Singing the Antiphons (Part II): A New Discovery

First of all, I need to correct an error.  In my initial discussion of our Singing of the Antiphons at Mass, I incorrectly referred to the Ordinaries of Mass as the Propers. 

Ordinaries vs. Propers Explained: 

The Eucharistic liturgy (a.k.a. Mass) has parts that are the Ordinaries of the Mass, those prayer texts preferably sung (or recited) that are always present and do not change Sunday to Sunday including the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei.  

The Propers of the Mass are those parts that change week to week, following the Christian calendar of Sunday feast days, i.e. Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Sequence, Offertory, Communion. 

The Antiphons, as the Propers do change week to week in harmony with the scripture readings for that given celebration of Mass. 

Antiphons are intended for use at Entrance, Offertory and Communion.

For those who have attended live Mass here at St. Isidore, you may have noticed that we have been singing the Antiphons for Entrance and Communion for several weeks. Each week as music team partners Claire, Matt and I select (or write) and rehearse a musical setting for these Antiphons, I am struck by their beauty and the depth and range of emotions they express. Although some of these ancient scriptures were written over 1,000 years ago at a time (and place) when life was very different, their expression is so relevant to what we are experiencing in life in 2020! I am not only impressed at their current relevance but also amazed at how they resonate in my spirit in our current novel circumstances. I feel like God is asking us to revisit these ancient prayers for so many reasons. Our familiar prayers (i.e. the Ordinaries) sung or recited at every Mass are so ingrained in our brains that they can become rote and “automatic” at times. The deeper meaning can get lost in the repetition.  These unfamiliar prayers are like a refreshing new cocktail inviting us to “sip in the full flavor” of the expression of that prayer. As we sing these ancient texts of our ancestors, we are united on the journey with all who have faced so many hardships in Faith throughout history.  Everyone from the Israelites to the Pilgrims faced incredible situations when they were unsure that God was really watching over and guiding them.  Prayer is our greatest means of connecting with God and the direction he has planned for us.  The expression of these ancient prayers in our contemporary voices is a relevant expression of our longings, joys, sorrows and pleas and a deeper unity that transcends time and space as we know it. We faithfully continue finding spiritual lemonade in of these lemon times.

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