Sunday, 31 January 2010

Septuagesima Sunday

Today is Septuagesima Sunday, its rank is a semi-double of the second class. The liturgical mood becomes more sombre with first Vespers of Septuagesima. After the festivities of Christmas and Epiphany and their Octaves the mood becomes more sober but not yet as penitential as Lent itself. Although the colour of the season is violet the ministers at Mass do not wear folded chasubles but unusually violet dalmatic and tunicle for these three Sundays and for ferial days. The organ is still played until Ash Wednesday. From Septuagesima until Holy Saturday the dress of some prelates changes. Cardinals no longer wear scarlet choir dress but that of violet. Correspondingly bishops do not wear violet choir dress but their black, or mourning dress. In the case of the latter this is not to be confused with their habitus piano. The black choir cassock has a train, like the violet one, and the mozzeta or mantelleta is faced in violet.

In the Office some elements are the same as for the 'green' Sundays. A notable exception is that after Deus in adjutorium etc Alleluia is replaced by Laus tibi Domine Rex aeterne gloriae. At Mattins the invitatorium is Praeoccupemus as on preceding Sundays and the hymn Primo die. The antiphons and psalms are as on previous Sundays. In the first nocturn the Incipit of the Book of Genesis is read. In the second nocturn the lessons are from the Enchiridion of St. Augustine, in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily from St. Gregory on the Gospel of the labourers in the vineyard. The Te Deum is not sung but in its place a ninth responsory.

At Lauds the 'second scheme' of psalms is sung: Pss 50, 117, 62, Canticle of the Three Children (Benedictus es) and 148. The antiphons at Lauds are proper to the Sunday as are the versicle after the hymn Aeterne, chapter, antiphon at the Benedictus and collect. A commemoration is sung of St. John Bosco.

At Prime the order of psalmody is again changed. The Pss. are 92, 99 (displaced at Lauds) and the usual first two stanzas of 118. The Dominical preces are not sung because of the occuring double feast. At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper.

In Mass there is no Gloria, the second collect is of St. John Bosco. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the Preface is of the Blessed Trinity. Following the general rule as the Gloria is not sung Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal. As noted above the ministers wear violet dalmatic and tunicle.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms are those used on Sundays, the chapter is proper as in the antiphon at the Magnificat. Commemoration are sung of the following Office of St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. John Bosco. At Compline the Dominical preces are not sung because of the occurring double feasts.

Following the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. Mattins is reduced to one nocturn. At Lauds no commemoration is made of St. John Bosco. At Prime the arrangement of psalms is Pss. 53, 118(i), 118(ii), the festal arrangement in the Pius X Office! At Mass no commemoration is made and Benedicamus Domino is supressed in favour of Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal

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