3rd Sunday of Lent (Year A, 2011)

Entrance Your love is finer than life (Marty Haugen)
Sprinkling Rite Springs of Water (Marty Haugen)
Psalm O that today (Chris O’Hara)
Gospel Acclamation Praise to you, O Christ (James Walsh)
Preparation of the Gifts Sitivit anima mea (G.P. da Palestrina, c.1525-1594)
Sanctus, Acclamation, Amen Mass XVII
Agnus Dei Mass XVII
Communion Come to me and drink (Bob Hurd)
Recessional Guide me, O thou great redeemer

Today’s readings and propers contained a host of images of thirst, drinking, springs and water. The Communion antiphon was from John 4:13:

Whoever drinks the water that I shall give him, says the Lord
will have a spring inside him, welling up for eternal life.

Bob Hurd’s Communion processional song sets a similar image from later in St John’s Gospel (7:37-38):

Let anyone who is thirsty come to me.
Let anyone who believes in me come and drink. As scripture says, from his heart shall flow streams of living water.

We sang the verse citing this image, and those adapted from verses of Psalm 42:

My soul is thirsting for God,
the living God;
when can I enter and appear
before the face of God?

My tears have become my bread,
by day, by night,
as they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”

These same verses were also the text of Palestrina’s serenely beautiful motet, the second of a pair with the more familiar Sicut Cervus. The challenge in rehearsal was not to let the beauty of the music completely veil the haunting sadness of the words.

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