I Am the Good Shepherd

By Sr. Fidelis

Yesterday was Good Shepherd Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Eastertide. This theme was found in the Gospel Reading, in the Canticle antiphons for the day, and in the Communion for Eucharist, Ego sum pastor bonus.   
This Mode 2 Chant is simple and energetic— basically two phrases, again punctuated by Alleluias. “I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep, and mine know me”.

The opening motive is a 3-note neum called the “salicus.” It is an “energy” neum — 3 notes rising to the top one, and in this case the 1st and 2nd notes are on the same pitch, starting on the half-step below the reciting note of FA. This motive is repeated on the word pastor, and on the word bonus as well. The melody rises to its peak on the phrase et cognosco oves meas (“and I know my sheep”), giving a sense of his intimate care and love for each of us, his sheep.

Communion – Ego Sum Pastor


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