certain days throughout the year.  In the weeks before the beginning of Lent, the three large basilicas outside the walls were visited, forming a ring of prayer around the city before the season of Lent began.  During Lent, the various stations were originally organized so that the Masses were held in different areas of the city each day.  During the octave of Easter the stations form a litany of the saints, beginning with St. Mary Major on Easter Sunday and continuing with St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Lawrence, the Apostles, and the martyrs.

This also explains the Advent II propers; Santa Croce in Gerusalemme was the stational church on that Sunday as well.

Which is all quite interesting, to me, and definitely explains what I took to be mysterious! offers a complete list of today's propers sung by the Sao Paolo Benedictines; note that the Offertory and Communio vary, depending on the Gospel for the day.
Hebdomada quarta quadragesimæ  Dominica
Introitus: Cf. Is. 66, 10.11; Ps. 121 Lætare Ierusalem (3m46.5s - 3540 kb) chant score
Graduale: Ps. 121, 1. V. 7 Lætatus sum (1m58.9s - 1858 kb) chant score
Tractus: Ps. 124, 1.2 Qui confidunt (3m13.4s - 3024 kb) chant score
Offertorium: Ps. 134, 3.6 Laudate Dominum (1m37.4s - 1524 kb) chant score
                 quando legitur Evangelium de filio prodigo:
                  Ps. 12, 4.5 Illumina oculos meos (1m33.8s - 1468 kb) chant score
Communio:  Ps. 121, 3.4 Ierusalem, quæ ædificatur chant score (1m09.7s - 1092 kb)

                 quando legitur Evangelium de cæco nato:
                  Io. 9, 6.11.38 Lutum fecit (39.3s - 616 kb)

                 quando legitur Evangelium de filio prodigo:
                  Lc. 15, 32 Oportet te (28.9s - 454 kb)

Other Chantblog articles about the propers for the day include:

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