Wednesday, 21 April 2010
The Solemnity of St. Joseph
Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph Sponse of the Blessed Virgin and Patron of the Universal Church. It is a Double of the First class with an Octave. The feast was introduced into the Universal Kalendar by Pius IX in 1847 as the 'Patronage of St. Joseph' as a double of the second class to be celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter. In 1870 the feast was raised to a double of the first class and given an octave with 'Patron of the Church' added. In 1911 the feast was renamed the Solemnity of St. Joseph and became a primary double of the first class. In 1913 the celebration was moved to the Wednesday after the second Sunday after Easter. Although relatively modern the feast is a fine example of typology with the Patriarch Joseph being used as a 'type' of the foster-father of the LORD.
The feast began with first Vespers yesterday afternoon, described in the post below.
The Office is proper. At Mattins the invitatory is Laudemus Deum nostrum In veneratione beati Joseph, protectoris nostri, alleluia. The antiphons of the nocturns are proper and, as at Vespers, rather beautiful:
Angelus Domini apparuit in somnis Joseph, dicens: Surge, et accipe Puerum et Matrem ejus, et fuge in Ægyptum; et esto ibi, usque dum dicam tibi, alleluia.
Angelus Domini apparuit in somnis Joseph, dicens: Surge, et accipe Puerum et Matrem ejus, et vade in terram Israel; defunct sunt enim qui quaerebant animam Pueri, alleluia.
Consurgens Joseph, accepit Puerum et Matrem ejus, et venit in terram Israel; et habitavit in civitate, quae vocatur Nazareth, alleluia.
In the first nocturn the lessons are from the book of Genesis and are extended in comparison with St. Joseph's 19 March feast. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon on St. Joseph by St. Bernardine of Siena and in the third nocturn the homily is from St. Augustine on the Gospel fragment from St. Luke. At Lauds the antiphons from Vespers are sung with the Sunday psalms (92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). A commemoration is sung of St. Anselm.
At Prime the festal psalms (53, 118i & 118ii) are sung under the first antiphon of Lauds. At Prime and the Hours the hymns are sung with the Paschaltide Doxology.
Mass follows Terce and is proper, with the introit Adjutor. The Gloria and Creed are sung and the preface is that of St. Joseph. In private Masses a commemoration is made of St. Anselm.
(A captured image from todays Solemn High Mass for the Solemnity of St. Joseph from St. Gertrude the Great Church in Ohio. The celebrant is reading the Gospel prior to its chanting by the Deacon. St. Gertrude webcasts daily at 16:20 BST)
In second Vespers a commemoration is made of the following Office of SS Soter and Cajus.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Solemnity of St. Joseph simply does not exist as this beautiful feast was shamefully supressed in 1956. So,instead, St. Anselm is kept as a third class feast, without first Vespers, just one nocturn at Mattins etc. Even sadder the vast majoriy of those who consider themselves in some way attached to a form of usus antiquior are completely unaware of the feast's existence.
Interesting to see what happened to the Church after its Patron's feast was scrapped...