Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Fourth Sunday of Advent - O Clavis David 2015

Introit Isa. 45 Rorate, caeli, désuper, et nubes pluant justum: aperiátur terra, et gérminet Salvatórem. V. ibid. Et justitia oriátur simul; ego Dóminus creávi eum. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spirítui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculórum. Amen. Rorate.

Introit. Isa. 45 Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Savior. V. And let justice spring up together: I the Lord have created him. Glory be to the Father. As it was. Drop down.

Note that in this recording, the Dominicans at Blackfrirars, Oxford, sing the introit NOT with the first verse of Psalm 18, as is found in the Roman Missal, but with the rest of the verse of Isaiah, 45,8. This was the common practice with this particular Introit in the Middle Ages, and is also found in the Sarum Use, just to give one example.

In Milan, today is the Sixth Sunday of Advent, one of the days on which two different Masses are said in the Ambrosian Liturgy. On the more important of the two, called the Mass of the Incarnation, the following is sung as the Ingressa; this is broadly the equivalent of the Introit, but is sung only once, without a psalm verse or doxology. The text is actually the translation of an Ode for Matins for the Nativity of St John the Baptist from the Byzantine Rite.

Videsne Elisabeth cum Dei Genitrice Maria disputantem: Quid ad me venisti, mater Domini mei? Si enim scirem, in tuum venirem occursum. Tu enim Regnatorem portas, et ego prophetam: tu legem dantem, et ego legem accipientem: tu Verbum, et ego vocem proclamantis adventum Salvatoris.

Dost thou see Elizabeth discussing with Mary, the Mother of God: Why hast Thou come to me, o mother of my Lord? For if I had known, I would have come to meet Thee. For thou bearest Him that reigneth, and I the prophet; Thou the Giver of the Law, and I him that receiveth it; Thou the Word, and I the voice of him that proclaimeth the coming of the Savior.

And finally, since it is the 20th of December, the following O Antiphon is sung at Vespers.

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel; who openest and no man shutteth; shuttest and no man openeth: come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, that sit in darkness and the shadow of death. 
The Harrowing of Hell, from an Exsultet scroll of the later 11th century.

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