Matins: Invitatory from the Office of the Dead
Part of an ongoing work to typeset and record the Office of the Dead:
I stayed up late recording Matins, all three nocturns, nearly two hours of audio. Here's the first part - the Invitatory - Psalm 94.
My impression is that the monks would often run late for Matins as getting up in the middle of the night is a herculean task. So, to give them a little 5 minute grace period, they would always start with Psalm 94, which is kind of a combination of "Come, let us adore Him" and "God's been really patient with us, this is the least we can do to thank Him". I'm happy to hear if you have any other views on the role of the Invitatory.
In the modern day Liturgy of the Hours, the Invitatory has become an independent piece to be sung at the beginning of whatever hour you say first in a day.
You notice the short antiphon is repeated between each stanza. The cantor would lead with the antiphon, then everyone would repeat it (that's why I sing it twice at the beginning), then the cantor sing the verses and every join in on the antiphons. The Liber and other books only give the first few notes of the Antiphon to start you off, but to make this really easy, I've pasted the full music on the screen, so I hope I hear you singing along with me!