Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gaudete in domino! Iterum dico, gaudete!

The Third Sunday of Advent is known as "Gaudete Sunday," from the first word of the Introit of the Mass. "Gaudete" is Latin for "Rejoice," and this Sunday marks, in a sense, the half-way point of the subdued, penitential season of Advent. [Catholic Encyclopedia article.]

The Saturday vigil is the main weekend Mass for the seminary; this frees folks up to help out in parish apostolates on Sunday. Today also marked the last liturgy of the semester. I'm sure there was a definite sense of rejoicing for my seminarian brothers who have just gone through finals and papers and the like!

I'd made a request that, if possible, we chant the actual Introit for today's Mass. Much to my surprise (and delight!), the powers that be were amenable to this. It ended up being placed as a solo chant for the offertory, chanted by yours truly.

And it was quite nice, after a long time, to sing with the choir as well.

The text is taken from St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians, 4:4-6, with a verse from Ps. 85 (84) as a response.
Gaudete in domino, iterum dico, gaudete! Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus. Dominus prope est. Nihil soliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitione vestrae innotescant apud Deum.

Benedixisti Domine terram tuam, avertuisti captivitate Iacob.
I think the Douay-Rheims is perhaps closest to the text of the Vulgate:

Rejoice in the Lord always: again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.

Lord, thou hast blessed thy land: thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob.
("With thanksgiving" isn't in the actual text of the chant itself, but does occur [cum gratiarum actione] in the Vulgate.)

[It's really not surprising, but I don't think any of the musicians had seen a Graduale Romanum before, which I'd brought to practice. More on the Gradual.].


St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

Yay! Rejoice! I'll bet the chant sounded wonderful in that great chapel you guys have there.

Here's hoping tomorrow's travel is smooth and that your family time is blessed.

Mac said...

Well, maybe. Purcell's "Bell Anthem" of course uses the King James Version, which isn't markedly different but is perhaps slightly more familiar. Just from memory, I think it goes, "Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be known unto God." Really, that was a committee that was a committee, eh.

Mac said...

(Have you actually learned to read neums, Gashwin? Congratulations!)

Gashwin said...

Actually, I taught myself how to read neumes in college. I found this old "Manual of Gregorian Chant" from Solesmes, dated 1910, I think, that I managed to borrow and renew from the library for about 2 years (before it disappeared into the dark depths of some corner never to be seen again).

I'm much more comfortable reading neumes than modern 5-stave notation, actually.