Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

Ascension – a time of expectant waiting.  Jesus had told his disciples ahead of time that he would be taken from them so that the promised Comforter would come, yet I often try to imagine what it must have been like for the disciples to see him in bodily form for the last time, ascending from their sight. Two men in white robes appeared and said to them:  Men of Galilee, what are you wondering at, looking up into heaven?  This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come back the same way as you have seen him going up to heaven. (Acts 1:11)

The Offertory you are about to hear using this text, from the feast of the Ascension, is one of the most unique chants in the repertoire.  This particular Mode 1 tune is used  four times during the Church Year – each with appropriate texts:  Ascension, Dedication of a Church, St. Michael and all Angels, and finally All Saints.  In each rendition, there is a beautiful rising melisma (many notes) on the pivotal word of the text which relates to “ascending” in some way. Listen for the word “ascendentem“.  You cannot help but hear the imagery portrayed.



This entry was posted in Feast Days and Celebrations, Gregorian Chant, Liturgy of the Hours, Scripture by Sr. Fidelis. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sr. Fidelis

I am 46 years old, and have been a Sister at the Community of Jesus for 26 years. Having grown up here, I have been singing Gregorian chant since I was 10! I was very blessed to study Gregorian chant with Dr. Mary Berry in Cambridge, England and here at home. Recently, I have been able to do some radio and tv interviews, sharing about the blessings of Gregorian chant. I love leading chant workshops, and have been able to do that in the US and abroad.

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