Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gustate et Videte

Gustate et Videte is this Sunday's communion chant. It has one of the more familiar and notable openings of all the communion chants, something that is unmistakable for anyone with a knowledge of Gregorian music. It begins with great excitement suitable to the text: taste and see that the Lord is sweet. And note how the double tristopha has a penetrating quality, a transforming effect. The remainder of the chant might be seen as a rhapsodic description of the results of the opening line.

Dom Johner comments: "This is the oldest Communion song to be found with its psalm in all the liturgies, oriental as well as occidental. How heartfelt it must have sounded, coming from the lips of those who were returning from the altar with the sweetest and most savory of foods in their hearts! What longing it must have awakened in the souls of the faithful who were still on the way to receive Holy Communion! Whoever loves the Eucharistic Saviour will not only gladly and frequently carry this exhortation into effect, but will also, as far as he is able, make others partakers of this same great joy."

Here is a performance.
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