Saturday, 2 January 2010

Octave Day of St. Stephen the Protomartyr

Today is the Octave Day of St. Stephen the Protomartyr. It is of simple rite. As on the feast the liturgical colour is red.

At Mattins there is one nocturn of three lessons. The invitatory is as on the feast Christum natum, qui beatum hodie coronavit Stephanum, Venite adoremus. The hymns at Mattins and Lauds are those for martyrs with the Doxlogy in honour of the Incarnation, but the antiphons and psalmody are from the Psalter for Saturday. The first and second lessons are from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, the third lesson proper to the feast. At Lauds the psalmody is ferial but the rest of the Office is as on the feast, the collect being proper to the Octave Day. At the Little Hours ferial psalmody is used. The hymns have the Doxology and melody in honour of the Incarnation.

Mass is as on the feast, Sederunt principes, but the collect is proper for the Octave Day, Omnipotens sempiterne Deus. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the BVM Deus, qui salutis, the third collect Ecclesiae for the Church or the collect for the pope. The preface of the Nativity is sung but the proper communicantes in the Canon is not said outside of the Octave of the Nativity.

Vespers are of the following feast of the Holy Name of Jesus without commemorations.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Office is of the BVM on Saturday. At the Little Hours the Doxology of the hymns is however not changed in honour of the Incarnation. The Mass has the Gloria, one collect and preface of the BVM. Vespers will be the same as above.

Before the 1911-13 reform the octave days of the comites Christi were of double rank. The octaves of St. Thomas (in England), St. John the Evangelist and the Holy Innocents would have been commemorated in Lauds and Mass. The Mass was the same except the additional collects de tempore were omitted and the Creed was sung due to the commemoration of the octave of St. John.


Anonymous said...

I watched the early Mass from St Gertrude the Great this morning (7.30am their time) and whilst the priest said the Mass of the Octave of St Stephen (with second collect of Our Lady) he wore white vestments, can you shed any light on why this might be.
(+Dolan said a votive Mass of Our Lady in white afterwards)

Rubricarius said...

Private Votive Masses are not allowed under the old rules today.

How strange!

Xenophobic hobbledehoy said...


According to the 9th edition of Rev. Father Joseph Wuest's Matters Liturgical (New York: Frederick Pustet Company, 1956), "a private votive Mass or the daily Mass of Requiem may not be celebrated without chant on these days [i.e., 2 January to 5 January inclusive] even if the ferial Office is said (S.R.C.: March 23, 1955 Ad Tit. II, n. 14)" [Pt. VII, num. 474, e.]. The parenthetical reference is to the General Decree De rubricis ad simpliciorem formam of the Sacred Congregation of Rites [Cum nostra hac ætate, 23 March 1955] that abolished the Octave of St. Stephen [together with all other Octaves other than those of Christmas, Easter and Whitsun Day], making today a Feria, which enables the Office of St. Mary on Saturday to be said this day.

Andrew's query may be illumined by the same book, which says [ibid. b.], "The color proper to the ferial Office and Mass is white."

It is strange because the Most Rev. Bishop Dolan and his associates are notorious for their rejection of the liturgical reforms decreed by the Sacred Congregation of Rites in 1955.

Rubricarius said...

Xenophobic hobbledehoy,

I would get an older edition of Wuest's excellent little book if I were you.

The General Decree to which you refer was the second major step in dismantling the traditional liturgy and fruit of the Pian Commission.

Perhaps there is some peculiar indult in Cincinnati?