Monday, 6 May 2013
St. John before the Latin Gate - Litaniae Minores
The feast of St. John before the Latin Gate is of greater-double rite and its liturgical colour is red. The feast appears in the Gregorian Sacramentaries on May 6th and and is the dedication festival of the fifth century church in Rome named after the feast. The feast commemorates the 'martyrdom' of St. John the Evangelist as described by Tertullian in the year AD 92. On the orders of Domitian St. John was cast into a cauldron of hot oil yet emerged unscathed and was exiled to the island of Patmos. Today is also Monday of the Rogations
The church, in Rome, above, of San Giovanni a Porta Latina was dedicated in honour of this feast and used to be a liturgical station on Saturday in Passion Week.
At Mattins the invitatory is Regem Apostolorum Dominum, Venite adoremus. The Office hymn is again Tristes erant Apostoli and in the first nocturn the antiphon Stabunt justi is sung along with the psalms from the Common. The lessons for the first nocturn are the Incipit of the first Epistle of St. John, Quod fuit, found on Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension, which are sung with the responsories from the Common. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the writings of St. Jerome against Jovinian, in the fifth lesson St. Jerome relates Tertullian's account of St. John's 'martyrdom'. In the third nocturn the homily on St. Matthew's Gospel is again from St. Jerome. The ninth lesson is of the Rogation Monday.
At Lauds the antiphons Sancti tui etc are again sung, this time with the Sunday psalms. The chapter and Office hymn, Paschale mundo gaudium, and the antiphon on the Benedictus, Filiae Jerusalem, are from the Common. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of Rogation Monday.
At the Hours the Paschaltide Doxology is sung at the conclusion of the Office hymns. The antiphons Sancti tui etc are sung at the Hours. At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii), the short lesson is Scimus quoniam. The Dominical preces are omitted.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass Protexisti is sung. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of Rogation Monday. The Creed is sung, the preface is that of the Apostles and the last Gospel is of Rogation Monday.
After None the altar is vested in a violet antependium. The celebrant, vested in violet cope, assisted by deacon and subdeacon in violet dalmatic and tunicle reverence the altar then kneel and pray for a short while. They rise and the cantors begin the antiphon Exsurge Domine. The choir continue....adjuva nos, et libera nos, propter nomen tuam. Ps. Deus auribus nostris audivimus patres nostri annuntiaverunt nobis. Gloria Patri etc, Sicut erat etc and then Exsurge Domine is repeated. All all kneel (except the crucifer and acolytes who go and stand at the entrance of the choir) and the cantors then begin the Litany of the Saints. Each invocation is doubled, i.e. the cantors sing e.g. Pater de caelis, Deus, miserere nobis and this is repeated in its entirety by everyone else. When Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis has been repeated all rise and the Procession sets off.
The Procession goes outside of the Church and may visit other Churches on its route. In this case the celebrant is offered lustral water at the entrance to the church and processes to the High Altar. After a moment for silent prayer the choir signs the antiphon of the patron of the church, its versicle and response (with Alleluia added as it is Paschaltide) and the celebrant sings the collect of the Patron. The Litany is then resumed and the Procession continues. If the Procession has a long route the Litany, from Sancta Maria etc may be repeated or the Seven Penitential Psalms sung to the tonus in directum. When the Procession enters the church where Mass will be celebrated, lustral water is received on entering and the Procession goes to the sanctuary. All kneel as the Litany ends. The celebrant intones Pater noster etc and then the cantors sing psalm 69. After the versicles that follow the celebrant stands to sing the ten collects. He then kneels again as Exadiat nos etc is sung. The ministers then rise and the celebrant changes from a cope to chasuble and all put on their maniples. The Mass Exaudivit is then sung. The chants are those used for ferial Masses. The Gloria is not sung, the second collect is Concede nos, the third collect Ecclesiae. The dismissal is Benedicamus Domino. The Paschal Candle is not lit.
When there is only one Mass and the Procession takes place then the Mass is of the Rogations, Exaudivit, with the second collect of St. John before the Latin Gate and last Gospel of the feast. Those obliged to the Office who do not take part in Rogation Processions must recite the Litany, in Latin, on the three days.
In second Vespers a commeration is sung of the following Office of St. Stanislaus.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast of St. John before the Latin Gate has been abolished from the Kalendar despite its appearance in seventh century liturgical texts and a fifth century church being dedicated to the event. Today is a IV class ferial day. If the Rogation Procession takes place the Litany may be sung in the vernacular if the faithful are present. The petitions are not duplicated. In the votive Mass that follows all the 'preparatory prayers' i.e. In nomine Patris..., Introibo ad altare Dei..., Judica me Deus..., Confiteor Deo..., the versicles, Aufer a nobis... and Oramus te, Domine are all cut out. There is a single collect. The dismissal is Ite, missa est. However, the Ordinary may substitute other excercises/services in place of the Rogation Procession. Those not present at the Procession or other designated services are not bound to recite the Litany. Vespers are ferial.