Sunday, May 21, 2023

The Sunday after the Ascension

Hear, o Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to thee.” After the first anointing, which they had received in the death of Christ, as He breathed upon them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”, the Apostles awaited the second anointing which the Lord had promised, saying, “If I shall go; I shall send the Paraclete to you.” Therefore, as they await, they sing in the Introit, “Hear.”

Introitus Ps 26 Exaudi, Dómine, vocem meam, qua clamávi ad te, allelúia: tibi dixit cor meum, quaesívi vultum tuum, vultum tuum, Dómine, requíram: ne avertas faciem tuam a me, allelúia, allelúia. V. Dóminus illuminatio mea et salus mea: quem timébo? Glória Patri... Exáudi, Dómine...

Introit Ps. 26 Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to Thee, alleluia: my heart hath said to Thee, I have sought Thy face; Thy face, o Lord, will I still seek turn not Thy face from me, alleluia, alleluia. V. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Glory be... Hear, o Lord...
This is taken from the twenty-sixth Psalm, “The Lord is my light”, the title of which is “Unto the end, a Psalm of David, before he was anointed”; for therein is treated of the anointing of David, which was three-fold. For indeed, first he was anointed as a sign that he would be the king, second, as king over the tribe of Judah, and third over all of Israel.
Folio 14r of the breviary of René of Anjou (1409-80). This image is placed before the ferial Office of Monday, on which the nocturn begins with Psalm 26,“a psalm of David, before he was anointed.” At the lower left, is the election of David as king, and at the right, his anointing and coronation (2 Samuel 5).
We also sing the same, because we await a third anointing. For the first anointing is in baptism, the second in confirmation, or in the penance of confession, the third will be in the resurrection. In another sense, the first anointing was among the Apostles, the second among the Jews, the third among the gentiles. For “the ointment which ran down upon the beard of Aaron ... ran down upon the hem of his garment” (Ps. 132, 2), that is, upon the chosen Jews who were close to the Apostles... and “ran down like dew the dew of Hermon upon Mount Sion”, that is, the grace of Him that was exalted (in the Ascension) imbued the nations that watched for God.
And since the Apostles as they waited... were in the temple, praying, and praising, and blessing God (Luke 24, 53), therefore, as we wait, we are invited to prayer by the Epistle, “Be ye prudent (and keep watch in prayers.” (1 Peter 4, 7-11)

from the Mitrale of Sicard, bishop of Cremona, Italy, (1155 ca. - 1215), book 7, chapter 9. This work was one of the major sources for William Durandus’ Rationale Divinorum Officiorum, the Summa of medieval liturgical commentaries, and in the parallel chapter, Durandus cites Sicard by name (or rather, almost by name, since he called him “Richard.”) However, in this case, Sicard’s commentary is much clearer than Durandus’.

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