Sunday, 26 March 2017

Fourth Sunday in Lent

The Fourth Sunday in Lent is known as Laetare Sunday after the opening words of the Introit at its Mass Laetare, Jerusalem - Rejoice Jerusalem - and is also known as 'mid-Lent' Sunday and is also 'Mothering Sunday' in many countries including the United Kingdom. It is a semi-double Sunday of the first class. The distinguishing feature of this Sunday, in relatively modern times, is the permitted, though not by any measure of obligation, use of rose-coloured vestments. Rose is perceived as a lighter shade of violet and the use of rose vestments developed from the older praxis of a golden rose being given to female monarchs by the pope on this day. Cardinals of the Court of Rome wore rose watered-silk choir dress too on this Sunday along with the corresponding Gaudete Sunday in Advent. For the rest of Lent Cardinals wore their 'winter violet' merino cassock, mantelletum and mozzeta (not the violet watered silk of their 'summer' violet). This practice disappeared during the 1920s. There is no obligation whatsoever to wear rose and the older praxis of violet vestments, with the deacon and subdeacon in dalmatic and tunicle respecitively, not folded chasubles, may be maintained.

Vespers yesterday morning were second Vespers of the feast of the Annunciation. The antiphons Missus est etc were sung, doubled, with Pss. 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147. The chapter was proper to the feast and the Office hymn was Ave Maris stella. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect, were again, proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday was sung. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung. Te lucis, was sung with the Doxology in honour of the Incarnation, Jesu tibi sit gloria etc. The Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is, as on the previous Sundays of Lent, Non sit vobis and the Office hymn is Ex more. The antiphons given in the Psalter for Sundays are used. In the first nocturn the lessons are from Exodus and the story of Moses and the Burning Bush. In the second nocturn the lessons are from the writings of St. Basil the Great on fasting and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Augustine on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the antiphons, Tunc acceptabis etc., are proper to the Sunday and the second scheme of Psalms sung (50, 117, 62, the canticle Benedictus es, 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and hymn is O sol salutis. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons, Accepit ergo etc., are proper to the Sunday. At Prime the psalms are 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two divisi of Ps. 118. The Dominical preces are sung and the short lesson is Quaerite Dominum.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is not sung. The second collect is A cunctis, the third collect Omnipotens. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Credo is sung, the preface is of Lent and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the celebrant and altar. As folded chasubles are not worn the organ may be played. As noted above violet vestments may be used in the absence of rose, or in preference to it, in which case the deacon and subdeacon wear the dalmatic and tunicle not folded chasubles.

Vespers are of the Sunday. Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113 are sung. The Office hymn is Audi benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. John Damascene. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Vespers yesterday were sung at the same time as outside of Lent. At Compline the ordinary Doxology is sung with Te lucis. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are is no Suffrage. At Prime the psalms are 53 and the first two divisi of Ps. 118. The preces are omitted. At Mass there is only a single collect. The dismissal is Ite, missa est. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Third Sunday in Lent


The third Sunday in Lent is a semi-double Sunday of the first class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericope from St. Luke at Mattins and Mass recounts the LORD casting out evil from a demoniac. The feast of St. Joseph Spouse of the BVM is transferred to Monday.

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms were of Saturday, the chapter was proper to the Sunday, and the Office hymn was Audi, benigne conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration was sung of the preceding feast of St. Cyril of Jerusalemen. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline due to the double feast.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the Office hymn is Ex more, as on the other Sundays in Lent. The antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung. In the first nocturn the lessons are from Genesis and the story of Joseph, his coat of many colours and his brothers casting him into a pit. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the Book of St. Augustine on Joseph. In the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of the Venerable Bede on St. Luke's Gospel. A ninth responsory, Lamentabatur Jacob, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Fac benigne etc., and the second scheme of Psalms sung (50, 117, 62, Benedictus es, 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn is O sol salutis. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Et cum ejecisset Jesus etc. At Prime the psalms are Pss. 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two divisi of Ps. 118. The Dominical preces are sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The deacon and subdeacon wear violet folded chasubles. There is no Gloria. The second collect is A cunctis, the third collect Omnipotens. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Credo is sung, the preface is of Lent and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the altar and celebrant.

In the afternoon the liturgical colour changes to white and first Vespers of the feast of St. Joseph are sung. The proper antiphons Jacob autem etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn is Te, Joseph, celebrent agmina caelitum. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung. The Suffrage is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at Vespers which are sung in the afternoon as at any other time of the year. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there is no Suffrage. At Prime the psalms are Ps.53 and the first two divisi of Ps.118, the Domincial preces are never sung. At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, as in Septuagesima. There is only one collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est. Vespers are of the Sunday with a commemoration of St. Joseph.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Second Sunday in Lent

The Second Sunday in Lent is a semi-double Sunday of the first class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericopes from St. Matthew's Gospel give the account of the Transfiguration of the LORD.

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn was Audi, benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Gregory the Great was sung. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the Office hymn is Ex more. The antiphons and psalms given for Sunday are sung. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the twenty-seventh chapter of Genesis and the story of Jacob and Esau. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the book of St. Augustine against lying and explain the mystery of Jacob's actions. In the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Leo the Great on the Transfiguration of the LORD. A ninth responsory, Cum audisset Jacob, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the antiphons Domine labia mea aperies etc are proper to the Sunday and are sung with the second scheme of Psalms (50, 117, 62, Benedictus es and 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and hymn is O sol salutis. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Gregory is sung.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper to the Sunday. At Prime the psalms are 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two divisions of Ps. 118. The Dominical preces are omitted and the short lesson is Quaerite Dominum.

Mass is sung after Terce. The deacon and subdeacon wear violet folded chasubles. There is no Gloria. The second collect is of St. Gregory. There is no third collect. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Creed is sung, the preface is of Lent and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the altar and celebrant.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms (109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) are of Sunday. The Office hymn is Audi, benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Gregory is sung. The Suffrage of the saints is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline due to the concurring double feast.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Vespers on Saturday are sung at the same time as any other day of the year, there are no commemorations. At Compline the Dominical preces are never sung having been abolished. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Prime the psalms are the festal arrangement of Ps. 53 and the first two divisi of Ps. 118 and the Domincial preces are omitted. At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, as in Septuagesima, there is only a single collect. The dismissal is Ite, missa est. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

First Sunday in Lent


The First Sunday in Lent is a semi-double Sunday of the first class. No feast can take precedence over it or any such Sunday. The liturgical colour of the Sunday is violet. At Mass, unlike on the Sundays of Septuagesima, the ministers wear folded chasubles rather than dalmatic and tunicle and the organ is silent (as has been the practice too since Ash Wednesday). The Gospel pericope at Mattins and Mass is St. Matthew's account of the LORD's temptation by Satan in the desert. Vespers yesterday morning marked the ancient beginning of Lent before the addition of Ash Wednesday and the intervening days. On these added days although certain penitential practices have entered the Liturgy such as the use folded chasubles and the ferial preces at the Hours the Office hymns etc were still those used in previous weeks. Vespers of the first Sunday in Lent mark the beginning of the Pars Verna, the Spring volume of the Breviary,

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper, Fratres: Hortamur vos, and the Office hymn was Audi, benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration was sung of the preceding feast of St. Casimir followed by the Suffrage of the Saints. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the hymn is Ex more. These are both used throughout the first four weeks of Lent. The antiphons and psalms given in the Psalter for Sundays are sung, as on previous Sundays. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from a sermon on Lent by St. Leo the Great and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Gregory the Great on St. Matthew's account of the temptation of the LORD. As in Septuagesima there is no Te Deum but a ninth responsory, which today is Angelis suis Deus mandavit de te.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Cor mundum etc., and the second scheme of Psalms is sung (50, 117, 62, Benedictus es, 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and hymn is O sol salutis. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Jesus autem etc. At Prime the psalms are 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two divisi of 118. The Dominical preces are sung and the short lesson is Quaerite Dominum.

Mass is sung after Terce. As folded chasubles are word by the ministers the organ is silent. At Mass the Gloria is not sung. The second collect is A cunctis, the third collect is Omnipotens. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Creed is sung, the preface is of Lent and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the celebrant and altar.

Vespers are of the Sunday, sung at the normal time (as Sundays are not fast days). The antiphons and psalms are those used on Sundays, the chapter is proper and the Office hymn is Audi, benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of the following Office of SS Perpetua and Felicitas. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Vespers on the weekdays of Lent are sung at the same time as during the rest of the Liturgical year. There were no commemorations nor Suffrage at Vespers. There were no preces at Compline. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there is no Suffrage. At Prime the psalms are Ps. 53 and the first two divisi of Ps. 118 as on feasts, there are no Dominical preces At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, as in Septuagesima. There is but a single collect. The dismissal is Ite, missa est. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Ash Wednesday


Ash Wednesday is a privileged greater feria although only of simple rite. No feast can be celebrated on this day of whatever rank. The liturgical colour of the day is violet. In earlier times the rite which gives the day its name, the sprinkling of ash on the heads of penitents, was reserved to those public penitents who underwent a public and dramatic expulsion from the church building. Although no longer generally practiced echoes of the above can be found in today's Liturgy which contains a general imposition of Ashes on all of those who wish to receive them. The Liturgy is interesting too in that much remains of the Office of the Septuagesima season as originally Lent began with the Office of the first Sunday.

The third part of the Pontificale Romanum still contains the rite for the Expulsion of Public Penitents - De Expulsione Publice Poenitentium ab Ecclesia in feria Quarta Cinerum. In that rite, after Sext, when the bishop was to celebrate Mass this day, the bishop vested in pontificals as far as the dalmatic and then donned a violet cope. Public penitents assembled in sack-cloth in their bare feet and were given a penance for Lent and then were given ashes, which the bishop had blessed. Then followed a ceremony that included the Seven Penitential Psalms and Litany. It culminated in the penitents being led, physically, from the church and expelled. The Caermoniale Episcoporum alludes to the Expulsion of Penitents in churches where it is the custom, C.E. Lib II, Cap.18, 2.

The Expulsion of Penitents from a 1611 edition of the Pontificale Romanum from Google Books.

The Office of Ash Wednesday begins with Mattins. The invitatory is Deum magnum Dominum, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Rerum Creator optime both from the ferial Office per annum. The antiphons Speciosus forma etc are sung with the nine psalms/psalm divisi of a single nocturn from the ferial Office for Wednesdays. The second scheme of Mattins for Wednesday is used, wherein Psalm 49 is split into three divisi rather than the usual two. The lessons in the nocturn are from a homily of St. Augustine reflecting on the LORD's Sermon on the Mount from St. Matthew's Gospel. The responsories are taken from the third nocturn of Quinquagesima Sunday. At Lauds the second scheme of psalmody is used (Pss. 50, 64, 100, Canticle of Anna & 145. The antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are both proper to the day. After the antiphon on the Benedictus has been sung in full after the canticle the choir kneels and the ferial preces are sung. After the collect of the day the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At the Hours again the ferial antiphons and psalter are used. Prime has a fourth psalm displaced from Lauds by the Miserere, so the psalmody at Prime is Pss. 25, 51, 52 & 96. At Prime both the Dominical and ferial preces are sung kneeling, the chapter is the ferial Pacem et veritatem. At the other Hours the short set of ferial preces are chanted with the choir again kneeling.

The blessing of Ashes and Mass follows None. The celebrant vests in a violet cope while the deacon and subdeacon wear violet folded chasubles. The organ is silent following the general rule when folded chasubles are worn. The Ashes, made from burning of the preceding year's Palms, are blessed with four collects of blessing. The short conclusion of these prayers may indicate the blessing was separated by the Expusion of Penitents from the Mass which follows. The Ashes are imposed whilst two antiphons are chanted Immutemur habitu and Inter vestibulum. These are followed by the poignant responsory Emendemus in melius. The Mass that now immediately follows is proper. The Gloria is not sung. The second collect is A cunctis, the third Omnipotens. The preface of Lent is sung for the first time this year. The ferial tones are used for the orations, preface and Pater noster. The choir kneels for the Orations and from the Sanctus until Pax Domini. After the last collect the deacon sings Humiliate capita vestra Deo and the celebrant sings the Oratio super populum. The dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the celebrant and altar.

Vespers are ferial. The Office hymn is Caeli Deus sanctissime. The ferial preces are sung with the choir kneeling. After the collect the Suffrage of the Saints is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung, kneeling.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the ferial preces are sung at Lauds and Vespers only. At Lauds and Vespers Suffrage has been abolished. At Prime there are three psalms 25, 51 & 52 and the chapter is the festal Regi saeculorum - bizzare! At Prime and the Hours the preces are omitted. Mass is sung after Terce. At the blessing of Ashes and Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle. Judica me Deus etc is omitted from the beginning of Mass. There is only one collect. The extended kneeling is omitted with the choir rising at the conclusion of the Canon. The dismissal is Ite missa est.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Quinquagesima Sunday


Quinquagesima Sunday is a semi-double of the second class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericopes are taken from St. Luke and give the account of the giving of sight to the man born blind.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms were of Saturday, the chapter, antiphon on the Magnificat and collect were proper to Quinquagesima Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints was sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins, as on the previous two Sundays, the antiphons and psalms are those used on Sundays throughout the year. In the first nocturn the lessons are again from Genesis and this Sunday concern the story of Abraham. In the second nocturn the lessons are from St. Ambrose on the Book on the Patriarch Abraham and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily from St. Gregory on St. Luke's Gospel of the man blind from birth whose sight was restored by the LORD. The blind man is a figure of the human race according to St. Gregory. A ninth responsory, Caecus sedebat secus viam etc, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the 'second scheme' of psalms is sung: Pss. 50, 117, 62, Benedictus es and 148. The antiphons at Lauds are proper for Quinquagesima Sunday, Secundum multitudinem etc, as are the antiphon at the Benedictus and the collect. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper to Quinquagesima Sunday. At Prime the order of psalmody is that used when the second schema of Lauds is sung, i.e. Pss. 92, 99 (displaced at Lauds) and Ps. 118i & 118ii. The Dominical preces are sung.

In Mass the Gloria is omitted, the second collect is A cunctis, the third collect is chosen by the Dean or rector. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Credo is sung, the Preface is of the Blessed Trinity and Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar. The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms are those used on Sundays, the chapter is proper to the Sunday as is the antiphon at the Magnificat. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung as are the Domincal preces at Compline.

Following the 'liturgical books of 1962' at Vespers the Suffrage has been abolished. At Compline the preces have been abolished. At Mattins there is but a single nocturn. At Prime Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii are sung, as on major feasts, the preces have been abolished. At Mass there is a single collect and Benedicamus Domino is suppressed in favour of Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Sexagesima Sunday


Sexagesima Sunday is a semi-double of the second class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Sunday is characterised by a very lengthy Epistle from St. Paul's Latter Epistle to the Corinthians. The Gospel pericopes are from St. Luke and contain the parable of the sower with his seed landing on rock, amongst weeds and on the good ground.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms were of Saturday. The chapter was proper to the Sunday, Fratres: Libenter suffertis, and the Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of All Saints was sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the antiphons and psalms are from the Psalter for Sundays. In the first nocturn the lessons continue to be read from Genesis (Ch. 5 & 6), the beginning of the story of Noah. In the second nocturn the lessons are from St. Ambrose on Noah and the Ark and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily from St. Gregory on the Gospel of the seed falling on good and poor ground. A ninth responsory, Cum turba plurima, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the 'second scheme' of psalms is sung: Pss 50, 117, 62, Canticle of the Three Children (Benedictus es) and 148. The antiphons at Lauds are proper for Sexagesima Sunday, Secundum magnam misericordiam as are the chapter and antiphon on the Benedictus. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of All Saints is sung.

At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 92, 99 (displaced at Lauds) 118i & 118ii. The Dominical preces are sung. At the Hours the antiphons, Semen cecidit etc, and chapters are proper to Sexagesima Sunday.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is omitted, the second collect is A cunctis, the third collect is chosen by the Dean or Rector. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Creed is sung , the Preface is of Trinity and Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of All Saints is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Suffrage has been abolished at Vespers and Lauds. The Dominical preces at Compline and Prime have been abolished. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn. At Prime the arrangement of psalmody is festive, Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii. At Mass there is single collect and Benedicamus Domino is suppressed in favour of Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal