Sunday, 16 August 2009

St. Joachim

Today is the feast of St. Joachim, father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a Double of the Second Class. Happily falling on a Sunday this year the feast is celebrated on the Sunday within the Octave of the Assumption, the place of its recent celebration. After 1911-13 the feast is celebrated on August 16th. Today is also the 11th Sunday after Pentecost and third Sunday of August which is commemorated in the liturgy. White is the liturgical colour of the day.

In pre-Trent times the feast was commonly celebrated on the 20th March. The feast was suppressed by Pius V in the Tridentine Missal and Breviary and re-instated by Gregory XIII in 1584. In 1623 the feast gained a proper Office and was transferred to the Sunday within the Octave of the Assumption by Clement XII in 1738. Leo XIII raised the feast to a double of the second class in 1879. The 1948 Pian Commission discussed joining the feast with that of St. Anne, which indeed happened in due course (c.f. Memoria sulla riforma liturgica, ## 108, 178).

Although the day within the Octave is not commemorated hymns of Iambic metre still take the Marian Doxology and tone and Qui natus es is sung at Prime.

At Mattins the lessons in the first nocturn are taken from the Common of Confessor non-Pontiffs, Beatus vir, with their responsories. In the second nocturn the lessons are proper to the feast. The fourth lesson is from the Discourse on the Praises of the Virgin by St. Epiphanius, the fifth and six lessons from a Discourse on the Birth of the Virgin by St. John Damascene. In the third nocturn the lessons are again from St. John Damascene. In the better praxis the ninth lesson is joined with eighth, to form a longer eighth lesson, and the ninth lesson is of the commemorated Sunday. The ninth lesson is therefore the Gospel fragment Exiens Jesus and the homily of St. Gregory Quid est... Again the better praxis it to combine the three lessons of the homily as one lesson, the ninth.

At Lauds a commemoration of the Sunday is sung. Prime is festal, as noted above Qui natus es is sung in the responsory because of the Octave and the lectio brevis is Justum deduxit.

Mass is sung after Terce, preceded by the Asperges. The Gloria is sung, the second collect of the Sunday, the Creed is sung, the preface is that of Sunday and the last Gospel is also of the Sunday.

At Vespers commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. Hyacinth and of the Sunday.

In the rocky horror service books the liturgy of the XI Sunday is celebrated in green. There are no proper Doxologies or tones as the Octave has been wiped away. Mattins is its usual chopped-down form of three lessons for a Sunday. At Lauds a commemoration of St. Joachim is sung. At Low and Conventual Masses St. Joachim gets commemorated, but not in others. However at Vespers there are no commemorations.

Art: Icon of SS Joachim and Anna from the Greek Church


Capreolus said...

Thank you for the good information on combining the three fragments of the Sunday's homily into the ninth lesson. I have to confess I was unaware of this practice. Is it, perhaps, mentioned in the introductory rubrics, or is it (in good Roman style) permitted through previous usage? Gratefully yours.

Rubricarius said...


John, Marquess of Bute, mentions it (amongst others) is his superb translation of the Breviarium.

As you suggest it was always there but, of course, frequently ignored.

Francis said...

"Although the day within the Octave is not commemorated ..."

Why is that? And why is the Preface at Mass not of the B.V.M.?

You mentioned that in the "rocky horror service books" the Mass is Pentecost XI, albeit with a commemoration of Saint Joachim. I did attend a 1962 Mass today and in fact there was NO commemoration at all. I wonder if these well-meaning priests are so used never to commorating a feast on a Sunday that -- even when they are supposed to ! -- they forget to do so.

Rubricarius said...


Days within common Octaves are not commemorated on D2Cl.

Before 1911-13 the preface would have been of the BVM but under the Pius X rubrics the Sunday preface is considered 'proper'.

Sadly I cannot say I am surprised to hear of your experience this morning. I doubt that all but a handful of celebrations actually take place according to the strict rubrics of the 'RHSB's - bows to the Cross still take place commonly etc., but to miss out a commemoration like that is just pure ignorance.

Novian said...

Francis and Rubricarius,

In the 1962 rite, St. Joachim should only have been commemorated at either a low Mass or a conventual Mass. See chapter XVI in the 1961-62 Rubricae generales, sections 107-08 especially.

Rubricarius said...


Thank you for reminding me of that. I have amended the original post.

One forgets sometimes what pernicious cr*p 1962 really is.

Anonymous said...

But Rubricarius, Green was used in some chapels including mine

Rubricarius said...


Green is not the colour for St. Joachim or other Confessors.

Sounds like you suffered an attack of the modern rubrics.