Sunday, December 24, 2023

Puer Natus

This is the Introit for the Mass of Christmas Day.

Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given.  Dominion is on his shoulder and his name shall be called the Angel of Great Counsel.  (Tr. Solesmes, 1990)

Note the relatively high pitch (tessitura) maintained throughout the Chant.  It is "announcement" pitch, similar to the tessitura found in the communion Chant of Pentecost which announces the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles.  That 'announcement' begins with an open 5th, a trumpet-call.  The melody descends when it gets to 'nobis' (to us, here on Earth).  Also note the ending of the antiphon's joyful repose on "Angel of Great Counsel."

In all Chant and well-written sacred music, the WORD animates (or governs) the music.  When you understand that, you can easily discern which "music" should be used for Mass.

Since about 1970, that guideline has been tossed into the dumpster in almost every Catholic church in the West.  Now Divine Worship is more like a lawn party.  

And the "lawn party" faction elected Franny 1, friends.

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