INTROITUS: 3rd Sunday of Advent

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete: modestia vestra nota sit omnbibus hominibus: Dominus prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say: Rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all humans: The Lord is near. Do not be anxious, but in all prayer your requests shall be known to God.” (Phil 4:4-6)

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

Among German Lutherans many Latin introit names are well known, since they are still in use as Sunday names: Oculi, Judica, Jubilate etc. Among Catholics only two Latin Sunday names have remained: Laetare for the 4th Sunday of Lent and Gaudete for the 3rd Sunday of Advent which we have here.

Although this name is still in use, one of my first teachers in Gregorian Chant—a Benedictine monk and professor of Gregorian Chant—used to say that Gaudete is not an appropriate abbreviation for this introit. From Gaudete the melody and dynamic immediately hand over their power to in Domino and after that all power unloads at the word semper. “Always.” This Sunday’s message is not “rejoice,” but “rejoice → always!”

That is why this is not the Sunday Gaudete, but the Sunday Semper.

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