Thursday, May 09, 2013

The 2nd Alleluia for Ascension Day: Dominus in Sina ("The Lord is in Sinai")

Here's a video of this chant, sung by the Congregation of St. Lazarus Autun:

The text comes from Psalm (67/)68, vv (18-19/)17-18; here's CCWatershed's translation of the proper itself:
The Lord is in Sinai, in the holy place; ascending on high, he has led captivity captive.
Here's the full chant score:

Psalm 68 is a long - and obscure! - Psalm; here are the first 19 verses, for a little bit of context:
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.

1 God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered;
and those who hate him shall flee before him!
2 As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away;
as wax melts before fire,
so the wicked shall perish before God!
3 But the righteous shall be glad;
they shall exult before God;
they shall be jubilant with joy!

4 Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
his name is the Lord;
exult before him!
5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.
6 God settles the solitary in a home;
he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

7 O God, when you went out before your people,
when you marched through the wilderness, Selah
8 the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain,
before God, the One of Sinai,
before God, the God of Israel.
9 Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad;
you restored your inheritance as it languished;
10 your flock found a dwelling in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.

11 The Lord gives the word;
the women who announce the news are a great host:
12 “The kings of the armies—they flee, they flee!”
The women at home divide the spoil—
13 though you men lie among the sheepfolds—
the wings of a dove covered with silver,
its pinions with shimmering gold.
14 When the Almighty scatters kings there,
let snow fall on Zalmon.

15 O mountain of God, mountain of Bashan;
O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan!
16 Why do you look with hatred, O many-peaked mountain,
at the mount that God desired for his abode,
yes, where the Lord will dwell forever?
17 The chariots of God are twice ten thousand,
thousands upon thousands;
the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.
18 You ascended on high,
leading a host of captives in your train
and receiving gifts among men,
even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.

Paul cites these verses Psalm in Ephesians 4:8, in what to my eyes appears to be a very complex - and again, obscure! - rabbinic argument.   Here are the first 16 verses of that chapter:
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.  Therefore it says,

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?  He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Here, from, are all the Mass Propers for Ascension, sung by the Sao Paulo Benedictines:
In Ascensione Domini
Introitus: Act. 1, 11; Ps. 46 Viri Galilæi (2m48.4s - 2635 kb) score here
Alleluia: Ps. 46, 6 Ascendit Deus (1m50.2s - 1725 kb) score here
Alleluia: Ps. 67, 18.19 Dominus in Sina (2m33.9s - 2409 kb) score here
Offertorium: Ps. 46, 6 Ascendit Deus (1m33.8s - 1469 kb MONO due to problems with my recording setscore here
(anno A)Mt. 28, 18.19 Data est mihi (1m21.9s - 1283 kb) score here
(anno B)Mc. 16, 17.18 Signa (1m05.5s - 1027 kb)
(anno C)  Ps. 67, 33.34 Psallite Domino (59.0s - 925 kb MONO due to problems with my recording setscore here

You can read other posts about the day's propers on Chantblog as well:

And don't forget to read Full Homely Divinity's article on Ascension.

This is Andrei Rublev's lovely Ascension, from around 1408; it's now in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

The Gallery's website has some interesting things to say
about this icon:
From the Prazdnichny Chin (row) which was located above the Deisus and which illustrated events from the Gospel, only five icons have been preserved. Three of them are in the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery and two icons from this row – the “Baptism” and the “Feast of the Purification” – are in the collection of the State Russian Museum in St Petersburg. Most researchers are inclined to view these icons as works coming from the atelier of Andrei Rublev and Daniil. The best done is thought to be the icon of the “Ascension” and many researchers attribute it to Andrei Rublev himself. The icon of the «Ascension» differs from all the other multi-figure icons in the Prazdnichny Chin in the way it possesses a special rhythmic organisation of the composition. Here there appeared the feeling of harmony and plastic balance characteristic of Andrei Rublev. The iconography of the «Ascension» was formed in Byzantine art on the basis of texts from the Gospel According to Mark (XVI, 15–20) and the Gospel According to Luke (XXIV, 42–52), as well as on the Acts of the Apostles (1, 4–12), which tell of the ascension of Christ to heaven after his resurrection from the dead on the fortieth day. This miracle occurred on the Eleon Hill before the disciples when they saw the ascending Christ. Before the apostles there were «two men in white garments» –angels who spoke of the second coming of the Teacher to Earth. The icons come from the Prazdnichny Chin of the iconostasis of the Church of the Assumption in the city of Vladimir. During the period 1768–1775, the dilapidated iconostasis dating from 1408 no longer corresponded to the tastes of the age of Catherine the Great and was taken out of the church and sold to the village of Vasilievskoye, near Shui (present-day Ivanovskaya Oblast). During 1918–1920s, the icons were removed by an expedition of the Central State Restoration Workshops.

    No comments:


    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...