Friday, 18 October 2013, St Luke, Evangelist

Friday, 18 October 2013, St Luke, Evangelist

Missa Cantata in the EF, 8.00 am. Holy Hour to follow

Introit: Mihi autem, begin on E (as do)

Gradual: In omnem terram, begin on B (as mi)

Alleluia: Ego vos elegi, begin on E (as re)

Offertory: Mihi autem, begin on E (as mi)

Communion: Vos qui secuti, begin on E (as re)

Ordinary from Mass IV, Credo II.

The Introit has two phrases:

  1. Mihi autem nimis honorati sunt amici tui, Deus
  2. nimis confortatus est principatus eorum.

At the Last Supper Christ said to His Apostles: ‘I will not now call you servants: for the servant knows not what his Lord does. But I have called you friends: because all things that I have heard of My Father, I have made known to you’ (Jn 15: 15). This theme of the apostles as friends appears often in the formulary for the apostles, both in the Mass and the Office. Never was there a truer friend and never has friend given so generously as Christ gave to His Apostles. Christ's Bride, the Church, shares the sentiments and emotions of her divine Founder. And hence she exclaims on the feasts of the holy Apostles: ‘To me Your friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable.’ With splendor she honors the Apostles in her divine services and countless churches have been dedicated to their memory. Together with the Queen of the Apostles, their name is daily invoked during the sacrifice of the Mass.

Solemn and ever-increasing awe pervades the melody until it reaches its proper climax on the accented syllable of honorati. It is a truly festal melody requiring a worthy, joyful rendition. The feeling of awe is even more vividly expressed in the preceding nimis with its descending in terval of a fourth, which recurs again at the words (tu)-i, De-(us), and introduces the modulation to c. The second phrase is characterized by a strong accentuation of the tenor f, which is here the true dominant. The power which God has given his Apostles and through them to the Church will endure to the end of days, and no other power either on earth or in hell will prevail against it. With an interval of a fourth the second nimis begins immediately on the dominant, while confortatus repeats the motive of hono-(rati). Twice the melody ascends to a, where it is particularly effective over ebrum. The triple repetition of c d f g over the words Mihi autem ni-(mis), (a)-mici tui, and (prin)-cipatus is so skillfully interwoven with the whole that it is scarcely noticeable. In a martyr's death the Apostle has stood the test (probasti me) victoriously.

This Introit is sung also on the feasts of the Apostles SS. Thomas, Matthias, Barnabas, James the Elder, Bartholomew, Andrew, Simon and Jude, and in the Octave of SS. Peter and Paul. The melody was used extensively in the Introits for the feasts of St. Ignatius the Martyr, of the Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi, and of the Holy Innocents. Compare also the Gradual for the feast of St. Matthias.

The Gradual has two phrases in the corpus and two in the verse:

  1. In omnem terram exivit sonus eorum
  2. et in fines orbis terrae verba eorum
  3. V. Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei
  4. et opera manuum ejus annuntiat firmamentum

This Gradual is of the melody type Justus ut palma, which is explained in the notes for the First Sunday in Lent and for several feasts whose Graduals employ it.

The Alleluia verse has two phrases:

  1. Ego vos elegi de mundo, ut eatis et fructum afferatis
  2. et fructus vester maneat

The text of the Alleluia is taken from the words of our Lord at the Last Supper when He reminds His Apostles of that morning when, after having spent the entire preceding night in prayer, He chose them. By His teaching He freed them from the spirit of the world and instilled into them a burning love for souls. He commissioned them to go out into the world and sow there the seed of the word of God that should bring forth fruit in due season. They responded and in their own time showed themselves to be a fruit wellripened by much prayer and many sufferings. The world was not only to hear their words, but also to see realized that which the Gospel had worked and brought to maturity in their own persons; and precisely for this reason have their preaching and labors and sufferings been of lasting worth. There is every reason then to sing this Alleluia with a grateful heart.

In the oldest available manuscripts today's melody is written with the text Justi epulentur. It is there found among the melodies per circulum anni, from which the chanter might choose at pleasure. In the current Graduale it finds its place in the Common of many Martyrs. The melody was also adapted to the text Ego dilecto for the feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. Alleluia with its jubilus has the form a and b, a1, a2, c, d. The final member, however, with its f f f gag ef eed is rhythmically in close relation to the preceding member c. There is also great similarity between Ego and member a. The present text is well adapted to the original melody. Elegi is duly emphasized; mundo, which modulates to a full step below the tonic, combines the two half-phrases. A similar melody, but devoid of the concluding pressus, recurs over fructum. The double command, expressed by the words eatis and afferatis, has melodies much akin to one another. The melody over fructus is like an admiring look upward to the harvest of gathered fruits. In the original the latter word is replaced by delectentur—"let them rejoice." Its florid melisma, reminiscent of the Gradual verse Vitam on the feast of St. Joseph, has three members, the beginnings of the first two of which are similar. The third member with its three pressus carries the major accent, and extends to a fifth above the preceding and following member.

The Offertory has two phrases:

  1. Mihi autem nimis honorati sunt amici tui Deus
  2. nimis confortatus est principatus eorum.

Holy Mother Church finds it difficult to realize fully the dignity and power which Christ bestowed upon His Apostles. For this reason the same text that we have in the Introit is repeated here. The melodic development is also very much the same, although the Offertory, as becomes its meditative character, is more impressive. As in the Introit, the first phrase up to nimis shows a gradual development. The melody then descends, giving the following honorati, which is inclosed within the limits of an interval of a fourth, an opportunity to develop more fully.

The second half of the first phrase in both Introit and Offertory is serene and thetic in character. A solemn reverential awe pervades the nimis of the second phrase, which reaches its climax over confortatus est and -eorum. The powerful motive over autem nimis with its resolved major chord f a c, its tristropha ccc and the extended intervals of a fourth c-g-c are heard again over (confor)-tatus est, and with a slight variation over (princi)-patus eorum. The three first syllables of confortatus and principatus employ the same melodic figure; likewise the closing figures of the first (ni)-mis and (eo)-rum, (De)-us and est.

The Communion antiphon has two phrases:

  1. Vos, qui secuti estis me, sede bitis super sedes
  2. judicantes duodecim tribus Israel

The melody places special stress on the word vos. You, My faithful Apostles, in company with Me shall one day judge the world. The melody over tri-(bus) is extended over super—possibly a matter of tonepainting, as in the Gradual of the third Sunday of Advent over the same word. The climax of the entire melody is realized over sedes, where there is question of the thrones of the Apostles. The word-accents over judicantes and duodecim are well defined. Preceded by a pressus the melody descends twice to low c, followed both times by an interval of a fourth. This cadence is very effective wherever an independent thought is brought to a close. This is not the case here, however, especially over the word duodecim. With the special prominence given the dominant f we should expect the second mode rather than the first.

This melody is not found in St. Gall 339, Einsiedeln 121, or Montpellier H. 159. The text, with an additional dicit Dominus:, forms the Communion for the feast of St. Bartholomew. The melody there, in the second mode, is very simple and almost entirely syllabic; nevertheless it accentuates the words super sedes, and particularly the important word judicantes (by means of recitation on high g). Christ is speaking to His faithful Apostles. He to whom the Father hath given all judgment (John 5: 22), could not bestow a greater distinction than to assign them thrones next to His own seat of judgment, thus making them participants in His judicial power.

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