Saturday, June 09, 2012

Cibavit eos and Factus est Dominus protector meus

Cibavit eos

Cibavit eos ("He fed them") is the Introit for The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (AKA Corpus Christi, which is celebrated variously on its day - June 7th, this year - or this Sunday, June 10). Here it is sung by the Schola Gregoriana Aurea Luce:

Here's a translation of this from JoguesChant; here's the mp3 from their site:

He fed them with the finest of wheat, alleluia; and with honey from the rock he satisfied them, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice in honour of God our helper; shout for joy to the God of Jacob.

The text comes from Psalm 81; here's the score, from the Liber Usualis:

William Byrd set this Introit; the names of the singers are given at the start of the video, but otherwise there's no information about it:

Factus est Dominus protector meus

However, Corpus Christi is not feast day in the Episcopal Church; in fact, it's not on our calendar at all. This Sunday is simply the Second Sunday after Pentecost (and June 10 is the feast day of Ephrem the Syrian); interestingly, the Extraordinary Form presents it as the Second Sunday after Pentecost, noting that the day is optionally celebrated as the "External Solemnity of Corpus Christi" - and is "only an option if there is a procession."

The Introit for the Second Sunday after Pentecost is Factus est Dominus protector meus" ("The Lord has become my protector"). Here's a lovely mp3 recording, from Renegoupil, and below is the chant score and translation.

The Lord has become my protector; he has brought me forth into free and open spaces; he delivered me because he was well pleased with me. I will love you always, O Lord my strength; the Lord is my support, my refuge and my deliverer.

The text comes from Psalm 18. The introductory note to this Psalm reads "For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul."

Here's a helpful post titled "Learning to sing the Introit for 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Factus est Dominus" from the website of the St Mary Magdalen Choir, Brighton.

One interesting thing about this Introit is that it's also the Introit for the "Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time" - which sometimes happens before Lent! So the chant propers for this Sunday are sometimes sung as part of the "Ordinary Time" that comes after the Feast of the Epiphany - and sometimes as part of the "Ordinary Time" that comes after the Feast of Pentecost. I think I'll go back and take a look at all of them, to see how that works out in practice!

Another interesting thing is that I find very few English translations of this Psalm that use the word "Protector" anywhere; most use other, much more interesting words: "my deliverer"; "my rock"; "my shield"; "the horn of my salvation"; "my stronghold." So I'll be interested to take a look at that as well.

The Collect for the Second Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 5) is this one:

O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them; 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 says, about this collect, that:

Earlier Prayer Books and the Sarum missal appointed this collect for the fifth Sunday after Easter, but it has been replaced there with one more appropriate to the Easter season. The Gelasian sacramentary (no. 556) and the supplement to the Gregorian (no. 1123) both contain the collect for the fourth Sunday after the Easter octave. The opening of the petition, prior to this edition, read "Grant to us they humble servants, that by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that are good." The word "good" in this context was subject to misinterpretation; "right" restores the original Latin connotation.

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