Wednesday, 20 May 2009

St. Bernardine of Sienna - Vigil of the Ascension

Today is the feast of St. Bernardine of Sienna a Franciscan who died on the Vigil of the Ascension in 1444. The feast is of semi-double rite. Today is also the Vigil of the Ascension and Rogation Wednesday.

At Mattins the lessons in the first nocturn are taken from the Common, Beatus vir. In the third nocturn the ninth lesson is a homily for the Vigil from St. Augustine. At Lauds a commemoration of the Vigil is sung as is the Commemoration of the Cross in Paschaltide.

At the Little Hours the Paschaltide Doxology and tone is sung at the hymns (for the last time this year). At Prime the Dominical preces are sung and the short lesson is for a Confessor, Justum deduxit.

Mass follows Terce. The Gloria is sung the second collect is of the Vigil, the third of the Rogations, the Paschaltide preface is sung (for the last time this year) and the last Gospel is of the Vigil. Private Masses may be of the Vigil, the Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Bernardine and the third collect that of the Rogations, the preface is of Paschaltide and, unusually for a Vigil, the vestments are white.

Where the Rogation Procession takes place and there is only one Mass it is sung after None. The Rogation Procession takes place as described in the post for Rogation Monday. At Mass (Exaudivit) the second collect is of St. Bernardine, the third collect of the Vigil, the Paschaltide preface (sung in the ferial tone like the orations), Benedicamus Domino as the dismissal and the last Gospel that of the Vigil.

First Vespers of the great feast of the Ascension are Sung. At Compline and the other Hours hymns of Iambic metre have the Ascensiontide Doxology: Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui victor in caelum redis, Cum Patre et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. Amen.

Following the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Vigil has been raised in rank to II class and takes precedence over St. Bernardine's feast. St. Bernardine is commemorated at Lauds, the Commemoration of the Cross is not sung. At the Hours the Paschaltide Doxology and tone are not sung for the hymns, at Prime the Dominical preces are omitted, the festal chapter Regi saeculorum is sung even though the Office is classed as ferial, the short lesson is of the season. In said Masses of the Vigil St. Bernardine is commemorated.

Where a Procession takes place the Litany is not duplicated and may be in the vernacular. At the votive Mass following the 'preparatory prayers' are chopped the Vigil is commemorated but not St. Bernardine, Ite missa est is sung as the dismissal. The Ascensiontide Doxology is not sung at the Little Hours.

The picture is a 'screen dump' of the start of the Rogation Procession held today at St. Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, USA. Bishop Dolan is kneeling before the choir altar at the start of the Litany. How refreshing that a least one Catholic church on the planet is bothering to celebrated the liturgy well. St. Gertrude's have had a Procession for each of the Rogation Days and have sung Liturgy every day. The school children sing beautifully and may Almighty God bless their splendid efforts for the Liturgy abundantly. Their excellent web-broadcast programme has first Vespers of the Ascension scheduled for 19:30 BST this evening. The picture below is of Bishop Dolan singing the nine collects after the Litany.


AP said...

"How refreshing that a least one Catholic church on the planet is bothering to celebrated the liturgy well..."

The sedevacantists associated either with Bishop Dolan or with the SSPV offer the pre-1954 liturgy, and each group has several churches and one seminary, so surely this is not the only place where the old Tridentine Rite is offered with splendor.

(In contrast the CMRI -- the largest sede group -- accepts the liturgical reforms of 1955-1957)

AP said...

"The sedevacantists associated either with Bishop Dolan or with the SSPV offer the pre-1954 liturgy"

Sorry, that should be pre-1956

Anonymous said...


I missed the beginning of the webcast from St Gertrude's, however I noted that the Litany was doubled and that the celebrant said the prayers at the foot of the altar, does this mean there was no procession?

Are the Rogation processions in any way related to the Anglican custom of "beating the bounds"?


Rubricarius said...

St. Gertrude's had a Rogation Procession on each of the three days. The webcam (or whatever it is called) is focused on the altar so one could not actually see the Procession but it did take place. The sound effect was quite interesting as the Litany faded as the Procession (presumably) went outside the church and then after a few minute could be heard again as it entered the building.

'Beating the bounds' is indeed connected intimately with Rogation Processions as the Procession used to go around the parish boundaries blessing the crops etc and redefining the parish boundaries.