Sunday, 1 February 2009

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Today is the fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, it is of semi-double rank. The Gospel at Mattins and Mass is from St. Matthew and relates the LORD calming the angry sea and raging wind.

At Vespers on Saturday a commemoration was made of the preceding Office of St. John Bosco and of St. Ignatius of Antioch Bishop and Martyr. As both commemorated Office are of double rite the Suffrage of the Saints was not sung nor were there Dominical preces at Compline. As on all semi-double Sundays Mattins has three nocturns and nine lessons. In the first nocturn the beginning of St. Paul's letter to the Philippians is read, the second nocturn lessons are taken from the writings of St. Gregory the Great and the homily in third nocturn is from St. Jerome.

A commemortion of St. Ignatius is made at Lauds. One of the consequences of the 1911-13 reform was the effective loss of the Tridentine Sunday Office. Hitherto the Dominical Office and the Festal Office were distinct. The Dominical Office was considerably longer with twelve psalms in the first nocturn, the Dominical preces being sung at Prime and Compline and the Athanasian Creed, Quicumque vult, always being sung at Prime. Prior to 1911-13 a double feast outranked the Sunday and so the latter would be commemorated. With the revision doubles were commemorated in the Sunday Office but this then lost its distinct features of the longer Mattins, the Dominical preces being sung and Quicumque being omitted when doubles were commemorated and always omitted in Advent, Septuagesima, Lent and the Sundays of Paschaltide.

In Mass the Gloria is sung, a commemoration is made of St. Ignatius, the Creed is sung and the Preface is that of Sunday. The texts of the introit, gradual, offertory and communion verse are those of the third Sunday after the Epiphany which are also used for the fifth and sixth Sundays, if they occur before Septuagesima.

Vespers are first Vespers of the Purification of the BVM with a commemoration of the Sunday and St. Ignatius. Hymns of Iambic metre have a Doxology in honour of the BVM, Jesu tibi sit gloria, and are sung to a special melody.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the usual excisions are made: no commemoration is made of either St. John Bosco or St. Ignatius, the latter being entirely ignored this year. Mattins is reduced to one nocturn. No commemoration is made at Lauds or Mass. Second Vespers of the Sunday are sung without any commemoration of the Purification and hymns of Iambic metre lose their special Doxology and tone.

Art: Jerome Nadal

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