Into the Desert
Lent begins this week, with Ash Wednesday. We associate Lent with a time of both repentance and hopeful renewal. The life of our Lord Jesus becomes a model for us to contemplate in a deeper way.
The first Sunday in Lent often includes the Gospel account of Jesus being led into the desert, where we has tempted by Satan, and fasted for 40 days and nights before beginning his earthly ministry.
This story is aptly portrayed in the Gospel Canticle Antiphon, Ductus est Jesus. This Mode I antiphon sticks to the lower part of the Modal range throughout, only touching on the Reciting Note LA three times, and never ascending above this pitch. It gives the piece a sense of gravity and mystery. One thing to note are the quilismas (saw-toothed notes) on the word Spiritu. They give an upward sense of energy to the text.
“Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit, that he might be tempted by the devil; and when he had fasted for forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry”.