INTROITUS: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Inclina, Domine, aurem tuam ad me, et exaudi me: salvum fac servum tuum, Deus meus, sperantem in te: miserere mihi, Domine, quoniam ad te clamavi tota die.

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

“Incline, Lord, your ear to me, and answer to me. Safe your servant, my God, who hopes in you. Have mercy on me, Lord, for I cry to you all day long.” (Ps 86(85):1–3)

This introit starts with a typical opening of the first Gregorian mode, with all the debates whether there is a b (si bemolle) or h (si naturale) to be sung. The editors of the Graduale Novum left this question open in this case, as the medieval sources are not unequivocal.

What I like about this introit are all the moves up and down. There is someone praying desperately, doubting, hoping, crying, shouting, humiliating himself or herself, confessing, trusting, believing. It is one of the most emotional chants in the Gregorian repertoire.

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