Sunset; it is still three hours or so of Night left (I'm following Holy Mass from Paris), however, so 'a glorious Dawn' is hope not fact. It is as dark and gloomy now, after Prime shortly after 0600, as it was an hour ago, the cloud cover is so dense. Tsk.
Fête Nationale du Patriotisme, indeed; I suppose that the Fourth is as close as we in the United States get to something like this; the program at Saint-Eugène, for the Mass of Saint Joan, is here. The Mass for the 5th Sunday post Pascha, that the rest of us are having (I see that Introibo doesn't mention the Fête Nationale; I had wondered how widespread its observance in 21st century France is), is Vocem iucunditátis annuntiáte; there's a video recording of the Introit below. I found the Mass Cantemus of Saint Joan in the Graduale triplex-- which the Introit infra also happens to be sung from.
It was pointed out to me that Una Voce France presents a page describing today's celebration. "La loi n’a jamais été abolie et le décret est toujours en vigueur, même si personne n’en tient plus compte", the law [by which the French state established this holiday of the 2nd Sunday in May] has never been repealed and remains in force, even if nobody pays it any attention.
Canon Guelfucci is making his sermon. Of the announcements preceding, I understood that he was outlining the Mass schedule, that the next session of the Catechism for Adults series is going to be devoted to the distinction between mortal and venial sins and to the heavy burden that is scrupulosity, and then that the parish of Saint-E.-Sainte-C. is going to join with that of Saint-Roch for the Pèlerinage à Pentecôte. He made a joke about his eventual successor, I believe in the general context of 'raising money now to benefit the future': several others, chatting at the YouTube channel, took the opportunity to wish him a long tenure at Saint-Eugène so perhaps he said more about this than my French understood.
The Introit sung this Sunday, Vocem jucunditatis, is constructed in mode 3, the richest mode for representing movement (and this text from Isaiah 48:20 is about liberation from captivity!) This mode continually makes a broad sweep over the same leap, E-C, rising and falling in short, rapid intervals. It rises and falls continuously, as we can see in the beginning of the intonation: Vocem jucunditatis.The intonation formula, characteristic of mode 3, is a call to announce “jubilation”. The expression is unusual, but that is the object of the announcement: a joy, which must be heard. It is a great announcement, repeated in the first two phrases with two imperatives: annuntiate and nuntiate. Musically, each imperative intensifies the call, which changes in the third phrase to make it clear that it is about the imminent liberation of the people of Israel from captivity. With this announcement this Mass prepares for the imminent Ascension of the Lord.Thus the opening intonation Vocem jucunditatis must be performed with verve, for which the composer endowed it with a very rich musical figure to go from the fundamental E to the dominant C (B in the restored melodic version) with considerable speed and enthusiasm. Thanks to this construction, before reaching full jubilation in the treble, the composer gives the singers a taste of this “voice of jubilation”, loading each syllable with pneumatisation [I don't know what that means] that allows them to savour all the richness of this Paschal Mystery. This “savouring” is the virtue proper to the Easter season. This savouring, thanks to the melody, is the way in which Gregorian music aids us to participate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice of each celebration. And in today’s celebration what is savoured is the jucunditas of faith (vocem judunditatis). Once the melody has made the sweetness of the voice taste, then, it settles on the dominant C, giving the full breadth of resonance to the fundamental E, from which it started and on which it built the intonation.This annuntiate is sung in a high voice, on the C, and slowly and steadily cadences towards the E fundamental. From there it starts again to perform the whole movement of ascent-accentuation-cadence, but on a single word: audiatur. This word is given the same cadential construction as in the previous annuntiate, starting from the dominant C, but now descending in a gradual, leisurely manner, thanks to the use of two torculus, introducing an element of serenity and solidity in this jubilant announcement. The Alleluia that closes the first phrase also reinforces the mood of the cadenza, weaving a final cadenza around the E fundamental.In the second musical phrase, we find ourselves once again with the great announcement of Christ (nuntiate usque…), with another of the features characteristic of this great “announcement”: its universality. The voice of joy must reach “to the ends of the earth”. Again, with the beginning in the fundamental and a musical construction very similar to the intonation of the Introit, the piece immediately goes above the C, to go even higher, reaching the E, which is where the piece reaches its climax. The ends of the earth are the musical extremes reached by this piece. It is there that the composer wanted to emphasise one of the main dimensions of this announcement: usque ad extremum terrae! The announcement is universal and must be heard by all. The same is true of the composition of this part of the Introit antiphon. The high notes with which it is sung, together with the great variety and richness of the neumes, allow the universal sonority of Christ’s proclamation to be realised in the performance of the chant. But now the cadence is not given in the fundamental E, but an intermediate cadence in G. For what follows (liberavit…) a colon is placed in the text, implying that the object of the proclamation is now to be said. However, to take the last sentence as the content of the announcement would not even correspond to the text of Isaiah, which has been slightly modified here. The proclamation is joy. And the joy is for deliverance. But it is here that the melody makes a true exegesis of the text, by enriching in a very noticeable way the first two musical phrases which emphasise the fact that the announcement is joy and jubilation.The third and last musical phrase picks up the melody from the G in which the previous phrase left it and takes on, until the end, an atmosphere of greater expressive serenity, with a modality in which the fourth G-C predominates, typical of mode 8, including in this atmosphere the two final Alleluias. The text says: “the Lord delivers His people”. The melody of the liberavit leaves behind the agility it brought with it at the end of the previous phrase, and takes on a serenity that is arrested and affirmed in a musical scale that no longer has a great breadth to cover, nor great voices to give, nor leaps to make. It rises little by little and after descending a note it returns to C, where it remains with a tristrophe that reaffirms this liberation as the work of God (Dominus). Then it makes a slight descent, in passing, to the fundamental, to go up again and make another intermediate cadence, this time on the A. And it is from this A that the two Alleluias with which the piece will end begin. In this way, with this final “hitch” on the A, the whole piece is spun in such a way that, each time it includes a rest on a note, the following starts from that same note.The final two Alleluias never seem to end, because of the load of notes and stopping indications, with the use of punctum and quilisma and horizontal episemes. The piece, as a whole, has changed climate from one extreme to the other. The beginning is jubilant, agile and joyous. The conclusion, on the other hand, is dominated by serenity, firm conviction and confidence. And the whole piece is consummated with two Alleluias which, on the one hand, extend the jubilation of the announcement of the first moments of this piece and, on the other hand, do so in a new climate: one of serenity and repose.
It is also the feast of Saint Pachomius (4th century), of Saint Gregory (11th century), of Saint Gerontius (6th century), and of the Holy Prophet Isaias (7th century ante Christum).
V. Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum. R. Deo grátias.