Wednesday, 29 April 2009
The Solemnity of St. Joseph
Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph Sponse of the Blessed Virgin. It is a double of the first class and has an octave. The feast was introduced into the Universal Kalendar by Pius IX in 1847 as the 'Patronage of St. Joseph' as a double of the second class to be celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter. In 1870 the feast was raised to a double of the first class and given an octave with 'Patron of the Church' added. In 1911 the feast was renamed the Solemnity of St. Joseph and became a primary double of the first class. In 1913 the celebration was moved to the Wednesday after the second Sunday after Easter. Although relatively modern the feast is a fine example of typology with the Patriarch Joseph being used as a 'type' of the foster-father of the LORD.
The feast began with first Vespers yesterday afternoon. Vespers were proper and without any commemorations. The Office is proper. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the book of Genesis and ar eslightly extended in comparison with St. Joseph's 19 March feast. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon on St. Joseph by St. Bernardine of Siena and in the third nocturn the homily is from St. Augustine on the Gospel fragment from St. Luke. A commemoration of St. Peter the Martyr is made at Lauds and private Mass.
Mass follows Terce and is proper, with the introit Adjutor. The Gloria and Creed are sung and the preface is that of St. Joseph. In second Vespers a commemoration is made of the following Office of St. Catharine of Siena.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Solemnity of St. Joseph does not exist as this beautiful feast was shamefully supressed in 1956. So,instead, St. Peter the Martyr is kept as a third class feast, without first Vespers, just one nocturn at Mattins etc. Interesting to see what happened to the Church after its Patron's feast was scrapped...