By Sr. Fidelis
Amid the glories of Easter, we are compelled to search out the message in this opening Introit of the Resurrection Eucharist.
One of the last anguished cries uttered by Jesus from the cross was: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) And here, at the cusp of the most triumphant holy day in all of Christianity, we hear these words from the Psalmist, in the mouth of Jesus; addressed to his Father, “I rose up and am still with you. You have laid your hand upon me. Your knowledge is become wonderful. Lord, you have proved me and known me: You have known my sitting down, and my rising up.” (Psalm 139) Before the trumpets and streaming banners of this day, we briefly look at the core of Jesus’ complete and utter trust in his Father’s love.
This intimate setting, reflected in the choice of Mode IV, portrays this in such a beautiful way, gently punctuated with Alleluias. It begins low, using one of the oldest intonation patterns of RE to FA. The reciting note of the antiphon is SOL, which again indicates its antiquity. We do not hear the LA until we arrive at the Psalm verse. The whole sense of this sublime chant is a heart-to-heart conversation between a Father and his beloved Son.