Domine, in tua misericordia. Psalm 13
O Lord, my trust in thy mercy: and my heart is joyful in thy salvation: I will sing of the Lord, because he hath dealt so lovingly with me. How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord, for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. O Lord, my trust . . .
O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in thee, mercifully accept our prayers: and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace; that in keeping thy commandments, we may please thee both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I St. John 4:7-21
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
[Psalm 41] I said: Lord, be merciful unto me: heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee. Blessed is he that considereth the poor and needy: the Lord shall deliver him in the time of trouble.
Alleluia, alleluia. [Psalm 5] Ponder my words, O Lord: consider my meditation. Alleluia.
St. Luke 16:19-31
At that time; Jesus spake this parable unto his disciples: There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
[Psalm 5] O hearken thou unto the voice of my calling, my King and my God: for unto thee, O Lord, will I make my prayer.
[Psalm 9] I will speak of all thy marvellous works: I will be glad and rejoice in thee: yea, my songs will I make of thy Name, O thou Most Highest.
Below are plainsong renditions of the Psalms as published in the Saint Dunstan’s Plainsong Psalter.
Orlande de Lassus, Verba mea auribus percipe, Domine
Andrea Gabrieli, Verba mea auribus, percipe, Domine
Heinrich Schütz, Verba mea auribus percipe, Domine
Maurizio Cazzati, Verba mea auribus percipe, Domine
Johann Sebastian Bach, O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort
Regarded as one of the most versatile composers of his day, Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594) was also remarkable prolific. In addition to dozens of masses and over 100 Magnificat settings, Lassus composed hundreds of sacred motets, most of them while serving as court and chapel musician to the dukes of Bavaria in Munich between 1556 until his death in 1594. One of these works was a setting of Verba mea auribus percipe, Domine (“Give ear to my words, Lord”), which presents the words from today’s Alleluia and Offertory, taken from the opening verses of Psalm 5.
Verba mea auribus percipe, Domine; intellige clamorem meum.
Lend ears to my words, Lord; pay attention to my mourning.
Intende voci orationis meæ, rex meus et Deus meus.
Listen to the voice of my prayer, my king and my God.
Quoniam ad te orabo, Domine: mane exaudies vocem meam.
Because I will pray to you, Lord: in the morning heed my voice.
Mane astabo tibi, et videbo
In the morning I will stand before you and see
quoniam non Deus volens iniquitatem tu es.
that you are not a god that wishes unfairness.
Neque habitabit juxta te malignus,
Neither will dwell with you the wicked,
neque permanebunt injusti ante oculos tuos.
nor will the unjust remain before your eyes.
The motet is sung here Collegium Vocale conducted by Philippe Herreweghe.
The setting of this text by Lassus’s contemporary, Andrea Gabrieli (1532/1533–1585) is in two parts; the first part — which includes the first 2 verses of the Psalm — is sung below by the Ensemble Officium, conducted by Wilfried Rombach.
In 1625, Heinrich Schütz published Cantiones sacrae, (literally, “sacred chants”) a collection of 40 pieces of vocal sacred music on Latin texts. The texts were taken from a prayerbook by Andreas Musculus, Precationes ex veteribus orthodoxis doctoribus, first published in 1553. Subtitled Ex Ecclesia Hymnis et Canticis: Ex Psalmis Deniq[ue] Davidis Collectae (“Church hymns and chants from the collection of David’s psalms”), the collection — intended for private devotional use — included passages from Psalms, the Song of Songs, the Gospels, and from Bernard of Clairvaux and Anselm of Canterbury.
One of the works included in Cantiones sacrae is a setting of Verba mea auribus percipe, Domine. Scored for SATB and continuo, this short piece (which our choir has sung a few times on Trinity I) shows evidence of Schütz’s early training by Venetian composers (read more about that chapter in his life here).
Verba mea auribus percipe, Domine is sung here by the Ludger Remy Choir, conducted by Hans-Christoph Rademann.
Verba mea auribus percipe, Domine by the Northern Italian composer Maurizio Cazzati (1616–1678) includes all of Psalm 5, appending at the end the first two lines of the traditional Requiem mass. To the verses set by other composers (above), Cazzati added the remainder of the Psalm as follows:
Odisti omnes qui operantur iniquitatem; perdes omnes qui loquuntur mendacium.
You have hated all those who foster injustice; you destroy all who speak lies.
Virum sanguinum et dolosum abominabitur Dominus.
The Lord will loathe the blood-thirsty and the deceitful.
Ego autem in multitudine misericordiæ tuæ introibo in domum tuam;
adorabo ad templum sanctum tuum in timore tuo.
I, instead, will enter your house in the plenteousness of your mercy;
I will worship in your temple, in awe of you.
Domine, deduc me in justitia tua:
propter inimicos meos dirige in conspectu tuo viam meam.
Lord, lead me forth in your justice:
make for me a straight path before you, because I have enemies.
Quoniam non est in ore eorum veritas; cor eorum vanum est.
Because there is no truth in their mouths; their heart is vain.
Sepulchrum patens est guttur eorum; linguis suis dolose agebant:
Their throat is an open grave; their tongues play tricks:
judica illos, Deus. Decidant a cogitationibus suis;
judge them, God. Let them fall by their own machinations;
secundum multitudinem impietatum eorum expelle eos, quoniam irritaverunt te, Domine.
cast them out because of their many transgressions, because they upset you, Lord.
Et lætentur omnes qui sperant in te; in æternum exsultabunt,
Yet all those who place their hope in you will rejoice; they will rejoice forever,
et habitabis in eis. Et gloriabuntur in te omnes qui diligunt nomen tuum,
and you will live among them. All those who love your name will be covered in glory,
quoniam tu benedices justo. Domine,
because you bless the just. Lord,
ut scuto bonæ voluntatis tuæ coronasti nos.
you have protected us as with the shield of your good will.
Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine.
Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord,
Et lux perpetua luceat ei.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
One of the cantatas that J. S. Bach composed for use on the First Sunday after Trinity is O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort (“O eternity, you word of thunder,” BWV 20). First performed in 1724, Bach took his cue from the Gospel reading for the day, which is the parable about the eternal fate of a rich man and a poor man, the latter named Lazarus. It is one of the most frightening of Bach’s texts — you may read all of the text here — focusing on the torment of eternal punishment. Arias by the tenor and alto soloists depict the agonies of Hell with what Julian Mincham describes as “tortuous melodic lines depicting the torments of human agony in the pits of the damned.”
O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort is performed here by La Petite Bande, conducted by Sigiswald Kuijken. This performance features only a single voice per part in the choral movements; the singers are Siri Thornhill, soprano; Petra Noskaiová, alto; Marcus Ullmann, tenor; and Jan van der Crabben, bass.
So Joshua smote all the country, . . . and all their kings;
he left none remaining. Joshua x. 40.
Where is the land with milk and honey flowing,
The promise of our God, our fancy’s theme?
Here over shattered walls dank weeds are growing,
And blood and fire have run in mingled stream;
Like oaks and cedars all around
The giant corses strew the ground,
And haughty Jericho’s cloud-piercing wall
Lies where it sank at Joshua’s trumpet call.
These are not scenes for pastoral dance at even,
For moonlight rovings in the fragrant glades,
Soft slumbers in the open eye of Heaven,
And all the listless joy of summer shades.
We in the midst of ruins live,
Which every hour dread warning give,
Nor may our household vine or fig-tree hide
The broken arches of old Canaan’s pride.
Where is the sweet repose of hearts repenting,
The deep calm sky, the sunshine of the soul,
Now Heaven and earth are to our bliss consenting,
And all the Godhead joins to make us whole.
The triple crown of mercy now
Is ready for the suppliant’s brow,
By the Almighty Three for ever planned,
And from behind the cloud held out by Jesus’ hand.
“Now, Christians, hold your own — the land before ye
Is open — win your way, and take your rest.”
So sounds our war-note; but our path of glory
By many a cloud is darkened and unblest:
And daily as we downward glide,
Life’s ebbing stream on either side
Shows at each turn some mouldering hope or joy,
The Man seems following still the funeral of the Boy.
Open our eyes, Thou Sun of life and gladness,
That we may see that glorious world of Thine!
It shines for us in vain, while drooping sadness
Enfolds us here like mist: come Power benign,
Touch our chilled hearts with vernal smile,
Our wintry course do Thou beguile,
Nor by the wayside ruins let us mourn,
Who have th’ eternal towers for our appointed bourne.