Sunday, 13 January 2019

The Octave Day of the Epiphany


The Octave Day of the Epiphany is of greater-double rite and its liturgical colour is white, that of the feast and Octave. When the feast of the Epiphany falls on a Sunday the feast of The Holy Family - inserted into the Calendar in 1921 on the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany - is anticipated, along with the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany, on the Saturday before the Octave Day.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc were sung, doubled, with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113. The chapter was Surge, illuminare, Jerusalem and the Office hymn was Crudelis Herodes. The Doxology was that of the feast Jesu, tibi...Qui apparuisti etc. After the collect of the Octave Day, Deus, cujus Unigenitus (proper to the Octave Day), commemorations were sung of the preceding feast of the Holy Family and of the Sunday within the Octave. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Doxology and tone of the feast.

At Mattins the invitatory, Christus apparuit nobis, Venite adoremus, and hymn, Crudelis Herodis Deum, are sung as on other days within the Octave, the special arrangement being for the feast only. In the first nocturn the antiphons Afferte Domino etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 28, 45 & 46. The lessons are the Incipit of the first Epistle to the Corinthians with the first responsory being Hodie. In the second nocturn the antiphons Omnis terra adoret te etc are sung with Pss. 65, 71 &85. The lessons are from a sermon of St. Gregory the Theologian. In the third nocturn the antiphons Homo natus est etc are sung with Pss. 86, 95 & 96. The homily if from St. Augustine. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds all is as on the feast, the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc are sung with Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148. The Office hymn is O sola magnarum urbium. The collect is Deus, cujus Unigenitus. No commemorations are made.

At the Hours the hymns have the Doxology and melody of the Epiphany. The antiphons and festal psalms are sung as on the feast but with the proper collect of the Octave Day. At Prime the lectio brevis is Omnes de Saba venient etc.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass formulary is the same as on the feast except the orations and Gospel are proper. There are no commemorations. The Gloria is sung, the Creed is sung and the preface and communicantes are of the Epiphany.

At Vespers the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus are again sung with Pss. 109, 110 111, 112 & 113. The antiphon on the Magnificat is Tribus miraculis and the collect is of the Octave Day. After the collect of the Octave Day commemorations are sung of tomorrow's feast of St. Hilary of Poitiers and of St. Felix.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Octave, and of course the Octave Day, have been abolished. The former Octave Day was rebranded as the feast of the Baptism of the LORD in the 1955 stage of the reform and celebrated as a greater-double. In the 1960/61 revisions the feast became II Class. However, when it falls on a Sunday it is omitted and the feast of the Holy Family is celebrated in its place. At the Hours the Dominical antiphons are sung. At Prime psalm 53 is not sung but Ps. 117. The hymns do not have the Doxology in honour of the Holy Family, or that of the Epiphany. At Mass there is a single collect and no commemoration of the Baptism of the LORD or the Sunday. In the Ordinary Form of the 'liturgical books of 1962' today is kept as the Baptism of the LORD.

Icon: Russian, 15th century, Wikipedia

Sunday, 6 January 2019

The Epiphany of the LORD


The feast of the Epiphany 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. The Epiphany was kept in the East from the third century, or earlier, and spread to the West a century later. Originally, it seems, in the East at least, that this 'manifestation' of the LORD was the same celebration as the Nativity and so to this day the Armenians celebrate the single feast of Theophany on January 6th.

The feast is preceded by a Vigil. At Vespers on Saturday afternoon the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc were sung, doubled, with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The chapter, from Isaiah was Surge, illuminare, Jerusalem and the Office hymn was Crudelis Herodes. For the feast and its octave a Doxology in honour of the LORD's manifestation is sung at all hymns of Iambic metre: Jesu, tibi sit gloria, Qui apparuisti Gentibus, Cum Patre, et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Doxology and tone of the feast. The Blessing of the Waters traditionally took place after Compline or later after the ninth lesson of Mattins.

The antiquity of the feast can be clearly seen in the structure of the Office of Mattins, unique to this day. The, historically later, Domine labia me, invitatory and hymn are omitted and the Office begins after te usual Pater, Ave & Credo with the first antiphon Afferte Domino etc sung, doubled, with Ps. 28. Two further antiphons are then sung with Pss. 45 & 46 in the first nocturn. The lessons in the first nocturn are from Isaiah. In the second nocturn the antiphons Omnis terra adoret te etc are sung with psalms 65, 71 & 85 and the lessons are from a sermon on the Epiphany by St. Leo. In the third nocturn the antiphons Venite adoremus eum etc is sung with Ps. 94, Venite , the usual invitatory psalm, in a responsorial manner. Psalms 95 and 96 are also sung in the third nocturn. The homily on St. Matthew's Gospel if from St. Gregory. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons sung at Vespers yesterday, Ante luciferum genitus etc., are sung with the Dominical psalms. The chapter is Surge, illuminare from Isaiah and the Office hymn is O sola magnarum urbium.

At the Little Hours the antiphons from Lauds are sung with the festal psalms. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii), in the short responsory, the versicle Qui apparuisti hodie is sung today and during the Octave, the short lesson is Omnes de Saba. The Doxology Jesu, tibi sit gloria, Qui apparuisti gentibus etc is sung at the hymns of the Little Hours.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass, Ecce advenit, is proper. The Gloria is sung and, traditionally after the Gospel the Announcement of Moveable Feasts for the coming year is sung. The Creed is sung and the preface and communicantes in the Canon are proper to the feast.

At Vespers the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc are again sung with psalms 109, 110, 11, 112 & 113. The Office hymn is Crudelis Herodes Deum. The antiphon on the Magnificat is Tribus miraculis.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the only textual changes today are the abolition of the Doxology in honour of the Epiphany at the hymns of the Little Hours and the duplication of antiphons at the same. The feast has been stripped of its Vigil and Octave.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Ordines update - II


All orders received over the Christmas break, and those received as of this morning, have now been posted. If any customer requires copy of the first couple of weeks of January please email.

The 2019 edition has seen the largest volume of sales in our history so many sales in fact that a further batch of Ordines has been printed. Thank you to all customers, old and new, for your support and may 2019 be good to you and yours.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity


Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. It is also the Sunday within the Octaves of St. Stephen, St. John and of the Holy Innocents but since the reform of 1911-13 those Octave are all but invisible.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of the Nativity were sung, the antiphons were not doubled. The Office hymn was Jesu, Redemptor omnium. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding feast of St. Thomas of Canterbury and of the Octave of the Nativity. The Suffrage was omitted. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted. Throughout the Octave hymns of Iambic metre are sung with the Doxology and melody of the Incarnation, Jesu, tibi...Qui natus etc.

At Mattins the invitatory and hymn, antiphons (not doubled) and psalms are those that were sung on the feast of the Nativity. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Epistle to the Romans. In the second nocturn the lessons are from St. Leo on the Nativity. In the third nocturn the homily is taken from St. Ambrose on the second chapter of St. Luke's Gospel. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons from the Nativity, Quem vidistis etc., are sung (not doubled) with psalms 92, 99, 62, Benedicite and 148. The chapter and antiphon on the Benedictus are proper to the Sunday as is the collect. The Office hymn is A solis ortus cardine. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of the Octave of the Nativity is are sung.

At the Hours the antiphons from Lauds are sung with the festal psalms. The hymns of the Hours are sung with the Doxology of the Incarnation. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i, & 118ii) the lectio brevis is proper to the Sunday, Itaque jam non est servus.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass formulary is Dum medium etc. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of Octave of the Nativity. Today there is no third collect. The Credo is sung and the preface and communicantes are of the Nativity.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of the Nativity are sung. The Office hymn is Jesu, Redemptor omnium. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. Sylvester and of the Octave of the Nativity. The Suffrage is omitted. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. Mattins has the psalmody of the Nativity (with the curtailed Ps. 88 ) and the usual cut-down single nocturn of three lessons. There are no commemorations at Lauds. At the Hours the antiphons and psalmody are from the Sunday Office, not of the Nativity. There is no proper Doxology at the hymns of the Hours. Mass has but a single collect.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

The Nativity of the LORD


The feast of the Nativity of the LORD is a Double feast of the First Class with a privileged Octave of the third order. The liturgical colour of the feast is white.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Rex pacificus etc were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was Jesu, Redemptor omnium. All hymns of Iambic metre have the Doxology Jesu, tibi sit gloria, qui natus es de Virgine for the Octave and up until the feast of the Epiphany. From this Vespers the until Candlemas the Marian antiphon is Alma Redemptoris with the versicle Post partum etc and the collect Deus, qui salutis. At Compline the Domincial psalms were sung, Te lucis had the Doxology of the Incarnation and the Dominical preces were omitted.

Mattins is ordinarily sung later in the evening than usual, so that the Mass which immediately follows can begin at midnight. The Caeremoniale Episcoporum gives special instructions, Lib.II, Cap. XIV, for Pontifical Mattins, but may be reasonably applied to other celebrations, for the arrangement of adequate candles to supply light for the service and talks of candelabris ferreis magnis to help provide this. The invitatory is proper, Christus natus est nobis: * Venite adoremus. When intoning the Office hymn, Jesu, Redemptor omnium, the Hebdomadarius turns and bows to the altar. Mattins has three nocturns and the usual nine lessons. In the first nocturn the antiphons Dominus Dixit etc are sung, doubled, with psalms 2, 18 & 44. The lessons are from Isaiah but, interestingly, are sung without a title. In the second nocturn the antiphons Suscepimus etc are sung with psalms 47, 71 & 84. The lessons in the second nocturn are taken from a homily on the Nativity by St. Leo. In the third nocturn the antiphons Ipse invocabit etc are sung with psalms 88, 95 & 97. The lessons are three Gospel pericopes, two from St. Luke and the third from St. John. After the Te Deum the collect is sung followed by Benedicamus Domino.

Then the first of the three Masses for the Nativity is sung. The Gloria is sung (one theory of its origin in the Mass rite is from the song of the Angels on Christmas night to the shepherds) as is the Creed. The preface and communicantes are of the Nativity. Lauds immediately follow Mass. The antiphons Quem vidistis pastores etc are sung the Dominical psalms. The Office hymn is A solis ortus cardine.

After Communion at the first Mass, when the celebrant is to celebrate one or two of the other Masses the ablutions are not taken but the unpurified chalice is placed on the corporal and covered with the purificator, pall and veil. Ablutions are taken after the last Mass so as not to break the fast.

Later in the morning Prime is sung. All hymns of Iambic metre are sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation. The first antiphon from Lauds, Quem vidistis pastores, is sung with the festal psalms (53, 118i & 118ii). In the short responsory the versicle Qui natus es de Maria Virgine is sung. The lectio brevis is Ipsi peribunt. Prime is followed by the second Mass, the Missa in aurora. In the second Mass the Gloria is sung, there is a second collect to commemorate St. Anastasia. The Creed is sung and the preface and communicantes are of the Nativity.

After Terce the third Mass is sung. This Mass too has the Gloria and Creed along with the preface and communicantes of the Nativity. As the Gospel pericope for this Mass is In principio the Gospel of the Epiphany, Cum natus esset Jesus, is read as a proper last Gospel.

Second Vespers has yet a third set of proper antiphons for the feast, Tecum principium etc., that are sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 129 and 131. These antiphons and psalms will be used through the Octave. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the following feast of St. Stephen. At Compline the Dominical psalms are sung. Te lucis has the Doxology of the Incarnation.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' at Mattins in the third nocturn, and for the Octave, psalm 88, Misericordias Domini is cut from 51 to 36 verses. The verses from Tu vero repulisti et despexisti to the end are omitted. The tone and Doxology in honour of the Nativity are not sung at the hymns of the Little Hours. In the third Mass the last Gospel is omitted and at Vespers no commemoration of St. Stephen is made.

A very happy Christmass to all readers!

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Fourth Sunday of Advent


The fourth Sunday of Advent is a semi-double Sunday of the second class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericopes from St. Luke concern the preaching of St. John the Baptist preaching the baptism of repentance by the Jordan and the reference to Isaias "Prepare ye the way of the LORD: make straight His paths: every valley shall be filled: and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways plain: and all flesh shall see the salvation of God."

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Canite tuba etc were sung with the psalms of Saturday. The Office hymn was Creator alme siderum. The antiphon on the Magnificat was that appointed for the twenty-second day of December, the sixth in the 'Great O' series, O Rex gentium etc. This was sung doubled before and after the Canticle with the choir standing. Being Advent the Suffrage was omitted. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Prope est jam Dominus * Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Verbum supernum prodiens. In the first nocturn the lessons are taken, as usual in Advent, from Isaias. In the second nocturn the lessons are again taken from St. Leo's sermon on the fast of the tenth month. The homily in the third nocturn is from the twentieth homily of St. Gregory on St. Luke's Gospel. A ninth responsory, Intuemini, quantus sit iste, is sung in place of the Te Deum. At Lauds the antiphons proper to the Sunday, Canite tuba etc., are sung with the Dominical psalms. The Office hymn is En clara vox. The Suffrage is omitted in Advent.

At the Hours the antiphons from Lauds are used in the usual sequence. At Prime the versicle in the short responsory is Qui venturus es in mundum and the Dominical preces are sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear violet folded chasubles. The Gloria is omitted. The second collect is of the BVM in Advent, Deus qui de beate, the third collect Ecclesiae. The Creed is sung and the preface that of the Trinity. As the Gloria is not sung the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers the antiphons Canite tuba etc are again sung this time with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 and 113. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderun. The antiphon on the Magnificat is the last in the 'Great O' series, O Emmanuel, proper to the twenty-third day of December. This is sung entire both before and after the Canticle with the choir standing. The Suffrage is omitted in Advent. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the significance of the doubling of the 'Great O' antiphons is lost as all antiphons are doubled regardless of the rank of the liturgical day or seasaon. At Compline the Dominical preces are always omitted. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons as usual. At Prime the Dominical preces are omitted. At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, there is only one collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Third Sunday of Advent


The third Sunday of Advent, often referred to as Gaudete Sunday from the words of its introit, Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico gaudete, sees a lightening of the Advent mood. 'Rejoice in the LORD always; again I say rejoice.' The same words begin the Epistle from Philippians (4:4). The Sunday's rank is that of a semi-double of the second class. The Gospel pericopes from St. John contain the Baptist's famous words "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the LORD." On this Sunday, mirroring Laetare Sunday in Lent, the penitential mood lifts a little with the deacon and sub-deacon wearing violet dalmatic and tunicle rather than their folded chasubles or, following the more modern praxis, with the use of rose-coloured vestments. The use of rose vestments is not obligatory. The absence of folded chasubles means that the organ may be played. On this Sunday Cardinals of the Court of Rome, in better days, removed their violet merino dress and wore rose watered-silk cassocks, with rose watered-silk mozzeta and mantelleta.

At Vespers yesterday the antiphons from tomorrow's Lauds, Veniet Dominus etc, were sung with the psalms of Saturday. The Office hymn was Creator alme siderum. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the Octave Day of the Immaculate Conception and of St. Eusebius. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Prope est jam Dominus: Venite adoremus. This invitatory is now used until the 23rd of December inclusive. The Office hymn is Verbum supernum. In the first nocturn the antiphons Veniet ecce Rex etc are sung with the usual psalms for Sunday. The lessons are a continuation of Isaiah. In the second nocturn the antiphons Gaude et laetare etc are sung and the lessons are taken from St. Leo's sermon on the fast of the tenth month. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gabriel Angelus etc are sung and the homily is from St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel and the record of the Baptist. The Te Deum is omitted and in its place a ninth responsory, Docebit nos Dominus vias suas, is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons Veniet Dominus etc are sung with Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148. The Office hymn is En clara vox. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of St. Eusebius. The Suffrage is omitted being Advent. At Prime the Dominical preces are sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear violet dalmatic and tunicle. The Gloria not sung. The second collect is of St. Eusebius, the third collect is Deus, qui de beatae. The Creed is sung and the preface that of the Trinity. As the Gloria is not sung the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino sung by the deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers the antiphons, Veniet Dominus etc, are sung with Pss 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderum. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Eusebius is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Octave has been abolishes. The Dominical preces have been abolished. Mattins is stripped down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Mass there is but a single collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal depicts today's Gospel where the Jews sent priests and Levites to interrogate St. John the Baptist.