Sunday, 12 January 2014

Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany - The Holy Family

The feast of the Holy Family is of greater-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. The feast was granted by Leo XIII in 1893 in response to numerous petitions from Ordinaries and placed on the third Sunday after the Epiphany. On 26th October 1921 Benedict XV transferred it to the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany and extended the feast to the Universal Kalendar. Although of only double-major rite it is classed as a feast of the LORD and so takes precedence over a semi-double Sunday.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Jacob autem etc were sung with psalms 109, 112, 121, 126 &147. The Office hymn was O lux beata caelitum sung with a Doxology proper to the feast: Jesu, tuis obediens etc. After the collect of the feast commemorations were sung of the day within the Octave of the Epiphany (the antiphon on the Magnificat was proper to the 11th January, Admonitii Magi etc) and of the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany. The Dominical psalms were sung at Compline and the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is proper to the feast, Christum Dei Filium etc and the Office hymn is Sacra jam splendent. In the first nocturn the antiphons Cum inducerent etc are sung with psalms 8, 18 & 23 and the lessons are from St. Paul's Epistle to the Colossians. In the second nocturn the antiphons Consurgens Joseph etc are sung with psalms 44, 45 & 86 and the lessons are taken from a brief of Leo XIII. In the third nocturn the antiphons Ibant parentes Jesu etc are sung with psalms 95, 96 & 97. The homily is from St. Bernard on St. Luke's Gospel. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons Post triduum etc are sung with the Dominical psalms. The Office hymn is O gente felix hospita. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany and of the Octave of the Epiphany.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons from Lauds are sung in the usual order. The hymns of the Hours have the Doxology proper to the feast. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii) the versicle Qui Mariae et Joseph subditus fuisti is sung in the short responsory and the lectio brevis is Semetipsum exinanivit.

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

Vespers are first Vespers of the Octave Day of the Epiphany. The antiphons and psalms etc are sung as on the feast but the collect is proper to the Octave Day. After the collect of the Octave Day commemorations are sung of Holy Family.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast of the Holy Family has been raised to II Class (in order for it to precedence over the Sunday). At Vespers (the feast gains I Vespers as it is a feast of the LORD) there were no commemorations - the Octave, of course, has been abolished. At Compline and the Hours the hymns do not have the Doxology of the feast. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Prime and the Hours the antiphons and psalmody are of the Sunday, at Prime the lectio brevis is of 'Epiphanytide'. The Octave Day of the Epiphany has been re-branded as 'The Baptism of the Lord' but does not get a commemoration at Vespers.





4 comments:

John R said...

Rubricarius, I've looked in vain in my 1952 Missale - is it the case that when the Octave Day of the Epiphany falls on a Monday that the Mass of the Sunday, commemorated on the Holy Family, has no place to be said this year? The following Saturday, 18 Jan, is not free to support an "anticipated" Sunday. From what I've read, the integral Office of the Sunday within the Octave has been perpetually lost since 1921, having but been reduced to a commemoration within the Holy Family, whichever day the latter is celebrated; however, I see no such provision to anticipate the Sunday only on 11 Jan, celebrate the Holy Family on Sunday, 12 Jan, and then the Octave Day on 13 Jan. Could you shed some light on this?

+DM said...

When the Feast of the Holy Family falls on 12th January, the Mass for Sunday within the Octave is not celebrated at all that year for want of a free day.

Rubricarius said...

JohnR,

Yes. As +DM states when the feast of the Holy Family falls on the 12th the Sunday within the Octave is not celebrated at all that year. When the feast falls on the 7th to the 11th the Sunday within the Octave is celebrated on the next day, i.e. the 8th to 12th. If the Epiphany falls on a Sunday then the feast of the Holy Family is anticipated on Saturday 12th and the resumed Sunday is celebrated on January 19th.

Personally, I would prefer the Sunday within the Octave, period.

Capreolus said...

If I'm not mistaken, the Feast of the Holy Family was one of the innovations of the early twentieth-century Popes that Fr. Fortescue lamented, though at least this feast retains the natural sequence of the history of the divine infancy (i.e., in the Gospel pericope). I can only imagine what he would have confided to his friends about the interpolations into the Christmas season with the Novus Ordo!