Sr Eleanor continues her series on the Entrance Antiphon for the Mass during the season of Eastertide.
Cry out with joy to God, all the earth; O sing to the glory of his name. O render him glorious praise, alleluia. (Ps 65 :1-2 – sung with verses from the same psalm)
Psalm 65 is a song of rejoicing in the power of God, power made manifest in God’s “mighty deeds” in the history of the people and in the life of the individual singer of the psalm. The opening lines of the psalm provide the text of today’s entrance antiphon; the psalm continues, “Say to God, How tremendous your deeds! Because of the greatness of your strength, your enemies cringe before you!” The last enemy to be overcome by God, St Paul tells us in 1 Cor 15:26, is death. Death has been definitively overcome by Jesus through his own death and resurrection. We celebrated this at Easter; we continue to celebrate it intensely throughout the fifty days of Eastertide until Pentecost.
This great strength and mighty power of God, this conquering of the power of darkness, is not something reserved for only a few people to experience; it is available for the whole world. So the whole world, all the earth, is invited to join the joyful song of glorious praise to God. What God does for us can never be hugged to ourselves alone; of its nature what God does for us in Christ pushes us out beyond ourselves, to share our experience with others and calling them to celebrate with us. Come and hear, all who fear God; I will tell what he did for my soul! the psalm says in a later verse. Of its nature, the Good News is for proclaiming; of its nature the Church, made up of those who have heard and believe the Good News, is missionary. What God has done for us in Christ cannot be kept to ourselves.
In the Liturgy of the Hours, psalm 65 is assigned to Sundays. In the monastery, we sing it at Vigils, during the hours of darkness, when it is still night, the time when, just as at the Easter Vigil, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ from the dead. It calls over and over again on everybody, everybody, to come and see the works of God, to hear about what God has done, and to respond with joy and praise and blessing. On this third Sunday of Easter at the beginning of Mass by placing this psalm on our lips the liturgy invites us to ponder and enter still more deeply into an appreciation of the Easter mystery which we ‘remember’ in this Eucharist.
Here is the Latin chant version of this antiphon:
You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAOACCjbxgM
(the Graduale Project)