Sunday, 26 June 2011

Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi


Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi, the Second Sunday after Pentecost, is of semi-double rite. Today the altars and vestments of the traditional 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 Sacerdos in aeternum etc, not doubled, were sung with psalms 109, 110, 115, 127 & 147. The chapter was of the Sunday, the hymn and the following versicle & response were of the feast. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect were of the Sunday followed by commemorations of the Octave, SS John and Paul, St. William the Abbot and the Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation, Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui natus es de Virgine, Cum Patre et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula.

At Mattins the invitatory is Christum Regem adoremus dominantem Gentibus: Qui se manducantibus dat spiritus pinguedinem. The Office hymn is Sacris solemnis. The antiphons and psalms are as on the feast of Corpus Christi. The lessons are proper to the Sunday. In the first nocturn they are taken from the First Book of Kings. In the second nocturn they are taken from a sermon of St. Chrysostom to the people of Antioch and the homily in the third nocturn is from St. Gregory on St. Luke's Gospel. At Lauds the antiphons are those sung on the feast of Corpus Christi, Sapientia etc. The chapter is of the Sunday, the hymn as on the feast. The antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are of the Sunday. Commemorations are sung of the Octave of Corpus Christi, SS John & Paul and the Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

At the Little Hours 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 festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii), the versicle in the short responsory is Qui natus es for the feast and Octave, the short lesson is Filioli mei, of the Sunday.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Octave, the third collect of SS John and Paul, the fourth collect of the Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. The Creed is sung and the preface is that of the Nativity.

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

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms are as at Second Vespers of the feast. The chapter is of the Sunday, the hymn, versicle & response of the feast and the antiphon on the Magnificat and collect of the Sunday. Commemorations are sung of the Octave of Corpus Christi and the Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi has been abolished. The Second Sunday after Pentecost is celebrated as a 'green' Sunday. Mattins is stripped down to one nocturn of three lessons with the invitatory and antiphons of the Sunday. There are no commemorations at either Vespers, Lauds or Mass. The hymn tones are not those of the Nativity, the Doxology has gone, the versicle at Prime is Qui sedes. The Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist has been abolished as has the Octave of Corpus Christi.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Corpus Christi

The feast of Corpus Christi is a Double of the First Class with a privileged Octave of the Second Order. The liturgical colour of the feast is white.

Celebration of the feast began with First Vespers yesterday afternoon. The antiphons Sacerdos in aeternum etc were sung with psalms 109, 110, 115, 127 & 147. The chapter, hymn, versicle and response, antiphon on the Magnificat and collect are all proper feast. There were no commemoration. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation, Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui natus es de Virgine, Cum Patre et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula.

At Mattins the invitatory is Christum Regem adoremus dominantem Gentibus: Qui se manducantibus dat spiritus pinguedinem. The Office hymn is Sacris solemnis. The antiphons and psalms are proper at each of the nocturns. In the first nocturn the antiphons Fructum salutiferum etc are sung with psalms 1, 4 & 15. The lessons are taken from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. In the second nocturn the antiphons Memor sit Dominus etc are sung with psalms 19, 22 & 41, the lessons are taken from the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. In the third nocturn Introibo ad altare Dei etc are sung with psalms 42, 80 & 83. The homily is from St. Augustine on St. John's Gospel. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons, Sapientia etc., are a different set to those sung at Vespers. These are sung with the Dominical psalms (92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148. The Office hymn is Verbum supernum. There are no commemorations.

At the Hours the antiphons from Laudes are sung with the festal psalms. The Office hymns are sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii) the versicle Qui natus es is inserted into the short responsory and the lectio brevis is Quicumque manducaverit panem etc.

The Mass, Cibavit eos, is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the Sequence Lauda Sion is sung, the Creed is sung and the preface is of the Nativity. Two large altar breads are placed on the corporal and consecrated. After the consecration the rubrics for Mass coram Sanctissimo are followed, with the celebrant not turning his back on the altar. Ite, missa est, the blessing and last Gospel are said as normal. After Mass the celebrant exchanges his chausuble for a cope and a Procession takes place. The Caermoniale Episcoporum gives detailed instructions for the Procession (indeed so detailed they forsee the bishop having to excommunicate persons who cannot agree their respective position in procession!) It also sanctions the practice of Mass and Vespers coram Sanctissimo during the Octave.

At Second Vespers all is at First Vespers except the antiphon on the Magnificat which is proper. A commemoration is sung of the following feast of St. John the Baptist. (This year the liturgical Vigil of St. John is not kept).

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the hymns of the Hours do not have their Doxology changed in honour of the Incarnation. At Prime the versicle is of the season, not of the Incarnation, and the lectio brevis is of the season too. At Mass the common preface is sung. When a Procession takes place Benedicamus Domino is sung instead of Ite, missa est, the blessing and last Gospel are omitted. The Octave has been abolished.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Trinity Sunday


Today is the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. It is also the first Sunday after Pentecost. The feast is now a Double of the First Class having been raised to that rank in the reforms of 1911-13. Before that it was a Double of the Second Class and before that a double. Its origins appear to be as a local feast that originated in Liege in the tenth century with its celebration spreading in northern France and England. The Franciscan John Peckham revised the texts in the thirteenth century. In many local rites (and in the Dominican rite) Sundays were counted after Trinity rather than Pentecost, as indeed they are the BCP.

The feast began yesterday with first Vespers on Saturday marking the beginning of the Summer (Aestiva) volume of the Breviarium Romanum. The Office is proper. The antiphons Gloria tibi Trinitas etc sung with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 and 116. The chapter, O altitudo, and hymn, Jam sol recedit, will be used at Vespers on Saturdays for all the Sundays after Pentecost. The antiphon on the Magnificat, Gratias tibi, Deus etc, and the collect are proper. A commemoration was sung of the first Sunday after Pentecost. After Vespers the antiphon Salve Regina is sung for the first time this year.

At Mattins there are three nocturns. The invitatory is proper, Deum verum, unum in Trinitate, et Trinitatm in Unitate, Venite adoremus. In the first nocturn he antiphons, Adesto, unus Deus etc., are sung with psalms 8, 18 & 23. The lessons are taken from the sixth chapter of the Prophet Isaiah. In the second nocturn the antiphons, Te invocamus etc., are sung with psalms 46, 47 & 71, the lessons are taken from the Book of Bishop Fulgentius on faith. In the third nocturn the antiphons Caritas Pater est etc are sung with psalms 95, 96 & 97. The homily is from St. Gregory Nazianzen. The ninth lesson is of the first Sunday after Pentecost. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons, Gloria tibi, Trinitas etc., are sung with the Dominical psalms (92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). The Office hymn is Tu, Trinitatis Unitas. Aa commemoration is sung of the Sunday.

At Prime the festal psalms are sung (53, 118i & 118ii) under the antiphon Gloria tibi Trinitas. The Creed of St. Athanasius, Quicumque, is sung after the last stanza of Ps. 118. Prior to the 1911-13 reform 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. The lectio brevis is Tres sunt.

Mass is sung after Terce. Before Mass at the sprinkling of lustral water the antiphon Asperges me returns. The Mass is proper, Benedicta sit. 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 is of the Sunday.

In second Vespers the antiphons Gloria tibi, Trinitas etc are sung with the Sunday psalms. A commemoration of the first Sunday after Pentecost is sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there is no commemoration of the first Sunday after Pentecost at Vespers, Mattins or Lauds. The eighth lesson is split into two to make a ninth lesson for the feast. At Prime Quicumque is sung only on this Sunday in the 1962 rite, the lectio brevis is Dominus autem dirigat. At Mass there is no commemoration of the Sunday, and no proper last Gospel.

Art: Rublev's Icon from Wikipedia. The Icon depicts the Hospitality of Abraham and which has been interpreted as representing the Trinity.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Ember Saturday in the Octave of Pentecost

Ember Saturday in the Octave of Pentecost is of semi-double rite and the last of the summer Quarter-Tense days. The liturgical colour is the red of the Octave.

The Office is as on the feast, except for those parts that are proper, but the antiphons at Mattins and Lauds are not doubled. At Mattins the invitatory, hymn, antiphons and psalms are those that were sung on the feast of Pentecost. The versicle and response are Repleti sunt omnes Spiritu Sancto, alleluia and Et coeperunt loqui, alleluia. The lessons of the homily are taken from the writings of St. Ambrose on St. Luke's Gospel. At Lauds the antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to the day. Commemorations are sung of St. Ephrem and SS Mark and Marcellinus.

At the Hours all is celebrated as on Pentecost Sunday. At Terce the hymn is Veni Creator. The Pentecost Doxology is sung at the conclusion of hymns of the Hours.

Mass is sung after None, as on the Ember Days this week. The Mass is proper with the introit Caritas Dei etc. After the Kyrie there are a series of five structural units comprising of the invitation Oremus, followed by a collect, O.T. reading and Alleluia. The readings are from Joel, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus again and Daniel. After the pericope from Daniel the Alleluia is a fragment of the hymn of the Three Men in the fiery furnace, Alleluia, Benedictus es, Domine, Deus patrum nostrorum et laudabilis in saecula. The the Gloria is sung followed by the collect Deus, qui tribus pueris. After this collect commemorations are sung of St. Ephrem and SS Mark and Marcellinus. The sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus is sung but without Alleluia at its conclusion, the Creed is sung, the preface, Hanc igitur and communicantes are of Pentecost.

After Mass has been sung the Office of the Octave of Pentecost and Paschaltide come to an end. At the noon bell the last Regina Caeli is sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the distinction between the rank of the feast and Monday and Tuesday with the rest of the Octave has been lost with all days being first class and excluding all commemorations. The antiphons are doubled at both the Greater and Little Hours. The Pentecost Doxology is not sung at the Little Hours. A 'mini-Mass' Ember Day is permitted whereby only one OT reading, that from Joel, is read.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Ember Friday in the Octave of Pentecost

Ember Friday in the Octave of Pentecost is the second of the summer Quarter-Tense days. It is of semi-double rite. The liturgical colour is the red of the Octave.

The Office is as on the feast of Pentecost, except for those parts that are proper, but the antiphons at Mattins, Lauds and Vespers are not doubled. At Mattins the invitatory, hymn, antiphons and psalms are those that were sung on the feast. The versicle and response are Spiritus Paraclitus, alleluia and Docebit vos omnia, alleluia. The lessons of the homily are taken from the writings of St. Ambrose on St. Luke's Gospel. At Lauds the antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to the day.

At the Hours all is celebrated as on Pentecost Sunday. At Terce the hymn is Veni Creator. The Pentecost Doxology is sung at the conclusion of the hymns.

Mass, as on Wednesday, is sung after None. This is common to the Ember Days of the other seasons. Unlike the other Ember Days the deacon and subdeacon do not wear folded chasubles as the colour of the Octave is used. The Mass is proper with the introit Repleatur os meum etc. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is Ecclesiae, for the Church. The sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus is sung, the Creed is sung, the preface, Hanc igitur and communicantes are of Pentecost.

Vespers are as on the feast, except the antiphons are not doubled. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect are proper. Commemorations are sung of St. Ephrem the Syrian and SS Mark and Marcellianus.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Ember Wednesday in the Octave of Pentecost

Ember Wednesday in the Octave of Pentecost is one of the summer Quarter-Tense days. It is of semi-double rite, as are the remaining days within the Octave. The liturgical colour is the red of the Octave.

The Office is as on the feast, except for those parts that are proper, but the antiphons at Mattins, Lauds and Vespers are not doubled. At Mattins the invitatory, hymn, antiphons and psalms are those that were sung on the feast and the past two days. The versicle and response are proper to the Wednesday. The lessons of the homily continue to be taken from the writings of St. Augustine on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to the day. A commemoration is sung of the martrys SS Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia.

At the Hours all is celebrated as on Pentecost Sunday. At Terce the hymn is Veni Creator. The Pentecost Doxology is sung at the conclusion of hymns of Iambic metre. The collect is proper to the Ember Wednesday.

Mass is sung after None, as on the Ember Days of the other seasons. Unlike the other Ember Days the deacon and subdeacon do not wear folded chasubles as the colour of the Octave is used, so they wear red dalmatic and tunicle. The Mass is proper. After the Kyrie Oremus is sung but without Flectamus genua. A collect follows, Mentes nostras, followed by lesson from the Acts of the Apostles. After the lesson an Alleluia is sung followed by the Gloria in excelsis then the collect Praesta, quaesumus. A commemoration is sung of SS Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia. The sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus is sung, the Creed is sung, the preface, Hanc igitur and communicantes are of Pentecost.

Vespers are as on the feast, except the antiphons are not doubled. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect are proper.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Within the Octave

Monday and Tuesday within the Octave of Pentecost are both Doubles of the First Class. The liturgical colour throughout the Octave is red and no feast may be celebrated within the Octave.

On Monday, in the nocturn, all is as on the feast except the lessons, proper to the day, are taken from a homily of St. Augustine. At Lauds all is again as on the feast except the antiphon on the Benedictus and collect which are proper. At the Hours all hymns have the proper Doxology and the collect of the day is sung. At Terce the hymn is Veni, creator.

Mass is sung after Terce. The texts are proper to the day. The Gloria is sung, the Sequence is sung and the Creed. The preface, communicantes and Hanc igitur are those of Pentecost. At Vespers all is as on the feast except the antiphon on the Magnificat and collect. There are no commemorations.

On Tuesday the versicle and response at the nocturn are proper to the day, Spiritus Paraclitus, alleluia and Docebit vos omnia, alleluia. The lessons are taken from another tract of St. Augustine on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the antiphon on the Benedictus and the collect are proper to the day. Again at the Hours the Pentecost Doxology is sung at all hymns, Veni, creator is sung at Terce. The Mass texts are proper to the day. At Vespers the antiphon on the Magnificat and collect are proper to the day.

Usually at this time of the liturgical year the supporters of the 'liturgical books of 1962' come up with anecdotes about Paul VI supposedly being surprised that the Pentecost Octave was not to be found in the 1970MR and crying at the sight of green vestments on the Monday after Pentecost.

This is curious for a number of reasons. Firstly, as octaves go, the Pentecost Octave is not as old as many of the other Octaves, being universally celebrated from the eleventh century (c.f. Epiphany, SS Peter & Paul, Dormition etc). Of course, the reason for the protestation by certain of these people is that it is still in MR1962 but not in MR1970: in the world of revisionism and fantasy they inhabit anything pre-1962 or post-1962 is of no value, perfection having been only achieved between 8th December 1962 and the Saturday before Advent Sunday 1964. Secondly, the discussion over abolishing the Octave of Pentecost had been going on for some years. It was a question for discussion in the 1948 Memoria. Clearly Pentecost was the fiftieth day that anciently had ended the Paschal season a point of view was that to give the fiftieth day an Octave actually distracted from it.



The result of the consultation of Dom Capelle, Fr. Jungmann and Mgr. Righetti (published 1950) is interesting:


One sees disagreement over ideas with the Benedictine's view that the Octave be retained but with the others agreeing it should be abolished. The 1948 Commission took the decision to abolish the Octave of Pentecost at its seventh meeting on February 14th, 1950. (Vide: Bugnini, 'Reform..', p.320 & Giampietro, 'Antonelli..', p. 289) although this was not to happen in practice for two decades being dependent on working out the lectionary etc for 'Ordinary Time'.

Paul VI would have been well aware of these discussions. Furthermore MR1970 contains a specific rubric after Pentecost Sunday: 'Ubi feria II vel etiam III post Pentecosten sunt dies quibus fidelis debent vel solent Missam frequentare, resumi potest Missa dominicae Pentecostes, vel dici potest Missa de Spiritu Sancto, pp. 838-843' This of course reflects Jungmann's suggestion and Bugnini's comments. As Pentecost Monday was kept with some solemnity in Italy it therefore seems incredulous that Paul VI would have been unaware of the history of the discussion regarding the abolition of the Octave and by the rubrics of the missal he promulgated would not have to have used green vestments anyway.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Pentecost Sunday


The feast of Pentecost is one of the greatest feasts in the Liturgical Year ranking next only to Pascha and, like the Queen of Feasts, is a Double of the First Class with a privileged Octave of the first order.

After the beautiful ceremonies of the Vigil yesterday morning First Vespers were sung in the afternoon. On this great feast the rubrics require the most solemn celebration of Vespers with the Hebdomadarius assisted by six pluvialistae in pariti. The solemn tone of Deus, in adjutorium is sung, the antiphons, Cum complerentur dies Pentecostes etc are proper and sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. During the singing of the hymn, Veni, Creator Spiritus, all kneel during the first verse. All hymns have the Doxology Deo Patri sit gloria, Et Filio, qui a mortuis, Surrexit ac Paraclito, In saeculorum saecula. Veni Creator is sung in tone 8, the other hymns of the Office in tone 1. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Mattins for the feast, and Octave, is like Pascha in only having one nocturn of three psalms and three lessons. The invitatory is Alleluia, Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum, Venite adoremus Alleluia. The Office hymn is Jam Christus astra ascenderat. The antiphons Factus est etc are sung with psalms 47, 67 & 103. The lessons are from a homily of St. Gregory the Great on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the antiphons, Cum complerentur dies Pentecostes etc, are the same as at Vespers and the Dominical psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148) are sung. The Office hymn is Beata nobis gaudia. There are no commemorations.

At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii)under the antiphon Cum complerentur. In the short responsory the versicle Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, alleluia, alleluia is sung. The short lesson is Judaei quoque. At Terce instead of the usual hymn Nunc Sancte nobis the hymn Veni Creator is sung as it was at the third hour the Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles, as a Vespers the first verse is sung kneeling.

At Mass the Vidi aquam is sung for the last time this year and the aspersion takes place with Baptismal water taken after the blessing of the font yesterday (but before the infusion with Chrism!) The Gloria is sung and there is only one collect. After the Alleluia the beautiful sequence Veni, Sancte Spiritus is sung. The Credo is sung. The preface, Communicantes and Hanc igitur are proper to the feast and used throughout the Octave. According to the rubrics of the Gradulae four cantors lead the singing during Mass. In some places, particularly France, the practice found in so many medieval uses is followed where on great feasts the cantors wear copes and the Crucifer and acolytes tunicles.

At Second Vespers the antiphons Cum complerentur dies Pentecostes etc are sung with the Dominical psalms. The versicle and response and antiphon on the Magnificat are proper to Second Vespers. There are no commemorations.

Following the 'liturgical books of 1962' the hymns of Compline, Prime, Sext and None are sung to the solemn tone but do not have the Pentecost Doxology. The antiphons at the Little Hours are doubled.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Sabbato in Vigilia Pentecostes

The Vigil of Pentecost is a semidouble Vigil of the first class. The ceremonies that take place before Mass today are similar to those of Holy Saturday and are closely linked to the historical praxis of conferring baptism at Pentecost.

The liturgical colour of the Office is white. At Mattins the invitatory, hymn, psalms and antiphons are all from the feast of the Ascension. The lessons in the first nocturn are the Incipit of the Apostle Jude. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a discourse of St. Augustine to catechumens on the Creed - note the baptismal connection - and in the third nocturn the lessons ar taken from St. Augustine's tracts 74 & 75 on St. John's Gospel. The eighth responsory is of the Sunday, Si enim etc. At Lauds the antiphons Viri Galilaei etc are sung with the Sunday psalms (92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). The chapter, hymn antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are as on the Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension but the Octave is not commemorated. A commemoration is sung of St. Barnabas the Apostle.

Before the Horae Minores the altar is vested in festal red, then covered with violet and then white antependia. The altar candles are lit. At the Little Hours the hymns are sung with the Doxology of the Ascension, Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui scandis super sidera etc, sung to Tone4. At Prime the antiphon Viri Galilaei is sung with psalms 53, 118i & 118ii. The first entry in the Martyrology is that of the great feast of Pentecost, Dies Pentecostes, quando Spiritus Sanctus Jerosolymis super discipulos igneis linguis advenit. At the other Hours the antiphons from Lauds are sung with the Dominical psalms. After None the candles are extinguished and the white antependium is removed.

The celebrant in violet chasuble, assisted where possible by deacon and subdeacon in violet folded chasubles comes to the altar preceded by acolytes without candles. The celebrant kisses the altar at the centre and goes to the epistle corner. The celebrant begins reading, in a low voice, the first of six prophecies at the Epistle corner, the ministers stand as at the introit of Mass. Meanwhile a lector comes to a lectern in the middle of choir accompanied by the 2nd MC, reverences the altar and choir and then chants the first prophecy. The celebrant and ministers may sit after reading the prophecy returning to the altar as the lector finishes chanting the same. After the prophecy has been sung the celebrant sings Oremus, but unlike Holy Saturday without Flectamus genua and Levate, and sings the first collect Deus, qui in Abrahae. The collects are proper to the Vigil and, again, are rich with baptismal references.


Where resources permit the six prophecies are sung by lectors in ascending order of seniority but for most celebrations they will be sung by the same or by a couple of lectors. The prophecies and collects are:

Prophecy 1: Genesis XXII: 1- 19 (Holy Saturday 3rd prophecy) In diebus illis: Tentavit Deus Abraham… Collect 1: Deus, qui in Abrahae...; Prophecy 2: Exodus XIV: 24-31, XV: 1 (Holy Saturday 4th prophecy) In diebus illis: Factus est in vigilia matutina... This is followed immediately by the tract Cantemus Domino and then Collect 2: Deus, qui primis temporibus... Prophecy 3: Deuteronomy XXXI: 22 -30 (Holy Saturday 11th prophecy) In diebus illis: Scripsit Moyses canticum ... followed by the tract Attende, caelum then Collect 3: Deus, glorificatio fidelium...; Prophecy 4: Isaiah IV: 1 – 6 (Holy Saturday 8th prophecy) Apprehendent septem mulieres..., the tract Vinea facta est... and Collect 4: Omnipotens sempiterne Deus...; Prophecy 5: Baruch III: 9 – 38 (Holy Saturday 6th prophecy) Audi, Israel, mandata vitae... Collect 5: Deus, qui nobis...; and Prophecy 6: Ezechiel XXXVII: 1-14 (Holy Saturday 7th prophecy) In diebus illis: Facta est super me... and Collect 6: Domine, Deus virtutum...

During the sixth prophecy, if there is a font, the acolytes light their candles on the credence table. A server lights the Paschal Candle and holds it near the credence. The celebrant goes to the sedilia and removes the chasuble and maniple and puts on a violet cope. The ministers remove their maniples. A procession is now made to the Baptistery. The Paschal Candle bearer leads followed by Crucifer between acolytes. The choir sings Sicut cervus.


At the entrance to the Baptistery the collect Concede, quaesumus is sung (as opposed to Omnipotens sempiterne Deus sung on Holy Saturday). Everything then is done to bless the font as on Holy Saturday with the solemn blessing of the water and infusion with Chrism. The Paschal Candle is plunged three times into the waters of the font. Before the infusion with Chrism everyone in the church is aspersed, as on Holy Saturday, and water reserved for use at the Vidi aquam tomorrow. Where there are catechumens the baptisms now take place. During the blessing of the font cushions are laid in the sanctuary for the celebrant and ministers to prostrate on when they return.


After the blessing of the font the procession reforms and returns to the sanctuary the Paschal Candle bearer leading it. Two cantors begin the Litany as the procession leaves the Baptistery. The petitions are doubled i.e. the cantors sing the petition and response entire and then it is repeated by the choir and people e.g. C: Pater de caelis Deus, miserere nobis; P: Pater de caelis Deus, miserere nobis.

When the procession enters the sanctuary the candle bearer takes the Paschal Candle back to the sacristy and extinguishes it. The Crucifer and acolytes go to the credence. The cantors kneel in the middle of the choir. The celebrant and ministers go to the sedilia and remove their vestments. They then prostrate on the cushions before the altar, all others kneel. After the invocation Peccatores the celebrant and ministers rise and return to the sacristy where they vest in red. Meanwhile servers remove the violet antependium etc and vest the altar for festal Mass. The altar candles are now lit. Where there is no font after the sixth prophecy the cushions are laid on the altar steps and the Litany follows.

As the choir sing Agnus Dei the procession returns to the sanctuary. Mass follows as usual except, like Holy Saturday, it has no introit. During the Gloria the bells are rung. There is only one collect. At the Gospel the acolytes do not carry candles. The Creed is not sung. The communicantes and Hanc igitur are of Pentecost. Unlike the Mass of Holy Saturday the Agnus Dei is sung, there is a communion verse and there is no interpolation of Vespers.


In the afternoon solemn first Vespers of Pentecost are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Vigil of Pentecost has been excoriated. At Mattins the ferial psalms are used, there is but one nocturn of three lessons, the former third nocturn homily. At Lauds and the Hours the ferial psalms are sung. The prophecies, blessing of the font and Litany are all gone. The Vigil ceremonies were supressed in churches where the, then optional, 1952 form of the Easter Vigil was introduced and universally in 1956 with the New Order of Holy Week. As no one has argued that the times of the Pentecost Vigil were putatively wrong its reason for suppression was clearly lest it reminded the faithful of the traditional Ordo - something witnessed by this blogger and others as related in the previous post. Mass has the introit added (previously this was only used in private Masses).

Update: A comment on the previous post from Juventutum London refers to a post on their blog which makes an excellent point. Celebrants of the 1962 rite today will have the proper Hanc igitur which says "Wherefore we beseech Thee, O LORD, to graciously receive this oblation which we they servants... make to Thee... offering it up in a like manner with those also whom Thou hast been pleased to make to be born again of water and the Holy Ghost." How sad, the liturgy just becomes a cultic focus without any understanding or meaning.

The photographs of a Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool for the Vigil of Pentecost are from the website of Saint Gertrude the Great church and are of the Vigil of Pentecost celebrated there in 2010. I believe they are the only photographs of this service anywhere on the web. For those unable to attend this magnificent service remember Saint Gertrude the Great are streaming their Pontifical Service for this year at 12:00GMT, 13:00BST.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Vigil of Pentecost

This coming Saturday is the Vigil of Pentecost. Liturgical details of the ceremonies of that day will appear as a separate post. However, the ancient ceremonies, somewhat akin to those of Holy Saturday, will not be the focus of the innumerable blogs devoted to the 'Mass of Ages', 'TLM' or 'EF' etc as the 'ancient use' Missal of 1962 no longer even has the ceremonies for the Vigil of Pentecost even printed in it as these were abolished with the deform of Holy Week in 1956 and had also been prohibited when the 'Easter Vigil' was celebrated in its second form from 1952 to 1955.

When Fr. Peter Morgan returned from Switzerland to these shores in 1971 he vigorously promoted liturgical orthopraxis and led a diverse group of 'remnant' clergy and their supporters in the establishment of a series of 'Mass centres' across the Southern half of England. The Vigil of Pentecost was celebrated in 1972 at the historic London church of St. Etheldreda, Ely Place in Holborn, thanks to the kindness of the then Rector, Fr. O'Malley. Whether the Pentecost Vigil had been celebrated by anyone during the 1960s is unclear, and probably not discernible now. Certainly in the mid-1950s there were small groups of clergy, with a concentration in the North-West of England, who quietly refused Pius XII's changes. One such priest told a friend twenty-years ago that he and like-minded colleagues thought Pius had 'flipped' and that 'normal service' would be resumed in the near-future. Whether Fr. Morgan's 1972 celebration was the first since 1956 or not it was still significant and was celebrated before the St. Pius V Association even arranged the celebration of the Sacred Triduum which did not take place until 1974, when it was celebrated in Guilford. In subsequent years the ceremonies of the Vigil of Pentecost took place at Highclere in Berkshire. With Fr. Morgan's retirement and the establishment of the SSPX Fr. Morgan's successor, Fr. Edward Black, continued to celebrate the Vigil of Pentecost at Highclere. Fr. Morgan himself celebrated the Vigil of Pentecost at Bridgewater, Somerset, between 1977 and 1980. The image below is from a 1981 SSPX newsletter.


With the 1983 ukase from M. Lefebvre against the Old Rite the celebration of the Vigil of Pentecost was interrupted for several years, although again it may have been celebrated by some 'independant' clergy. In 1990 the current SSPX District Superior, Fr. Paul Morgan, celebrated the Vigil of Pentecost at 4:30am (as part of an All Night Vigil at the church of SS Joseph and Padarn, Holloway) and again carried out the ceremonies of the Vigil of Pentecost the following year. Then, again, an hiatus until the late, and much missed, Arthur Crumly, former principle Master of Ceremonies for the Latin Mass Society, arranged for a sung Vigil of Pentecost at Corpus Christi, Covent Garden in 1993. Arthur had planned to have a solemn celebration - and had planetis plicatis made for the event - but circumstances conspired against that and it was celebrated as a Sung Mass. Nonetheless it was a very moving event. I fear I have never been really functional in the early hours of the morning (indeed I would call 4:30am night) and so was able to absorb far more of the service on this occasion. What was fascinating was the effect the service had on the celebrant, a very pleasant and pastoral man who had at one time been a member of the Canons Regular. After the Mass the celebrant was shaking and tears were flowing down his cheeks. On enquiring what was wrong he related that celebrating the Vigil had reminded him of what Holy Saturday, and the rest of Holy Week, had been and how "What we have now is not the real Old Rite." One sees why the Vigil of Pentecost had to be suppressed: there were no arguments of it putatively being at the wrong time etc and unless it was completely overhauled it would have been a reminder of past glories.

This year, as for the past couple of years, there will be several celebrations of the Vigil of Pentecost in London (and no doubt elsewhere). Arthur Crumly's instigation of the Pentecost Vigil was followed by almost a year of Old Rite celebrations. However, at the prospect of the celebration of traditional Holy Week two, truly despicable, members of the clergy were determined that such an event should not take place - both of course supposedly supporters of authentic liturgical praxis - and instigated a petition to stop the Triduum happening. Two years ago the celebrant of a sung Vigil of Pentecost asked me not to publish photographs "in case the '1962 police' get on my back." For that reason the venues of the Vigils will not be published here.

Safe from the internecine life of modern Rome there will of course be a webcast on Saturday of a Pontifical Vigil of Pentecost from the church of St. Gertrude the Great at 8:00am EDT (Noon GMT; 13:00 BST). I am also delighted that a solemn Vigil of Pentecost will be celebrated at the Anglo-Catholic church of St. Magnus the Martyr, Lower Thames Street. The blogger Ex Fide gives details and a synopsis of the Vigil service. St. Magnus the Martyr and the Ordo are actually quite closely linked. A young Peter Morgan used to frequently attend liturgies at St. Magnus and both knew and was influenced by its famous, aristocratic, incumbent for the best years of the twentieth century Fr. Henry Joy Fynes-Clinton. Fr. Morgan told this blogger that he had been impressed with Fr. Fynes-Clinton's careful and loving celebration of the Roman liturgy and had wanted to re-create that ethos when he instigated the production of the Ordo in 1973.

Update: Another friend, both of this blogger and the Saint Lawrence Press, Canon Jerome Lloyd of the Old Roman Catholic Church will be celebrating the Vigil of Pentecost in Brighton at 11:30am on Saturday. For directions please click here.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Within the Octave

Monday within the Octave is the feast of St. Norbert which is of double rank and takes precedence over the semi-double Monday within the Octave. The Octave is commemorated at Lauds, Mass and Vespers. Interestingly during third-order Octaves when a double feast is celebrated the psalmody is taken from the ferial psalter at all the hours although for the lower-ranking days within the Octave festal psalmody is sung.

Tuesday and Wednesday are both days within the Octave. In the Office the antiphons and psalmody are as on the feast, except the antiphons are not doubled. At Mattins, on Monday the second nocturn lessons are from a sermon on the Ascension from St. Chrysostom and the third nocturn homily from St. Gregory; on Tuesday in the first nocturn the Incipit of the second Epistle of St. John is read, the second nocturn lessons are from the writings of St. Maximus and the third nocturn homily again from St. Gregory. At Mass the Gloria is sung, the second collect is Concede nos, the third collect Ecclesiae. The Creed is sung, the preface and communicantes are of the Ascension.

On Thursday the Octave Day is of double rite. At Vespers, Mattins and Lauds the antiphons are doubled. At Mattins the first nocturn lessons are taken from St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians, in the second nocturn lessons are from a sermon of St. Augustine on the Ascension and St. Gregory provides the homily for the third nocturn. A commemoration of the Martyrs SS Primus and Felician is sung at first Vespers, Lauds and Mass. At Mass the Gloria and Creed are sung, the preface and communicantes are of the Ascension. At Vespers a commemoration is sung of the following feast of St. Margaret of Scotland.

Friday's feast of St. Margaret of Scotland is of semi-double rite. At Mattins the Incipit of the third Epistle of St. John is read. A commemoration of the ferial day is made at Lauds. Although a semi-double the Commemoration of the Cross is omitted at Lauds. The Dominical preces are omitted at Prime. At Mass the Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the ferial day, the third collect Concede nos and the preface (but not the communicantes) of the Ascension.

In the rocky horror service books aka the 'EF' the Octave has, of course, been abolished and replaced by 'Ascensiontide'. The antiphons and psalms come from the ferial psalter. The Incipit of the third Epistle of St. John is read on Thursday and on Friday - renamed 'Friday before the Vigil of Pentecost', rather strangely as they don't keep the proper Vigil - the Incipit of St. Jude is read. On the former days within the Octave at Mass the Gloria is said however there is only one collect, no Creed and no communicantes of the Ascension.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension


Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension is of semi-double rite. The theme of the great feast of the Ascension continues with most of the texts coming from the feast. However, unlike on the feast,the antiphons are not doubled. The Gospel pericope from St. John contains the beautiful words of the LORD promising the gift of the Paraclete.

At first Vespers yesterday the antiphons for the feast, Viri Galilaei etc, were sung along with the psalms sung on the feast (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116). The chapter was of the Sunday, the hymn for the Ascension, Salutis humane Sator, and the antiphon on the Magnificat and collect proper to the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of St. Francis Carracciolo, St. Boniface and of the Octave. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Ascension Doxology, the Dominical preces were omitted because of the occuring double feasts and Octave.

At Mattins the invitatory, hymn and antiphons, Elevata est etc., are as on the feast, but the antiphons are not doubled. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the First Epistle of St. John, the responsories are of the feast. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from a sermon on the Ascension by St. Augustine and the same Father provides the third nocturn lessons reflecting on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds all is from the feast except the chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of St. Boniface and of the Octave.

At the Little Hours the hymns are sung to the melody for the Ascension Doxology (Tone 4) and with the Doxology of the Ascension. At Prime the festal psalms (Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii) are sung rather than the Dominical ones (117, 118i, 118ii) the short lesson is Si quis loquitur. The Dominical preces are omitted due to the occurring double feast and being within the Octave.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Boniface, the third collect of the Octave. The Creed is sung and the preface and communicantes are of the Octave.

At Vespers again the antiphons and psalms are as on the feast. The chapter, antiphon on the Magnificat and collect are of the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following Office of St. Norbert, St. Boniface and of the Octave.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Octave had been stripped from the feast in 1956 so today becomes the Sunday after the Ascension. At Vespers on Saturday the psalms of Saturday were sung under a single antiphon Alleluia, no commemorations were sung. Mattins is cut down to one nocturn, the invitatory and hymn of the Ascension are sung but the psalms are those for Sunday under a single antiphon. At Lauds the psalms are sung under a single antiphon and there are no commemorations. At Prime the Dominical psalms are sung (117, 118i & 118ii) and the short lesson is, perhaps surprisingly, Viri Galilaei for Ascensiontide. The hymns of the Hours do not have the Ascension Doxology. In Mass there is only one collect. The preface of the Ascension is sung but not the communicantes in the Canon. Vespers are of the Sunday, the psalms sung under one antiphon - as on other Sundays after Pascha - there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Ascension of the LORD


The feast of the Ascension of the LORD is a Double of the First Class with a privileged Octave of the third order.

The celebration of the feast began yesterday afternoon with first Vespers. The antiphons Viri Galilaei etc were sung with Psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn at Vespers, for the feast and Octave, is Salutis humanae Sator. Its final verse is never changed. At Compline Te lucis is sung to the tone of the Ascension Doxology Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui victor in caelum redis, Cum Patre et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula.

At Mattins the invitatory is proper: Alleluia, Christum Dominum ascendentem in caelum, Venite adoremus, alleluia. The Office hymn is Aeterne Rex altissime. In the first nocturn the antiphons Elevata est etc are sung with Psalms 8, 10 & 18. The lessons are taken from the Incipit of the Acts of the Apostles. In the second nocturn the antiphons Exaltare Domine etc are sung with Psalms 20, 29 & 46. A sermon of St. Leo on the Ascension provides the lessons. In the third nocturn the antiphons Nimis exaltatus est etc are sung with Psalms 9, 98 & 10, the homily is from St. Gregory. At Lauds the antiphons Viri Galilaei etc are sung with the Dominical psalms. The Office hymn is Salutis humane Sator.

At the Hours Sunday psalms are sung, Prime is as on feasts (Pss. 53, 118(i) & 118(ii). At Prime the verse Qui scandis super sidera is sung in the short responsory today and until the Vigil of Pentecost. Hymns (with the exception of Salutis humane Sator) have the Ascension Doxology and are sung in tone 4.

At Mass the Gloria is sung. After the Gospel the Paschal Candle is extinguished. The Credo is sung and the preface and communicantes are proper to the feast. After Mass the Paschal Candle is removed from the sanctuary, it makes a brief re-appearance on the Vigil of Pentecost.

Second Vespers are the same as first except for the antiphon on the Magnificat.

In 'the liturgical books of 1962' the antiphons at the Little Hours are doubled and the Ascension Doxology is sung at the hymn of Mattins only. The hymns at the Little Hours are sung to the general festal tone. The feast's octave was stripped away in 1956.

Icon: Bulgarian 16th century from Wikipedia.