Monday, 1 December 2008
Saint Andrew the Apostle
The feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the 'First Called', is celebrated today, displaced by the First Sunday of Advent yesterday.
According to St. John's Gospel St. Andrew was a disciple of St. John the Baptist, whose testimony first led him and St. John the Evangelist to follow Jesus. St. Andrew at once recognised Christ as the Messiah. St. Andrew preached the Gospel in Asia Minor and, according to Eusebius, as far as Kiev. St. Andrew is the patron saint of such diverse countries as Scotland and Russia. According to tradition he was crucified at Patras in Achaea.
Devotion to St. Andrew was strong in the medieval period and many Western Kalendars such as the venerable Sarum Rite had an octave for the feast. In the Roman liturgy clearly St. Andrew was once regarded as more important than in modern times hence his inclusion in the Libera nos.
The liturgy of the day is festal and began with first Vespers of the feast on Advent Sunday. Four pluvialistae in pariti assist the Hebdomadarius at Vespers and Lauds. At Mattins there are the usual nine lessons. At Lauds a commemoration is made of the Advent feria. Festal psalmody is used at the Horae Minorae. At Mass, which is sung after Terce the Gloria and Creed are both sung and there is a commemoration of the Advent feria. At second Vespers there is a commemoration of tomorrow's feast of St. Bibiana and of the Advent feria. Compline ends the celebration of St. Andrew's transferred feast.
According to the 'liturgical books of 1962' St. Andrew is entirely omitted this year, as in the 1970-2002 missal, so much for the supposed "Gregorian", "ancient" 1962 rite - Apostles are clearly of little importance!
Holy Apostle Andrew pray to God for us that we may be delivered from the affliction of the liturgical books of 1962.