11 August 2019, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

11 August 2019, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Introit: Respice Domine

Offertory: Eternal Monarch, King most high

Communion (Year C): Beatus servus

Recessional: Alleluia, Sing to Jesus

Mass XI, Credo III


The Introit has three phrases:

  1. (a) Respice, Domine, in testamentum tuum
    (b) et animas pauperum tuorum ne derelinquas in finem

  2. exsurge Domine et judica causam tuam

  3. et ne obliviscaris voces quaerentium te.

        There is a violent, almost passionate clamoring, especially in the second part over exsurge Domine. Perhaps it was the dire distress, caused by the migration of Nations, that forced this lamentation from the Church; we might now substitute as her reason the sinfulness of so many of her children. What a shameful thing sin is, how it impoverishes us utterly, and what a terrible thing it is to desert one's Creator and to break the covenant so solemnly ratified. Our present song is born out of this bitter realization.

        But there is confidence in it also: The divine Shepherd of souls does not forget us, He does not forsake us, for behold, in the holy Sacrifice He comes down upon the altar and gives Himself as food to His poor sheep! The melody will be clearer if we consider the pause after causam tuam the same as that after testamentum tuum, forming two parts: the first half dramatically enlivened by the imperatives Respice, exsurge, and judica; while the second—considerably more quiet—half with ne derelinquas, ne obliviscaris, and the emphasis on the dominant c. Toward the end the chant again becomes more insistent by reason of the pressus over derelinquas and quaerentium.

        The first half of the phrase forcefully presents the three most important words; the second half avoids all larger intervals. It is the suppliant petition of the 'poor.' The final cadence is borrowed from the fourth mode. After the turbulent exsurge Domine, et judica sets in on the dominant, just as in testamentum after Domine above; tuam is an abridgment of tuum; ne obliviscdris harks back to et judica; voces closes on c, like tuorum above.


(Year C) The Communion has two phrases:

  1. Beatus servus quem cum venerit Dominus invenerit vigilantem

  2. amen dico vobis, super omniio bona sua constituet eum.

        This Communion, originally for the Common of Pastors (EF: Confessor not a bishop) is assigned here because the verses from Matthew’s Gospel echo a similar pericope from Luke that we hear in today’s Mass. The biblical text has dominus ejus (=his lord), while the liturgical text has Dominus (=the Lord). So the composer has added a level of interpretation to the parable, in line with the thrust of later chapters of this Gospel which devote much attention to a future coming in glory for judgement. He uses the double meaning of Dominus as lord and Lord to point out that the earthly lord is an image of the heavenly Lord whose coming in glory we await.The simple but ethereal Mode 3 (transposed) melody reached its high point over venerit, which stresses the connection with the Lord’s coming in glory; and it descends to a low point over vigilantem, as if looking down toward the watching servant.

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