Friday, April 25, 2014

In die resurrectionis meae ("On the day of my resurrection"), the first Alleluia for the Sunday after Easter

Here's a video of the beautiful Alleluia In die resurrectionis meae, the first Alleluia for the Sunday after Easter. It's sung, apparently, by the monastic choir at Solesmes:

The text is from Matthew 28: 7:
Alleluia, Alleluia.

Vs. In die resurrectiónis meæ, dicit Dóminus, præcédam vos in Galilaéam. Alleluia, alleluia.

Vs. On the day of my resurrection, says the Lord, I will go before you into Galilee.
(These words, in Matthew, though, are spoken by an angel about Jesus.)

There are two Alleluia chants each Sunday in Easter; the first (as this one is) replaces the Gradual during this period.

The Collect for the day is this one:
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This Sunday was at one time called Dominica in albis (i.e., "White Sunday"). Says New Advent, at the article "Low Sunday" (another name for this day):
Its liturgical name is Dominica in albis depositis, derived from the fact that on it the neophytes, who had been baptized on Easter Eve, then for the first time laid aside their white baptismal robes. St. Augustine mentions this custom in a sermon for the day [apparently in "260A" - which I couldn't find on the web, but will post if I ever do], and it is also alluded to in the Eastertide Vesper hymn, "Ad regias Agni dapes" (or, in its older form, "Ad cœnam Agni providi" [here]), written by an ancient imitator of St. Ambrose. Low Sunday is also called by some liturgical writers Pascha clausum, signifying the close of the Easter Octave, and "Quasimodo Sunday", from the Introit at Mass — "Quasi modo geniti infantes, rationabile, sine dolo lac concupiscite", — which words are used by the Church with special reference to the newly baptized neophytes, as well as in general allusion to man's renovation through the Resurrection. The latter name is still common in parts of France and Germany.
(And on a literary note, according to Wikipedia:
Quasimodo, protagonist of the 1831 French novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, was found abandoned on the doorsteps of Notre Dame on the Sunday after Easter and was named after this day.)

Not really related to this chant, but interesting nonetheless:  here's some historical perspective on the readings for Easter Eve and Easter Day, from Fr. Steven Gerth of St. Mary the Virgin in this week's Angelus newsletter.   I had noticed this when writing up my post about the Offertory for Easter Day: Terra Tremuit ("The Earth Trembled"):
As I worked on my sermons for the Easter Vigil and Easter Day last week I discovered that until the lectionary reforms of the 1970s the gospel lessons for the Sunday of the Resurrection (Vigil—Matthew 28:1-7; Sunday—John 20:1-10; Mark 16:1-8) never included the appearances of the Risen Jesus. There was only an empty tomb, confusion and sadness. It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true.

This is what one misses in John when the whole passage is not read: When Peter and the unnamed disciple whom Jesus loved go home, Mary Magdalene remains. The Risen Jesus reveals his presence to her. She recognizes him when he speaks her name. Jesus sends her to tell her “sisters and brothers” that, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17). Then, Mary Magdalene does what Jesus has told her to do. She goes to the disciples and tells them, “I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18).

Unlike Lazarus whom Jesus raised, the Risen Jesus was not a corpse bound by linen. There was no corpse; but his raised body was present. That morning he did not reveal his risen presence to Peter and the disciple he loved, but did so only to Mary Magdalene. She becomes Jesus’ messenger of the resurrection —one might say, “apostle,” though John pointedly never uses that term of anyone. This passage is also crucial because the Risen Jesus proclaims that all his disciples are his “sisters and brothers,” that is, children of God (cf. John 1:12).

Even with the 1979 Prayer Book, when the Easter Day gospel is from John, as it was this year, the passage that includes the Risen Jesus is optional. To give credit where credit is due, the new Prayer Book lectionary adopted in 2006 includes the Risen Jesus on Easter Day. It’s worth noting that since 1969 Roman Catholics always hear John on Easter morning but the passage does not include the appearance of the Risen Jesus.

Although I wasn’t aware of this issue, it turns out that it’s been around for a while. Beginning in 1950, the Standing Liturgical Commission of the church published the first in a remarkable series of booklets called Prayer Book Studies. The initial two studies were published together, one on initiation and one on the lectionary. The section on Easter Day begins, “Perhaps the most crucial of all the defects of the present Liturgical Lectionary lies in the provisions for Easter Day. Both of the Gospels now provided convey nothing beyond the purely negative message of the Empty tomb . . . ‘In any future revision of the Prayer Book this defect is entitled to primary attention’” (Prayer Book Studies I: Baptism and Confirmation, II The Liturgical Lectionary [1950] 78). 

More at the link.

Here's the full list of chant propers for the Second Sunday in Easter, from; the modern propers are identical to the historical (Tridentine) ones:

Hebdomada secunda paschæ
Introitus: Quasi modo (3m38.5s - 3416 kb) score
Alleluia: In die resurrectionis (2m18.2s - 2162 kb) score
Alleluia: Post dies octo (2m11.9s - 2064 kb) score
Sequentia: Victimæ paschali (1m36.6s - 1510 kb) score
Offertorium: Angelus Domini (2m00.0s - 1876 kb) score
Communio: Mitte manum tuam, et cognosce (45.1s - 708 kb) score
Ite missa est (28.7s - 451 kb) score

Here are Chantblog posts on some of these:

The Eastertide Office hymns are here.

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