An early Sarum Missal specifies the antiphon Invocantes Dominum
, with the Psalm Deus, qui venerunt
(Psalm 79 in the Authorized Version numbering), for Rogationtide processions in time of war, and it is possible to imagine many occasions when these texts might have been employed with reference to crusading fortunes. For example, in 1185 the Patriarch of Jerusalem came to England to seek military aid, offering King Henry II the crown of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in return. Henry eventually declined this offer on 18 March. The situation in the Latin Kingdom was now so serious that a procession in the three days of intercession, fasting and prayer before the Feast of the Ascension might have seemed timely, especially as memories of the Patriarch’s visit some weeks earlier would still have been fresh in the minds of the English clergy. The texts of Invocantes Dominum
and of Psalm 79 seem both eloquent and precise when read in such a context. Psalm 79 was often used in crusade preaching.
from notes by Christopher Page © 1998