Sunday, 24 May 2009

Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension

Today is Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension. The Sunday is of semi-double rite. The theme of the great feast of the Ascension continues with most of the texts coming from the feast. However, the antiphons are of course not doubled. The Gospel pericope from St. John has the beautiful words of the LORD promising the gift of the Paraclete:
When the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me: and you shall give testimony, because you are with me from the beginning.

At first Vespers yesterday the antiphons for the feast, Viri Galilaei etc, were sung along with the festal psalms. The chapter was of the Sunday, the hymn for the Ascension and the antiphon on the Magnificat and collect of the Sunday. A commemoration of the Octave was then sung. The Commemoration of the Cross was not sung, because of the Octave and at Compline the Dominical preces were omitted for the same reason.

At Mattins again the antiphons and psalms are as on the feast. However, in the first nocturn the lessons are the incipit of the First Epistle of St. John, the responsories are of the feast. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from a sermon on the Ascension by St. Augustine and the writings of the same provide the third nocturn lessons reflecting on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds all is from the feast except the chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect. A commemoration of the Octave is sung.

At the Little Hours the hymns are sung to the melody for the Ascension Dolology (Tone 4). At Prime the festal psalms (Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii) are sung rather than the Dominical ones (117, 118i, 118ii) the short lesson is Si quis loquitur.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is that of the Octave. However, a third collect is not sung as Sundays within Octaves only have two collects unless there is an occuring commemoration. The Credo is sung and the preface and communicantes are of the Octave.

At Vespers again the antiphons and psalms are as on the feast. The chapter, antiphon on the Magnificat and collect are of the Sunday. A commemoration is sung of the following Office of St. Gregory, of the Octave and St. Urban.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Octave has been stripped from the feast as already noted. At Vespers on Saturday the psalms of Saturday were sung under a single antiphon Alleluia, no commemorations would have been made. At Mattins, reduced of course to one nocturn, the invitatory and hymn of the Ascension are sung but the psalms are those for Sunday under a single antiphon. At Lauds the psalms are sung under the single antiphon and there is no commemoration of the Octave.

At Prime the Dominical psalms are sung and the short lesson is, surprisingly, Viri Galilaei for Ascensiontime. The hymns do not have the Ascension Doxology and are sung to the ordinary melody for Sundays.In Mass there is only one collect. The preface of the Ascension is sung but not the communicantes in the Canon.

Vespers are of the Sunday, the psalms sung under one antiphon and are sung without any commemorations.

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