Thursday, 2 October 2008

The Holy Guardian Angels - Greater Double

The feast of the Holy Guardian Angels is of greater double rite. Continuing the 'practicalities' we considered last week we will 'dissect' Lauds of this feast in greater detail than the other Offices.

The feast began with first Vespers on Wednesday afternoon. The Office of the feast is 'proper' and so the antiphons at Vespers are specific to the feast and the psalms taken from first Vespers of Apostles. The hymn, antiphon at the Magnificat are all proper too. 'Sunday' Compline followed and there were no preces.

Mattins again has proper texts and has three nocturns. Scripture in the first nocturn is taken from Exodus and Zacharias and so occuring scripture is not read. Presuming Lauds follows directly from the singing of Mattins this will be the structure:

Deus in adjutorium..., Domine ad adjuvandum..., Doxology, Alleluia.

The first antiphon is Angelis suis Deus mandavit de te, ut custodiant te in omnibus viis tuis. This is sung in full as the feast is a double. Psalm 92 is then sung followed by the Doxology and repetition of the antiphon Angelis suis etc. The second antiphon, Laudemus Dominum etc is then sung in full followed by psalm 99. After the Doxology the antiphon is repeated. This structure is repeater with the third antiphon being followed by psalm 62, the fourth antiphon being followed by the Benedicite (Note: there is no Doxology sung with the Benedicite as its penultimate verse is Benedicamus Patrem et Filium cum Sancto Spiritu: laudemus et superexaltemus eum in saecula.) The fifth antiphon is followed by psalm 148.

After the repetition of the fifth antiphon the chapter Ecce ego mittam etc is sung followed by the hymn Aeterne Rector Siderum. The versicle and response following the hymn are again proper: In conspectu Angelorum etc and Adorabo ad templum etc. The antiphon at the Benedictus,Reversus est etc is sung entire and is followed by the Benedictus, Doxology and the repetion of the antiphon.

The greeting follows and then the collect of the day, Benedicamus Domino etc and finally the antiphon of the Blessed Virgin Salve Regina etc.

At the Little Hours (Prime, Terce, Sext and None) the first, second, third and fifth antiphons from Lauds are used for each hour in turn along with 'Sunday' psalms. At the Little Hours, even though the feast is a double the antiphons are only sung as far the asterisk before the psalms.

At Mass the Gloria is sung as is the Creed. Second Vespers of the feast are sung (again with the antiphons used at first Vespers and Lauds), the psalms are those from first Vespers of Apostles except the fifth which is psalm 137 Confitebor tibi. The antiphon at the Magnificat is proper to second Vespers of the feast. A commemoration of the following Office of St. Therese of Lisieux is made. 'Sunday' Compline concludes the celebration of the feast.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast is down graded to that of III class. There are no first Vespers not even a commemoration of the feast in the ferial Vespers that are prescribed. Compline is of the weekday (ferial) and the feast begins only at Mattins. Mattins is stripped down to one nocturn and loses six lessons (to be strictly fair only five as the second and third lessons from the Old Rite are joined together to make the second lesson in the reformed rite) but two-thirds of the second nocturn's lessons are gone as has the entire third nocturn including the Gospel fragment. Lauds are the same but at the Little Hours the antiphons and psalms are ferial. The Mess has no Creed. Second Vespers is almost the same but the commemoration of the following Office is not made and Compline following Vespers is ferial.

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