INTROITUS: St. Mary Magdalene

Tibi dixit cor meum, quaesivi vultum tuum, vultum tuum Domine requiram: ne avertas faciem tuam a me.

“My heart says to you: I seek your face. I need your face, Lord, do not turn away your face away from me.” (Ps 27(26):8–9)

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

I have already commented on this introit on the Second Sunday of Lent.

Thanks to a decision by Pope Francis, St. Mary Magdalene has been celebrated in the rank of a liturgical feast in the Roman Catholic Church since 2016, and her title “apostle to the apostles” became official. Before the Second Vatican Council, the introit Me expectaverunt was supposed to be sung on this day; an introit that was regularly used for the commemoration of virgin-martyrs. In the Ordo Cantus Missae of 1970 this was changed to Tibi dixit. The reason for this choice can be found in Matt 28:1–8, where the revelation of Jesus’ ressurection is a visual phenomenon in the first place: That corresponds beautifully to the psalmodic verse “I seek your face.”

On the other hand this introit leads back to Lent where it originates, although Mary Magdalene as one of the women who were the very first apostles of the resurrection has a quite paschal role in the Bible. If I had to decide, I would prefer an introit like Jubilate Deo omnis terra or Vocem jucunditatis or Accipite jucunditatem gloriae vestrae from the Commune Apostolorum (“Accept the joy of your glory, hallelujah, giving thanks to God, hallelujah, hallelujah, who called you to the heavenly kingdom(s), hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah”).

2 comments

  1. Thank you for this post! I agree with you about other possible Introits. And for the one we have, I think the English rendering of the Latin “requiram” as “I need” is a bit lame, albeit correct. But the verb “requiram” seems stronger, closer to the English “require,” i.e., “I cannot live without…”

    I hope you will consider publishing together all the Introit work you have posted here, somewhere

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