INTROITUS: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ego autem cum justitia apparebo in conspectu tuo: satiabor, dum manifestabitur gloria tua.

Click here to listen to an audio of the chant.
Sung by Br. Jacob Berns, OSB, of St. John’s Abbey.

“I, however, will appear with justice in your sight; I will be satisfied when your glory will be revealed.” (Ps 17(16):14)

The order of the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time offers two options for the introit, Ego autem is one of them.

In the first line we find a nice play with the vibrating sound of a repercussion. When a person who grew up in a Germanic language sings a repercussion, you will mostly hear a repeated aspiration: justitia becomes jus-tee-hee-hee-tia, which is not what it should be (please have mercy with us Germanics, only very skilled singers or people who were raised bilingually with a Romance language are able to avoid that sound of aspiration). Repercussion in Gregorian Chant is meant to be an experience of escalation, or rising tension. Justice (justitia) is an overwhelming feature, especially when it is God’s justice. This is so exciting, that it needs a careful expression. The repercussion makes the singer shiver a bit!

Another nice melodic play is satiabor in the second line: The slow move up and down the scale and then again a little shiver between f (fa) and g (sol) makes the experience of “being fulfilled” audible.

Finally, there is manifestabitur in the second line. Even simple recitatives like this one can bear a lot of tension. At the end the melody goes up a bit which is one of the Gregorian ways to express the same as a colon or the lifting of the voice at the end a question: What will be revealed? – God’s glory.

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