Thursday, January 24, 2013

Adorate Deum: The Introit for the Third Sunday after Epiphany

Wow, this is a beautiful introit, and here's a great rendering of it:

Here's a translation of the text, which comes from Psalm (96/)97, verses 7-8 and then verse 1; the chant score is below:
Worship God, all you angels: Sion has heard and is glad.  The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice: let the many coastlands be glad.

Easter is very early this year - it's on March 31 - and this Sunday is already Septuagesima (the third Sunday before Ash Wednesday).   The Extraordinary Form uses a completely different set of propers for these last weeks before Lent begins; you can listen to the Introit for Septuagesima Sunday at that last link.

But I'm happy to highlight the modern Introit here - it's beautiful!  This is the Introit only for Year C, according to the Brazilian Benedictines. The Year C Gospel is Luke's story of Jesus' announcement in the synagogue that he himself is the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy:
Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
This story comes immediately after Luke's version of Jesus' temptation in the wildnerness.

Years A and B actually have their own Introit: Dominus secus mare ("The Lord by the sea"), the text of which comes from Matthew. Here's that one, sung by the "Schola Antiqua (Juan Carlos Asensio Palacios)":

Dominus secus mare Galilææ vidit duos fratres,
Petrum et Andream, et vocavit eos:
Venite post me: faciam vos fieri piscatores hominum.

Coeli enarrant gloriam Dei:
et opera manuum ejus annuntiat firmamentum.

The Lord saw two brothers, Peter and Andrew, by the seaside of Galilee, and He called them; Come ye after Me, I will make you to be fishers of men.

The Heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the works of His hands .

Also very pretty.   The Gospel reading for Year A does contain the story from Matthew that makes up the first part of the Introit; the Year B Gospel is the same story from Mark.  I'm not sure, though, why some Sundays have alternating propers like this; something else to find out about, then.

The Collect for this week is this new one:
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Hatchett's Commentary notes that the Collect  contains references to all three different Gospel readings for today:
The Rev. Dr. Massey H. Shepherd, Jr. drafted this collect which recalls phrases from the collect for the feast day of Saint Andrew, the story of whose calling by Christ is the Gospel of Years A and B.  The Gospel for Year C is the story of our Lord's sermon at Nazareth which is also echoed by the collect.  We pray that we may not only answer His call but also proclaim the Good News, and that "we and all the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works."
Which does again echo Epiphany's "universal" theme.  Interestingly,  Hatchett notes on that same page that "many of the post-Epiphany collects ... [relate] to the Gospel of the day."  And that, too, is a way to drive home the "universal" theme - that the Gospel - the "manifestation" of Christ in his Incarnation - is for all the world.

As, of course, is the "many coastlines" of the Adorate Deum Introit itself.  I suppose, in fact, that the great theme in all three Gospels is that these are some of the opening notes of Christ's ministry.

Interestingly, the Gospel in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer (and also in the original 1662 BCP) told the stories of the healing of the leper, and the healing of the Centurion's servant, from Matthew 8.  (It was the same reading in the pre-1970 Roman Catholic Lectionary, too, according to this site - although the Septuagesima reading is Matthew 20:1-16, the parable of the workers in the vineyard.  One of these days I'm really going to try to compare and contrast some of the various lectionary systems to see what's been going on for the past 2,000 years!)

Here's a wonderful tempera with gold leaf of the calling of Peter and Andrew, from Duccio di Buoninsegna, from about 1310:

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