Thursday, 29 August 2013

Decollation of St. John the Baptist

The feast of the Decollation of St. John the Baptist is of greater-double rite and its liturgical colour is red.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Herodes enim tenuit etc were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was Deus, tuorum militum. After the collect of the feast commemorations were sung of the preceding feast of St. Augustine and of St. Sabina. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem Martyrum Dominum, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn Deus, tuorum militum. In the first nocturn the antiphons In lege Domini etc are sung with psalms 1, 2 & 3. The lessons are proper to the feast taken from the Incipit of the Book of Jeremiah with responsories of the feast. In the second nocturn the antiphons Filii hominum etc are sung with psalms 4, 5 & 8. The lessons are from St. Ambrose. In the third nocturn the antiphons Justus Dominus etc are sung with psalms 10, 14 & 20. The homily is from St. Augustine and the Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons Herodes enim tenuit etc are sung with psalms 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148. The Office hymn is Invicte Martyr, unicum. The antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to the feast. A commemoration is sung of St. Sabina.

At the Hours the antiphons Herodes enim tenuit etc are sung with the festal psalms. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii) the lectio brevis is Justus cor suum.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Sabina and the Common Preface is sung.

At Vespers the antiphons Herodes enim tenuit etc are sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 115. The Office hymn is, again, Deus, tuorum militum. The antiphon on the Magnificat is proper. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. Rose of Lima and SS Felix and Adauctus. At Compline the Domincial psalms are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast has become a 'III class' feast. There is no first Vespers. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. The antiphons and psalms are from the ferial psalter. At the Hours the antiphons and psalms are of the feria. In sung Masses the commemoration of St. Sabina is omitted. At Vespers there are no commemorations. At Compline the ferial psalms are sung.

Icon: Wikipedia

Sunday, 25 August 2013

XIV Sunday after Pentecost


The fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour, from Mattins, is green. This year it is the fourth Sunday of August. The pericopes from St. Matthew's Gospel contain the passages about the 'lilies of the field' and seeking first the Kingdom of God.

Vespers yesterday afternoon were second Vespers of St. Bartholomew the Apostle. The antiphons Juravit Dominus etc were sung with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. The Office hymn was Exsultet orbis gaudiis. After the collect of the feast commemorations were sung of the Sunday (the antiphon on the Magnificat being Sapientia for the Saturday before the fourth Sunday of August) and of St. Louis of France. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung and the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Dominum qui fecit nos and the Office hymn isNocte surgentes. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the Book of Ecclesisaticus. In the second nocturn the lessons are from St. Gregory's Book of Morals and in the third nocturn the homily on St. Matthew's Gospel is from St. Augustine. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the Office hymn is Ecce jam noctis. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of St. Louis followed by the Suffrage of the Saints.

At Prime (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii) both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Louis, the third collect is A cunctis. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Holy Trinity.

Vespers are of the Sunday. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of St. Zephyrinus and of St. Louis followed by the Suffrage of the Saints. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there is no commemoration of St. Louis at Vespers. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations and no Suffrage. At Prime both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted. At Mass there is but a single collect. At Vespers there are no commemorations and no Suffrage. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Saturday, 24 August 2013

St. Bartholomew the Apostle


The feast of St. Bartholomew the Apostle is a Double of the Second Class and the liturgical colour of the day is red. The feast was preceded by a Vigil yesterday, although the Office of the Vigil was outranked by the feast of St. Philip Benizi it was commemorated at Lauds. However, 'private' Masses of the Vigil, celebrated in violet with a commemoration of the feast, were permitted.

At first Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Hoc est praeceptum meum etc were sung along with the psalms of first Vespers from the Common Apostles (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116). The Office hymn was Exsultet orbis gaudiis. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the preceding Office of St. Philip Benizi was sung. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung and the Dominical preces preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem Apostolorum Dominum, venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Aeterna Christi munera. In the first nocturn the antiphons In omnem terram etc are sung with psalms 18, 33 & 44. The lessons are Sic nos existimet homo from the former Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. In the second nocturn the antiphons Principes populorum etc are sung with psalms 46, 60 & 63 followed by lessons proper to the feast. In the third nocturn the antiphons Exaltabuntur etc are sung with psalms 74, 96 & 98. The homily is taken from a commentary by St. Ambrose on St. Luke's Gospel. At Lauds the antiphons Hoc est praeceptum meum etc are sung with the Sunday psalms. The Office hymn is Exsultet orbis gaudiis.

At the Hours the antiphons from Lauds are used. At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii). The lectio brevis is Ibant Apostoli.

Mass is sung after Terce. The introit is Mihi autem nimis. The Gloria is sung, the Creed is sung and the preface is of the Apostles.

Vespers are of the feast with a commemoration of the Sunday (the antiphon on the Magnificat being Sapientia for the Saturday before the fourth Sunday of August) and of St. Louis of France. At Compline the Dominical psalms are sung and the Dominical preces omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast loses first Vespers and is not commemorated at Vespers of St. Philip Benizi. The Vigil of St. Bartholomew has been abolished. At Compline yesterday the ferial psalms were sung. At Prime the ferial antiphons and psalmody are sung, the lectio brevis is of the season. At the other Little Hours the ferial antiphons and psalms are also sung. At Vespers there is no commemoration of St. Louis.

Icon: Melkite Eparchy in Australia

Sunday, 18 August 2013

XIII Sunday after Pentecost


The thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is green. This year it is the third Sunday of August and also Sunday within the Octave of the Assumption. The Gospel pericopes from St. Luke's Gospel tell of the LORD and the ten lepers, only one of which thanked Him for being healed.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The Office hymn, Jam sol recedit igneus, was sung with the melody and the Doxology of the Incarnation. The antiphon on the Magnificat was Omnis sapientia for the Saturday before the third Sunday of August. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of St. Hyacinth, of the Octave and of St. Agapitus. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation. The Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Dominum qui fecit nos and the Office hymn isNocte surgentes. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the Book of Wisdom. In the second nocturn the lessons are from St. Ambrose's Book of Offices and in the third nocturn the homily on St. Luke's Gospel is from St. Augustine. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the Office hymn is Ecce jam noctis. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the Octave and of St. Agapitus. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted.

At Prime and the Hours the hymns are sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation. At Prime (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii) both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted being within the Octave.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Octave, the third collect is of St. Agapitus. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Holy Trinity.

One Mass, not the Conventual, may be celebrated of St. Joachim whose feast was formerly kept on the Sunday within the Octave of the Assumption. The Mass is sung in white vestments: the Gloria is sung, the second collect and last Gospel are of the Sunday.

Vespers are of the Sunday. The Office hymn is Lucis creator, sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. John Eudes and of the Octave. The Suffrage is omitted due to the double feast and Octave as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' at Vespers the hymn is sung with the ordinary tone and Doxology and there are neither commemorations nor Suffrage. Mattins has a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Prime and the Hours the hymns are sung with the ordinary tone and Doxology. At Mass there is only one collect. At Vespers the hymn is sung in the ordinary tone and with the ordinary Doxology, there are no commemorations. The Lady has been stripped of Her Octave.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Assumption of the Mother of God

The great feast of the Assumption is a Double of the First Class with an Octave. The feast also appears as the Dormition of the Mother of God in some earlier MSS and is known by that name in the East to this day. The liturgical colour of the feast is white.

At First Vespers yesterday afternoon the first antiphons Assumpta est Maria etc are sung with psalms 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147. The chapter was from the feast In omnibus requiem and the Office hymn the hauntingly beautiful Ave, maris stella the first verse of which is sung kneeling. At Compline Te lucis is sung to the tone of feasts of the BVM and with the Doxology Jesu, tibi sit gloria etc.

At Mattins the invitatory, Venite, adoremus Regem regum, Cujus hodie ad aethereum Virgo Mater assumpta est in caelum, is proper to the feast. The hymn is Quem terra, pontus, sidera. In the first nocturn the antiphons Exaltata est etc are sung with psalms 8, 18 & 23. The lessons in the first nocturn, since the time of Pius V, are taken from the Incipit of the Canticle of Canticles, are particularly rich with vibrant, sensual, imagery:

Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth: for thy breasts are better than wine, smelling sweet of the best ointments. Thy name is as oil poured out: therefore young maidens have loved thee. Draw me: we will run after thee to the odour of thy ointments. The king hath brought me into his storerooms: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, remembering thy breasts more than wine: the righteous love thee. I am black but beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Cedar, as the curtains of Solomon.(1st lesson)

In the second nocturn the antiphons Specie tua etc are sung with psalms 44, 45 & 86. The lessons are from St. John Damascene's second discourse on the Dormition of the Virgin and again both exquisite and highly appropriate to the day:
"This day the holy and animated ark of the living God, she who conceived in her womb her Creator rests in the temple of the Lord, which was not made with hands. And her ancestor David leaps, and with him the Angels lead the dance, the Archangels make celebration, the Virtues ascribe glory, the Principalities exult, the Powers rejoice together, the Dominations are joyful, the Thrones keep holiday, the Cherubim utter praise, the Seraphim proclaim her glory. This day the Eden of the new Adam receives the living Paradise, wherein the condemnation was made void, wherein the tree of life was planted, wherein our nakedness was covered." (4th lesson)

In the third nocturn the antiphons Gaude, Maria virgo etc are sung with psalms 95, 96 & 97. The homily on the Gospel fragment is from St. Augustine's 27th Sermon on the Words of the Lord. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons Assumpta est Maria etc are sung with psalms 92, 99, 62, Benedicite and 148. The hymn O gloriosa virginum. The collect of the feast is one of the most sublime ever written:
Famulorum tuorum, quaesumus, Domine, delictis ignosce: ut, qui tibi placere de actibus nostris non valemus; Genitricis Filii tui, Domini nostri, intercessione salvemur.

Forgive, O Lord, we beseech thee, the sins of thy servants: that we who by our own deeds are unable to please thee, may be saved by the intercession of the Mother of thy Son our Lord.

At Prime and the Hours the hymns are sung with the proper Doxology and tone. In the short responsory Qui natus es de Virgine is sung, both today and throughout the Octave, and the lectio brevis is In plateis.


(Follow the video links for the rest of the Mass setting of Palestrina - Missa Assumpta est Maria)

Mass is celebrated after Terce. The Rituale gives a Blessing of Herbs for this day which takes place immediately before Mass with Psalm 64, a series of versicles and responses, three collects, whose florid style, reminiscent of those for the Blessing of Palms, suggests a Gallican origin. The Mass formulary, Gaudeamus, is a particularly beautiful set of texts. The Gloria is sung. The Epistle is a sublime cento from the Book of Wisdom that also forms the chapters at the Office. The gradual Propter veritatem is very ancient. The Credo is sung and the preface is of the BVM, Et te in Assumptione.

In the afternoon at second Vespers all is as at first Vespers except the antiphon on the Magnificat which today is Hodie Maria Virgo caelos ascendit: gaudete, quia cum Christo regnat in aeternum. After the collect a commemoration is sung of the following feast of St. Joachim, father of the BVM. At Compline the Sunday psalms are sung and Te lucis is sung with the proper Doxology and tone.

The 'liturgical books of 1962' have seen considerable revision of the once beautiful feast with changes both in 1960 and, previously, with the introduction of novel texts in the 1950s. Vespers gets a new chapter, hymn and collect. The new collect was once admirably described by the erudite Latin scholar Rev. John Hunwicke as "a modern composition which I would describe as a dollop of dogma followed by a platitude". At Mattins in the first nocturn the first lesson is taken from Genesis and then, curiously, the second and third from the former Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. In the second nocturn the magnificent writings of St. Damascene are shortened by the inclusion of a sixth lesson from Pacelli's verbiage. The third nocturn has a homily of St. Peter Canisus on the new gospel pericope introduced in 1950. At Lauds there is a new chapter, a pedestrian and ugly hymn replacing O gloriosa virginum, and the new collect. At Prime the lectio brevis is Dominus autem dirigat, of the season. At Prime and the Hours the tone of the hymns is that for greater feasts, not the Incarnation and the special Doxology is omitted. The 1950's creation is banal and ugly compared with the ancient texts. At Vespers there is no commemoration of St. Joachim. The Octave was abolished in 1955 and so, within the space of five years, over a millenium's veritable tradition, organic development and beauty was simply tossed aside.

Icon: El Greco - The Dormition of the Virgin.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Vigil of the Assumption

The Vigil of the Assumption is of simple rite and the liturgical colour of the day is violet. Traditionally it has been a day of fasting and abstinence in the West (in many Eastern rites a far stricter fast of preparation takes place from the beginning of August).

At Mattins everything is taken from the ferial psalter except the lessons. As the Vigil falls on a Wednesday this year the second arrangement of the third nocturn is sung (with psalm 49 split into three sections). The three lessons in the nocturn on St. Luke's Gospel are from a homily of St. Chrysostom. At Lauds the Second Scheme of psalms is sung (Pss. 50, 64, 100, Exsultavit & 145), the ferial preces are sung, with the choir kneeling. After the collect of the Vigil a commemoration is sung of St. Eusebius. At Prime and the Hours ferial preces are sung. These are, again, sung whilst kneeling. At Prime the fourth psalm is added, today psalm 96, as is the case when the Second Scheme of Lauds is sung. The chapter is the ferial Pacem.

Mass is sung after None. Violet vestments are worn, the ministers wearing dalmatic and tunicle not folded chasubles. The Mass is proper, Vultum tuum, the Gloria is not sung. The second collect is of St. Eusebius, the third collect Deus, qui corda - of the Holy Ghost. As it is a 'kneeling day' all in choir kneel for the orations and from the Sanctus to the response after Pax Domini. As is the rule when the Gloria is not sung Benedicamus Domino is chanted as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar rather than Ite, missa est.

In the afternoon there is a colour change to white and the great feast and Octave begin with first Vespers.


In the 'liturgical books of 1962' as usual much has been lost. At Lauds the ferial preces are not sung nor are they sung at the Hours. At Prime there is no fourth psalm and the chapter is the festal Regi saeculorum. Mass is sung after Terce, not after None. In sung Masses there is only one collect. The extended kneeling does not take place.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

XII Sunday after Pentecost


The twelfth Sunday after Pentecost is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour, from Mattins onwards, is green. This year it is also the second Sunday of August and the Sunday within the Octave of St. Lawrence. The Gospel pericopes from St. Luke's Gospel contain the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Vespers yesterday were second Vespers of the feast of St. Lawrence the Deacon. The antiphons Laurentius etc were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 115. The V&R were proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of the Sunday, the antiphon on the Magnificat was Ego in altissimis for the Saturday before the second Sunday of August. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the liturgical colour changed to green. At Mattins the invitatory is Dominum qui fecit nos and the Office hymn isNocte surgentes. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the Book of Ecclesiastes. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon of St. Chrysostom and in the third nocturn the homily on the Gospel is from the writings of the Venerable Bede. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the Office hymn is Ecce jam noctis. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of SS Tiburtius and Susanna followed by the Suffrage of the Saints.

At Prime both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of SS Tiburtius and Susanna, the third collect is A cunctis. The Creed is sung and the preface is that of the Blessed Trinity.

At Vespers the Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of the following feast of St. Clare. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted due to the concurring double feast.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are neither any commemorations nor Suffrage. At Prime Quicumque is omitted as are the Dominical preces. At Mass there is but a single collect. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Our Patron - The Feast of St. Lawrence the Deacon

The feast of St. Lawrence is a Double of the Second Class in the Universal Kalendar and, amongst many other things, Patron of the Saint Lawrence Press. St. Lawrence's body is interred in the basilica of St. Lawrence-without-the-Walls in Rome. St. Lawrence was the first of the seven Roman deacons and known for his generosity to the poor. He was martyred in 258, according to tradition, on a grid iron and asked his tormentors to turn him over as his flesh was fully roasted on the one side. The liturgical colour of the feast is red. St. Lawrence is listed in the Communicantes of the Canon. The feast is ancient and appears in the Leonine and other early sacramentaries.

The Saint Lawrence Press came into being when the English branch of the SSPX stopped publishing the Ordo in 1983, a decade after the traditional Ordo had first been re-created for the first time thanks to the combined genius of Fr. Peter Morgan and Mr. John Tyson. St. Lawrence was chosen as patron by the new publishers as he was a munificent deacon and whose feast had both a Vigil and an Octave, features of the classical Roman liturgy which were fast disappearing at the time with the SSPX's universal abandonment of the traditional rite that year in favour of the 'liturgical books of 1962'. Prior to 1983 many clergy within the SSPX took the Ordo ranging from such diverse, and now opposed, figures as Richard Williamson to Franz Schmidberger.

Celebration of the great feast began yesterday (with a Vigil by way of preparation) afternoon with first Vespers. The antiphons Laurentius ingressus est martyr etc were sung with psalms from the Common of Apostles, Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was Deus, tuorum militum. The chapter, antiphon on the Magnificat and collect were proper, the rest of the Office from the Common of Martyrs. A commemoration was sung of the preceding Office of St. John Mary Vianney.

At Mattins the invitatory Beatus Laurentius, Christi Martyr, triumphat coronatus in caelis: Venite, adoremus Dominum and the Office hymn, again, Deus, tuorum militum. The antiphons Quo progredis etc are sung in the first nocturn with psalms 1, 2 & 3. The lessons in the first nocturn are from the Book of Eccesiasticus. In the second nocturn the antiphons Beatus Laurentius etc are sung with psalms 4, 5 & 8. The lessons are from a sermon of St. Leo on St. Lawrence. In the third nocturn the antiphons Strinxerunt etc are sung 14, 16 & 20. The lessons in the third nocturn are from a sermon of St. Augustine on St. John's Gospel. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons Laurentius ingressus est martyr etc are sung with Dominical psalms and the Office hymn is Invicte Martyr, unicum.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons from Lauds, Laurentius etc., are sung with the festal psalms. At Prime the Dominical preces are omitted and the lectio brevis is Potens est autem. At the Hours the Dominical psalms are sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung and the Common Preface is sung.

At second Vespers the antiphons Laurentius etc are again sung, at this Office with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 115. The V&R are proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Sunday, the antiphon on the Magnificat being Ego in altissimis for the Saturday before the second Sunday of August. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast loses first Vespers. (St. John Mary Vianney is celebrated on the 8th August and so yesterday had ferial Vespers with the collect of the Vigil - very odd as in the traditional rite the Office of a Vigil ends at None). At the Hours the ferial antiphons and psalms are sung and at Prime the lectio brevis is of the season.

Image: Fifteenth century painted panel featuring St. Lawrence from the Rood screen of St. Helen's Church, Ranworth, Norfolk.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

XI Sunday after Pentecost


The eleventh Sunday after Pentecost is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is green. This year is also the first Sunday of August. The Gospel pericopes from St. Mark contain the account of the LORD healing a deaf and dumb man with His spittle.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The antiphon on the Magnificat was Sapientia for the Saturday before first Sunday of August. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of the Finding of the Body of St. Stephen the Protomartyr and of St. Dominic. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline due to the occurring double feast.

At Mattins the invitatory is Dominum qui fecit nos and the Office hymn isNocte surgentes. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipiunt of the Proverbs of Solomon. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from a tract of St. Ambrose on the 118th Psalm. In the third nocturn the homily is from St. Gregory the Great. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the Office hymn is Ecce jam noctis. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of St. Dominic. The Suffrage is omitted because of the occurring double feast.

At Prime (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii) both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted because of the occurring double feast.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Dominic, there is no third collect. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Holy Trinity.

Vespers are of the Sunday. The Office hymn is Lucis creator and it is sung to the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following feast of the Dedication of St. Mary of the Snows and of St. Dominic. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline due to the occurring double feast.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' at Vespers there are no commemorations. The feast of the Finding of the Body of St. Stephen has been abolished. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Mass there is but a single collect. At Vespers te the hymn is sung with the ordinary tone and Doxology, there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal