Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song
Be anxious about nothing
Yesterday, the beginning of the 3rd week of Advent, has long been known as “Gaudete” or “Rejoicing” Sunday. The chant introit, Gaudete in Domino (Rejoice in the Lord always), is something of a surprise. Rather than being a boisterous and rousing paean, this chant is quite gentle in comparison to last week’s introit trumpeting the arrival of the King.
This chant remains primarily in the lower part of the mode, save for the word “nihil” (nothing) within the text “Be anxious about nothing.” Also, rather than sweeping up to this high point with a horn-call motive, it is actually reached by a slowly climbing melody from which this highest note springs as the natural climax. What an incredible underscoring of this text which tells us to rejoice in all situations.
Equally important is the humility portrayed in this chant, rising only to its highest point at this blessed command from God to be anxious about nothing. Otherwise, the rejoicing we find here is not so much exuberance as assuredness that God himself is coming.