Service music

Fourth Sunday in Lent (March 31, 2019)

Portions of Psalm 122 are heard in the Preface, Gradual, and Communion propers for this Sunday. In the middle of Lent, we are reminded of the joy of being in the Church. “I was glad when the said unto me: We will go into the house of the Lord.” This refers to more than being in a building; it is an affirmation of the Church as our Mother. Hence, the verse from Isaiah 66, also heard in the Introit: “Rejoice ye with Jerusalem: and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: that ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breast of her consolations.”

The Church — the City of God — is the heavenly Jerusalem, anticipated in the verse from Psalm 122 sung at the Offertory: “Jerusalem is built as a city that is at unity with itself: for thither the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord, to give thanks unto the Name of the Lord.” The choir’s anthem during the Offertory is an Anglican chant setting of Psalm 122 by Edwin Monk (1919-1900). Monk was Organist and Master of Choristers at York Minster for almost a quarter of a century.

The Communion motet — Tantum ergo — is a setting of a portion of a eucharistic poem by St. Thomas Aquinas’s. The music is by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924).

I will not be at the service this week as I am giving some lectures on theology and culture in Maine. Preparation for this trip also prevented me from writing more about this week’s hymns.