Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Maundy Thursday Gradual: Oculi ómnium in te sperant ("The eyes of all creatures look to you")

The Gradual for Maundy Thursday is the same one as that for Corpus Christi, and in fact was borrowed from that feast day.   The propers for Maundy Thursday have changed from the Tridentine era; the old Gradual was Christus factus est, today used on Good Friday.

Here's Oculi ómnium:

The text is taken from Psalm 144: 15-16; the English translation below is from CCWatershed:
Oculi ómnium in te sperant, Dómine: et tu das illis escam in témpore opportúno. Vs. Aperis tu manum tuam: et imples omne ánimal benedictióne.

The eyes of all creatures look to you, O Lord, and you give them their food in due season. Vs. You open your hand and fill every living thing with your blessings.

Today's Gospel is from John 13:1-17, 31b-35:
Before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered, "You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand." Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no share with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" Jesus said to him, "One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you." For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, "Not all of you are clean."

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord--and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, `Where I am going, you cannot come.' I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

The Epistle and Gospel readings for today are essentially the same as those in the Tridentine lectionary; a few verses have been added on or removed, in each case.

But I have loved the BCP Old Testament reading for this day since the first time I heard it; it's the Passover reading from Exodus, which explicitly ties into the Pascha theme that's so prominent at the Easter Vigil.  This also helps tie the Hebrew and Christian scriptures more closely together, which in turn reminds us - me, at least - how much of what we believe comes directly out of the much older Jewish understanding of God's acts for us in the world:

Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. [Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.] This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the LORD. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

William Byrd set this Gradual text, sung here very nicely by, I'm assuming, an Hungarian choir:

This setting includes a more explicit reference to the Eucharist, in the form of the familiar text from John's Gospel; following is the Latin, plus an English translation, from CPDL:
Ps.144:15  Oculi omnium in te sperant Domine: et tu das illis escam in tempore opportuno.
  Aperis tu manum tuam: et imples omne animal benedictione.

Jn 6:56
  Caro mea vere est cibus: et sanguis meus vere est potus:

Jn 6:57  qui manducat meam carnem, et bibit meum sanguinem, in me manet, et ego in eo.
Ps.145:15  The eyes of all wait upon thee, [O Lord]; and thou givest them their meat in due season.
Ps.145:16  Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
John 6:55  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
John 6:56  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. Alleluia. (KJV)
And here's the Hungarian, too, from the YouTube page!
Mindeneknek szemei tebenned bíznak, Uram, és te adsz nekik eledelt alkalmas időben.
Feltárod kezeidet, és betöltesz mindene élőt áldásoddal.
Az én testen valóban étel, és az én vérem valóba ital., aki eszi az én testemet, . és issza a én véremet, bennem marad, és én őbenne. Alleluja,

Here's a beautiful setting of this text (along with an explicit grace-before-meals text) from Eric Whitacre; it's called the "Sidney Grace" (referring to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge):

This is a table grace, in other words.  From the page linked above:
The centuries-old words of the grace used here in Sidney Sussex are:

Oculi omnium ad te spectant, Domine;
tu das eis escam eorum in tempore opportuno.
Aperis tu manum tuam,
et imples omne animal benedictione tua.
Sanctifica nos, quaesumus, per verbum et orationem;
Istisque tuis donis,
quae de tua bonitate sumus percepturi, benedicito.
Per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

The traditional English translation of these words is:

The eyes of all look toward thee, O Lord;
thou givest them their meat in due season.
Thou openest thine hand
and fillest every living thing with thy blessing.
Sanctify us, we beseech thee, through word and prayer;
and give thy blessing
to these thy gifts, which of they bounty we are about to receive,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

All the chants for today are listed at, as follows:

Missa Vespertina in Cena Domini
Ad liturgiam verbi
Introitus: Cf. Gal. 6,14; Ps. 66 Nos autem gloriari (4m37.3s - 4337 kb) score
Graduale: Ps. 144,15. V. 16 Oculi omnium (2m58.5s - 2793 kb) score
Tractus: Mal. 1,11 et Prov. 9,5 Ab ortu solis (2m33.8s - 2409 kb) score

Ad lotionem pedum

Antiphona: Cf. Io. 13, 4.5.15 Postquam surrexit Dominus (43.3s - 681 kb) score
Antiphona: Io. 13, 2.13.15 Dominus Iesus (1m02.4s - 979 kb) score
Antiphona: Io. 13, 6.7.8 Domine, tu mihi lavas pedes (1m16.0s - 1191 kb) score
Antiphona: Cf. Io. 13, 14 Si ego Dominus (37.2s - 583 kb) score
Antiphona: Io. 13, 35 In hoc cognoscent omnes (45.5s - 713 kb) score
Antiphona: Io. 13, 34 Mandatum novum (15.8s - 248 kb) score
Antiphona: I Cor. 13, 13 Maneant in vobis (56.2s - 876 kb) score

Ad liturgiam eucharisticam

Offertorium: Ubi caritas (2m16.3s - 2132 kb) score
Communio: I Cor. 11, 24.25  Hoc corpus (2m51.7s - 2684 kb) score

Ad translationem SS.mi Sacramenti

O salutaris Hostia I (52.2s - 818 kb) score, Panis angelicus I (1m15.5s - 1182 kb) score, Adoro te devote (2m26.0s - 2282 kb) score, Ecce panis (1m33.2s - 1458 kb) score, Pange lingua, Tantum ergo (3m06.5s - 2916 kb) score

Here are other posts on Chantblog for some of the propers:

This is "The Washing of Feet and the Supper, from the Maesta by Duccio, 1308-1311":

But this year, I'm really liking this one, by Bouveret:

Blessed Holy Thursday to all.


    RMC said...

    A particularly wonderful piece of chant!

    bls said...

    Well, I like them all, so I'm not one to say.... ;-)


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