He Will Cover You with His Wings
All of the Proper chants for the first Sunday of Lent come from Psalm 91. In reading through them — from the Introit Antiphon to the Communion Antiphon –I was amazed that all of the texts focus on God’s love and protection.
Lent is a uniquely rich time for Gregorian chant. One notable difference between Lent and the other seasons is that there is a completely different set of Propers for each DAY, as opposed to each WEEK. Also, the texts for the Lenten chants are drawn from many different psalms and other Old Testament passages. What an incredible emphasis on God’s love and mercy for the beginning of Lent.
Psalm 91 also appears every night in the Divine Office of Compline. I find it so moving that that compliant has a long-standing connection with the season of Lent — times of physical and sometimes personal spiritual darkness. Psalm 91 bursts forth in both places, speaking of God’s love “covering us with His wings.” I believe this is one of the most beautiful and powerful moments in all of the Gregorian repertory, as it reminds us at the beginning of this season and every night before we go to sleep, just how much we are beloved of God.
Credit: 5070 – Music – Gregorian Chant mw.mcmaster.ca275 × 400