Friday, November 29, 2013

Psalm 24: To thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul


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Psalm 24 -- from the Book Of Psalms
Ad te, Domine, levavi. A prayer for grace, mercy, and protection against our enemies.

[1] Unto the end, a psalm for David. To thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul. [2] In thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed. [3] Neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on thee shall be confounded. [4] Let all them be confounded that act unjust things without cause. shew, O Lord, thy ways to me, and teach me thy paths. [5] Direct me in thy truth, and teach me; for thou art God my Saviour; and on thee have I waited all the day long.

[6] Remember, O Lord, thy bowels of compassion; and thy mercies that are from the beginning of the world. [7] The sins of my youth and my ignorances do not remember. According to thy mercy remember thou me: for thy goodness' sake, O Lord. [8] The Lord is sweet and righteous: therefore he will give a law to sinners in the way. [9] He will guide the mild in judgment: he will teach the meek his ways. [10] All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth, to them that seek after his covenant and his testimonies.

[11] For thy name' s sake, O Lord, thou wilt pardon my sin: for it is great. [12] Who is the man that feareth the Lord? He hath appointed him a law in the way he hath chosen. [13] His soul shall dwell in good things: and his seed shall inherit the land. [14] The Lord is a firmament to them that fear him: and his covenant shall be made manifest to them. [15] My eyes are ever towards the Lord: for he shall pluck my feet out of the snare.

[16] Look thou upon me, and have mercy on me; for I am alone and poor. [17] The troubles of my heart are multiplied: deliver me from my necessities. [18] See my abjection and my labour; and forgive me all my sins. [19] Consider my enemies for they are multiplied, and have hated me with an unjust hatred. [20] Keep thou my soul, and deliver me: I shall not be ashamed, for I have hoped in thee.

[21] The innocent and the upright have adhered to me: because I have waited on thee. [22] Deliver Israel, O God, from all his tribulations.
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"Ad te levavi" is the introit to the first Sunday of Advent in Gregorian Chant.

Sandro Magister has posted a new recording of it on his website Chiesa, which means Church in Italian. Usually he covers Vatican news. Magister has been very subtle in his criticism of Bergoglio, but at the same time he has revealed scandals in this papacy such as the appointment of a homosexual priest to a high position in the Vatican.

I don't think it is a coincidence that Magister is posting these beautiful recordings of Gregorian Chant at the same time that Bergoglio has just published his first major document as Pope. Magister makes the point that...
... these masterpieces of Gregorian chant [are treasures that] have fallen into general disregard but are here intended to be brought back to light. Precisely as prescribed by the constitution on the liturgy of Vatican Council II in one of its most neglected passages:

"The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services."
Somehow, I don't think that the present Pope would agree with Magister on this point.

Magister has provided a "listener's guide" to "Ad te levavi". Here is a brief excerpt.
"Ad te levavi animam meam": this is the incipit of the Gregorian introit for the first Sunday of Advent, and therefore the incipit of the whole Graduale Romanum, the liturgical collection of proper chants of the Mass.

The initial capital "A," the first letter of the alphabet, is a sign of Christ as the "Alpha" from which the long meditation provided by the Church takes its origin and upon which it continually converges, through Gregorian chant, over the entire liturgical year.
Imagine a Church that could bring to life into this mundane world such beauty which is purely inspired by God... it could only be the Church founded by Jesus Christ.

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