April 7 2019 : 5th Sunday of Lent (Year C)
The genesis of this antiphon lies in the Year C psalm for Communion suggested in the ICEL 1998 Antiphonal and the 1974 Graduale Romanum: Psalm 32(31). The Collegeville Composers Group reflected on this psalm, beginning
Happy those whose offense is forgiven,
whose sin is remitted.
In particular Ps 32:7 seemed apposite to the state of mind of the woman caught in adultery:
You are my hiding place, O LORD;
You save me from distress.
You surround me with cries of deliverance
and this verse was transformed into the present antiphon. Enclosed in the hiding place of God, she experienced in Jesus and we experience in communion the guarding and enfolding by God.
The final verse of today’s Gospel runs
Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin any more”
which is echoed in Ps 32: 5cd:
And you, LORD, have forgiven
The guilt of my sin.
The “blue notes” in antiphon and psalm tone evoke the bittersweet quality of the anguish of guilt and the relief of forgiveness.
Those celebrating the Scrutinies will use the Year A antiphon:
The text of the antiphon comes directly from John 11:25 in today’s Gospel reading (Year A). Two options are given for psalm verses: either extracts from John 12, including “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies” (which actually appears in the Year B Gospel), or Ps 34 in its entirety.