The fourth day within the Octave of the Assumption is of semi-double rite. It is the only day now within the Octave to be celebrated as such due to the inclusion of double feasts of saints who had a particular devotion to the BVM.
The Office is as on the Feast itself, but the antiphons and psalms come from the Psalter for Wednesday. All hymns of Iambic metre are sung to the Doxology and tone on the Incarnation.
At Mattins in the first nocturn the lessons are taken as on the feast from the Canticle of Canticles with its exquisite poetry and symbolic language. The responsories of the feast are used. A section of the third lesson illustrates the beauty of the texts (these of course I noted in the preceding post were used as an epistle in the Sarum rite):
Favus distillans labia tua, sponsa, mel et lac sub lingua tua; et odor vestimentorum tuorum sicut odor thuris. Hortus conclusus soror mea sponsa, hortus conclusus, fons signatus. Emissiones tuae paradisus malorum punicorum cum pomorum fructibus, cypri cum nardo.
Thy lips, my spouse, are as a dropping honey comb, honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments, as the smell of frankincense. My sister, my spouse, is like a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up. Thy plants are a paradise of pomegranates with the fruits of the orchard. Cypress with spikenard. (Translation by the nuns of Stanbrook Abbey)
In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the Second Discourse of St. John Damascene on the Dormition of the Mother of God and are again beautiful and rich in their didactic content:
An ancient tradition has been handed down to us, that, at the time of the glorious falling-asleep of the blessed Virgin, all the Apostles, who were wandering throughout the world preaching salvation to the Gentiles, were caught up aloft in the twinkling of an eye, and met together in Jerusalem. And when they were all there, a vision of Angels appeared to them, and the chant of the heavenly powers was heard; and so with divine glory she gave up her soul into the hands of God. But her body, which bore God in an effable manner, being lifted up amid the hymns of Angels and Apostles was laid in a tomb in Gethsemane. There for three whole days the angelic song was heard. (Lesson IV)
But after three days, the chant of the Angels ceased, and the Apostles who were present (for Thomas, the only one who had been absent, came after the third day, and wished to adore the body which had borne God) opened the tomb; but they could by no means find her sacred body in any part of it. But when they only found those garments in which she had been buried, and were filled with indescribable fragrance which emanated from them, they closed the tomb. Amazed at this wonderful mystery they could only think that he, who had been pleased to take flesh from the Virgin Mary, to be made man, and to be born though he was God the Word, and the Lord of glory, he who had preserved her virginity without stain after childbirth, should also have been pleased to honour her pure body after her death, keeping it incorrupt, and translating it into Heaven before the general resurrection. (Lesson V)
In the sixth lesson St. John lists those present who had seen the body of the Virgin, including in addition to the Apostles, Timothy bishop of Ephesus (recipient of the Pauline Epistles), Dionysisus the Areopagite and Hierotheus.
The photograph is taken from a fascinating post on The New Liturgical Movement showing Spanish practices for the Assumption and featuring the Mystery of Elche, a mystery play that contains most of the elements that St. John Damascene describes. In this photograph S. John the Apostle is venerating the body of the dead Mother of God prior to her burial procession.
In the third nocturn the lessons are from the 27th Sermon of St. Augustine on the Words of the Lord. The ninth lesson is for St. Agapitus the Martyr.
At Lauds a commemoration of St. Agapitus is sung. At Prime Qui natus es is sung in the short responsory, the lectio brevis is In plateis as on the feast.
Mass is sung after Sext. The Conventual Mass is that of the 'resumed' Mass of Pentecost XII which could not be celebrated due to the occurrence of the Feast of the Assumption on Sunday. According to Additiones I, #6 this Mass is of simple rite without Gloria and without Creed. The second collect is of the Octave and the third collect is for St. Agapitus. As the Gloria is not sung Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal and the colour of the vestments is green.
However, 'private' Masses may be of the Octave. The defintion of 'private' is actually quite complicated and suffice it to say, that a High Mass may be a private Mass. In the Mass of Octave, the glorious Gaudeamus, the Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the resumed Sunday, the third collect is for St. Agapitus, the Credo is sung, the preface is of the BVM. As the Sunday's Gospel was read as a proper last Gospel on the feast itself it is not read as last Gospel today.
Vespers are of the following feast of St. John Eudes with a commemoration of the Octave.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' of course the Octave has been done away with. No proper Doxology is sung at the hymns, no Qui natus es etc. Ferial Vespers are sung.