Thursday, 18 June 2009
Octave Day of Corpus Christi
The Octave Day of Corpus Christi is of greater double rite. The Office is sung as on the feast itself except the lessons of Mattins which are proper. In the first nocturn the lessons are taking from occuring scripture, the First Book of Kings. In the second nocturn they are taken from a sermon of St. Cyril of Jerusalem and in the third nocturn the homily on the Gospel is by St. Cyril of Alexandria.
The antiphons are today doubled, as on the feast. At Lauds a commemoration is sung of St. Ephrem the Syrian and of SS Mark and Marcellian. As has been sung throughout the Octave the hymns at the Little Hours have the tone used on the Nativity. Prime is festal and has the versicle Qui natus es.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is for St. Ephrem, the third for SS Mark and Marcellian. The sequence Lauda Sion must be sung (it is optional on the other days within the Octave), the Creed is sung and the preface is that of the Nativity.
Vespers are first Vespers of the following feast of the Sacred Heart without any commemoration of the preceding Octave Day as both are considered to be the same mystery.
The Caeremoniale Episcoporum prescribed a Processon after Vespers today that was to be less solemn than that on the Feast itself (C.E. Lib II, Cap. XXXIII, 34. However this Procession was lost in the changes made by Piux X when Corpus Christi ceased to be a holy day in some countries like England and Wales until its restoration by Benedict XV.
Interestingly in Valencia, Spain, the Octave Day is still kept at the 'College of the Patriarch' - New Liturgical Movement gives a short account and videos of the praxis.
Meanwhile following the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Octave of Corpus Christi has been abolished, presumably such devotion to the Eucharist being contrary to the spirit of the times, and so a series of third class feasts and ferial days have been celebrated instead of the Octave.