Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

by Sr Fidelis  

Rorate caeli 

Drop down dew,O heavens, from above,and let the clouds rain down the just One.  

This verse from Isaiah 45:8 gives exquisite poetic expression to the deepest longings of the church for the coming of the Messiah. We find this verse used in various ways throughout the entire Advent Season; as the versicle and response at Vespers; as antiphons at Lauds and Matins, and as the Introit for the Fourth Sunday.  But perhaps the most beautiful version is a late addition to the Gregorian Repertoire, most likely composed around 1610 – 1615. 

This haunting melody serves as a refrain to other verses from Isaiah, Lamentations and Exodus which form a dialogue between God and his people.(Attached below).
Drop down dew,O heavens, from above,and let the clouds rain down the just One.  

V. See, Lord the affliction of your people, and send him whom you are about to send; send forth the Lamb, the Lord of the earth, from the rock of the desert to the mountain of the daughter of Zion, that he himself may take away the yoke of our captivity.
Drop down dew….
V.  Be comforted,be comforted my people;  your deliverance will come quickly.  Why are you consumed with grief, that your sorrow has been renewed? I will save you, do not be afraid;  I myself am indeed the Lord your God, the holy One of Israel, your Redeemer.

This entry was posted in Advent, Church, God, Gregorian Chant, Jesus, 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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