Grey and damp for the beginning of Lent...

But I wonder if we can imagine ourselves in the first days of Spring; perhaps. The Mass today is Invocabit me (Introibo). Experimenting-- no one can accuse me of being irremediably stuck in my ways-- I said Matins and Lauds last night after Compline, and Prime and then Terce this morning before turning on the recording of Saint-Eugène's Mass, which I'm following now. Of course Sunday is the one day of the week when Vespers, in the Traditional Rite, was not said before noon, but I must ease myself into these sorts of changes. And in any event am not certain I want to begin this upsetting of the right order of the Hours. I think that if I say Matins and Lauds from 0300 then I can manage Vespers within the hour after noon... except for the fact that mornings sometimes have to be dedicated to the dreaded 'errands'. The page for the day at Saint Lawrence Press Blog is here.

Had forgotten but the Lenten Ember Days occur this week-- the Masses of Friday and Saturday at Saint-Eugène will be sung although whether that means 'streamed' necessarily does not of course follow.

The folks at Neumz sent this in an email with the recording of the Introit.  

Today we proclaim the Gospel of the Lord’s temptations in the desert. The Church introduces us to its mystery with the chanting of Psalm 90, ‘Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi’, the psalm of the temptations of Christ; a psalm which, as Saint Bernard commented on at length, has the spirituality of one who takes refuge in the shelter of the Lord. It is from this psalm that all the chants of the Proper of today’s Mass are taken, a unique feature of this liturgy.

The whole psalm speaks in the third person, and it is with that person that the Devil identifies himself in order to deceive Christ. However, although all the exhortations to trust could have been used deceitfully by the Devil, the end of the psalm leaves no room for doubt: this is an oracle from God, from the Father; with a sudden change from the third person to the first person, it is clear that now it is God, the Father who speaks to us. And it is He who proclaims the words of this Introit: ‘Invocabit me, et ego exaudiam eum’, he will invoke me and I will listen to him.

It is very rare that in the text of an Introit hymn God takes the floor to speak to us directly. Here God promises that He will grant victory and eternal life to all those who entrust themselves to Him, as is pointed out in the verse that accompanies this Introit, the first verse of Psalm 90: ‘in protectione Dei cæli commorabitur’, ... will dwell under the protection of the God of heaven.

The melody constructed in mode 8 moves continuously between the fundamental G and the dominant C. In this way it succeeds in building a firm framework that accompanies the promises made in the chant.

The intonation already confirms the tone of firmness, starting and resting on the fundamental note G. Then follow the promises: exaudiam, eripiam, musically constructed with the same G-C movement with a certain emphasis on the dominant C. Characteristic of this Introit is the emphasis on the personal pronoun eum, to him, which in all cases receives a particular musical treatment to conclude the promise 'to him'. In any case, we start at the G, which rises towards the C as a movement of prayer and invocation. This somewhat monotonous construction is interrupted by the melodic climax: glorificabo eum, I will glorify him. This is the glorification that Christ asks of the Father: 'Father, glorify me with the glory which I had before the world was'. 

The last phrase of this Introit, longitudine dierum, seems to be the substance of the glorification. It is notable for taking the opposite route to the rest of the piece: the melody moves from the treble to the bass. Built up from the C, it descends steadily to the G. At the end of the Introit, thanks to a development in the low register, new in this piece, it reaches the final pronoun eum in adimplebo, inversely to how the melody had moved so far. Thanks to this, the atmosphere of firm security is reinforced, as it embraces the whole sound spectrum of mode 8, which uses the notes of the high and low registers of the fundamental G.

Psalm XL in its entirety.

Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi, in protectione Dei cæli commorabitur. 
Dicet Domino: Susceptor meus es tu, et refugium meum; Deus meus, sperabo in eum. 
Quoniam ipse liberavit me de laqueo venantium, et a verbo aspero. 
Scapulis suis obumbrabit tibi, et sub pennis ejus sperabis. 
Scuto circumdabit te veritas ejus: non timebis a timore nocturno; 
a sagitta volante in die, a negotio perambulante in tenebris, ab incursu, et dæmonio meridiano.
Cadent a latere tuo mille, et decem millia a dextris tuis; ad te autem non appropinquabit. 
Verumtamen oculis tuis considerabis, et retributionem peccatorum videbis.
Quoniam tu es, Domine, spes mea; Altissimum posuisti refugium tuum. 
Non accedet ad te malum, et flagellum non appropinquabit tabernaculo tuo. 
Quoniam angelis suis mandavit de te, ut custodiant te in omnibus viis tuis. 
In manibus portabunt te, ne forte offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum. 
Super aspidem et basiliscum ambulabis, et conculcabis leonem et draconem.
Quoniam in me speravit, liberabo eum; protegam eum, quoniam cognovit nomen meum. 
Clamabit ad me, et ego exaudiam eum; cum ipso sum in tribulatione: eripiam eum, et glorificabo eum. 
Longitudine dierum replebo eum, et ostendam illi salutare meum.
Since a bit of levity is acceptable on a Sunday in or out of Lent, Eccles is always a good provider of it.  

7. Then the Devil tempted him one final time, saying, "Lo! There is another hermit who dwelleth in this part of the wilderness. Why not go and have a cup of tea with her?"
8. But Eccles replied, "Get thee behind me, Satan, and remain at a distance of four cubits from me. For it is written, 'Hands, Face, Space.' Now, excuse me for I have to protect the National Health Service by clapping."

The British have the plague-nonsense far worse than we do in the United States, in most parts anyway.

The Miserere of Nicolas-Mammès Couturier (at 1:26:20) is interesting, as is the alternation between verses of his work and the verses sung according to one of the old Parisian tones. 

I hadn't paid attention to the time and, lo, already it is time for Vespers-- just finished with the recorded Mass. 

Dr Eleanor Parker (A Clerk of Oxford) sent those of us who receive her Patreon updates this riddle, from the Exeter Book.

Wundor wearð on wege; wæter wearð to bane

There was a wonder on the wave: water was turned to bone.

Isn't that marvellous? The riddles in the Exeter Book don't come with solutions, and some of them have been puzzling scholars for generations-- but this one is simple enough, and most people agree on its solution....

It is also the feast of Saint Eleanor (13th century), of Saint Felix (4th century), and of Blessed Thomas Pormort (16th century).

V. Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
R. Deo grátias.