Sunday, 19 April 2015

Second Sunday after Pascha


The Second Sunday after Pascha is sometimes referred to as 'Good Shepherd Sunday' from the words of the Epistle from I Peter "For you were as sheep gone astray: but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls" and from the Gospel where the LORD proclaims "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep." The Sunday is also often referred to as Misericordia after the opening words of the introit. The Sunday is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the psalms of Vespers for Saturday were sung under the single antiphon, Alleluia. The chapter, Carissimi: Christus passus est pro nobis etc, was proper to the Sunday, the Office hymn was Ad regias Agni dapes. The antiphon on the Magnificat reinforced the theme of the Sunday, Ego sum pastor ovium. After the collect of the Sunday the Paschal Suffrage of the Cross was sung. At Compline Te lucis was sung to the Paschal tone with the Doxology Deo Patri sit gloria etc and the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory, Surrexit Dominus, and Office hymn, Rex sempiterne, are sung as last Sunday. Again, at the nocturns the psalms are sung under one antiphon. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Acts of the Apostles. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the first sermon on the Ascension of the Lord by St. Leo. In the third nocturn the homily is from St. Gregory. At Lauds the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148) are sung under a single antiphon. The Office hymn is Aurora caelum purpurat. After the collect of the Sunday the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is sung.

At the Hours the hymns are sung with the Paschal Doxology and the psalms are sung under a single antiphon consisting of a triple Alleluia. At Prime the Dominical psalms are sung (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii), as are the Dominical preces.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is Concede nos, the third collect Ecclesiae. The Creed is sung and the preface is of Paschaltide.

Vespers are of the Sunday, with the psalms sung under a single antiphon. After the collect of the Sunday the Paschal commemoration of the Cross is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' at Vespers yesterday the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was omitted. At Compline the hymn was sung with the ordinary Doxology and melody and the Dominical preces were omitted. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is omitted and at Prime the Dominical preces are omitted. At Mass there is but a single collect. At Vespers the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Dominica in Albis - Low Sunday


Dominica in Albis, Low Sunday is a Greater-double of the first class. The Sunday is also often referred to as Quasimodo from the first words of its introit. Anciently on this day those who had been baptised on Holy Saturday took off their white robes which had been worn since the Oil of Catechumens and Chrism had been lavished upon them on Holy Saturday. The Gospel at Mattins and Mass is the account of the LORD appearing in to His disciples behind the shut doors of the room and the doubting of St. Thomas. The Office of the Octave of Pascha ended with the Office of None yesterday.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the psalms of Saturday were sung under the single antiphon, Alleluia. Chapters and hymns return to the Office from this Vespers. The Paschaltide hymn Ad regias Agni dapes was sung. Its Doxology is sung at all hymns of Iambic metre: Deo Patri sit gloria, Et Filio qui a mortuis, Surrexit ac Paraclito, In sempiterna saecula. From this Office the dismissal, Benedicamus Domino, is sung without the double Alleluia that marked the Paschal Octave. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory Surrexit Dominus vere Alleluia continues to be sung. The Office hymn is Rex Sempiterne Caelitum. The psalms of each nocturn are sung under a single antiphon. In the first nocturn the antiphon is Alleluia, * lapis revolutus est, alleluia: ab ostio monumenti, alleluia, alleluia and the lessons are from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians. In the second nocturn the antiphon is Alleluia, * quem quaeris mulier? alleluia, alleluia, viventem cum mortuis, alleluia, alleluia and the lessons are taken from a sermon of St. Augustine on the Octave of Easter. In the third nocturn the antiphon is Alleluia, * noli flere Maria, alleluia: resurrexit Dominus, alleluia, alleluia and the homily is from the writings of St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148) are sung under a single antiphon,
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (A tragic loss in the reform of 1911-13 was the loss of the ancient nine-fold Alleluia that had been sung with psalms 92, 99 & 62-66). The Office hymn is Aurora caelum purpurat. The Suffrage is omitted.

At Prime (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii) and the Hours the psalms are again sung under a single antiphon at each Hour, Alleluia, * alleluia, alleluia - which is not doubled of course, even today.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung. There is a single collect today. The Creed is sung, the preface is of Paschaltide (In hoc potissimum).

At Vespers the psalms are sung under a single antiphon Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. The Office hymn is Ad regias Agni dapes.  After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of the following feast of St Hermenegild is sung. The Suffrage is omitted. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Mattins is reduced to a single nocturn of three lessons with the single antiphon Alleluia, lapis revolutus etc. At the Little Hours the Paschaltide Doxology is not sung with the hymns. At Mass there is a change to one word in the introit as 'rationabile' replaced 'rationabiles' in the 1953 edition of the Roman Missal and subsequent editions. There is a single collect. Vespers are of the Sunday without any commemorations. At Compline the ordinary Doxology and tone are sung with Te lucis.

Image: Jerome Nadal.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Dominica Resurrectionis - Holy Pascha

Hac die quam fecit Dominus, Solemnitas solemnitatum, et Pascha nostrum Resurrectio Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi secundum carnem. These glorious words are sung, to the tone of the Passion, at Prime today at the reading of the Martyrology before the announcement of the day and moon for tomorrow.

Holy Pascha is a Double of the First Class with a privileged Octave of the first Order. Paschal Mattins was described above. The morning Office begins with Prime. There are no hymns at the Hours during the entire Paschal Octave in the Roman rite. At Prime psalms 53 and the first two divisi of Ps. 118 are sung to a special form of Tone 2. Haec Dies is sung after the psalmody and then everything else is omitted up to the collect Domine Deus omnipotens. The Martyrology is then sung, starting with the verse indicated above. Then Sancta Maria etc is sung, the collect Dirigere et sanctificare etc and the short lesson Si consurrexistis. Terce, and the other Little Hours, are even more simple in their structure. At Terce the usual stanzas of Ps. 118 are sung to the special Tone 2 form followed by Haec dies and the collect of the day.

Mass is sung after Terce. Instead of Asperges me the Paschatide Vidi aquam is sung today and all other Sundays in Paschaltide. In the great Mass of Easter, Resurrexi, the Gloria is sung, one collect is sung. Haec dies is sung as the Gradual. The sequence Victimae paschali laudes is sung after the Alleluia. The Creed is sung and Ite missa est alleluia, alleluia is sung as the dismissal.

Sext and None have exactly the same structure as Terce. At Vespers the antiphons sung at Lauds, Angelus autem Domini etc, are are sung with the usual Sunday psalms. Haec dies is sung in place of the chapter, hymn and versicle & response. The solemn tone is used for Benedicamus Domino, alleluia, alleluia.

At Compline the usual psalms are sung to Tone 8G without any preceding antiphon, followed by an antiphon consisting of Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. This is followed by the Nunc dimittis sung to the Paschal Tone 2, without antiphons. Haec dies is then sung followed by the collect Visita quaesumus etc and then, as yesterday the antiphon Regina coeli etc.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Holy Saturday Evening - Paschal Mattins


The high point of Holy Week in most medieval rites, and certainly in the Byzantine rite to this day, was the celebration of Paschal Mattins - Mattins of the Resurrection of the LORD.

In typical Northern European praxis, such as Sarum, the Lenten array was removed from the statues and images after Compline on Holy Saturday and before Mattins. Before the bells rang out in triumphant peals of joy to announce the Resurrection the clergy and people went to the Sepulchre and there the Tomb was opened and the Cross was 'raised' to the singing of the antiphon Christus resurgens. A ceremony of adoration of the Cross, just as on Good Friday morning, took place before a triumphal procession around the church. Rather interestingly examples of such liturgical orthopraxis continue in parts of Europe to this day despite the liturgical heteropraxis of the last century. In parts of German representation of the Tomb are still made, 'Heilege Grab'. The same structures are found in modern Poland. Of particular note is that the Polish editions of the liturgical books had 'depositio' ceremonies and the corresponding 'elevatio' ones printed as part of the rites until very recently (e.g. Cantionale Ecclesiasticum, Cracow, 1925 in my collection).

In the 'modern' Roman rite Paschal Mattins was generally noticeable by its lack of celebration (although, to be fair, after the exertions of Holy Saturday morning where there are limited resources...) Westminster Cathedral, of course, did celebrate Pontifical Paschal Mattins and Lauds at 5:30pm on Holy Saturday evening and, being the most important Office of the Liturgical Year, the Cardinal celebrated:


(This extract is from the timetable of Holy Week services for 1939. The full programme may be seen here.)
Compline is sung, at the normal time. On Holy Saturday the Office of Compline has some interesting variations. Compline begins with the usual Jube, domne, blessing, short lesson and confession. Converte nos, Deus, salutaris noster and its response are sung followed by Deus in adjutorium etc with Alleluia for the first time since Septuagesima. The psalms are sung, without an antiphon, to a special form of tone 2. The hymn, chapter and responsory are omitted and Vespere autem sabbati sung as a fragment antiphon to the Nunc dimittis. After the Canticle the antiphon is sung in full. After the usual collect, Visita quaesumus, the antiphon Regina Caeli is sung with its versicle and collect.

The church is decorated for the greatest of feasts. Six candlesticks are on the altar. Mattins begin with the solemn tone for Deus in adjutorium etc. The invitatory is Surrexit Dominus vere Alleluia and psalm 94 is sung to a lovely tone 6 setting. Mattins consists of one nocturn of three psalms. There is no Office Hymn throughout the Octave (c.f. Monastic praxis). The first antiphon is Ego sum qui sum etc and sung with psalm 1. The second antiphon, Postulavi Patrem meum etc, is sung with psalm 2. The third antiphon, Ego dormivi etc, is sung with psalm 3. A versicle and its response are sung follwed by the absolution Exaudi etc. The first lesson has the Gospel fragment Mark 16: 1-7 and is followed by a homily of St. Gregory the Great. The two responsories Angelus Domini descendit and Cum transisset sabbatum are famous and intimately connected with the Quem quaeritis ceremonies and indeed the development of Western drama (vide the excellent book: Hardison, O.B., 'Christian Rite and Christian Drama in the Middle Ages', The John Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1965).

The second lesson, Notandum vero nobis est is sung followed by the second responsory. During the second responsory the cantors and the celebrant don copes the principal one pre-intones the Te Deum. Six pluvialistae assist the Hebdomadarius where possible. The Te Deum is then sung and, where it is the custom the bells ring throughout.

Lauds follow immediately and have a series of beautiful antiphons: Angelus autem Domini, Et ecce terraemotus, Erat autem, Prae timore autem ejus and Respondens autem Angelus all taking up the theme of the Angels, earthquake and empty tomb. Psalms 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148 are sung with these antiphons. The chapter, hymn, versicle and response are replaced by the Haec dies. After Haec dies the antiphon Et valde mane is sung and then the Benedictus sung to a solemn tone 8. During the Benedictus the altar, the choir and people are censed in the normal manner. The antiphon is repeated and the collect of Easter, Deus, qui hodierna die sung. Benedicamus Domino, Alleluia, Alleluia and its response are followed by the solemn Regina Caeli, its versicle and collect.

In the Byzantine rite the Lucernarium rite from Vespers migrated to the beginning of Mattins about a millenium ago. Those interested in the details should consult Bertoniere, G., 'The Historical Development of the Easter Vigil and Related Services in the Greek Church', Orientalia Christiana Analecta 193, Rome, 1972. In the Byzantine Rite on Holy Saturday morning Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil is celebrated with fifteen OT prophecies (or four in the Greek version) and a colour change from black to white before the Gospel. Seven of the prophecies and the Gospel are as used in the Old Roman Rite. Late in the evening of Holy Saturday Paschal Mattins begins. In the Slavonic version a triple candle is used to pass the Light of the Risen Christ and is used throughout Bright Week at the Office and Eucharistic Liturgy. Following Mattins and the Hours the Paschal Liturgy is celebrated, the equivalent of the Easter Day Mass, Resurrexi, in the West. Many Christians, both from Western and Eastern traditions, wrongly, equate Paschal Orthros and Liturgy with the ‘Easter Vigil’ of the modern Roman rite.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Compline and Mattins have both been axed - with regards to Mattins, probably the most pernicious and shameful cut of all – destroying the defining service of the Resurrection, although there has been a partial restoration in the 'Ordinary Form' of the 1962 rite.

Holy Saturday Morning - Vesperal Liturgy


Holy Saturday is a Double of the First Class. On Holy Saturday morning the altar is dressed and vested as described in the photograph above. A violet antependium is placed over a white one in such a manner that it may easily be removed later. Six candles of bleached wax remain unlit for the Hours.

The Hours are chanted as for the previous two days with the exception that choir reverences are omitted because of the unveiled Cross on the altar to which all reverence with a genuflection. As at Tenebrae yesterday evening Propter quod et Deus etc is added to Christus factus est etc.

After None is completed (or, in Pontifical functions celebrated by the Ordinary after Sext when the New Fire is blessed) the ministers of the Mass go to the sacristy and vest (celebrant in violet stole and cope; the deacon and subdeacon in violet folded chasubles). Meanwhile a fire, struck from flint as the rubric above describes, is kindled and charcoal placed on it for liturgical use in few moments. A procession comes from the sacristy to the place where the new fire is to be blessed. The procession is headed by three acolytes. In the centre the first acolyte carries the lustral water container and sprinkler. To his left is the second acolyte bearing the grains of incense on a salver. The thurifer, with an empty thurible, walks to the right of the first acolyte. Folling is the subdeacon carrying the Processional Cross, then the choir and lastly the celebrant and deacon. At the new fire all uncover and the subdeacon stands on the other side of the fire, opposite the celebrant. The celebrant then sings three collects of blessing of the fire and one for the grains of incense. The charcoal is put in the thurible and incense blessed as usual. The deacon then changes from a violet folded chasuble for a white dalmatic. (When the celebrant is not assisted by deacon and subdeacon the celebrant himself exchanges his violet cope for a white dalmatic as in the photograph below of Dr. Glover). Either the deacon or the celebrant takes a reed (bamboo cane = Arundinaria) with a triple candle with its branches arranged 'triangulo distinctis'. A procession is formed with acolytes bearing the five grains of incense to be inserted into the Paschal Candle and thurible followed by the subdeacon carrying the cross, followed by the choir, then the deacon with the reed and finally the celebrant.


[Note. The above is a photograph of a stained glass window in Kesgrave church showing the Procession into church on Holy Saturday morning. The subdeacon carrying the cross is wearing a folded chasuble and the deacon, in white dalmatic, the triple candle atop the reed followed by the celebrant. I am grateful to Mr. Alan Robinson for showing me this wonderful image.]

The procession pauses three times as it enters the church progressing towards the altar. Each time one of the wicks of the candle being lit from a taper bearing the new fire, the deacon (or celebrant) proclaims Lumen Christi and the choir responds Deo gratias, each time on a higher note.


When the procession reaches the altar due reverences are made and the deacon (who passes the reed to an acolyte) takes the Evangeliarium containing the Exsultet from the mensa and receives a blessing from the celebrant as when about to proclaim the Gospel at Mass. The deacon then goes with the lesser ministers to the Gospel side of choir where the book is placed on a lectern and censed. The deacon then sings the Exsultet pausing to insert the grains of incense into the Paschal Candle after the words curvat imperia. He then continues 'In hujus igitur noctis gratia, suscipe, sancte Pater, incensi hujus sacrificium vespertinum..' When he reaches 'rutilans ignis accendit' he again pauses and lights the Paschal Candle with one of the branches of triple candle. When the words 'apis mater eduxit' are sung an acolyte takes the fire from the triple candle and lights the lamps in the church. After the Exsultet the deacon takes off the white dalmatic and exchanges it for a violet stole, maniple and folded chasuble. The celebrant removes his cope and puts on a violet maniple and chasuble. The ministers then go to the altar and to the Epistle corner as at the introit of Mass.



The celebrant reads the twelve prophecies (these derive from the ancient Jerusalem practice c.f. Talley). In the middle of choir lectors chant each prophecy. After each (except the twelfth) the celebrant sings Oremus, the deacon Flectamus genua and the subdeacon Levate. Tracts follow the fourth, eighth and eleventh prophecy. The twelfth prophecy may be sung to one of several special tones (pace Signor Martinucci).

The prophecies are:
1) Genesis 1: 1-31; 2: 1-2
2) Genesis 5; 6; 7 & 8
3) Genesis 22: 1-19
4) Exodus 14: 24-31; 15
5) Isaiah 54: 17; 55: 1-11
6) Baruch 3: 9-38
7) Ezechiel 37: 1-14
8) Isaiah 4: 1-6
9) Exodus 12: 1-11
10)Jonah 3: 1-10
11)Deuteronomy 31: 22-30
12)Daniel 3: 1-24

After the twelfth prophecy, if the church has a font, the celebrant again dons a violet cope and a procession is formed to the Baptistery whilst Sicut cervus is sung. In the Baptistery the font is hallowed by the celebrant singing a preface of blessing culminating in the Paschal Candle being plunged into the waters of the font three times and Chrism being infused into the waters. Here baptisms are carried out. Anciently this liturgy was when adults were baptised and the prophecies were the last catechumenal address.

As the ministers leave the Baptistery two cantors kneeling in choir start the Litany of the Saints. As in all Processional Litanies the invocations are doubled i.e. the invocation and petition is sung by the cantors and repeated by the choir. On their return to the sanctuary the celebrant and ministers remove their cope and chasubles and prostrate before the altar. At Peccatores, te rogamus audi nos they rise and leave the sanctuary to vest for Mass whilst the Litany continues. Meanwhile acolytes remove the violet altar frontal (and violet humeral veil over the credence etc), light the altar candles and prepare the altar for Mass.

The celebrant, deacon and subdeacon return to choir, now vested in white, as the choir sings the Kyrie. The celebrant says Judica me etc and the altar is then censed as at the beginning of any High Mass. At the Gloria in excelsis the bells are rung as on Maundy Thursday. Before the Gradual the celebrant sings Alleluia solemnly three times. At the Gospel the acolytes carry do not carry candles. There is no Creed or Offertory chant.



In the Paschal preface the clause in hac potissimum nocte is sung. The Communicantes and Hanc igitur are proper. The Agnus Dei is not sung and there is no Pax. Instead of a communion antiphon Alleluia is sung three times as an antiphon to Psalm 116. This has the Doxology and the Alleluia is repeated. The celebrant then intones the antiphon Vespere autem sabbati which the choir continues. The Magnificat is then sung and the altar, choir and people censed. After the repitition of the antiphon the celebrant sings the Post-communion and collect for Vespers Spiritum nobis. Mass then ends as usual the dismissal being Ite, missa est, alleluia, alleluia.

A cardinal celebrant of Holy Saturday enters church weaing a violet cappa magna but leaves it wearing a red one.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the 'Easter Vigil' is the third version of the new order celebrated in the late evening of Holy Saturday. In 1951 the 'Vigil' was 'restored' ad experimentum. The first version had Mattins and Lauds in the morning of Holy Saturday, with the omission of the Miserere and a new collect, Concede. A new Vespers was fabricated using the Vespers for the preceeding two days with a new first antiphon and antiphon on the Magnificat. Compline was said as on Good Friday evening but without Christus factus est but with the collect Visita. For the Vigil the ministers still wore folded chasubles. There is a single collect of blessing the fire and the grains of incense are stuck into the Paschal candle outside of the church. The collects Domine Deus pater etc and Domine sancte, Pater omnimpotens etc were suppressed. Veniat, quesumus was used to bless the candle (with the word cereum added) and it, not the reed with a triple candle (again suppressed), was carried into the church by the deacon (now in white dalmatic). The candle was stuck in the middle of the choir on a temporary stand and there incensed and had the Exsultet (without the actions it mentions being carried out) sung to it in a most curious manner. Four prophecies were then chanted to the candle in the middle of the choir whilst the ministers remained at the sedilia listening to them. From the former series of prophecies:

1) Genesis 1: 1-31; 2: 1-2 remained;
2) Genesis 5; 6; 7 & 8 was suppressed;
3) Genesis 22: 1-19 was suppressed;
4) Exodus 14: 24-31; 15 remained;
5) Isaiah 54: 17; 55: 1-11 was suppressed;
6) Baruch 3: 9-38 was suppressed;
7) Ezechiel 37: 1-14 was suppressed;
8) Isaiah 4: 1-6 remained (with the omission of its first verse in later forms);
9) Exodus 12: 1-11 was suppressed;
10)Jonah 3: 1-10 was suppressed;
11)Deuteronomy 31: 22-30 remained;
12)Daniel 3: 1-24 was suppressed.

The Litany (no longer duplicated) was sung as far as Omnes Sancti et Sanctae then interrupted and in the middle of choir before the candle and in the sight of the people a container of water was blessed in the sanctuary, as the font in the Baptistery had been in the traditional rite. Then in Latin (or where forms in the Rituale had been authorised in the vernacular) the people were invited to renew their baptismal promises. Then the Litany was resumed and after that Mass was celebrated. At the Mass Judica and the preparatory prayers were omitted, Vespere autem sabbati became the communion verse, Spiritum nobis the postcommunion and the last Gospel was omitted. These changes were, of course, later extended to the entire liturgical year.

The second version of the 'Vigil' came out of the committee room onto the printing presses in 1952. Compline on Holy Saturday was omitted as were Mattins and Lauds of Easter where the 'Vigil', still optional, was celebrated. The collect Veniat had the word intende substituted for accende. At the collects following the prophecies the deacon, no longer the subdeacon, chanted Levate. The third prophecy (Isiah 4: 1-6) was shortened by losing its first verse. Sicut cervus returned to this version and was sung as the bucket of water was carried to the font after its blessing. In the invitation to renew baptismal promises the word celebrans replaced expectans (the Resurrection). Vernacular forms were permitted by the local bishop for the renewal of baptismal promises. At the Mass the communion verse goes and is replaced by Alleluia and Ps. 116 treated as a psalm of Lauds (!). Et valde mane was the antiphon on the Benedictus with Spiritum nobis as the collect. The second form of the Vigil also suppressed the Vigil of Pentecost ceremonies where it had been celebrated, no doubt as the Vigil of Pentecost would remind people too much of the old rite.

The third form of the 'Vigil' came with the 'restoration' of the rest of Holy Week in 1956. Folded chasubles disappear from Holy Week altogether and Ps. 150 was substituted for Ps.116. The text for Ps. 150 and the Benedictus are that featured in the 1945 'Bea' translation of the Psalterium (in the Vatican typical edition at least).



The above two photographs are of the 1962 'Paschal Vigil' celebrated by the FSSP in Denton. The first picture shows the ministers sat at the sedilia staring at a lector who is singing a prophecy to the Paschal Candle on its 'temporary stand' in medio chori. It will be noted that contrary to various commentaries by the reformers that the prophecies were sung by the light of the Paschal Candle a single candle in a dark church actually provides very little light - hence the recourse to additional candelabra in the photograph. In the second picture the celebrant is walking around the Paschal Candle censing it (do they do this with maypoles one wonders?) prior to the renovation of baptismal promises. The image below is from J.B.O'Connell's 'The Cermonies of Holy Week', 1960 and shows the arrangement in the sanctuary for the blessing of the baptismal bucket, versus populum.



In summary the 1956 form follows the form of the previous two creations: there is a single oration for blessing the New Fire, the candle, not the incense grains, is blessed with the former oration for blessing incense - with the addition of the words incensum cereum - and everyone (except the Crucifer and thurifer) turn and kneel towards the candle when Lumen Christi is sung. The candle is put in its temporaray stand in the centre of the choir and is censed by the deacon walking around it. The actions mentioned in the Exsultet are no longer carried out. Four prophecies are sung, whilst the ministers listen to them at the sedilia, from where the intervening prayers are also sung, not from the altar. The subdeacon no longer sings Levate. This arrangement seems to be based on the praxis of Pontifical Mass that the throne and the role of the two assistant deacons at the throne. After the lessons the ‘first part’ of the Litany is sung. No longer do the ministers prostrate before the altar instead they kneel at their place at the sedilia. The petitions are no longer duplicated. After the petition Omnes Sancti et Sanctae Dei the celebrant and ministers go to a table, facing the people where the bucket of baptismal water is blessed. When the blessing is finished (and any baptisms performed) the bucket is carried in procession to the church’s font during the displaced singing of Sicut cervus. (Where the Baptistery is seperate from the church the blessing of water may still take place at the font rather than blessing the bucked in the sanctuary, versus populum. After the bucket has been taken to the font the celebrant changes his violet cope for a white one and lead the congregation in the renewal of Baptismal Promises, in the vernacular. The celebrant and ministers then retire to the sanctuary and the remaining part of the Litany is sung. Meanwhile the Paschal Candle is moved from its temporary standard and placed on its, traditional, candlestick and the altar candles are lit. As the cantors intone the Kyrie the ministers, omitting Judica me and the prayers at the foot of the altar, cense the altar. After the Gloria and collect the celebrant sits and listens as the subdeacon sings the Epistle. Orate fratres is said in a clear voice, the rest of Mass continues as in the Old Rite except Lauds is inserted in place of Vespers and the last Gospel is omitted.

On the subject of the new Holy Week rites to quote the good Dr. Glover:
"There is that ludicrous business of changing into violet vestments in the middle of Good Friday and giving everyone Communion with the celebrant not even going to collect the Blessed Sacrament. One is supposed to wait until 3.00pm when Our Lord's Passion was already over. Holy Saturday is a miserable business, with no triple-branched candle, the Exsultet sung straight through without doing the things mentioned at various points in the text, the prophecies reduced to four, that horrible renewal of baptismal promises and so on. The whole thing gets turned into a sort of Midnight Mass but there is not the slightest reason for thinking the Resurrection happened at midnight, as the third day started at sunset on Saturday."

Rev. Dr. T.C.G. Glover, JCD - letter to the blogger, 15th May 1990.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Good Friday Evening - Tenebrae for Holy Saturday


Tenebrae for Holy Saturday takes place in the late afternoon or evening of Good Friday. The choir altar remains as it was after Vespers this morning with six candlesticks bearing candles of unbleached wax and with the altar Cross now unveiled. Choir reverences are omitted until after None tomorrow morning. All reverence the Cross with a genuflection.

At the usual time Compline is recited on a monotone, as the Little Hours were in the morning and yesterday. Its structure is exactly the same as yesterday. After the Canticle Christus factus est...Mortem autem crucis (only) is said, the Miserere and Respice follow as before. The altar candles remain unlit until Mattins.

At Mattins the first antiphon is In pace in idipsum. The psalms are strictly proper, in the first nocturn Pss. 4, 14 & 15. After the last verse of each psalm a candle is extinguished on the hearse. The Lamentations of Jeremy form the first nocturn lessons with the Prayer of Jeremy as third lesson. There is a splendid and beautiful ad libitum tone for the latter. In the second nocturn Pss. 23, 26 & 29 are sung. The second nocturn lessons are again from St. Augustine on the psalms. In the third nocturn Pss. 53, 75 & 87 are sung. The lessons are again from St. Paul to the Hebrews. The theme of the service is Christ in the Tomb.

Lauds follow immediately from Mattins with the first antiphon O mors ero mors etc. Psalms 50, 91, 63, Ego dixi and 150 are sung. The antiphon on the Benedictus is Mulieres sedentes etc, sung to the same tone as the previous two nights and doubled. Exactly the same ceremonies take place as the previous two nights. When the Christus factus est is sung Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum, dedit illi nomen, quod est super omne nomen is added.

This is the shortest Tenebrae (too short?) and has a wonderful sense of peace about it.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Tenebrae is celebrated tomorrow morning. Four candlesticks remain on the altar from the 'Solemn Liturgical Action' of Good Friday afternoon.

Good Friday Morning - Mass of the Pre-Sanctified


Good Friday, Feria VI in Parasceve, is a Double of the First Class. On Good Friday morning the altar is bare except for six candlesticks bearing candles of unbleached wax and the altar Cross veiled in black (preferably) or violet.

The Little Hours are chanted as they were yesterday morning, the only difference being that Mortem autem crucis is added to Christus factus est and the altar candles are not lit.

After None the Hebdomadarius and ministers enter choir for the 'Mass of the Pre-Sanctified'. The celebrant wears black stole, maniple and chasuble; the deacon black stole, maniple and folded chasuble; and, the subdeacon black maniple and folded chasuble. The ministers prostrate before the altar (for the time of a Miserere according to the best authors).


(The photograph above, and others below, are from Marc Coleman's fine collection of photographs of magnificent services at St. Clement's Church, Philadelphia used with kind permission of the Rector.)

During this prostration the acolytes spread a single cloth on the altar mensa folded longitudinally back on itself so that at first it does not cover the front part of the mensa. The missal is placed at the Epistle corner. The celebrant and ministers rise and the celebrant kisses the altar and goes to the Epistle corner where he reads a prophecy from Osee whilst this is chanted by a lector in choir. This is followed by a Tract. After the Tract the celebrant, at the altar, chants Oremus, the deacon Flectamus genua and the subdeacon Levate.



The celebrant then sings the collect Deus, a quo et Judas. Then, just as at High Mass, the subdeacon removes his folded chasuble and sings an 'Epistle' whilst the celebrant reads it at the altar. A second Tract is then sung. This is followed by the Passion of St. John. This is sung as on Palm Sunday and Tuesday and Wednesday by three Deacons of the Passion. Today they wear black stoles and use uncovered lecterns.


(The above photograph is of the beginning of the Passion according to St. John from the Chronista volume from a set of Passion Books in this blogger's collection printed in Rome, 1860. The rather beautiful chant is ascribed to Palestrina and Guidetti. It is slightly more difficult to sing than the more familiar 'modern' form but well worth the effort.)

Towards the end of the Passion the deacon takes off his chasuble and folds it over his shoulder or dons the 'broad stole'. The ceremonies for the Gospel take place as at High Mass except today no blessing is asked, there is no incense and the acolytes do not carry lights. One of the better restorations of the early twentieth century was an ancient tone for the Gospels of the Passions.


This rather sublime music and haunting music was suppressed, like so much else, in the 'restoration' of 1956. After the Gospel the ministers go to the Epistle corner and there the Solemn Prayers are sung, the ministers behind the celebrant as at a normal High Mass.


Note the deacon above wearing the 'broad stole'.

After Oremus sung by the celebrant the deacon chants Flectamus genua and the subdeacon Levate. After the series of prayers the ministers return to the footpace where the celebrant and subdeacon remove their chasubles. Meanwhile a violet carpet is laid from the altar steps and a cushion edged with gold and covered by a veil is laid to receive the Cross.

The celebrant and subdeacon stand before the Epistle side of the altar, in plano, facing the people. The deacon takes the altar Cross and brings it to the celebrant. The celebrant unveils the upper portion of the Cross and sings Ecce lignum crucis. The choir responds Venite adoremus and kneels. This is repeated twice until the whole Cross is unveiled and the celebrant is on the footpace at the centre of the altar.



The celebrant then carries the Cross to the cushion, then genuflects and returns to the sedilia where he is met by the ministers. The ministers then take off their maniples and shoes. Meanwhile all other crosses are unveiled, but not the other images. Veneration of the Cross follows with the celebrant making three prostrations before the Cross as he approaches it, then kissing the Cross, genuflecting and returning to his place.


At the sedilia the celebrant resumes his shoes, maniple and chasuble. The deacon and subdeacon then make their Veneration followed by the choir and people. After the unveiling of the Cross it is genuflected to by all in actu functionis and Choir reverences cease until None tomorrow. At the sedilia the ministers read the 'Reproaches' with the celebrant whilst they are sung by the choir. Of note is the use of the Greek Trisagion interpolated with Popule meus. The Crucem tuam and then Crux fidelis interpolated with Pange, lingua, gloriosi Lauream. Towards the end of the Veneration acolytes light the altar candles and the candles they will carry. At the end of the Veneration the celebrant gives the Cross to the kneeling deacon who then returns it to the altar.

A procession is then formed and goes to the altar of repose where two thuribles have been prepared. The deacon opens the capsula and incense is put on the thuribles but is not blessed. The reserved Sacrament is censed kneeling. The celebrant then puts on the white humeral veil and is given the Sacrament by the deacon.


The party then processes back to the choir altar and the superb Vexilla regis is sung. Where resources permit a second subdeacon, in black folded chasuble carries the Processional Cross. In Cathedral and Collegiate Churches eight canons, in black copes, each hold a shaft of the large canopy held over the Sacrament. There is something very striking about the white humeral veil over the black chasuble as can be seen (just about) below:




At the choir altar the deacon takes the chalice from the celebrant and places it on the altar and unties the ribbon. More incense is put on and the Sacrament censed again the ministers kneel. The ministers go up to the altar the Host is slipped onto the paten. Acolytes bring up cruets although water is not blessed and the chalice made as at High Mass. The 'gifts' are then censed as at High Mass and the celebrant washes his hands as at Mass coram Sanctissimo. The celebrant then comes to the centre and says the prayer In spiritu humilitatis then turning to the Gospel side to say Orate, fratres turning back without making a circle. No answer is made.


The celebrant then sings the Pater noster in the ferial tone followed by Libera nos. The celebrant then slips the paten under the Host. The Host is then elevated in his right hand whilst the left holds the paten. The Host is then held over the chalice and broken as at Mass. the fraction being placed in the cup. There is neither Pax nor Agnus Dei. The celebrant says Perceptio Corporis tuis, Panem caelestem, Domine non sum dignus and Corpus Domini before consuming the Host and contents of the Chalice. The ablutions follow and the celebrant says Quod ore the ministers reverence the altar and return, in silence, to the sacristy.

Vespers are now chanted to a monotone. The antiphons are the same as yesterday for the psalms but the antiphon on the Magnificat is proper to the day, Cum accepisset acetum. After the repetition of the antiphon Christus factus est, Pater, Miserere and Respice. After Vespers the candles are extinguished.

The 'liturgical books of 1962' are particularly ghastly today. The ancient title of the day, Feria VI in Parasceve, is cast aside and the day re-branded Feria VI in Passione et Morte Domini. The altar has nothing on it all, no candlesticks, no Cross. Mattins and Lauds are sung in the bright light of day. For the 'Solemn Afternoon Liturgical Action' the ministers enter in albs and stoles only, no maniples, no chasubles, no dalmatics. The photographs below are from a FSSP celebration in Reading from Dr. Joseph Shaw's collection.


The Gospel ceremony is lost. Much of the service takes place at the sedilia (a forerunner of the cult of the 'chair' in Paul VI rite). For the Solemn Collects the celebrant puts on a black cope and stands at the centre of the altar assisted by ministers in dalmatic and tunicle. Of course traditionally the collects were always sung at the Epistle corner.


For the Veneration the Cross a Cross is brought from the sacristy by the deacon. There are no longer prostrations or the 'Creeping to the Cross' but three simple genuflections from the ministers, one by everyone else. The ministers listen to the reproaches. For the Communion service the ministers change from their black vestments and put on violet chausble, dalmatic and tunicle. The deacon brings the reserved sacrament back from the Altar of Repose. The singing of the Vexilla regis is suppressed (except when John XXIII insisted on having it sung) and three new antiphons are sung.


The Mass of the Pre-Sanctified is suppressed. At the altar the celebrant sing the invitation Oremus. Praeceptis salutaribus monitietc and in response the entire congregation recites, not sings, the Pater noster. The celebrant says Perceptio, Domine non sum dignus and Corpus Domini and communicates himself. Meanwhile the deacon sings the Confiteor (the only day allowed by the 1962 books) and then after the absolutions the celebrant communicates everyone else.


Three prayers are then sung from the middle of the altar. Vespers are omitted entirely.

After the celebration of Good Friday in Durham one year Dr. Glover was asked why he didn't celebrate the Pacelli novelties. His answer was pure Dr. Glover at his very best: "I would rather get drunk in a brothel than celebrate that crap."