Rejoice! (in peace….)

by Cantor

Let me start by saying that when I see the word “rejoice,” or the Latin “Gaudete,” I do not expect the opening of this Introit chant that opens the third week of Advent. My natural inclination to expect something more instantly declamatory and “trumpeting” such as the opening of last week’s introit, “Populus Sion.” This is one of the reasons I love the chant—it shines with so many different colors of the scriptures.

Upon further study of the text, an attitude of quiet and peace is really quite perfect because this text is telling us to rejoice in the Lord, letting our modesty be seen before all men. Indeed, it carries on even further to tell us to worry for nothing—to make all of our petitions to the Lord. Truly, one can almost see the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the heart of this chant.

In fact, I do not  believe a more perfect example of chant reflecting the text exists in the repertoire. Much of the chant is in the lower to middle range of the mode, with multiple indications in the ancient Einsedeln notation for lingerings over the entire first phrase. Most amazing to me is where this chant actually does rise to the top of the range—“Nihil soliciti sitis”—“Be anxious for nothing!” Finally, the chant returns gently to the lower part of the mode, highlighting the text “…but in all things, bring your petitions before God.”  What better message leading to the final week of Advent.

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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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