Second Sunday after Epiphany – Le Salon Beige

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In the 1962 missal, Sundays per annum located after Epiphany and before Septuagesima are called Sundays after Epiphany. After the two great feasts of Christmas and Epiphany, our liturgical books count six Sundays called “after Epiphany” and which constitute a sort of transition between the feasts of Christmas and Lent. The celebrant wears green vestments. This IIe Sunday nevertheless prolongs the great feast of the Epiphany since with the 1er miracle of Our Lord, at the wedding feast of Cana, read in the Gospel, the Church wishes to bring to light again before the world her “Epiphany”.

Introit : Omnis terra

TAll the chants of the Proper of the Mass for this second Sunday after Epiphany are therefore still dedicated to adoration, praise and jubilation, acclaiming the divinity and royalty of Our Saviour, whom we contemplate as a little child in the manger. and that at the same time we are already following in his redemptive mission.

The Introit is taken from Psalm 65, Jubilate Deo, which is a great canticle of thanksgiving of the people of Israel for the deliverance from Egypt and the Red Sea, a figure par excellence of the Redemption, and for all the benefits with which God has showered it. After the shepherds of Bethlehem and the Magi from the East, the whole earth, that is to say all its inhabitants, is invited to bow down before the child and to proclaim its gratitude.

Omnis terra adoret te, Deus, et psallat tibi: psalmum dicat nomini tuo, Altissime.
May the whole earth adore You, O God, and may it sing to You, may it say a psalm in your name, O Most High.

One would expect an enthusiastic and triumphant melody; we will find it presently in the Offertory which is taken from the same psalm. This is, of course, solemn but quite calm and restrained with a certain contemplative character: it is truly an adoration. This Introit is accompanied by the first verse of Psalm 65 which we will find later at the Offertory:

Jubilate Deo omnis terra, psalmum dicite nomini ejus: date gloriam laudi ejus.
Shout for joy for God, all the earth, sing a psalm to his name, give glory to his praise.

Gradual : Misit Dominus

Lhe text of the Gradual for the second Sunday after Epiphany is taken from Psalm 106, one of the great psalms which begins with “Praise the Lord for he is good, for his mercy is eternal”. It recounts in several episodes the misfortunes that men have brought themselves by their infidelities, then how they turned to the Lord and how in his goodness He saved them. The verse found here relates to the healing of a serious epidemic, and it is followed by a cheer of gratitude which recurs as a refrain at the end of each episode:

Misit Dominus verbum suum, et sanavit eos: et eripuit eos de interitu eorum. Confiteantur Domino misericordiae ejus: et mirabilia ejus filiis hominum.

The Lord sent His Word and healed them, and snatched them from death. Let them proclaim his mercy and his wonders to the sons of Israel.

The people of Israel of the Old Testament did not yet know that this almighty and active word of the Lord that they were celebrating was a person, the Word, Son of God, second person of the Holy Trinity, our Redeemer. It is He who came to earth to save us, and whom we adore today in the guise of a little child.

We find the usual melodies of the Graduels very close to those of Christmas and Epiphany, but we will particularly notice in the second part of the great vocalizations of the words confident and misericordiae with repeated patterns that indicate a very marked emphasis.

Alleluia : Laudate Deum

Lhe first two cantos of the Proper of the second Sunday after Epiphany invited the whole earth and the men who lived there to praise the Lord. In the Alleluia that follows, it is the angels and all the powers of heaven who are invited in turn.

Laudate Deum omnes Angeli ejus: Laudate eum omnes virtutes ejus.
Praise God all his Angels, praise Him all his celestial armies.

This is the beginning of Psalm 148, one of the last of the psalter, which reviews all creatures, from the highest in Heaven to the lowest on earth, to invite them to this praise of the Creator and Saviour. The melody is once again a typical melody that we find in several Hallelujahs and that we have already heard on the third Sunday of Advent. She is gentle and contemplative, full of light joy as befits addressing pure spirits.

Offertory : Jubilate Deo

NOTe find in the Offertory of the second Sunday after Epiphany the same psalm as in the Introit, psalm 65 Jubilate Deo, but this time it will really be a dazzling and triumphant jubilation and not, as is often the case at the Offertory, an interior and contemplative meditation. Moreover, this piece exceeds by its proportions and its amplitude the usual limits of the repertoire: it is really an enthusiasm that can no longer be contained.
The first part takes up the beginning of the psalm:

Jubilate Deo universa terra: psalmum dicite nomini ejus.
Jubilee for God, whole earth, sing a psalm in his name.

The first phrase is repeated twice, and the reprise contains a rather extraordinary vocalization which rises in an immense crescendo from low C to high F. The second part takes up verses from the end of the psalm, which have a more intimate and personal character.

Venite et audite, et narrabo vobis, omnes qui timetis Deum, quanta fecit Dominus animæ meæ,
Come, listen, and I will tell all of you who fear God what the Lord has done for my soul.

The melody starts again in the enthusiasm then from the word narraboit gradually calms down and softens to end in a calmer and more relaxed atmosphere.

Communion : Says Dominus

Lhe Communion song for the second Sunday after Epiphany is taken from the Gospel of the day which recounts, let us recall, the miracle of the wedding at Cana, the third of the manifestations of the divinity of Our Lord which constitute his Epiphany.
The text is a summary of this page of the Gospel.

Dicit Dominus: implete hydrias aqua and ferte architriclino. Cum gustasset architriclinus aquam vinum factam, dicit sponso: Servasti vinum bonum usque adhuc. Hoc signum fecit Jesus primum coram discipulis suis.
The Lord says: fill the urns with water and take it to the butler. When the butler had tasted the water turned into wine, he said to the husband: You have kept the good wine until now. This was the first miracle that Jesus performed in the presence of his disciples.

The melody is a veritable small contrasting tableau which marvelously expresses the different episodes of the story. The word of the Lord at the beginning is serious and sovereign. Then the butler’s astonishment translates into a contorted melody until he bursts out on the words servasti vinum bonum. The conclusion, one could say the moral of the story, translates into a simple and stripped down almost syllabic melody which ends in a somewhat abrupt way.

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Second Sunday after Epiphany – Le Salon Beige

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