Sunday, 27 December 2009

St. John the Evangelist

Today is the feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist, it is a Double of the Second Class with a simple octave. The feast takes complete precedence over the 'vacant' Sunday which has no place in the liturgy.

The Office is again proper. As for all days until Epiphany hymns of Iambic metre have the special Doxology and tone in honour of the Incarnation. Mattins has three nocturns and the Nativity of the LORD is commemorated at Lauds, Mass and Vespers.

At Mass the Gloria and Credo are sung. The preface and communicantes are of the Nativity. The Octave of the Nativity is commemorated at Lauds, Mass and Vespers.

Vespers are of the Nativity but from the chapter of St. John. A commemoration of tomorrow's feast of the Holy Innocents is made and of the Octave of the Nativity.

In pre-1911 practice the day within the octave of St. Stephen's feast was also commemorated at Lauds, Mass and Vespers.

Following the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Doxology in honour of the Incarnation is omitted in the hymns of the Little Hours. At the Little Hours the Sunday psalms are used, i.e. at Prime Ps. 117, 118(i), 118(b). Mattins has a cut down three lesson effort, at Lauds St. John is commemorated. Vespers is of the Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity. No commemoration of the Octave of the Nativity, or anything else is made. What tosh!


Mark said...

I don't understand what you mean by "'vacant' Sunday". Can you explain, please?

Rubricarius said...


In the traditional Roman rite this Sunday is a 'vacant' Sunday (as is the following one - but that one is a little more complex) in that the Sunday is postponed until the 30th December. The 'comites Christi' feasts of St. Stephen, St. John and the Holy Innocents all take precedence absolutely and the Sunday is not celebrated in any way.

Happy Octaves!

Mark said...

Thanks, Rubricarius. I think I understand what you mean, but I'm not sure how it would play out in reality... I've got an old book kicking around; I'll have to look.

Thomasso said...

At the Mass I attended, the texts were of the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas with a commemoration of St John. So I guess that was 'illicit' on both counts ie, feast should take precedence in pre-1962; no commemoration in 1962!

C'est la vie!

Rubricarius said...


One would have a commemoration of St. John in Low Mass according to the 1962 books.

Mark said...

Rubricarius: is a Missa Cantata 'Low' or 'High'? ;-P

Rubricarius said...


'High' in this context - although there are differences in how various celebrations are classified between the traditional rite and the 1962 books.