Thursday, 30 May 2013

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, and its Octave, is white.

At 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 were all proper to the feast. There were no commemorations. 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 and 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 Lauds 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, Lib. II, Cap. XXXIII, 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 - c.f. #3!) 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. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of St. Angela Merici. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation and the Dominical preces are omitted throughout the Octave.

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, 26 May 2013

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 still are in 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. 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. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the following feast of the Venerable Bede and of the first Sunday after Pentecost.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' so much has been excised from the Breviary that four volumes are no longer needed. The 'Pars Altera' of the two volumes begins today. 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 on this Sunday alone 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. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

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

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Pentecost Sunday - Dominica Pentecostes


Whitsun, 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. The feasts of SS Peter Celestine and Pudentiana are not celebrated this year.

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 at Vespers, Mattins and at Lauds. 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. At Compline Te lucis is sung as described above and the Dominical preces are omitted for the Octave.

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 are sung with the Dominical psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). 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, 18 May 2013

The Pentecost Vigil - Sabbato in Vigilia Pentecostes

The Vigil of Pentecost is a semi-double Vigil of the first class. No feast may be celebrated on this day. The ceremonies that take place before Mass are similar to those of Holy Saturday and are closely linked to the historical praxis of also conferring baptism at Pentecost.

The liturgical colour of the Office is white. At Mattins the invitatory, hymn, antiphons and psalms are all as on the feast of the Ascension except the antiphons are not doubled. The lessons in the first nocturn are the Incipit of the Epistle 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. In the third nocturn the lessons are taken from St. Augustine's tracts 74 & 75 on St. John's Gospel. The eighth responsory is of the Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension, Si enim etc. The Te Deum is sung.

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. After the collect of the day a commemoration is sung of St. Venantius.

On Saturday morning, before the Horae Minores, the altar is vested in festal red, then covered with both a 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 who do not bear 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 as it is Paschaltide, and sings the first collect Deus, qui in Abrahae. The collects are proper to the Vigil and, again, are rich with baptismal references.


(The photographs are from the website of Saint Gertrude the Great church in Ohio, USA shewing their 2010 Pentecost Vigil. They were, I believe, the first photographs of the ceremonies of the Vigil of Pentecost to appear on the Web.)

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 then 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 formed. The Paschal Candle bearer leads followed by Crucifer between acolytes. The choir sings Sicut cervus as the procession heads to the Baptistery.


At the entrance to the Baptistery the collect Concede, quaesumus is sung (as opposed to Omnipotens sempiterne Deus that is 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 the blessed water is 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 sacred ceremonies of the ancient Vigil of Pentecost have 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 completely gone. The Vigil ceremonies were suppressed in churches where the, then optional, 1952 form of the Easter Vigil was introduced and then universally in 1956 with the New Order of Holy Week. As no one could argue that the time of the Pentecost Vigil was, putatively, wrong its reason for suppression was clearly lest it reminded the faithful of the traditional Ordo. Mass has the introit added (previously this was only used in private Masses). A commenter and friend noted a couple of years' ago the irony of having a 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" when the ceremonies to which it refers have been annihilated in the 'ancient' Missal of the 1960s. In the 'Ordinary Form' of the 1962 rite the Pentecost Vigil has been restored (in part at least but still without the blessing of the font) in the 2002 edition of the Roman Missal.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension


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

At 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 was of 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 the Octave and of SS Nereus and Companions. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was omitted, being within an Octave. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Ascension Doxology, but the Dominical preces were omitted because of the 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 SS Nereus and Companions 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 Octave.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of SS Nereus and Companions, the third collect is 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. Robert Bellarmine 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. Vespers on Saturday were second Vespers of SS Philip and James - having shamefully been jettisoned from May 1st - with a commemoration of the Sunday. 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, 9 May 2013

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 the Dominical 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.

At Second Vespers all is sung as yesterday at first Vespers except for the antiphon on the Magnificat, O Rex gloriae etc which is proper to Second Vespers. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the following Office of St. Antoninus.

In 'the liturgical books of 1962' the antiphons at the Ascension Doxology is sung at the hymn of Mattins only. The hymns at the Little Hours are sung to the general festal tone without the Ascension Doxology. At Second Vespers there is no commemoration of St. Antoninus. The feast's Octave was, shamefully, stripped away in 1956.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel - Litaniae Minores


The feast of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel is of greater-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. Today is also Rogation Wednesday and the Vigil of the Ascension.

At first Vespers yesterday afternoon. The antiphons Stetit Angelus etc were sung with psalms 109. 110, 111, 112 and 137 (as second Vespers cannot be sung this year). The Office hymn was Te splendor et virtus Patris. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of the preceding Office of St. Stanislaus.

Mattins has three nocturns. The invitatory is Regem Archangelum Dominum, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn as at Vespers. In the first nocturn the antiphons Concussum est mare etc are sung with psalms 8, 10 & 14. The lessons are from the Prophet Daniel. In the second nocturn the antiphons Michael Archangeli etc are sung with psalms 18, 23 & 33. The lessons recount the apparition of St. Michael at Gargano at the time of Gelasius I. In the third nocturn the antiphons Angelus etc are sung with psalms 95, 96 & 102. The homily is from St. Hiliary on St. Matthew's Gospel. The ninth lesson is of the Vigil. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons Stetit Angelus etc are sung with the Dominical psalms. The Office hymn is Christe sanctorum decus Angelorum. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Vigil is sung.

At Prime and the Hours the hymns have the Doxology of Paschaltide. The antiphons from Lauds are sung in the usual order, at Prime the lectio brevis is Factum est praelium etc.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Vigil, the third collect of the Rogations. The Creed is sung, the preface is of Paschaltide and the last Gospel is of the Vigil. Private Masses may be of the Vigil with Gloria, second collect of St. Michael and third collect of the Rogations.

When the Procession is held it takes place 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. Michael, the third collect of the Vigil and last Gospel of the Vigil. In Cathedral and Collegiate Churches there are three Masses today. Those obliged to the Office who do not take part in Rogation Processions must recite the Litany, in Latin.

Vespers are first Vespers of the feast of the Ascension.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel has been struck from the calendar. Today is the Vigil of the Ascension, II class. The Mass has a single collect. 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.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

St. Stanislaus - Litaniae Minores

The feast of St. Stanislaus, Bishop of Cracow, is of double rite and its liturgical colour is red. Today is also Rogation Tuesday and the second day of the Litaniae Minores.

At Mattins the antiphons and psalms at the three nocturns are from the ferial Psalter and most of the Office comes from the Common of Martyrs in Paschaltide. In the first nocturn the lessons are from occurring Scripture, the fourth chapter of the first Epistle of St. Peter, with its responsories. In the second nocturn the lessons are proper. In the third nocturn the lessons are a homily from St. Augustine on St. John's Gospel. There is no ninth lesson of the feria and the Rogations are not commemorated in the Office. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds and the Hours all is taken from the ferial Psalter and the Common. The Commemoration of the Cross is omitted as the feast is of double rite. At Prime the Dominical preces are omitted and the lectio brevis is Scimus quoniam.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Rogations and the preface is of Paschaltide.

When the Procession is held it takes place 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. Stanislaus. Those obliged to the Office who do not take part in Rogation Processions must recite the Litany, in Latin, on each of the three days.

Vespers are first Vespers of the feast of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel with a commemoration of St. Stanislaus.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' St. Stanilaus is a III class feast and so is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. 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 of St. Stanislaus.

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.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Fifth Sunday after Pascha


The fifth Sunday after Pascha is of semi-double rite. The Gospel pericopes from St. John describe how the LORD tells His disciples to ask for anything in His name after He has ascended to the Father. That Ascension will, of course, be celebrated on Thursday after the three Rogation days of the Lesser Litanies on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the psalms of Saturday were sung under the single antiphon Alleluia. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of St. Monica and of St. Pius V. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was omitted due to the double feasts. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Paschal Doxology. The Dominical preces were omitted due to the occurring double feast.

At Mattins in the invitatory and hymn are as on the other Sundays of Paschaltide. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the first Epistle of St. Peter. In the second nocturn the lessons are from the writing of St. Ambrose on faith in the Resurrection and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Augustine on St. John's Gospel on the LORD's words "Amen, amen, I say to you: if you ask the Father anything in my name, he will give it to you." The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds, after the collect of the Sunday, a commemoration is sung of St. Pius V. The Commemoration of the Cross is omitted.

At the Hours the hymns are sung with the Paschal Doxology. At Prime the Dominical preces are omitted due to the occurring double feast.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Pius V. There in no third collect. The preface is of Paschaltide.

At Vespers the Sunday psalms are sung under the single antiphon Alleluia. The Office hymn is Ad regias Agni dapes. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of following feast of St. John before the Latin Gate and of St. Pius V. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Paschal Doxology and the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. The Commemoration of the Cross has been abolished. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn. At Lauds there are no commemorations. Hymns at the Little Hours do not have the Paschal Doxology. St. Pius V does not get a mention by those who, putatively, claim to use his missal as Mass there is only one collect. The feast of St. John before the Latin Gate has been abolished.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Friday, 3 May 2013

The Invention of the Holy Cross


The feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross is a Double of the Second Class and its liturgical colour is red. The feast celebrates the discovery of the Holy Cross by the Empress Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons O magnum pietatis opus etc were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 and 116. The Office hymn was the magnificent Vexilla regis, last heard towards the end of the Mass of the Pre-Sanctified on Good Friday morning, but the verse O Crux ave differed by one line, Paschale quae fers gaudium. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of the preceding feast of St. Athanasius. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung, Te lucis was sung with the Paschal Doxology and the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Christum Regem crucifixum, Venite adoremus, alleluia. In the first nocturn the antiphons Inventae Crucis etc are sung with proper psalms, the first lesson is from St. Paul to the Galatians with the poignant words: 'Christ has redeemed us from the curse law, being made a curse for us: for it is written: Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus; that we may receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.' The second lesson is from the Epistle to the Philippians with the passage so familiar from the Triduum and the third lesson from the Epistle to the Colossians. In the second nocturn the antiphon Felix ille triumphus etc is sung, the lessons relate the work of St. Helena in fourth century Jerusalem finding three crosses buried in a cistern. Not knowing which cross the LORD had died on each was placed on a woman with a sickness by Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem. When touched by the True Cross the sick woman was instantly restored to health. In the third nocturn the psalms are sung under the antiphon Adoramus te Christe etc, the lessons are from a homily of St. Augustine on the Gospel of St. John. The ninth lesson is of the commemorated feast of SS Alexander, Eventius, Theodulus & Juvenal.

At Lauds the antiphons O magnam pietatis opus etc are sung with the Dominical psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). After the collect of the day a commemoration is sung of SS Alexander etc.

At the Hours the Paschaltide Doxology is sung with all the Office hymns and the antiphons of Lauds are sung with the Dominical psalms in the usual order. At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Ps. 53, 118i & 118ii), the Dominical preces are omitted and the short lesson is Humiliavit semetipsum.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria and Creed are sung. In private Masses the second collect is of SS Alexander etc. The Creed is sung and the preface is that of the Holy Cross.

At second Vespers all is sung as at first Vespers except the antiphon on the Magnificat which is proper to second Vespers. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the following feast of St. Monica. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the in 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross has been abolished as its observance in the West only dated to the seventh century (it appears on May 3rd in Martyrologium Hieronymianum. Today becomes a ferial day with a commemoration of SS Alexander etc at Lauds and low Mass. The Paschaltide Doxology (and tone) is not sung at the Horae Minores. In sung Masses there is one collect. Vespers are of the ferial day without a commemoration of St. Monica. In contrast even Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer preserved the feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross in the Kalendar.

Art: A ninth century MS illustration of the Invention of the Holy Cross by St. Helena from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

SS Philip and James, Apostles


The feast of the Holy Apostles SS Philip and James is a Double of the Second Class and its liturgical colour is red.

In Western rites SS Philip and James have been honoured together as the relics of both Apostles were placed together in the confessio of the Church of the Apostles in Rome at its consecration in the sixth century. The anniversary of this, the church's dedication in 560, is May 1st. St. Philip, tradition tells us, was from Bethsaida. He was crucified at Hierapolis in Phrygia. St. James the Less was from Cana and was the first bishop of Jerusalem. St. Paul says (Galatians 1:19) 'I did not see any apostle except James the brother of the Lord'. St. James was cast from the pediment of the Temple on the orders of the Jewish High Priest and then clubbed to death.



The above photograph, taken by the writer whilst on a research trip to Rome two decades ago, shows the tomb of the Holy Apostles Saints Philip and James in the confessio of the Church. Far better photographs can be found on the Orbis Catholicus Secundus blog where the two photographs below can be found with others.



The feast began with first Vespers yesterday afternoon. The antiphons were proper to the feast, Domine, ostende nobis Patrem etc, sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The chapter is Stabant justi and the Office hymn Tristes erant Apostoli. The the antiphon on the Magnificat, Non turbetur etc., and collect are are proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of the preceding Office of St. Catherine of Siena. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Paschaltide Doxology and the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins there are the usual three nocturns. The invitatory is Regem Apostolorum Dominum Venite adoremus, the antiphons Stabunt justi etc and the Psalms are from the Common of Apostles. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of letter of St. James from the fourth Sunday after Easter. These lessons are followed by the responsories from the Common, Beatus vir, qui metuit Dominum, alleluia etc. In the second nocturn the lessons are proper to the feast. The Gospel in the third nocturn is from St. John and the pericope contains the passage where the LORD tells St. Philip that if he wishes to see the Father to see Him and that in the Father's house there are many mansions. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons Domine ostende nobis Patrem etc are sung with psalms 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148. The Office hymn is Paschale mundo gaudium and is sung with the Paschal Doxology. At the Hours the same antiphons are sung in the usual sequence. The Office hymns have the Paschal Doxology and the feastal psalms are sung at the Hours. At Prime the lectio brevis is Scimus quoniam.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass is proper, Exclamaverunt etc. The Gloria is sung, the Credo is sung and the preface is of the Apostles.

At second Vespers the antiphons Domine ostende nobis Patrem are sung again this time with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. The Office hymn is Tristes erant Apostoli. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the following Office of the Octave Day of St. Joseph followed by a commemoration of St. Athanasius.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the ancient feast of SS Philip and James has been cast aside until May 11th, the first 'free' liturgical day, and May 1st became the execrable and repugnant 'Joe the Worker' day. As the reign of Pius XII was such a liturgical disaster area it is often difficult to spot the nadir. However, Joe the Worker day really is appalling crap and has to be a serious contender for that unenviable title. Pius XII's Commission for General Liturgical Reform had discussed making May 1st a Marian feast but settled on S. Giuseppe Artigiano (c.f. minutes of meeting 45; 19 Oct 1954 and 59; 17 Jan 1956 in Giampietro, N., 'Il Card. Ferdinado Antonelli e gli sviluppi della riforma liturgica dal 1948 al 1970', Studia Anselmiana, Rome, 1998). Clearly feasts of antiquity were not considered particularly sacred - but then neither was anything else - so from 1956 the beautiful, albeit modern, feast of the Solemnity of St. Joseph and its Octave were abolished and today's venerable and ancient feast of the Holy Apostles swept aside to May 11th. The Office of 'Joe the Worker' is truly appalling with lessons about multitudes of working men gathering in St. Peter's Square: '...cum occasionem nactus opificum conventus Kalendis maiis...Romae celebrati, ingentum multitudinem in foro ad sancti Petri Basilicam...' In an excellent article on the highly inorganic Pian changes Fr. Francesco Ricossa quotes a Jean Crete:

"The Sacred Congregation of Rites was not favorable toward this decree [Cum nostra], the work of a special commission. When, five weeks later, Pius XII announced the feast of St. Joseph the Worker (which caused the ancient feast of Ss. Philip and James to be transferred, and which replaced the Solemnity of St Joseph, Patron of the Church), there was open opposition to it.

“For more than a year the Sacred Congregation of Rites refused to compose the office and Mass for the new feast. Many interventions of the pope were necessary before the Congregation of Rites agreed, against their will, to publish the office in 1956 — an office so badly composed that one might suspect it had been deliberately sabotaged. And it was only in 1960 that the melodies of the Mass and office were composed melodies based on models of the worst taste.

"We relate this little-known episode to give an idea of the violence of the reaction to the first [It was hardly the first - R.] liturgical reforms of Pius XII".


Liturgically minded Romans refer to this appalling and disgraceful parody of St. Joseph as 'San Giuseppe Comunista'.

Art: Melkite Church in Australia