INTROITUS: St. Andrew

Dominus secus mare Galilaeae vidit duos fratres, Petrum et Andream, et vocavit eos: Venite post me: faciam vos fieri piscatores hominum.

“(Walking) at the Sea of Galilee, the Lord saw two brothers, Peter and Andrew, and called them: Come after me, I will make you fishers of humans.” (Matt 4:18–19)

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

The composition—one of the few introit antiphons that take their words not from the Psalms, but from the Gospels—is quite complex and elaborate. We might expect venite post me (“come after me”) as the expressive highlight of the text, we could imagine it loud, powerful, and with high notes. But actually venite post me seems modest, careful, and simple.

Sometimes it is as simple as that—even in Gregorian Chant: In the middle of all complexity lie clarity and a plain structure. Peter and Andrew heard the invitation, they were touched by that invitation, and then they did what had to be done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *