Friday, December 05, 2008

What Will You Sing for Gaudete?

Gaudete Sunday is coming up soon, and it is time for scholas to think about how they will handle the entrance song. They might start by considering why this is called Gaudete Sunday. The introit proper reads as follows: Gaudete in Domino semper íterum díco, gaudéte: modéstia véstra nóta sit ómnibus homínibus: Dóminus prope est. Nihil sollíciti sítis: sed in ómni oratióne petitiónes véstrae
innotéscant apud Déum. Benedixísti, Dómine, térram túam: avertísti captivitátem Jácob.

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Do not be anxious over anything; but in all manner or prayer, let your requests be made known unto God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have put an end to Jacob's captivity."

From the Graduale Romanum, we have the Gregorian proper:

From The American Gradual we have this excellent English version in adapted modern notation:

Or from the Psalm-tone Gradual, we have this reduced version that any parish can use:

Singing any of them means that the propers are covered, and you have affirmed and marked the day of the liturgical year. You can note the decline in complexity from top to bottom but there is no sense in decrying it. They are all suitable, and the last option is actually very dignified and permits people to join in the singing.

Now, all the sources mentioned above are free. I'm now looking at a stack of expensive missalletes and affiliated choral resources from mainline Catholic publishers--materials paid for out of parishioner's pockets. Not one of them provides any option for singing the propers on this day. You can always pick a hymn, I guess, with the word "rejoice" in it somewhere ("Rejoice the Lord is King") but are we really doing what we ought in this case?

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