Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Seven Sorrows of the BVM

The September feast of the Seven Sorrows is a double of the second class. The feast on the Friday before Palm Sunday is significantly the older of the two celebrations dating from 1432 as a local feast. The September celebration was first permitted by Clement IX in 1667 granting the concession of one votive Mass, in violet vestments, on the third Sunday of September. He also granted a proper Office the following year. In 1673 the liturgical colour was changed to white by Clement X. Pius VII extended the feast to the Universal Calendar and raised it to a greater-double. Pius X further elevated it to a double of the second class in 1908 and moved it to the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (so effectively removing the Octave Day) in the 1911-13 reform.

The Office is proper. As mentioned yesterday a proper Doxology is sung at the conclusion of hymns of Iambic metre: Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui passus es pro servulis, Cum Patre, et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. At Mattins the invitatory and hymn are proper. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Prophet Jeremiah. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon on the twelve stars by St. Bernard. In the third nocturn the homily is from St. Ambrose. The ninth lesson is of St. Nicomedes, a first century Roman martyr. At Lauds the antiphons are proper and the 'Sunday' psalms sung. A commemoration is sung of St. Nicomedes.

At the Little Hours the 'Sunday' psalms are sung with the antiphons from Lauds. At Prime in the short responsory the versicle Qui passus es propter nostram salutem is sung and the short lesson is proper, Deduc quasi.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung (there is a second collect for St. Nicomedes in private Masses) the Sequence Stabat mater is sung as is the Creed. The preface is that of the Blessed Virgin.

Vespers is of the feast with a commemoration sung of the following feast of SS Cornelius and Cyprian.

Observant readers will have noted that both today and yesterday have had proper lessons in the first nocturn of Mattins. There is an interesting rubric before Monday's lessons, which of course were not sung - more on that with tomorrow's Ember Wednesday.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there is no ninth lesson for St. Nicomedes. The ferial psalter (and its antiphons) is used at the Little Hours. The proper Doxology is omitted. At Prime the short lesson is of the season. Vespers are without any commemorations.


Fr Michael Brown said...

Should traditionalists wear violet vestments for this feast or cave in to the intervention of Clement X and wear white?

Rubricarius said...

Perhaps a 'back to basics' approach might be called for and follow the oldest known colour sequence from Jerusalem where black was used for some feasts of the Mother of God (and one of the Christmas Masses too).