INTROITUS: Sacred Heart of Jesus

Cogitationes Cordis eius in generatione et generationem: ut eruat a morte animas eorum et alat eos in fame.

“The plans of his heart persist for the generation of generations, to deliver their souls from death and to feed them in famine.” (Ps 33(32):11.19)

Click here to listen to an audio of the chant.
Sung by Liborius Lumma, Innsbruck (Austria).

The Gregorian Chant for the post-Vatican liturgy consists almost only of the chants that belong to the original Gregorian repertoire of the Early Middle Ages. Most of the later-created chants were to be abolished.

This one on the Solemnity of Sacred Heart is one of the few exceptions. For purists of Gregorian Chant, this is nothing but new-fashioned stuff. The not-so-puristic ones enjoy certain modules from the bright and optimistic 5th mode, especially the major triad at the beginning, and modules from the clear-cut and discreet 6th mode, such as the ending (et alat…). Sacred Heart is definitely not about sorrow and suffering in view of the Cross, it is rather a joyful celebration of the one who did everything to redeem us.

One comment

  1. Although new, this is an adaptation/centonisation of “authentic” melodies (I’m not telling Liborius, who certainly knows this, but readers who may not). It is no doubt significant that the second half of this introit is an adaptation of the third part of the introit for the fourth Sunday in Lent, “Laetare Ierusalem” (Rejoice, Jerusalem): “ut exsultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae”. The melody for “ut eruat a morte” (to deliver from death) is an adapted version of the melody for “ut exsultetis” (that you may rejoice); we rejoice because Christ has delivers us from death. If the feast of the Sacred Heart takes us back to the cross, it calls us to rejoice as it reveals the cross as transfigured by the joyful light of the Resurrection.

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