Second Vespers for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Here is the booklet for Second Vespers for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

In this booklet I have adjusted the layout such that it fits easily on 12 pages, including the full Magnificat antiphon. I have also corrected the first psalm antiphon and left the unusual cautionary accidental in the second psalm antiphon. Thanks to the observation of a Dominican confrere, I realized that I had included a “hybrid” form of the Magnificat in the first booklet, i.e. mixing the versions of the Neo-Vulgate and Vulgate texts. I have restored the full Vulgate text, following the example of the Antiphonale Romanum II. (I have updated the booklet for the 25th Sunday as well.)

The Magnificat antiphon, “Dives ille,” does not appear in the medieval Dominican repertoire, so I’ve given the version from Antiphonale Romanum II. I have paired it with the Magnificat canticle differentia setting that is called for by the Dominican Regulae Cantus, as the EUOUAE provided in ARII is not found in the Dominican tradition. (The Regulae Cantus gives a list of the “Usus differentiarum” for different antiphon incipit formulae, allowing you to determine which version is appropriate.) Interestingly, the antiphon text is not from the Gospel of the Sunday, but from Gregory the Great’s Hom. in Evang. XL, 5, 21 (cf. Ordo Cantus Officii 2015, p. 124). The melody is much simpler than most Gospel Magnificat antiphons.

The collect for this Sunday is one of the most beautiful in the repertoire:

O God, who manifest your almighty power above all by pardoning and showing mercy, bestow, we pray, your grace abundantly upon us and make those hastening to attain your promises heirs to the treasures of heaven. rough our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Throughout his writings, Thomas Aquinas quotes this prayer again and again, alongside a related prayer that speaks of it being proper to God to be merciful and to spare. More recently, Pope Francis has taken to quoting this collect in various places in connection with the Year of Mercy, so the recitation of the prayer this Sunday will have a special resonance.

Image: Capital of Dives and Lazarus, Vezélay; photo by Jim Forest

Melodic alterations in the 1933 Antiphonarium

In the midst of preparing the last post about Nos qui vivimusI happened to glance at the first antiphon in the series of Sunday antiphons on the same folio. To my surprise, I realized that the 1933 Antiphonarium version of Dixit Dominus (CAO 2285) has a very different ending than that of the manuscripts. I had been under the impression that the 1933 edition was generally a reliable transcription of the 13th century antiphons that it contains, but I now see that that is not the case, at least in this very important instance. My last post was about “cautionary accidentals”; I suppose this one is a “cautionary tale” about taking 20th century chant editions for granted!

The editors of the 1933 edition seem to have drawn on the version proposed in the 1912 Antiphonale Romanum (notably the 1862 version is identical to the manuscripts). It appears that the whole string of Sunday Vespers antiphons in the 1933 Antiphonarium are simply adapted from the 1912 Roman antiphonal, with slight rhythmic variations but with identical melodies. The adoption of the Pius X revision of the psalter by the Dominicans necessitated the adoption of certain new melodies, but it is curious that the editors chose not to retain the distinctive melodic version of the first antiphon, the text of which is identical in both versions.

Although I included the 1933 version of this antiphon in my booklet for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, I will restore the traditional Dominican melody in my next booklet! (Incidentally, I have decided to use the Dixit Dominus antiphon for each of the four weeks in my booklets, following the example of Les Heures Grégoriennes; this seems to be helpful pastorally, giving a greater sense of continuity from week to week rather than changing the first antiphon each time, in addition to preserving an aspect of the older tradition.)

Rome, SS XIV L1, fol. 241r
London, British Library Ms. Add. 23935, 267va
Antiphonarium O.P. (1862), p. 113.
Antiphonale Romanum (1912), p. 36.
Antiphonarium O.P. (1933), p. 65

Cautionary Naturals in «Nos qui vivimus»

Second Vespers for Sunday, Week II in the contemporary Antiphonale Romanum call for the antiphon Nos qui vivimus (CAO 3960). This antiphon does not appear in the 1933 Antiphonarium O.P., but does appear in the 13th century Dominican manuscript tradition in conjunction with the antiphons of Sunday vespers presented after Epiphany used on most Sundays of the year.

Curiously, the two 13th century Dominican Antiphonals I have consulted contain what might be called a “cautionary natural” before the B in “benedicimus”. In other sources for this chant, the B often has a flat (including in the contemporary Antiphonale Romanum), or is pitched starting on G rather than C such that the upper note is F, which is equivalent to B-flat if starting on C (the Antiphonale Synopticum presents various versions transcribed in this manner), or in some cases has a different melodic structure that doesn’t ascend above the A. In one 13th or early 14th century Franciscan source, there is a B without an accidental, which presumably is meant to be B-natural. It would be interesting to get a broader sense of the breadth of versions of this antiphon.

It is interesting to see that the scribes for this Dominican version are deliberately calling attention to what was likely an unusual version of the melody. Notably, the London scribe does not supply a flat for the B in the incipit of the tonus perigrinus, whereas the Rome scribe has included it in the expected place.

London, British Library Ms. Add. 23935, 267va
Rome, SS XIV L1, 241ra
Transcription by Innocent Smith, op for the Vesperale O.P. Project

Vespers for the 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Church of St. Vincent Ferrer Choir, where Vespers will take place

Beginning on Sunday, September 18, 2016, the Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena in New York City will begin a weekly celebration of Parish Vespers (4:30 pm singing class and 5:15 Solemn Vespers). I am preparing booklets for these celebrations that draw on the Dominican chant tradition as well as the contemporary Antiphonale Romanum II. The celebrations will take place using a combination of Latin and English: Latin for the ordinary chants, the antiphons, and the short responsory, and English for the hymn, psalms, readings, intercessions, and collect.

Here is the booklet for the first celebration, taking place on the 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time. [Here is an updated version.]

The full GABC/LaTeX sources are available here.

I welcome any feedback or typo-corrections.