These are the opening verses of the Prophet Jeremiah's lamentations. A mournful and splendid setting of the Lamentatio was written around 1650 by the Mexican Indian composer Juan de Lienas. Joel Cohen, the director of the IOW Boston Camerata writes about it, "Did the mostly-Indian choirsingers of the Mexico [City] Cathedral ever meditate on their recent history and on the fall of the Aztec empire as they sang these mournful, Old Testament texts?" Sadly, the Evangelical influence on the Catholic church of the U.S.M. has stifled much of Mexico's baroque choral traditions, though the church of San Juan de Cantio in Monticello, Jefferson, perhaps under the influence of the traditional liturgies of the nearby bastion of C.N.A. Catholicism that is UNO, has been a forefront in the revival of early Mexican liturgical music and traditions, though it remains to spread to the large, consumerized churches of the Mexican heartland.
(Return to The Reproaches.)