Friday, January 28, 2011

Introibo ad Altare Dei

Somewhere, I have the communion chant for this following Sunday, ordinary form, printed on a white t-shirt, so that I end up singing it throughout the year. Someone will walk up and say, "hey, that looks like music. How does it go?" Then I can sing the whole chant, looking upside down, because of course no one ever cuts you off if you are singing a Gregorian chant, even if it is in the middle of baked-goods part of the grocery store.

Also, this chant has an exuberant youthfulness about it, and I'm especially appreciative of it because it reminds me of the opening words in the order of Mass in the extraordinary form - words I first heard when I would listen to Bernstein's Mass as a young child. Writing in the early sixties, Mr. Progressive Bernstein put the words in English, not knowing just how progressive people would become less than a decade later when it was cut out of the order of Mass entirely.

In any case, the text survives in this communion chant for a week from Sunday, and appears in the same way in the extraordinary form for sexagesima (the link for us unfortunate souls for whom this day has been eliminated).

Pre-Lent - Sexagesima: Communio from Corpus Christi Watershed on Vimeo.