Sunday, 23 February 2020

Quinquagesima Sunday


Quinquagesima Sunday is a semi-double of the second class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericopes are taken from St. Luke and give the account of the giving of sight to the man born blind.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper to Quinqugesima Sunday, Fratres: Si linguis hominum, and the Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect were proper to Quinquagesima Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding feast of St. Peter's Chair at Antioch, of St. Paul the Apostle and of St. Peter Damian. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted due to the double feasts. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins, as on the previous two Sundays, the antiphons and psalms are those used on Sundays throughout the year and the Office hymn is Primo die. In the first nocturn the lessons are again from Genesis and this Sunday concern the story of Abraham. In the second nocturn the lessons are from St. Ambrose on the Book on the Patriarch Abraham and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily from St. Gregory on St. Luke's Gospel of the man blind from birth whose sight was restored by the LORD. The blind man is a figure of the human race according to St. Gregory. A ninth responsory, Caecus sedebat secus viam etc, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the 'second scheme' of psalms is sung: Pss. 50, 117, 62, Benedictus es and 148. The antiphons at Lauds are proper for Quinquagesima Sunday, Secundum multitudinem etc. The Office hymn is Aeterne. The antiphon at the Benedictus and the collect are proper to Quinquagesima. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Peter Damian. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted.

At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper to Quinquagesima Sunday. The hymns are sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation. At Prime the order of psalmody is that used when the second scheme of Lauds is sung, i.e. Pss. 92, 99 (displaced at Lauds) and Ps. 118i & 118ii. The versicle in the short responsory at Prime is Qui natus es. The Dominical preces are sung.

At Mass the Gloria is omitted, the second collect is of St. Peter Damian. Today there is no third collect. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Credo is sung, the Preface is of the Blessed Trinity and Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung, the chapter is proper to the Sunday as is the antiphon at the Magnificat. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Peter Damian is sung. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. At Mattins there is only a single nocturn. At Prime Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii are sung, as on major feasts. At Mass there is a single collect and Benedicamus Domino is suppressed in favour of Ite, Missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Sexagesima Sunday


Sexagesima Sunday is a semi-double Sunday of the second class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Sunday is characterised by a very lengthy Epistle from St. Paul's Latter Epistle to the Corinthians. The Gospel pericopes are from St. Luke and contain the parable of the sower with his seed landing on rock, amongst weeds and on the good ground.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper to the Sunday, Fratres: Libenter suffertis, and the Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints was sung. At Compline the due to the concurring double feast as were the the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the antiphons and psalms are from the Psalter for Sundays. In the first nocturn the lessons continue to be read from Genesis (Ch. 5 & 6), the beginning of the story of Noah. In the second nocturn the lessons are from St. Ambrose on Noah and the Ark and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily from St. Gregory on the Gospel of the seed falling on good and poor ground. A ninth responsory, Cum turba plurima, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the 'second scheme' of psalms is sung: Pss 50, 117, 62, Canticle of the Three Children (Benedictus es) and 148. The antiphons at Lauds are proper for Sexagesima Sunday, Secundum magnam misericordiam as are the chapter and antiphon on the Benedictus. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 92, 99 (displaced at Lauds) 118i & 118ii. The Dominical preces are omitted. At the Hours the antiphons, Semen cecidit etc, and chapters are proper to Sexagesima Sunday.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is omitted, the second collect is A cunctis, the third collect is chosen by the Dean or rector. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Creed is sung , the Preface is of Trinity and Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of Sunday (109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) are sung. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. The Dominical preces have been abolished. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn. At Prime the arrangement of psalmody is festive, Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii. At sung Mass there is single collect and Benedicamus Domino is suppressed in favour of Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Septuagesima Sunday


Septuagesima Sunday is a semi-double Sunday of the second class. Yesterday afternoon the liturgical mood became more sombre with Vespers of Septuagesima as penitential violet became the liturgical colour of the season. Although more sombre than the season after the Epiphany the short season of Septuagesima is not as penitential as Lent. Although the colour violet is used at Mass the ministers do not wear folded chasubles but dalmatic and tunicle for these three Sundays and for ferial days. The organ is still played until Ash Wednesday. However, from Septuagesima until Holy Saturday the dress of some prelates changes. Cardinals of the Court of Rome no longer wear scarlet choir dress but that of violet. Correspondingly bishops do not wear violet choir dress but their black, or mourning dress. In the case of the latter this is not to be confused with their habitus pianus, or house dress. The black choir cassock has a train, like the violet one, and the mozzeta or mantelletum are faced with violet. However, Protonotaries Apostolic and Domestic Prelates do not change their choir dress (except sede vacante). The fifth Sunday after the Epiphany was anticipated yesterday.

At Vespers on Saturday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper to Septuagesima Sunday and the Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of St. Cyril of Alexandria, of St. John of Matha and of St. Apollonia. Anticipated Sundays are not commemorated in this Vespers. The Suffrage was omitted. At the end of Vespers Alleluia was added, twice, to both Benedicamus Domino and to its response. After that Alleluia will not be heard again until the Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Saturday. At Compline after the Lesser Doxology, and at all Hours until Compline on Holy Saturday, Laus tibi Domine Rex aeterne gloriae is sung in place of Alleluia. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Praeoccupemus and the Office hymn Primo die. The antiphons and psalms are as on previous 'green' Sundays. In the first nocturn the Incipit of the Book of Genesis is read. In the second nocturn the lessons are from the Enchiridion of St. Augustine, in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily from St. Gregory on the Gospel of the labourers in the vineyard. The Te Deum is not sung but in its place is sung a ninth responsory, Ubi est Abel frater tuus?.

At Lauds the 'second scheme' of psalms is sung: Pss 50, 117, 62, Canticle of the Three Children (Benedictus es) and 148. The antiphons at Lauds are proper to the Sunday as are the versicle after the hymn Aeterne, chapter, antiphon at the Benedictus and collect. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of St. Cyril and of St. Apollonia. The Suffrage is omitted.

At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper. At Prime the order of psalmody is changed and four psalms are sung, Pss. 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the usual first two stanzas of Ps. 118. Both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted.

At Mass the Gloria is omitted. The ministers wear violet dalmatic and tunicle. The second collect is of St. Cyril, the third collect is of St. Apollonia. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the Preface is of the Blessed Trinity. Benedicamus Domino is sung, by the deacon facing the altar, as the dismissal.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. Scholastica and of St. Cyril. The Suffrage is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there is no anticipation of the fifth Sunday after the Epiphany. At Vespers there were no commemorations. Mattins is reduced to a single nocturn. At Prime the arrangement of psalms is truly bizarre with the festal arrangment of Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii (!) At Mass there is only one collect and Benedicamus Domino is suppressed in favour of Ite, missa est. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Purification of the BVM - Candlemass

The Feast of the Purification of the BVM is a Double of the Second Class. The feast is generally known in English-speaking countries as Candlemass as before Mass candles for use throughout the year ahead are solemnly blessed. The liturgical colour of the day is white but violet is used for the blessing of candles and procession. The fourth Sunday after the Epiphany is commemorated in the Office and at Mass.

In the Byzantine East the feast is known as the Hypapante, the Meeting of the Lord, and was often so name in early Western liturgical books (e.g. several examples can be found in the comparison of Calendars given in 'Saints in English Calendars before 1100', Henry Bradshaw Society, Vol.CXVII). In the diverse Medieval uses an even more elaborate blessing than the form found in the Roman Missal outlined below can be seen with a preface of blessing, e.g. Sarum, which compares with the blessing of Palms and the Waters at Epiphany.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons used on the feast of the Circumcision were sung again, O admirabile commercium etc., doubled, with the psalms of feasts for the Blessed Virgin (Pss. 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147). The chapter was proper to the feast and the Office hymn Ave, maris stella. The antiphon on the Magnificat was proper to the feast Senex Puerum portabat etc. After the collect of the feast commemorations of the preceding feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch and of the fourth Sunday after Epiphany were sung. At Compline the tone of Te lucis was that for feast of the Virgin with the Doxology in honour of the Incarnation Jesu, tibi sit gloria etc.

At Mattins the invitatory is proper, Ecce venit as templum sanctum suum Dominator Dominus: Gaude et laetare, Sion occurrens Deo tuo and the Office hymn is Quem terra. The antiphons and psalms for each nocturn come from the Common of the Blessed Virgin as does the Office hymn Quem terra, pontus, sidera. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Book of Exodus and from Leviticus. The responsories are proper to feast and particularly beautiful. In the second nocturn the lessons come from a sermon of St. Augustine and in the third nocturn the homily if from St. Ambrose. The ninth lesson is the homily for the fourth Sunday after the Epiphany from St. Jerome on St. Matthew's Gospel. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the feast, Simeon justus etc., and are sung with the Dominical psalms. The antiphon on the Benedictus is again proper to the feast, Cum inducerent etc. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung.

At the Hours the hymns have the melody of the BVM and the Doxology Jesu tibi sit gloria etc. The antiphons from Lauds, Simeon justus etc., are sung with the festal psalms. At Prime the psalms are Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii, in the short responsory the versicle Qui natus es de Virgine is sung and the lectio brevis is proper to the feast, Et placebit.

After Terce the Asperges and blessing of candles takes place. The celebrant vests in a violet cope and the ministers wear violet folded chasubles. The altar is vested in white but a violet antependium placed over the festal one etc. The organ is silent (as is always the case when folded chasubles are used).

After the Asperges ceremony the celebrant and ministers go to the Epistle corner there the celebrant sings five prayers of blessing in the ferial tone. Incense is then blessed, lustral water sprinkled over the candles whilst the celebrant says Asperges me and then the candles are then incensed. At the centre of the altar the celebrant receives a candle from the senior canon present, kissing the candle before taking it. In no canon or senior cleric is present the celebrant kneels before the altar and takes his own candle. Candles are then distributed while the antiphon Lumen ad revelationem is sung interpolated into the canticle Nunc dimittis. Those receiving the candles kiss them, first, then the celebrant's hand. At the conclusion of the distribution the antiphon Exsurge, Domine is sung with a Doxology and the candles lighted. After the distribution the celebrant returns with the ministers to the Epistle corner and chants Oremus. As the feast falls on a Sunday, and not being in Septuagesima, the deacon does not sing Flectamus genua. The celebrant sings the collect Exaudi. The procession then takes place. The subdeacon of the Mass takes the processional cross. The procession goes around the church with lighted candles during the singing of three antiphons Adorna thalamum, Responsum accepit Simeon and Obtulerunt. These text are clearly ancient and found, almost verbatim, in the Menaion of the Byzantine rite.

After the Procession the ministers change from violet vestments to white and Mass is celebrated. The Gloria is sung. The second collect is of the Sunday. The Creed is sung and the preface is that of the Nativity, the feast being a 'satellite' of Christmas. Lighted candles are held by all during the chanting of the Gospel, including the celebrant, and from the beginning of the Canon until after the distribution of Communion. The last Gospel is of the Sunday.

At second Vespers the antiphons Simeon justus etc and chapter from Lauds are used again with the psalms of the Blessed Virgin, the antiphon on the Magnificat is proper. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Sunday. From Compline the Marian antiphon changes from Alma, Redemptoris to Ave, Regina caelorum etc.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast although of II class gains a first Vespers when it falls on a Sunday. However, being classed as a feast of the LORD no commemoration of the Sunday was made at Vespers. Mattins and Lauds are the same as the Old Rite except there is no ninth lesson of the Sunday at Mattins and there is no commemoration of the Sunday at Lauds. At the Little Hours the Dominical antiphons and psalter are used although the versicle Qui natus is sung in the short responsory at Prime. The lectio brevis is of the season, not of the feast. The Doxology in honour of the BVM is omitted at all the hymns of the Little Hours which are sung to a different tone.

At the blessing of candles white vestments are used rather than violet. The five collects of blessing have the usual 'long conclusion' omitted and in its place the 'short conclusion' - e.g. Per eundem Dominum nostrum. Amen. The verse Exsurge, Domine is omitted, the command of Flectamus genua is always omitted even in Septuagesima and at Mass Judica me Deus etc is excised as on several other days in the 1962 missal. There is no commemoration of the Sunday at Mass and the last Gospel is In principio. At Vespers there is no commemoration of the Sunday.

Icon of the Hypapante from St. John's Parish of the Melkite Eparchy in Australia.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Third Sunday after the Epiphany


The third Sunday after the Epiphany is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is green. The Gospel pericopes from St. Matthew record the LORD healing the leper and the centurion's servant.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms appointed for Saturday were sung. The Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus. The antiphon on the Magnificat was Suscepit Deus. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, of St. Peter the Aposlte and of St. Polycarp. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted due to the double feasts and, likewise, at Compline the Dominical preceswere not sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Adoremus Dominum and the hymn Primo die . Mattins has the usual three nocturns. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians. In the second nocturn the lessons are from an exposition of this Epistle to the Galatians by St. Augustine and in the third nocturn the homily is from St. Jerome. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the Office hymn is Aterne rerum conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of St. Polycarp. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted due to the commemorated double feast and for the same reason at Prime both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted.

At Mass the Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Polycarp. Today there is no third collect. The Credo 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 commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. John Chrysostom and of St. Polycarp. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted due to the double feasts as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Mass there is but aingle collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Second Sunday after the Epiphany


The second Sunday after the Epiphany is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is green. The Gospel pericopes at Mattins and Mass are from St. John's account of the Marriage Feast at Cana.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus. The antiphon on the Magnificat was Suscepit Deus which will be used on all Saturdays when Vespers are of the Sunday until Septuagesima. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of St. Peter's Chair at Rome, of St. Paul the Apostle, of SS Marius and Others and of St. Canute. The Suffrage was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Adoremus Dominum and this will be sung until Septuagesima. The Office hymn is Primo die and this is sung at Sunday Mattins until the first Sunday in Lent. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. In the second nocturn a sermon of St. Chrysostom provides the lessons and, in the third nocturn, the homily is from St. Augustine. At Lauds the Office hymn is Aeterne and that too is sung at Sunday Lauds until the first Sunday of Lent. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of SS Marius & Others and of St. Canute followed by the Suffrage of the Saints. At Prime both Quicumque and the Dominical preces. are sung.

At Mass the Gloria is sung, the second collect is of SS Marius & Others, the third collect is of St. Canute. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Blessed Trinity.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of the following feast of SS Fabian & Sebastian. The Suffrage is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline due to the concurring double feast.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. The Suffrage and Dominical preces have been abolished. Mattins is reduced to a single nocturn of three lessons. There are no commemorations at Lauds. Quicumque is only sung once a year. At Mass there is a single collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 12 January 2020

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 originally placed on the third Sunday after the Epiphany. Following the reforms of 1911-13 - which aimed to remove the celebration of feasts assigned to Sundays - Benedict XV assigned it to the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany and extended the feast to the Universal Kalendar. Although of only greater-double rite it is classed as a feast of the LORD and so takes precedence over the semi-double Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany.

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

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 and the third collect is of the Octave of the Epiphany. The Creed is sung, the preface and communicantes are of the Epiphany.

In the afternoon first Vespers of the Octave Day of the Epiphany are sung. The antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc are sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn is Crudelis Herodes, Deum. After the collect of the feast, which if proper to the Octave Day, commemorations are sung of the Holy Family and of the Sunday within the Octave. At Compline Te lucis has the Doxology of the feast.

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). The Octave of the Epiphany has been abolished. At Vespers there were no commemorations. At Compline and the Hours the hymns have the ordinary Doxology. 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'. At Mass there is a single collect. Vespers are of the feast without any commemorations.