Wednesday, 21 September 2011
St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist - Ember Wednesday
The feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist is a Double of the Second class and the liturgical colour of the feast is red. This year the feast falls on the Ember Wednesday in September. Yesterday the feast was preceded by a Vigil which was commemorated in the Office of SS Eustace and Companions with the ninth lesson of the Vigil at Mattins and commemoration of the Vigil at Lauds and Mass, and with last Gospel of the Vigil at the end of Mass. Private Masses were allowed of the Vigil with a commemoration of SS Eustace and Companions and in Cathedral and Collegiate Churches two Masses were celebrated: the first of SS Eustace and Companions after Terce, and that of the Vigil after None.
Celebration of the feast of St. Matthew began with first Vespers yesterday afternoon. The antiphons from the Common of Apostles, Hoc est praeceptum meum etc., were sung with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 and 116. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the preceding Office was sung. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung.
At Mattins in the first nocturn the antiphons In omnem terram etc are sung with psalms 18, 33 & 44, all taken from the Common of Apostles, with the lessons and responsories also from the Common. In the second nocturn the antiphons Principes populorum etc are sung with psalms 46, 60 & 63. The lessons are proper to the feast. In the third nocturn the antiphons Exaltabuntur etc are sung with psalms 74, 96 & 98. The homily on St. Matthew's Gospel is from St. Jerome's Commentary on the same and is proper to the feast. The ninth lesson is of the Ember Wednesday and is a homily from St. Bede. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons Hoc est praeceptum meum etc are sung with the Sunday psalms. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Ember Wednesday is sung.
At the Little Hours the antiphons Hoc est praeceptum meum etc are sung with the festal psalms (at Prime 53, 118i & 118ii). At Prime the lectio brevis is Ibant Apostoli.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Ember Wednesday. The collect used to commemorate the Ember Wednesday is the first collect that would have been sung after the Kyrie in the proper Mass, Misericordiae. (In the Missale Romanum the propers for the September Ember Days are found after those for the XVII Sunday after Pentecost). The Creed is sung, the preface is that of the Apostles and the last Gospel that of the Ember Wednesday.
At Second Vespers the antiphons Hoc est praeceptum meum are again sung, at this hour with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the following feast of St. Thomas of Villanova. At Compline the Sunday psalms are sung.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Vigil for the feast of St. Matthew has been abolished as have First Vespers. This year the Ember Days are celebrated in the same week in the 'Extraordinary Form' as in the old rite. At Compline on Tuesday the ferial psalms were sung. The feast retains its three nocturns at Mattins but there is no ninth lesson of the Ember Wednesday. At the Little Hours ferial psalmody is used and, at Prime the short lesson is of the season. At Mass the last Gospel is In principio. At Vespers there is a commemoration of the Ember Day (!) having the antiphon for the Benedictus being repeated at Vespers but with no commemoration of the following feast.