Saturday, 20 December 2014

Ember Saturday in Advent

Ember Saturday in Advent is a greater, non-privileged, ferial day of simple rite and its liturgical colour is violet. The Vigil of St. Thomas the Apostle is commemorated at Mass only. Today is one of the traditional days for ordinations.

At Mattins the invitatory Prope est jam Dominus etc is sung and the Office hymn is Verbum supernum prodiens. In the nocturn the antiphons Memor fuit etc are sung with the nine psalms appointed for Saturday 104, 105 and 106 - each split into three divisi. The three lessons are from a homily of St. Gregory on St. Luke's Gospel. After the third responsory, Veni, Domine, et noli tardare etc., the second scheme of Lauds for Saturday is sung. The special set of antiphons for the Saturday before the Vigil of the Nativity, Intuemini etc., are sung with psalms 50, 91, 63, the Canticle of Moses & 150. The Office hymn is En clara vox. The antiphon on the Benedictus is Quomodo fiet istud etc. After the antiphon is sung in full after the canticle the choir kneels and the ferial preces are sung. The collect is proper to the Ember Saturday, Deus qui conspicis.

At the Hours the antiphons Intuemini etc are used in the usual sequence. At Prime (Pss 93i, 93ii, 107 & 149. The fourth psalm is the one displaced by the Miserere in the second schema of Lauds. The chapter is the ferial Pacem et veritatem. The Dominical and ferial preces are sung with the choir kneeling. At the other Hours the short set of ferial preces are sung, again with the choir kneeling.

Mass is sung after None and has the usual, ancient, form, common to Ember Saturdays. The ministers wear folded chasubles. After the Kyrie there are a series of five structural units comprising of the invitation Oremus, followed by Flectamus genua (sung by the deacon), Levate (sung by the sub-deacon), a collect, O.T. reading and gradual. Four of these readings are from Isaiah and the last from Daniel. After the pericope from Daniel instead of a gradual the hymn of the Three Men in fiery furnace is sung, Benedictus es, Domine, Deus patrum nostrorum and its collect Deus, qui tribus pueris. After this collect the second collect is of the Vigil of St. Thomas and the third collect is of the BVM, Deus, qui de Beate. Mass then continues as usual (with of course kneeling for the orations and from the Canon through to the Fraction as usual on penitential days) with Benedicamus Domino, sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar, and the last Gospel is of the Vigil of St. Thomas. Private Masses may be of the Vigil of St. Thomas. When ministers are present they wear dalmatic and tunicle, not plantis plicatis. In the Mass of the Vigil the second collect is of the Ember Saturday (the collect after the Kyrie, Deus, qui conspicis), the third collect is Deus, qui de Beate, Benedicamus Domino is the dismissal and the last Gospel is of the Ember Saturday.

In the afternoon Vespers of the fourth Sunday in Advent are sung. The antiphons Canite tuba etc are sung with the Saturday psalms. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderum and the Great 'O' Antiphon O clavis David is sung. The 'Great O' Antiphons are 'doubled', i.e. they are sung entire both before and after the Magnificat even on days of simple rank with the choir standing. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung (the choir standing).

Following the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Vigil of St. Thomas has been abolished. At Lauds the Canticle of Moses gets sliced down from 65 to 27 verses. At Prime the fourth psalm is not added and the ferial chapter Pacem et veritatem is replaced by the festal Regi saeculorum. The ferial preces are omitted at Prime and the Hours. The Mass has the option of the 'mini-Ember Day' consisting of just one additional unit of collect, pericope and gradual. There are no additional collects for St. Thomas or the Blessed Virgin. The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, the dismissal is Ite, missa est and the last Gospel is In principio. The doubling of the Great 'O' Antiphons is no different to all other antiphons throughout the year. The Dominical preces are omitted at Compline.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Ember Friday in Advent

The Ember Friday in Advent is a greater, non-privileged, ferial day of simple rite and its liturgical colour is violet.

At Mattins the invitatory is Prope est and the Office hymn is Verbum supernum. In the nocturn the antiphons Suscitavit Dominus etc, from the Psalter for Friday, are sung with psalms 77 (split into six divisi), 78, 80 & 82. The lessons are a homily from St. Ambrose on St. Luke's Gospel. Following the third lesson a third responsory, Germinaverunt etc, is sung. At Lauds the second schema is sung and so the antiphons appointed for the Friday before the Vigil of the Nativity, Constantes estote etc, are sung with psalms 50, 142, 84, Domine, audivi & 147. The Office hymn is En clara vox. After the antiphon on the Benedictus, Ex quo facta est, has been sung in full after the Canticle the choir kneels for the singing of the ferial preces. The same set of antiphons are sung with the Little Hours in the usual order. At Prime Pss. 21i, 21ii, 21iii & 98 the chapter is the ferial Pacem et veritatem etc. At the Hours the ferial preces are sung, the choir kneeling.

Mass is sung after None. The ministers wear violet folded chasubles. The texts are proper, the introit being Prope es tu etc. The second collect is Deus, qui de beatae and the third collect Ecclesiae. The dismissal is Benedicamus Domino sung by the deacon facing the altar. With the celebration of the Eucharist the Office of the Ember Day ends.

Vespers is of the Advent ferial day with the antiphons and psalms of the ferial Psalter. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderum. The antiphon on the Magnificat is proper to the seventeenth day, O radix Jesse, and is sung in full both before and after the Canticle with the choir standing. The choir kneels for the ferial preces and the collect of the previous Sunday is sung. At Compline the Domincal preces are sung, again the choir kneeling.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962 Ember Days become of second class rank. At Mattins and Lauds all the antiphons are doubled. Although the preces are sung at Lauds they are omitted at the Hours. Prime has but three psalms and the festal Regi saeculorum as the chapter. Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle. There is a single collect. The dismissal is Ite, missa est. The Office of the Ember Day continues through Vespers. The doubling of antiphons means the singular feature of the Great O antiphons is lost. The collect is of the Ember Day, not of the preceding Sunday. At Compline there are no preces.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Ember Wednesday in Advent

Today is Ember Wednesday in Advent and the first of three Ember Days observed this week. The day is a greater, non-privileged, ferial day of simple rite and its liturgical colour is violet.

The Office of the Ember Day begins with Mattins. The invitatory is Prope est and the Office hymn Verbum supernum. In the nocturn the antiphons Speciosus forma etc, from the Psalter for Wednesday, are sung with psalms 44i, 44ii, 45, 44, 481, 48ii, 49i, 49ii & 49iii. Psalm 49 is divided into three rather than two divisi as the second scheme of Lauds will be sung later. The lessons are a homily from St. Ambrose on St. Luke's Gospel. Following the third lesson a third responsory, Modo veniet Dominator Dominus, is sung. At Lauds the second schema is sung and so the antiphons appointed for the Wednesday before the Vigil of the Nativity, Prophetae praedicaverunt etc, are sung with psalms 50, 64, 100, Exsultavit cor meum & 145. The Office hymn is En clara vox. After the antiphon on the Benedictus, Missus est Gabriel, has been sung in full after the Canticle the choir kneels for the singing of the ferial preces. The same set of antiphons are sung with the Little Hours in the usual order. At Prime Pss. 25, 51, 52 & 96 the chapter is the ferial Pacem et veritatem etc. At the Hours the ferial preces are sung, the choir kneeling.

Mass is sung after None. The texts are proper, the introit being Rorate, caeli etc. After the Kyrie there immediately follows the dialogue Oremus sung by the celebrant, Flectamus genua sung by the deacon and Levate sung by the sub-deacon. This is followed by the collect Praesta, quaesumus and an additional OT lesson and gradual. After this the celebrant sings Dominus vobiscum and the collect Festina, quaesumus. The second collect is Deus, qui de beatae and the third collect Ecclesiae. The dismissal is Benedicamus Domino sung by the deacon facing the altar. The ministers, of course, wear violet folded chasubles. With the celebration of the Eucharist the Office of the Ember Day ends.

Vespers is of the Advent ferial day. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderum. The antiphon on the Magnificat is proper to the seventeenth day, O Sapientia, and is sung in full both before and after the Canticle with the choir standing. The choir kneels for the ferial preces and the collect of the previous Sunday is sung. At Compline the Domincal preces are sung, kneeling.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962 Ember Days become of second class rank. At Mattins and Lauds all the antiphons are doubled. Although the preces are sung at Lauds they are omitted at the Hours. Prime has but three psalms and the festal Regi saeculorum as the chapter. Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle. The sub-deacon does not sing Levate. Two of the additional collects are omitted. The dismissal is Ite, missa est. The Office of the Ember Day continues through Vespers. The doubling of antiphons means the singular feature of the Great O antiphons is lost. The collect is of the Ember Day, not of the preceding Sunday.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Third Sunday of Advent


The third Sunday of Advent, often referred to as Gaudete Sunday from the words of its introit, Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico gaudete, sees a lightening of the Advent mood. 'Rejoice in the LORD always; again I say rejoice.' The same words begin the Epistle from Philippians (4:4). The Sunday's rank is that of a semi-double of the second class. The Gospel pericopes from St. John contain the Baptist's famous words "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the LORD." On this Sunday, mirroring Laetare Sunday in Lent, the penitential mood lifts a littel with the deacon and sub-deacon wearing violet dalmatic and tunicle rather than their folded chasubles or, following the more modern praxis, with the use of rose-coloured vestments. The absence of folded chasubles means that the organ may be played. On this Sunday Cardinals of the Court of Rome, in better days, removed their violet merino dress and wore rose watered-silk cassocks, with rose watered-silk mozzeta and mantelleta.

At Vespers yesterday the antiphons from tomorrow's Lauds, Veniet Dominus etc, were sung with the psalms of Saturday. The Office hymn was Creator alme siderum (sung with the ordinary Doxology). After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the St. Lucy and of the Octave. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted due to the concurring double feast and occurring Octave.

At Mattins the invitatory is Prope est jam Dominus: Venite adoremus. This invitatory is now used until the 23rd of December inclusive. The Office hymn is Verbum supernum. In the first nocturn the antiphons Veniet ecce Rex etc are sung with the usual psalms for Sunday. The lessons are a continuation of Isaiah. In the second nocturn the antiphons Gaude et laetare etc are sung and the lessons are taken from St. Leo's sermon on the fast of the tenth month. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gabriel Angelus etc are sung and the homily is from St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel and the record of the Baptist. The Te Deum is omitted and in its place a ninth responsory, Docebit nos Dominus vias suas, is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons Veniet Dominus etc are sung with the Sunday psalms. The Office hymn is En clara vox. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of the Octave. At Prime the versicle in the responsory the verse is Qui venturus es in mundum and the Dominical preces are omitted.

Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle. The Gloria is not sung. The second collect is of the Octave. There is no third collect. The Creed is sung and the preface that of the Trinity. As the Gloria is not sung the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers the antiphons, Veniet Dominus etc, are sung with the Sunday psalms. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderum. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of the following Octave Day. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. The Octave of the Virgin has been abolished. Mattins is stripped down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Mass there is only one collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal depicts today's Gospel where the Jews sent priests and Levites to interrogate St. John the Baptist.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Second Sunday of Advent

The second Sunday of Advent (and the third and fourth) are semi-double Sundays of the second class in rank. The Gospel pericopes, from St. Matthew, tell of St. John the Baptist in prison sending two of his followers to meet the LORD. The liturgical colour is violet and, as folded chasubles are worn, the organ is not played.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Ecce in nubibus caeli etc were sung with the psalms of Saturday. The Office hymn was Creator alme siderum. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding feast of St. Nicholas of Myra and of St. Ambrose. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted due to the concurring and occurring double feasts.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem venturum and the Office hymn is Verbum supernum. In the first nocturn the antiphons Veniet ecce Rex etc are sung with the usual psalms for Sunday. The lessons are a continuation of Isaiah and today contain the beautiful symbolism of the Rod of Jesse. In the second nocturn the antiphons Gaude et laetare etc are sung and the them of the Rod of Jesse is continued as the lessons are taken from St. Jerome's Expositon on Isaias the Prophet. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gabriel Angelus etc are sung and the homily is from St. Gregory. The Te Deum is omitted and in its place a ninth responsory, Ecce Dominus veniet, is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons, Ecce in nubibus caeli etc are sung with the Sunday psalms. The hymn is En clara vox. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Ambrose is sung. At Prime the versicle is Qui venturus es in mundum. The Dominical preces are omitted due to the occurring double feast.

Mass is sung after Terce, the deacon and subdeacon wear violet folded chasubles. The Gloria is not sung. The second collect is of St. Ambrose. There is no third collect. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Trinity. Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers there is a colour change to white and the antiphons Tota pulchra etc are sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147. The Office hymn is Ave, maris stella. A commemoration is sung of the Sunday. At Compline Te lucis is sung with Doxlogy (and melody) of the Incarnation, Jesu tibi sit gloria etc. The Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' at Vespers there are no commemorations. The Dominical preces are always omitted at Prime and Compline. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, there is only one collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est. Vespers are of the Sunday with a commemoration of tomorrow's feast. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the ordinary Doxology.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Monday, 1 December 2014

Some help please?

If any readers who are fluent in English and either French, German, Italian or Spanish would like a gratis copy of Ordo MMXV for some simple translation work could they please make contact via email.

Update: Thank you to the French, Italian and Spanish offers. Anyone for German?

Update to the update: Thank you all very much, your kind offers of help are very much appreciated!

St. Andrew the Apostle


The feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the 'First Called', is a Double feast of the Second Class and is transferred from yesterday. It was preceded on Saturday by a Vigil. According to St. John's Gospel St. Andrew was a disciple of St. John the Baptist, whose testimony first led him and St. John the Evangelist to follow Jesus. St. Andrew at once recognised Christ as the Messiah. St. Andrew preached the Gospel in Asia Minor and, according to Eusebius, as far as Kiev. St. Andrew is the patron saint of such diverse countries as Scotland and Russia. According to tradition he was crucified at Patras in Achaea. Devotion to St. Andrew was strong in the medieval period and many Western Kalendars such as the venerable Sarum Rite had an octave for the feast. In the Roman liturgy clearly St. Andrew was once regarded with greater importance than in modern times hence his inclusion in the Libera nos.

The celebration of his feast began yesterday afternoon with first Vespers. The proper antiphons Salve, crux pretiosa etc were sung with the psalms for the Common of Apostles, Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was Exsultet orbis gaudiis. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of Advent Sunday. The Suffrage was omitted. At Compline the Sunday psalms were sung and the preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem Apostolorum Dominum, * Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Aeterna Christi munera. In the first nocturn antiphons proper to the feast, Vidit Dominus etc., are sung with the psalms 18, 33 & 44. The lessons are from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans. In the second nocturn the antiphons Dignum sibi Dominus etc are sung with psalms 46, 60 & 63 and the lessons are hagiographical. In the third nocturn the antiphons Non me permittas Domine etc are sung with psalms 74, 96 & 98. The homily on St. Matthew's Gospel is from the writings of St. Gregory. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons sung at Vespers, Salve, crux pretiosa etc., are sung with the Dominical psalms. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Advent feria is sung.

At the Horae Minores the antiphons Salve, crux pretiosa etc are sung with festal psalmody. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii) the first entry in the Martyrology is Dominica prima Adventus etc and the lectio brevis is Isaias enim dicit.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Advent feria. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Apostles.

At second Vespers the antiphons Salve, crux pretiosa etc are sung with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. Bibiana and of the Advent feria.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Vigil for St. Andrew has been abolished and, this year - except where St. Andrew is kept as a 'I Class' feast - his liturgical celebration is entirely omitted. Today is just an Advent feria but without the elements traditionally observed on such a day.

A very blessed feast of St. Andrew to readers and to several good friends who bear his name!