29 October 2017, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Introit: Laetetur cor
Alleluia: Lauda Jerusalem
Offertory: Let all mortal flesh keep silence, p. 286
Recessional: O most holy one, p. 369
Mass XI, PBC p. 58. Credo III, PBC p. 77
The Introit antiphon is again taken from a week IV Lenten formulary (Thursday) in the EF. It is a statement of strong belief in the joy of actively pursuing a relationship with God. It has three succinct phrases:
- Laetetur cor quaerentium Dominum
- quaerite Dominum et confirmamini
- quaerite faciem eius semper
The Benedictine Fr. Mark Kirby has commented:
The darker the obscurity around us, the more deeply do we experience that there is within us a relentless straining toward the Light, the instinct to stretch the wings of our souls and, like the eagle, fly unblinking into the sun. Within the heart of each one of us, the finger of God’s right hand has inscribed an indelible, a sweet and painful longing for what Saint Peter calls his “wonderful light” (1 P 2:9): the gladsome light of the Father shining on the Face of the Son. This is the essence of today’s poignant Introit: Laetetur cor quaerentium Dominum, 'Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice: seek the Lord and He will strengthen you; constantly seek His Face' (Ps 104:3–4). Quaerite faciem eius semper! The chant melody soars and expands over the word eius: 'His.' It is the liturgy’s way of signifying that abiding joy and unfailing strength shine from the Face of Christ and no other. It is the liturgy’s way of making us repeat again and again, 'His Face, His Face.'
How wonderful it was for the man born blind to see light and behold the wonders of the world, something we can enjoy every day. Yet we are so often like that man, blind to the wonders of God's grace and gifts all around us. We seek everything but the Face of God made manifest in His Son, now incarnate in those around us. The brief Mode 2 melody has a tone of confidence and zeal in the similar melodies of the high points over quaerentium and ejus, linking the seekers and the sought.
The Communion antiphon is another chant taken from Lenten week IV (Tuesday) in the EF. It has two quick phrases:
- Laetabimur in salutare tuo
- et in nomine Domini Dei nostri magnificabimur
This Mode 2 melody has a strong Lenten flavour with its—IMHO, deliberately—unsatisfactory termination. We are a people in the midst of a journey; we've not yet arrived at our destination. The high point of the melody clearly is salutare tuo, Your salvation. It alone is the source of true joy. The low point, in turn, is over magnificabimur, which mirrors much of the melody of Laetabimur. Like Mary in her Magnificat, we are made great and whole when we praise the greatness of the name of the Lord and recognize and acknowledge our own lowliness—and in that is our joy.