Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

The beauty of simplicity
 
Over the past few years, our Community has been learning a number of feast day introits including “Justi epulentur” — “Let the just rejoice!” (see the Graduale Triplex or Graduale Romanum, p. 450).  If you take a look at this piece, you might be surprised — so few notes and such a tiny range — hardly more than recitation! But, this is why it is so beautiful. This chant, based on the interval of a rising third, gives the sense of a children’s song as it rises and falls every two to three words. 
 
Amazingly, this is one of the introits for feasts of martyrs! No musical heroics or stentorian voice, but rather a simple melody sung for joy of God’s love and victory. Here is where we find chant doing its best work — teaching the subtleties of meaning buried in scripture. How moving it is to consider the martyrs having this child-like voice, in the face of their own death, and child-like faith as they go to future Glory. All this to be found in one two-line chant. Incredible!
 
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This entry was posted in Faith, Feast Days and Celebrations, God, Learning, Liturgy of the Hours, Love, Scripture by Cantor. Bookmark the permalink.


About Cantor

I have been a cantor for over 25 years and an organist for most of my life. Chanting with people at home and across the country is one of my greatest joys. I remember the days of staring at the section of our undergraduate music text thinking to myself "what are all those dots and WHY do I need to know about them?!" Now, 33 years later, I am so grateful that those "dots" have helped teach me many things about God and His love!

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