|Jesus Enters Jerusalem, by Giotto|
We practiced at lunchtime and after school for months to master the Palm Sunday music, and I took the responsibility very seriously. Getting dressed that morning I felt especially proud as I again donned the white veil that I had worn at my first Communion. Spring was more fickle back then, and I recall also having to don boots for my walk to church through the freshly fallen snow.
I took a divine pleasure in singing Latin. To this day I still remember one of the first antiphonal pieces we sang as the celebrant blessed the palm, enveloping it in a cloud of incense and sprinkling it with holy water:
Ingrediente Domino in sanctam civitatem,
Hebraeorum pueri resurrectionem vitae pronuntiantes,
Cum ramis palmarum: «Hosanna, clamabant, in excelsis.»
As the Lord entered the holy city,
The children of the Hebrews proclaimed the resurrection of life.
Waving their branches of palm, they cried: "Hosanna in the highest."
Earlier this week I searched the Internet for that bit of nostalgia. To my surprise I found it, and to my even greater surprise I discovered that the setting we used to sing was composed by Franz Schubert!
So here it is:
We sang it a bit more andante but with the same sforzando.
My spiritual journey has guided me to a worship space of exterior and interior calm and simplicity, far from music and other elaborate liturgical trappings. Yet those early experiences are a part of me still.