Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Introit for the Third Sunday in Lent: Oculi Mei ("My Eyes")

Here's an mp3 of this Introit from JoguesChant. Below is the score from the Brazilian Benedictines.

JoguesChant's translation, from Psalm 25:15-16, then 1-2:
My eyes are forever turned towards the Lord; for he shall release my feet from the snare; look upon me and have mercy on me, for I am abandoned and destitute. Unto you, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul; O my God, I trust in you, let me not be put to shame.

The Extraordinary Form uses the same Introit today. Soon, a post about what, exactly, the sources for the EF are (once I do a little research on the topic!).

The Collect for today is a great one:
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Hatchett's Commentary has this about the collect:
In the Gregorian sacramentary this collect is appointed for the second Sunday in Lent (no. 202). Earlier that had been a "vacant" Sunday, a Sunday which had no proper because of the vigil and ordination mass which had been the culmination of the ember days preceding. In that sacramentary it is also printed among the "Daily Prayers" (no. 876). In the present Book it is shifted to the third Sunday in Lent from its earlier position in the Sarum missal and older Prayer Books on the second Sunday in Lent. The text reminds us that God's protection is necessary to defend us from the assaults upon the soul as well as those on the body.

The Gospel is a great one, too: John's telling of the story of the Samaritan woman at the well:
John 4:5-42

Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, `Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?" Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."

Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, `I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!" The woman said to him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us." Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who is speaking to you."

Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you want?" or, "Why are you speaking with her?" Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?" They left the city and were on their way to him.

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, "Rabbi, eat something." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples said to one another, "Surely no one has brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, `Four months more, then comes the harvest'? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, `One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."

Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I have ever done." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world."

Later in the season, during Holy Week, another "Oculi mei" - Caligaverunt oculi mei - will be sung, and with the reverse intention, as part of the Tenebrae resposories.
Caligaverunt oculi mei a fletu meo: quia elongatus est a me, qui consolabatur me: Videte, omnes populi, si est dolor similis sicut dolor meus. O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam, attendite, et videte si est dolor similis sicut dolor meus.

My eyes are darkened by my tears: For He is far from me that comforted Me:
See, O all ye people, if there be a sorrow like unto My sorrow. O all ye that pass by, behold and see if there be a sorrow like unto My sorrow.

Here's the Victoria version, again sung my recent discovery "The Sixteen":

Again I wonder if this sort of thing was done intentionally; "Oculi mei" from Psalm 25 early in Lent, and a song of confidence in God's protection in hard times - but then Holy Week turns this upside-down, and the "Oculi mei" for that week speaks of the feeling of utter desolation and the feeling of abandonment.

I need to learn much more about Tenebrae, I see now....

Here are all the chant propers for the day, sung by the Sao Paulo Benedictines:
Hebdomada tertia quadragesimæ
Introitus: Ps. 24, 15.16 et 1-2 Oculi mei (3m02.3s - 2852 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 9, 20. V. 4 Exsurge... non prævaleat (3m46.7s - 3546 kb) score
Tractus: Ps. 122, 1-3 Ad te levavi (1m45.2s - 1646 kb) score
Offertorium: Ps. 18, 9.11.12 Iustitiæ Domini (1m21.7s - 1278 kb) score
                 Quando legitur Evangelium de Samaritana:
                 Io. 4, 13.14 Qui biberit aquam (3m02.3s - 2852 kb)
                 Quando legitur aliud Evangelium:
                 Ps. 83, 4.5 Passer invenit (3m30.3s - 3288 kb) score

Here are posts on Chantblog for other propers of this day:

Here's Bernardo Strozzi's "Christ and the Samaritan Woman," from sometime in the early 1600s:

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