Alleluia

The word "Alleluia" or "Hallelujah" (from Hebrew הללו יה) literally means "Praise the Lord".[1][2][3][4][5]

The form "Alleluia" is also used to refer to a liturgical chant in which that word is combined with verses of Scripture, usually from the Psalms. This chant is commonly used before the proclamation of the Gospel.

Alleluia Vigilia Nativitatis
Alleluia for Christmas Eve, with Jubilus (verse has been omitted)

History

The Hebrew word Halleluya as an expression of praise to God was preserved, untranslated, by the Early Christians as a superlative expression of thanksgiving, joy, and triumph. Thus it appears in the ancient Greek Liturgy of St. James, which is still used to this day by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and, in its Syriac recension is the prototype of that used by the Maronites. In the Liturgy of St. Mark, apparently the most ancient of all, we find this rubric: "Then follow Let us attend, the Apostle, and the Prologue of the Alleluia."—the "Apostle" is the usual ancient Eastern title for the Epistle reading, and the "Prologue of the Alleluia" would seem to be a prayer or verse before Alleluia was sung by the choir.

Western use

Roman rite

Alleluia Vidimus Stellam
Example of a pre-Gospel Alleluia with verse

In the Roman Rite the word "Alleluia" is associated with joy and is especially favoured in Paschal time, the time between Easter and Pentecost, perhaps because of the association of the Hallel (Alleluia psalms) chanted at Passover. During this time, the word is added widely to verses and responses associated with prayers, to antiphons of psalms, and, during the Octave of Easter and on Pentecost Sunday, to the dismissal at the end of Mass ("Ite missa est").

On the other hand, the word "Alleluia" is excluded from the Roman liturgy during Lent,[6] often euphemistically referred to during this time as the "A-word".[7][8][9] In pre-1970 forms of the Roman Rite it is excluded also in the pre-Lenten Septuagesima period and in Masses for the Dead. The same word, which normally follows the Gloria Patri at the beginning of each hour of the Liturgy of the Hours and which in the present ordinary form of the Roman Rite is omitted during Lent, is replaced in pre-1970 forms by the phrase Laus tibi, Domine, rex aeternae gloriae (Praise to thee, O Lord, king of eternal glory) in Lent and the Septuagesima period.

The term "Alleluia" is used also to designate a chant beginning and ending with this word and including a verse of Scripture, in particular a chant to greet and welcome the Lord whose word will be proclaimed in the Gospel reading. The choir or a cantor sings "Alleluia". The congregation repeats this. The choir or cantor then sings a verse taken from the Mass Lectionary or the Roman Gradual, after which the congregation again sings "Alleluia". In Lent the verse alone is sung or the word "Alleluia" is replaced by a different acclamation taken from the Gradual. If singing is not used, the Alleluia and its verse may be omitted at any season.[10][11][12]

The complex plainchant setting in the Roman Gradual requires a high degree of skill and is mostly used only in monasteries and seminaries.[11] This melismatic Gregorian chant opens with the cantor singing "Alleluia". The choir repeats it, adding to the final syllable a long melisma called a jubilus. (The Liber Usualis notates the repeat with the Roman numeral "ij" (2) and continues with the jubilus.) The cantor then sings the main part of the verse, and the choir joins in on the final line. The cantor then repeats the opening Alleluia, and the choir repeats only the jubilus. The music is generally ornate, but often within a narrow range. The Alleluia for Christmas Eve, for instance, has an ambitus of only a perfect fifth, a rather extreme example.

Alleluias were frequently troped, both with added music and text. It is believed that some early Sequences derived from syllabic text being added to the jubilus, and may be named after the opening words of the Alleluia verse. Alleluias were also among the more frequently used chants to create early organa, such as in the Winchester Troper.

In the pre-1970 form of the Roman-Rite Mass the Alleluia and its verse is replaced during Lent and Septuagesima time by a Tract. On the other hand, during Eastertide the Gradual is replaced with an Alleluia chant, thus putting two such chants before the Gospel reading.

Eastern uses

Byzantine rite

Alleluiarion
Psalm 91 ᾿Αγαθὸν τὸ ἐξομολογεῖσθαι τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ ψάλλειν τῷ ὀνόματί σου with the alleluiaria in echos plagios tetartos (allelouia refrains written in red ink before the echos plagios section) in a kontakarion about 1300 (F-Pn fonds grec, Ms. 397, f.43r)

In the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches, after reading the Apostle (Epistle) at the Divine Liturgy, the Reader announces which of the Eight Tones the Alleluia is to be chanted in. The response of the choir is always the same: "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia." What differs is the tone in which it is sung, and the stichera (psalm verses) which are intoned by the Reader.

The Alleluia is paired with the Prokeimenon which preceded the reading of the Apostle. There may be either one or two Alleluias, depending upon the number of Prokeimena (there may be up to three readings from the Apostle, but never be more than two Prokeimena and Alleluia).

In the Russian/Slavic order, the Alleluia is intoned in one of the two following manners, depending upon the number of Prokeimena (The Antiochian/Byzantine practice is slightly different):

One Alleluia

Deacon: "Let us attend."
Reader: "Alleluia in the ____ Tone."
Choir: "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."
The Reader then chants the first sticheron of the Alleluia.
Choir: "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."
The Reader then chants the second sticheron of the Alleluia.
Choir: "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."

Two Alleluias

Deacon: "Let us attend."
Reader: "Alleluia in the ____ Tone:" Then he immediately chants the first sticheron of the first Alleluia.
Choir: "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."
The Reader then chants the second sticheron of the first Alleluia.
Choir: "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."
Reader: "In the ____ Tone:" And he chants the first sticheron of the second Alleluia.
Choir: "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."

Lenten Alleluia

Among the Orthodox, the chanting of Alleluia does not cease during Lent, as it does in the West. This is in accordance with the Orthodox approach to fasting, which is one of sober joy. During the weekdays of Great Lent and certain days during the lesser Lenten seasons (Nativity Fast, Apostles' Fast, and Dormition Fast), the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on weekdays is not permitted. Instead, Alleluia is chanted at Matins. Since this chanting of Alleluia at Matins is characteristic of Lenten services, Lenten days are referred to as "Days with Alleluia."

The Alleluia at Matins is not related to scripture readings or Prokeimena; instead, it replaces "God is the Lord..." It is sung in the Tone of the Week and is followed by the Hymns to the Trinity (Triadica) in the same tone (see Octoechos for an explanation of the eight-week cycle of tones).

"God is the Lord..." would normally be intoned by the deacon, but since the deacon does not serve on days with Alleluia, it is intoned by the priest. He stands in front of the icon of Christ on the Iconostasis, and says:

Priest: "Alleluia in the ____ Tone: Out of the night my spirit waketh at dawn unto Thee, O God, for Thy commandments are a light upon the earth."
Choir: "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."
Priest: "Learn righteousness, ye that dwell upon the earth."
Choir: "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."
Priest: "Zeal shall lay hold upon an uninstructed people."
Choir: "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."
Priest: "Add more evils upon them, O Lord, lay more evils upon them that are glorious upon the earth."
Choir: "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."

Alleluia for the departed

Alleluia is also chanted to a special melody at funerals, memorial services (Greek: Parastas, Slavonic: Panikhida), and on Saturdays of the Dead. Again, it is chanted in place of "God is the Lord...", but this time is followed by the Troparia of the Departed.

The Alleluia is intoned by the deacon (or the priest, if no deacon is available):

Deacon: "Alleluia, in the 8th tone: Blessed are they whom Thou hast chosen and taken unto Thyself, O Lord."
Choir: "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia."
Deacon: "Their memory is from generation to generation."
Choir: "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia."
Deacon: "Their souls will dwell amid good things."
Choir: "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia."

On Saturdays of the Dead, which are celebrated several times throughout the year, the prokeimenon at Vespers is also replaced with Alleluia, which is chanted in the following manner:

Deacon: "Alleluia, in the 8th tone.
Choir: "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia."
Deacon: "Blessed are they whom Thou hast chosen and taken unto Thyself, O Lord."
Choir: "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia."
Deacon: "Their memory is from generation to generation."
Choir: "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia."

Other uses

Gospel readings are appointed for other services as well, particularly those in the Trebnik. A number of these are preceded by an Alleluia, in the same manner as that chanted at the Divine Liturgy, though sometimes there are no stichera (psalm verses).

During the Sacred Mystery (Sacrament) of Baptism, in addition to the Alleluia before the Gospel, the choir also chants an Alleluia while the priest pours the Oil of Catechumens into the baptismal font.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Hallelujah, also spelled Alleluia". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  2. ^ "Eugene E. Carpenter, Philip Wesley Comfort, Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words (B&H Publishing Group 2000 ISBN 9780805493528), p. 298".
  3. ^ "Michael L. Brown, 60 Questions Christians Ask About Jewish Beliefs and Practices (Chosen Books 2007 ISBN 9780800794262), p. 63".
  4. ^ "Donald S. Armentrout, Robert Boak Slocum, An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church (Church Publishing 2005 ISBN 9780898692112), p. 234".
  5. ^ St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (ed.), "notes to Psalms 104-106", Orthodox Study Bible, Thomas Nelson, p. 751
  6. ^ "Chapter II: The Structure Of The Mass, Its Elements, And Its Parts". General Instruction Of The Roman Missal. usccb.org. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  7. ^ https://www.dominicanajournal.org/the-a-word/
  8. ^ https://stmarymagdalenchoir.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/music-for-lent-%E2%80%93-understanding-the-solemnity-of-the-lenten-season/
  9. ^ https://anunslife.org/blog/nun-talk/lent-and-the-a-word
  10. ^ General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 62−63]
  11. ^ a b Edward McNamara, "LITURGY Q & A: The Alleluia Before the Gospel in ZENIT, 6 June 2017
  12. ^ Jeff Ostrowski, "Gospel Acclamation During Lent"
  • Hoppin, Richard. Medieval Music. New York: Norton, 1978.
  • "Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds. grec, Ms. 397". Incomplete Kontakarion (Prokeimena, Stichologia for Christmas and Theophany, Allelouiaria, Hypakoai anastasima, kontakia) in short psaltikon style with Middle Byzantine Round notation (late 13th c.).

External links

Alleluia (film)

Alleluia is a 2014 Belgian-French drama film directed by Fabrice Du Welz. It was screened as part of the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. It received eight nominations at the 6th Magritte Awards, including Best Director for Du Welz.

Fraction (religion)

The Fraction is the ceremonial act of breaking the consecrated bread during the Eucharistic rite in some Christian denominations.

Gradual

The Gradual (Latin: graduale or responsorium graduale) is a chant or hymn in the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, and among some other Christians. It gets its name from the Latin gradus meaning step because it was once chanted on the step of the ambo or altar. In the Tridentine Mass it is sung after the reading or chanting of the Epistle and before the Alleluia, or, during penitential seasons, before the Tract. In the Mass of Paul VI, the Gradual is usually replaced with the Responsorial Psalm. Although the Gradual remains an option in the Mass of Paul VI, its use is extremely rare outside monasteries. The Gradual is part of the Proper of the Mass.

Gradual can also refer to a book collecting all the musical items of the Mass. The official such book for the Roman Rite is the Roman Gradual (in Latin, Graduale Romanum). Other such books include the Dominican Gradual.

Hallelujah

Hallelujah ( HAL-i-LOO-yə) is an English interjection. It is a transliteration of the Hebrew word הַלְלוּיָהּ (Modern Hebrew haleluya, Tiberian haləlûyāh), which is composed of two elements: הַלְלוּ (second-person imperative masculine plural form of the Hebrew verb hillel: an exhortation to "praise" addressed to several people) and יָהּ (the name of God Yah).The term is used 24 times in the Hebrew Bible (in the book of Psalms), twice in deuterocanonical books, and four times in the Christian Book of Revelation.The word is used in Judaism as part of the Hallel prayers, and in Christian prayer, where since the earliest times it is used in various ways in liturgies, especially those of the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, both of which use the form "alleluia" which is based on the alternative Greek transliteration.

Hard Rock Hallelujah

"Hard Rock Hallelujah" is a song by Finnish hard rock band Lordi. "Hard Rock Hallelujah" was released as a single in 2006, reaching the #1 spot in Finland and also peaking in the UK Top 40 at #25.Lordi performed "Hard Rock Hallelujah" in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest and won the contest with 292 points. It was voted as the most popular Finnish Eurovision entry in the forty years the country had participated. It held the record for most points until it was beaten by "Fairytale" by Alexander Rybak of Norway with 387 points three years later. On 26 May 2009, the Finns broke a world record for karaoke songs, when about 80,000 people sang "Hard Rock Hallelujah" on Helsinki's Market Square.

Hyfrydol

Hyfrydol (Welsh pronunciation: [həvˈrədɔl], meaning "cheerful") is a Welsh hymn tune that appears in a number of Christian hymnals in various arrangements. Composed by Rowland Prichard, it was originally published in the composer's handbook to the children's songbook Cyfaill y Cantorion ("The Singers' Friend"). Prichard composed the tune before he was twenty years old.

L'ascension

L'Ascension ("The Ascension") is a piece for orchestra, composed by Olivier Messiaen in 1932–33. Messiaen described it as "4 meditations for orchestra".The orchestral piece is in four brief sections:

Majesté du Christ demandant sa gloire à son Père ("The majesty of Christ demanding his glory of the Father")

Alleluias sereins d’une âme qui désire le ciel ("Serene alleluias of a soul that longs for heaven")

Alleluia sur la trompette, alleluia sur la cymbale ("Alleluia on the trumpet, alleluia on the cymbal")

Prière du Christ montant vers son Père ("Prayer of Christ ascending towards his Father")A complete performance takes around 27 minutes.

Lasst uns erfreuen

"Lasst uns erfreuen herzlich sehr" (Let us rejoice most heartily) is a hymn tune that originated from Germany in 1623, and which found widespread popularity after The English Hymnal published a 1906 version in strong triple meter with new lyrics. The triumphant melody and repeated "Alleluia" phrases have supported the tune's widespread usage during the Easter season and other festive occasions, especially with the English texts "Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones" and "All Creatures of Our God and King".

The tune's first known appearance was in the 1623 hymnal Auserlesene, Catholische, Geistliche Kirchengesäng (Selected Catholic Spiritual Church-Songs) during the Counter-Reformation and the Thirty Years' War, and the oldest published version that still exists is from 1625. The original 1623 hymnal was edited by Friedrich Spee, an influential Jesuit priest, professor, and activist against witch-hunts, who is often credited as the hymn's composer and original lyricist. The 1906 hymnal was edited by notable composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, whose arrangement of the hymn has become the standard for English-speaking churches.

List of concert arias, songs and canons by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

This is a list of concert arias, songs and canons by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

List of teams and cyclists in the 1928 Tour de France

The 1928 Tour de France was the 22nd tour and featured the first appearance of an Australian-New Zealand team, indicating the beginning of a more international sporting field.Tour director Henri Desgrange allowed teams to replace exhausted or injured cyclist by new cyclists, to give the weaker teams a fairer chance. However, the effects were opposite, so the concept was quickly abandoned.

O filii et filiæ

O filii et filiae is a Christian hymn celebrating Easter. As commonly found in hymnals today, it comprises twelve stanzas of the form:

O filii et filiae

Rex caelestis, Rex gloriae

Morte surrexit hodie.

Alleluia.It was written by Jean Tisserand, O.F.M. (d. 1494), a preacher, and originally comprised but nine stanzas (those commencing with "Discipulis adstantibus", "Postquam audivit Didymus", "Beati qui non viderunt" being early additions to the hymn). "L'aleluya du jour de Pasques" is a trope on the versicle and response (closing Lauds and Vespers) which it prettily enshrines in the last two stanzas:

In hoc festo sanctissimo

Sit laus et jubilatio:

BENEDICAMUS DOMINO.–Alleluia.

De quibus nos humillimas

Devotas atque debitas

DEO dicamus GRATIAS.–Alleluia.The hymn was very popular in France, whence it has spread to other countries. Guéranger's Liturgical Year (Paschal Time, Part I, tr., Dublin, 1871, pp. 190–192) entitles it "The Joyful Canticle" and gives Latin text with English prose translation, with a triple Alleluia preceding and following the hymn. As given in hymnals, however, this triple Alleluia is sung also between the stanzas (see "The Roman Hymnal", New York, 1884, p. 200). In Lalanne, "Recueil d'anciens et de nouveaux cantiques notés" (Paris, 1886, p. 223) greater particularity is indicated in the distribution of the stanzas and of the Alleluias. The triple Alleluia is sung by one voice, is repeated by the choir, and the solo takes up the first stanza with its Alleluia. The choir then sings the triple Alleluia, the second stanza with its Alleluia, and repeats the triple Alleluia. The alternation of solo and chorus thus continues, until the last stanza with its Alleluia, followed by the triple Alleluia, is sung by one voice. "It is scarcely possible for any one, not acquainted with the melody, to imagine the jubilant effect of the triumphant Alleluia attached to apparently less important circumstances of the Resurrection. It seems to speak of the majesty of that event, the smallest portions of which are worthy to be so chronicled" (Neale, "Medieval Hymns and Sequences", 3rd ed., p. 163). The rhythm of the hymn is that of number and not of accent or of classical quantity. The melody to which it is sung can scarcely be divorced from the lilt of triple time. As a result, there is to English ears a very frequent conflict between the accent of the Latin words and the real, however unintentional, stress of the melody: e.g.: Et Máriá Magdálená, Sed Jóannés Apóstol&ús, Ad sépulchr&úm venít pri&ús, etc. A number of hymnals give the melody in plain-song notation, and (theoretically, at least) this would permit the accented syllables of the Latin text to receive an appropriate stress of the voice. Commonly, however, the hymnals adopt the modern triple time (e.g., the "Nord-Sterns Führers zur Seeligkeit", 1671; the "Roman Hymnal", 1884; "Hymns Ancient and Modern", rev. ed.). Perhaps it was this conflict of stress and word-accent that led Neale to speak of the "rude simplicity" of the poem and to ascribe the hymn to the twelfth century in the Contents-page of his volume (although the note prefixed to his own translation assigns the hymn to the thirteenth century). Migne, "Dict. de Liturgie" (s. v. Pâques, 959) also declares it to be very ancient. It is only very recently that its authorship has been discovered, the "Dict. of Hymnology" (2nd ed., 1907) tracing it back only to the year 1659, although Shipley ("Annus Sanctus", London, 1884, p. xxiii) found it in a Roman Processional of the sixteenth century.

The hymn was assigned in the various French Paroissiens to the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, on Easter Sunday. There are several translations into English verse by non-Catholics, notably "O sons and daughters" by John Mason Neale. The Catholic translations comprise one by an anonymous author in the "Evening Office", 1748 ("Young men and maids, rejoice and sing"), Father Caswall's "Ye sons and daughters of the Lord" and Charles Kent's "O maids and striplings, hear love's story", all three being given in Shipley, "Annus Sanctus". The Latin texts vary both in the arrangement and the wording of the stanzas; and the plain-song and modernized settings also vary not a little.

The melody has been used as the inspiration for numerous organ pieces, including variations by Naji Hakim and Alexandre Guilmant.

Pascha Nostrum

Pascha Nostrum is a hymn sometimes used by Christians during Easter season. The title is Latin for "Our Passover," and the text consists of the words of several verses of Scripture: 1 Corinthians 5:7–8, Romans 6:9–11, and 1 Corinthians 15:20–22.

The Latin text is: Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus, alleluia: itaque epulemur in azymis sinceritatis et veritatis, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

After the Reformation it was preserved (in an English translation) in the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer, appointed to be said in place of the Venite at Morning Prayer on Easter Day. In some churches it may be used in place of the Gloria in Excelsis during the Easter season, especially at the Easter Vigil. It has been put to many different musical settings.

In some Anglican churches, the first verse of it is used as a Fraction Anthem.

In the Catholic Church, in masses celebrated according to Divine Worship: The Missal, the first verse is said or sung responsively by the priest and congregation after the sign of peace as the priest breaks the host. It is followed by the comixture and the singing of the Agnus Dei.

The words in English, as printed in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church, are as follows:

Alleluia.

Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us;

therefore let us keep the feast,

Not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil,

but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.

Christ being raised from the dead will never die again;

death no longer has dominion over him.

The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all;

but the life he lives, he lives to God.

So also consider yourselves dead to sin,

and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.

Christ has been raised from the dead,

the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

For since by a man came death,

by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die,

so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.

Regina caeli

Regina caeli (Ecclesiastical Latin: [reˈdʒina ˈtʃeli]; English: Queen of Heaven) is a musical antiphon addressed to the Blessed Virgin Mary that is used in the liturgy of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church during the Easter season, from Easter Sunday until Pentecost. During this season, it is the Marian antiphon that ends Compline (Night Prayer) and it takes the place of the traditional thrice-daily Angelus prayer.

In the past, the spelling Regina coeli was sometimes used, but this spelling is no longer found in official liturgical books.

Sequence (musical form)

A sequence (Latin: sequentia, plural: sequentiae) is a chant or hymn sung or recited during the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist for many Christian denominations, before the proclamation of the Gospel. By the time of the Council of Trent (1543–1563) there were sequences for many feasts in the Church's year.

The sequence has always been sung before the Gospel. The 2002 edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, however, reversed the order and places the sequence before the Alleluia.The form of this chant inspired a genre of Latin poetry written in a non-classical metre, often on a sacred Christian subject, which is also called a sequence.

Song for Athene

"Song for Athene" (also known as "Alleluia. May Flights of Angels Sing Thee to Thy Rest") is a musical composition by British composer John Tavener with lyrics by Mother Thekla, an Orthodox nun, which is intended to be sung a cappella by a four-part (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) choir. It is Tavener's best known work, having been performed by the Westminster Abbey Choir conducted by Martin Neary at the

funeral service of Diana, Princess of Wales, on 6 September 1997 as her cortège departed from Westminster Abbey.Commissioned by the BBC, the piece was written in April 1993 by Tavener as a tribute to Athene Hariades, a young half-Greek actress who was a family friend killed in a cycling accident. At the time that she died, Athene Hariades was working as a teacher of English and Drama at the Hellenic College of London. Tavener said of Hariades: "Her beauty, both outward and inner, was reflected in her love of acting, poetry, music and of the Orthodox Church." He had heard her reading Shakespeare in Westminster Abbey, and after her funeral, developed the idea of composing a song which combined words from the Orthodox funeral service and Shakespeare's Hamlet. The work was published by Chester Music in 1997.

Symphony No. 30 (Haydn)

The Symphony No. 30 in C major, Hoboken I/30, is a symphony by Joseph Haydn composed in 1765, at the age of 33. It is nicknamed the Alleluia Symphony because of Haydn's use of a Gregorian Alleluia chant in the opening movement.

Tract (liturgy)

The tract (Latin: tractus) is part of the proper of the Christian liturgical celebration of the Eucharist, used instead of the Alleluia in Lent or Septuagesima, in a Requiem Mass, and other penitential occasions, when the joyousness of an Alleluia is deemed inappropriate. Tracts are not, however, necessarily sorrowful.

The name apparently derives from either the drawn-out style of singing or the continuous structure without a refrain. There is evidence, however, that the earliest performances were sung responsorially, and it is probable that these were dropped at an early stage.

In their final form, tracts are a series of psalm verses; rarely a complete psalm, but all of the verses from the same psalm. They are restricted to only two modes, the second and the eighth. The melodies follow centonization patterns more strongly than anywhere else in the repertoire; a typical tract is almost exclusively a succession of such formulas. The cadences are nearly always elaborate melismas. Tracts with multiple verses are some of the longest chants in the Liber Usualis.

A modern-day, post-Vatican II, Mass of Pope Paul VI (Novus Ordo) Tract, a simple version, can be found here in this recording of a Lent Mass.

Vidi aquam

Vidi aquam is the name of an antiphon, which may be sung during the Latin Rite Catholic Mass. It accompanies the Asperges, the ritual at the beginning of Mass where the celebrant sprinkles the congregation with baptismal water.

It is sung from Easter Sunday throughout the liturgical season of Eastertide until the feast of Pentecost.

The text refers to the words of the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 47:1), who saw the waters gushing forth from the Temple as a sanctifying flood that flows through the earth.

If the sprinkling rite occurs outside Eastertide, the simpler antiphon Asperges Me usually replaces Vidi aquam.

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