Sunday, 28 June 2009

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost


The fourth Sunday after Pentecost is the first 'green' Sunday since the beginning of February (not counting the anticipated fifth Sunday after Epiphany that was celebrated on the Saturday before Septuagesima) so time for sacristans to take out and dust down the best sets of green vestments. Although the first 'green' Sunday almost all Masses can be in white for St. John the Baptist as will be noted below.

At Vespers yesterday commemorations were sung of the day within the Octave of St. John the Baptist and St. Irenaeus. The Dominical preces were omitted at Compline because of being within an Octave and also the occurring double feast.

At Mattins the 'summer' hymn Nocte surgentes is sung. In the first nocturn the lessons are taken from the First Book of Kings. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon of St. Augustine and in the third nocturn from St. Ambrose on the Gospel of St. Luke on the huge catch of fish at the lake of Genesareth.

At Lauds a commemoration of the occuring feast day of St. Irenaeus is sung and also the Octave of St. John the Baptist. At Prime Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted because of the occurring double feast etc.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung and after the collect of the day the second collect is of St Irenaeus, the third of the Octave of St. John the Baptist. The Creed is sung and the preface is that of Sunday.

For a short period at the beginning of the twentieth century the Feast of St. John the Baptist was moved from the 24th June to the fourth Sunday of June. Following the restoration of the feast to its authentic date there remained the possibility (SRC 4308) of celebrating the Mass of St. John the Baptist with a commemoration of the Sunday, Creed because of the Sunday and last Gospel of the Sunday. All Masses with the exception of the Conventual Mass may be of the feast.

Vespers are first Vespers of the following feast of SS Peter and Paul with a commemoration of the Sunday.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' both Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart are considered less important than in previous times and so both feasts have lost their Octaves and the 1962 people have had two 'green' Sundays already. At Vespers there were no commemorations. Mattins is cut down to one nocturn. There are no commemorations at Lauds. Mass has a single collect. St. Irenaeus has been moved to July 3rd. St. John the Baptist has been stripped of his Octave.

Friday, 26 June 2009

How to read the Ordo - III


As the earlier posts were clearly of some use to readers here is a third example of the Ordo entry for a day explained.

Today is both the anticipated Vigil of SS Peter and Paul and the fourth day within the Octave of St. John the Baptist. The Vigil is anticipated as a common vigil cannot occur on a Sunday. As SS Peter and Paul fall on a Monday this year their Vigil is anticipated by commemoration today (as its Office cannot be celebrated being of simple rite whilst the day within the Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist is of semi-double rite).

'De IV die inf Oct Nat S Joannis* Baptistae, sd' informs us that the fourth day within the Octave of St. John the Baptist is celebrated and is of semi-double rite. The asterisk is a reminder to the celebrant that a bow is made at the name of St. John in the Canon. Semi-double rite means the antiphons at Mattins, Lauds and Vespers are not doubled and that Mattins has three nocturns.

'Ad Mat L IX Vig et com Vig* in L et M.' This means that in the third nocturn the lessons of the Vigil are read as the ninth lesson to commemorate the Vigil. A commemoration of the Vigil is sung at Lauds and at Mass (the asterisk again indicates a bow of the head at the name of Ss Peter and Paul.

'In M Gl, 3 or Concede nos, ult Ev Vig' translates as at Mass the Gloria is sung (the second collect from the line above is for the Vigil of SS Peter and Paul), the third collect is of the Blessed Virgin and the last Gospel is that of the Vigil in place of In principio.

'Vel M priv ad lib de Vig*, 2 or Oct Nat S Joannis* Baptistae, 3 or Concede nos - Color violaceus' is informing the reader that a 'private' Mass may be of the Vigil with a commemoration of the Octave and the third collect of the Blessed Virgin. These Masses would be celebrated in violet vestments as the Gloria is not sung Benedicamus Domino is the dismissal.

'V seq, com praec et S Irenaei EM' means that Vespers are first Vespers of the Sunday (in green noting the second colour indicator letter in the right-hand column) with commemorations sung of the preceding Office of the day within the Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist and of the feast occurring tomorrow, St. Irenaeus.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist



Today is the great feast of St. John the Baptist. It is a double of the first class with an Octave.

Following from the last post let us dissect what the Ordo entry means for today.


The date and liturgical colour are self-explanatory. The double cross at the beginning of the entry indicates that today is a 'Day of Devotion' i.e. formerly a holyday that is no longer observed as such. As we noted above the feast is a double of the first class and has an Octave.

'Missa pro Populo' means that (according to the 1917 CIC) today is a day when all those to whom pastoral office is entrusted celebrate Mass for the flock committed to their care.

'Off pr' translates as the Office is proper. Looking at the liturgical books containing the Office this becomes clear. The feast has proper texts and antiphons. Mattins has three nocturns of nine lessons (which is usual for all doubles except Easter and Pentecost).

'Com Oct DNJC in L et M' tells us that the Octave of the Sacred Heart is commemorated at Lauds and at Mass. In the Office a commemoration is made by singing the antiphon, versicle and response and the collect of the commemoration. At Mass the collect of the Octave is sung after the collect of the feast.

'In M Gl, Cr (ratione Oct DNJC), Praef SS Cordis' means that in the Mass the Gloria is sung, the Creed is sung because of the commemorated Octave of the Sacred Heart (in the traditional rite St. John the Baptist does not have a Creed) and, as the Mass of St. John the Baptist does not have its own preface that of the occurring Octave is sung.

'V fest, com seq et Oct' translates as Vespers of the feast with a commemoration of the following Office of St. William and of the Octave of the Sacred Heart.

Is Ordo-speak that difficult?

Monday, 22 June 2009

How to read the Ordo - I



A comment from a reader expressed the view that Ordo-speak is not easily understandable so this is the first of several posts the aim of which is to explain the Ordo entries. It really is not about reading Latin but learning Ordo-speak.

Starting with the left-hand column that is simply the day of the month. The right-hand column gives the liturgical colour of the day, in this case 'A' for albus - white. (Beware that 'V' is for viridis - green but 'U' is for violaceus - violet.)

Reading the central block 'Fer III' is Tuesday. In parenthesis the next piece of information is that it is the Vigil of the feast of St. John the Baptist. The entry is in parenthesis because the Vigil cannot be celebrated in its entirety because there is a higher ranking feast, in this case the fifth day within the Octave of the Sacred Heart. The rank of the Office to be kept is then indicated - 'sd' for semi-duplex - semi-double. A semi-double will be a feast of nine lessons (i.e. three nocturns) at Mattins except for days within the Octaves of Easter and Pentecost.

'Off ut in fest et pr loco' translates as the Office is as on the feast and what is proper to the day. In practice this means that most of the texts come from the actual feast of the Sacred Heart. When looking at the Breviary or Antiphonale this becomes easy to see. The parts proper to the day are the lessons at Mattins.

'Ad Mat L IX Vig et com Vig* in L et M' is telling us that the ninth lesson at Mattins is of the Vigil and that the Vigil is also commemorated at Lauds and at Mass. The asterisk indicates that the name of St. John the Baptist is in the Canon and the celebrant makes a bow of the head when he says that name.

'In M Gl, 3 or Concede nos, Cr, Praef pr, ult Ev Vig.' means that at Mass the Gloria is sung, the third prayer (oration) is Concede nos (we know that the second collect is of the Vigil from the preceding line explained in the paragraph above) that the Creed is sung, the preface is proper, i.e. of the Sacred Heart and that the last Gospel is of the commemorated Vigil rather than In principio.

The next line informs us that 'private' Masses may be of the Vigil (again the asterisk reminds the celebrant that a bow of the head is made at the name of St. John in the Canon) that the Gloria is not said (noted by the omission of 'Gl'), the second collect is of the Octave, the third collect is Concede nos, the preface is of the Sacred Heart and the dismissal is Bendicamus Domino and that the vestment colour is violet.

Vespers are first Vespers of the following feast (note the second colour letter in the right-hand column) and that the Octave is commemorated.

Was this explanation helpful?

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart


Today is the Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart, the third Sunday after Pentecost. The Sunday is of semi-double rite and fall within the Octave which is a privileged octave of the third order. Again this Sunday the Church's altars and ministers are vested in white.

The feast of the Sacred Heart had been extended to the Universal Kalendar by Pius IX in 1856 as a greater double. Leo XIII raised it to a double of the first class in 1889. On May 8th 1928 Piux XI granted a privileged octave of the third order to the feast and a new Office and Mass were composed and issued the following year along with a proper preface. Pius XII stripped the octave away in 1956.

Yesterday at Vespers the antiphons (not doubled) and psalms were as on the feast of the Sacred Heart, the chapter, antiphon on the Magnificat and collect of the Sunday. A commemoraton of the Octave and of St. Aloysius Gonzaga were sung. During the Octave the hymns of the Little Hours are sung to a special melody with the Doxology Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui Corde fundis gratiam, Cum Patre et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula.

At Mattins all is sung as on the feast except the lessons. In the first nocturn occuring scripture is from the First Book of Kings. In the second nocturn the lessons are from Pius XI's Encyclical honouring the feast and in the third nocturn a homily of St. Gregory on the Gospel. At Lauds the antiphons and psalms are as on the feast; the chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect of the Sunday. A commemoration is sung of St. Aloysius and of the Octave.

At Prime the psalms are festal. In the short responsory the versicle is Qui Corde fundis gratiam.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is for St. Aloysius, the thrid for the Octave, the Creed is sung and the preface is that of the Octave.

Vespers are as on the feast with the chapter, antiphon on the Magnificat and collect of the Sunday. A commemoration is sung of the following feast of St. Paulinus, of St. Aloysius and the Octave.

According to the books of the 'Extraordinary Form' of the New Rite the Octave has been stripped away. The Sunday is a 'green' one with no commemorations at Vespers. Mattins is stripped down to one nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations - both the Octave and St. Aloysius are ignored. At the Hours the Dominical tone is used for the hymns, the special Doxology has of course gone. At Mass there is but one collect and the preface of the Sunday.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Octave Day of Corpus Christi


The Octave Day of Corpus Christi is of greater double rite. The Office is sung as on the feast itself except the lessons of Mattins which are proper. In the first nocturn the lessons are taking from occuring scripture, the First Book of Kings. In the second nocturn they are taken from a sermon of St. Cyril of Jerusalem and in the third nocturn the homily on the Gospel is by St. Cyril of Alexandria.

The antiphons are today doubled, as on the feast. At Lauds a commemoration is sung of St. Ephrem the Syrian and of SS Mark and Marcellian. As has been sung throughout the Octave the hymns at the Little Hours have the tone used on the Nativity. Prime is festal and has the versicle Qui natus es.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is for St. Ephrem, the third for SS Mark and Marcellian. The sequence Lauda Sion must be sung (it is optional on the other days within the Octave), the Creed is sung and the preface is that of the Nativity.

Vespers are first Vespers of the following feast of the Sacred Heart without any commemoration of the preceding Octave Day as both are considered to be the same mystery.

The Caeremoniale Episcoporum prescribed a Processon after Vespers today that was to be less solemn than that on the Feast itself (C.E. Lib II, Cap. XXXIII, 34. However this Procession was lost in the changes made by Piux X when Corpus Christi ceased to be a holy day in some countries like England and Wales until its restoration by Benedict XV.

Interestingly in Valencia, Spain, the Octave Day is still kept at the 'College of the Patriarch' - New Liturgical Movement gives a short account and videos of the praxis.

Meanwhile following the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Octave of Corpus Christi has been abolished, presumably such devotion to the Eucharist being contrary to the spirit of the times, and so a series of third class feasts and ferial days have been celebrated instead of the Octave.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi


Today is Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi and the Second Sunday after Pentecost, it is of semi-double rite. Today the altars and vestments of the traditioal Roman rite are of the finest white in honour of the Octave of the feast of the Sacrament of the LORD's Passion, Death and Resurrection.

At Vespers yesterday the antiphons and psalms were as on the feast of Corpus Christi, the antiphons though not being of course doubled. The chapter was of the Sunday, the hymn of the feast and the antiphon on the Magnificat and collect of the Sunday. A commemoration was then sung of the Octave and of St. Basil the Great.

At Mattins again the antiphons and psalms are as on the feast. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the First Book of Kings. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a homily of St. Chrysostom to the people of Antioch and in the third nocturn a homily of St. Gregory the Great on the Gospel. At Lauds the antiphons and hymn are of the feast, a commemoration of the Octave is sung and of St. Basil.

At the Little Hours on the feast and Octave the hymns are sung to the same tone as on the feast of the Nativity of the LORD (there of course being a deep link between the Incarnation and Corpus Christi) with the Doxology Jesu tibi sit gloria etc. At Prime the versicle in the short responsory is Qui natus es for the feast and Octave, the short lesson is Filioli mei.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect of the Octave, the third collect of St Basil. The Creed is sung and the preface is that of the Nativity.

In Collegiate and Cathedral Churches on the Sunday within the Octave a Mass of the feast is sung after None with Gloria, second collect of the Sunday, Sequence, Creed, preface of the Nativity and last Gospel of the Sunday. After this a Procession is made as on the feast.

The Caermoniale Episcoporum gives detailed instructions for the Procession (indeed so detailed they forsee the bishop having to excommunicate persons who cannot agree their position in procession!) It also sanctions the practice of Mass and Vespers coram Sanctissimo during the Octave. The screen capture below shows Bishop Dolan celebrating the Solemnity of Corpus Christi this morning at St. Gertrudes. Note how he has moved to the Gospel side to sing Dominus vobiscum so as not to turn his back on the exposed Sacrament.



Vespers are of the Octave, the chapter of the Sunday, with a commemoration of the Octave, St. Basil and SS Vitus and Companions.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast of Corpus Christi has been denuded of most of its richness. The links with the Incarnation are gone. The hymn tones are not those of the Nativity, the Doxology has gone, the versicle at Prime has gone as has the preface of the Nativity to be replaced by the common preface. Shamefully on this Sunday green vestments are used and the Octave has of course gone. St. Basil too doesn't get commemorated. A rubric in the 1962 missal does however allow two 'votive Masses II class' where a procession takes place in the 'seven days following the feast'. Ironically, in the 1970-2002 rite in many countries some of the former character of the Sunday within the Octave has been restored where the External Solemnity or feast is observed on this Sunday and white vestments are again used. Today it is easy to spot an enemy of orthopraxis: they will be wearing green!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Trinity Sunday


Today is the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. It is also the first Sunday after Pentecost, marking the return of 'green' time after the Septuagesima -Lent-Paschal period. The feast is now a Double of the First Class. The Office for a local feast seems to have originated in Liege in the tenth century and the celebration spread in northern France and England. The Franciscan John Peckham revised the texts in the thirteenth century. In 1334 the feast was extended to the Universal Calendar. It appears as a double of the Second Class in the Tridentine Missal of 1570 and was raised to Double of the First Class by Pius X.

The feast began with first Vespers on Saturday marking the beginning of the Summer (Aestiva) volume of the Breviarium Romanum. The Office is proper with proper antiphons and festal psalms although the chapter and hymn will be used at Vespers on Saturdays for all the Sundays after Pentecost. The antiphon on the Magnificat and the collect are proper. A commemoration is sung of the first Sunday after Pentecost. After Vespers the antiphon etc. Salve Regina returns.

At Mattins there are three nocturns. The antiphons and responsories are proper. In the first nocturn the lessons are from Isaiah. In the second nocturn they are taken from the Book of Bishop Fulgentius on faith and in the third nocturn from a homily of St. Gregory Nazianzen, the ninth lesson is of the first Sunday after Pentecost. At Lauds a commemoration of the Sunday is sung.

At Prime the Creed of St. Athanasius, Quicumque, is sung after the last unit of Ps. 118. Prior to Pius X Quicumque was sung on all Sundays throughout the year when the Office was Dominical. In many Uses, e.g. Sarum, it was sung on many more days in the year too.

Mass is sung after Terce. Before Mass at the sprinkling of lustral water the antiphon Asperges me returns. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday, the Credo is sung, the preface that of the Most Holy Trinity (used for all Sundays not having a proper preface after 1752), and the last Gospel of the Sunday.

In second Vespers a commemoration of the first Sunday after Pentecost is sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' all commemorations of the first Sunday are omitted at both Vespers, Mattins and Lauds. Quicumque is only sung on this Sunday in the 1962 rite.