Messiaen himself saw fit to provide listeners with comments for this cycle. At the first performances, the programme sheet included the following comments:

“The emotion, the sincerity of the musical work. [… ] Which will be expressed by melodic and harmonic means: the progressive increase in intervals, the chord on the dominant, pedals, embroidery and enlarged appoggiaturas.

Even more so by rhythmic means: rhythms immediately preceded or followed by their augmentation and sometimes added with a short value (the half-unit of added value) [… ].

The theological subject? The best, since it contains all subjects. And the abundance of technical means allows the heart to flow freely.”