Sunday, 17 December 2017

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 little 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 use of rose vestments is not obligatory. 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. Being Advent the Suffrage was omitted but at Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

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. The Suffrage is omitted. At Prime the Dominical preces are sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle. The Gloria not sung. The second collect is Deus, qui de beatae, the third collect is Ecclesiae. 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. The antiphon on the Magnificat is O Sapientia which is sung doubled with the choir standing. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Dominical preces have been abolished. Mattins is stripped down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Mass there is but a single 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, 10 December 2017

Second Sunday of Advent

The second Sunday of Advent (and the third and fourth) are semi-double Sundays of the second class in rank. This year it is also the Sunday within the Octave of the Immaculate Conception. 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.

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 (sung with the ordinary Doxology, c.f. pre-1911 praxis). After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the Octave and of St. Melchiades. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted being within an Octave.

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 Office hymn is En clara vox. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the Octave and of St. Melchiades. At Prime the versicle in the responsory is Qui venturus es in mundum (again, c.f. pre-1911 praxis). The Dominical preces are omitted due to the Octave.

Mass is sung after Terce, the deacon and subdeacon wear violet folded chasubles. The Gloria is not sung. The second collect is of the Octave, the third collect is of St. Melchiades. 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 the antiphons Ecce in nubibus caeli are again sung this time with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderum. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following feast St. Damasus and of the Octave. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' at Vespers there are no commemorations. The Octave has been abolished. 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. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 3 December 2017

First Sunday of Advent


The first Sunday of Advent is a semi-double Sunday of the first class and its liturgical colour is violet. The liturgy of Advent is perhaps the most exquisite of the entire liturgical year with 'layers' of meaning for both the First and Second Comings of the LORD. There is a weave of expectant joy and penance to be found throughout the liturgical texts. The eschatalogical theme of last Sunday's Gospel continues with St. Luke's Gospel today and the Coming of the Divine Judge. From first Vespers of Advent Sunday the Pars Hiemalis of the Breviary begins.

During Advent bishops of the Roman rite exchange their violet choir cassocks for black ones (with train) which are worn with either a black mozzeta or black mattelletum with violet linings. Cardinals of the Court of Rome wear their 'winter' violet merino apparel (in contrast to their summer mourning dress of violet watered-silk) in place of their watered-silk scarlet dress.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons In illa die etc were sung with the psalms of Saturday. The Office hymn was Creator alme siderum. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration was sung of St. Francis Xavier. The Suffrage was omitted being Advent. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem venturum and this is sung in both the Dominical and ferial Offices of Advent until the third Sunday. The Office hymn is Verbum supernum. In the first nocturn the antiphons Veniet ecce Rex etc are sung with the usual psalms for Sunday. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the prophet Isaiah. In the second nocturn the antiphons Gaude et laetare etc are sung and the lessons are taken from the writing of St. Leo on the fast of the tenth month, the theme of which is preparing for the Coming. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gabriel Angelus etc are sung and the homily is from St. Gregory continuing the theme of Coming with his commentary on St. Luke's Gospel about the end times. A ninth responsory is sung and the Te Deum is omitted in the Office of Advent. At Lauds the antiphons proper to the first Sunday In illa die etc, are sung with the Dominical psalms. The Office hymn is En clara vox. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Francis Xavier is sung. The Suffage is omitted.

At Prime the first antiphon from Lauds, In illa die, is sung with the usual Dominical psalms (117, 118i, 118ii). In the short responsory the versicle Qui venturus es in mundum replaces Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris for all of Advent except when an occurring feast has a proper versicle. The Dominical preces are omitted. At the other Hours the remaining antiphons of Lauds are sung in the usual order.

Mass is sung after Terce. During Advent for ferial and Dominical Masses in the Roman rite the deacon and sub-deacon do not wear the dalmatic and tunicle but violet folded chasubles, an ancient feature of the Roman liturgy. The Gloria in not sung, the second collect is of St. Francis Xavier. The Creed is sung, the preface that of the Blessed Trinity and, as the Gloria was not sung, the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the altar, not turned towards the people.

At Vespers the antiphons In illa die etc are sung with the Dominical psalms. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderum. After the collect of the Sunday commemoration are sung of the following Office of St. Peter Chyrsologus, of St. Francis Xavier and of St. Barbara. The Suffrage is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Prime there are no Dominical preces. At Mass the there is the novelty for the the Roman rite of the deacon wearing the dalmatic and the sub-deacon the tunicle in a penitential Mass of the season. Folded chasubles, so ancient and so quintessentially Roman, have been tossed aside. There is only one collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 26 November 2017

XXV and last Sunday after Pentecost


Today is the twenty-fifth, and last, Sunday after Pentecost. It is also the fifth Sunday of November. The liturgical colour is green. The Gospel pericopes from St. Matthew's Gospel contain the prophetic words of the LORD concerning the last days and the coming of the Antichrist. The texts of the twenty-fourth Sunday given in the Breviary and Missal are used.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus. The antiphon on the Magnificat was Super muros tuos for the Saturday before the fifth Sunday of November. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of S. Catherine and then of St. Sylvester and of St.Peter of Alexandria. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted due to the double feasts as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Adoremus Dominum etc and the Office hymn is Primo die. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the Prophet Micheas. In the second nocturn the lessons are from St. Basil on the thirty-third psalm. In the third nocturn the homily is from St. Jerome on St. Matthew's Gospel. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the Office hymn is Aeterne rerum Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of SS Sylvester and of St Peter. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted.

At Prime (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii) both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted because of the occurring double feast.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Sylvester, the third collect is of St. Peter. The Creed is sung and the preface of the Blessed Trinity.

Vespers are of the Sunday. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of St. Sylvester. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline due to the occurring and concurring double feasts.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Mass there is but a single collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal Nadal's image of the Antichrist enthroned whilst the clergy and people give him false worship.

Friday, 24 November 2017

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Sunday, 19 November 2017

XXIV Sunday after Pentecost

The twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour, from Mattins, is green. This year it is the fourth Sunday of November. Texts for the sixth Sunday after the Epiphany are used along with those from the twenty-third Sunday as there are more than twenty-four Sundays after Pentecost. The texts in the Missal for the twenty-fourth Sunday will be used next week.

Vespers yesterday afternoon were second Vespers of the feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of SS Peter and Paul. The antiphons Domum tuam, Domine etc were sung, doubled, with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 147. The Office hymn was Caelestis urbs Jerusalem. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday was sung (the antiphon on the Magnificat being Qui caelorum for the Saturday before the fourth Sunday of November) followed by commemorations of St. Elizabeth and St. Pontianus. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted due to the double feasts as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Adoremus Dominum etc and the Office hymn is Primo die. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the Book of the Prophet Osee. In the second nocturn the lessons are from St. Augustine's City of God. In the third nocturn (from the propers for the sixth Sunday after the Epiphany) the homily is from St. Jerome on St. Matthew's Gospel. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the Office hymn is Aeterne rerum Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of St. Elizabeth and St. Pontianus. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted.

At Prime (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii) both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted.

Mass is sung after Terce. The introit, gradual, Alleluia verse, offertory and communion texts are those of the twenty-third Sunday. The rest of the texts are those of the sixth Sunday after the Epiphany. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Elizabeth, the third collect is of St. Pontianus. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Blessed Trinity.

Vespers are of the Sunday (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113). The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following Office of St. Felix of Valois and of St. Elizabeth. The Suffrage is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' on Saturday Vespers are of the Sunday without even a commemoration of the Dedication of the Basilica of SS Peter & Paul. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Mass there is only one collect. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

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