INTROITUS: Chair of Peter
Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in aeternum.
“The Lord made a covenant of peace with him, and made him prince, so that the dignity of priesthood may forever be his.” (cf. Sir 45:7)
Somehow the feast of the Chair of Peter is the celebration of papacy as such, even if the history of ancient “chair-”memorials might be more complicated. The verse from the Book of Sirach creates a connection between dignity and power on one hand, and peace on the other hand – which can be regarded as a promise, but also as a duty for whoever is prince over others.
What I like about the chant most is how the melody goes down during the words testamentum pacis – it is a divine gift that comes to a person –, and then goes up during et principem fecit eum. It is God alone who bows down to earth and raises people: promise and duty.