It might have been two decades ago that I saw “Memorial Acclamation E” printed in a missalette:
Keep in mind
that Jesus Christ has died for us
and is risen from the dead.
He is our saving Lord,
he is joy for all ages.
I’ve not seen it presented in print amidst the Eucharistic Prayers since, but I know the occasional priest or musician still uses it. The debate about “unapproved” acclamations is not the point of this post. I’m more interested in the genesis of the idea. And also your comments on why this antiphon has probably had the longest staying power of all the “unapproved” memorial acclamations.
The text of the verses are based on 2 Timothy 2:8-12, a portion of which Scripture scholars think is a quoted ancient hymn by the epistle author.
I remember the 1965 piece from my pre-Catholic days, singing along with a Lucien Deiss vinyl record being played over the classroom loudspeaker. Even then, I was struck by the use of half notes to draw out the last word, “ages.”
I like the piece well enough. It adapts well to piano or guitar ensemble from organ. I think the different melody for verses 1-2 and 3-6 is slightly distracting. But I like the brevity of the verses and the emphasis on the antiphon. And about that antiphon, it uses the third-person address of God, like “Christ Has Died.” Without getting too particular about the text, I’m a doubter on the notion of singing as if we’re preaching to ourselves. Or the composer is catechizing us. I prefer the second-person direct address of God. But variety is also a good thing, if handled well.
This piece of music would be a clear example of a closeness to the pre-conciliar plainsong tradition. The music, while unmetered, does have an easy pulse. Congregations would recognize it having a regular rhythm, perhaps in one if not three, shifting to something of a march for the verses.