Tuesday, 24 August 2010

St. Bartholomew the Apostle

The feast of St. Bartholomew the Apostle is a Double of the Second Class. The feast is preceded by a Vigil, although the Office of the Vigil is outranked by the feast of St. Philip Benizi it is commemorated at Lauds. However, 'private' Masses of the Vigil, celebrated in violet with a commemoration of the feast, are permitted.

Celebration of St. Bartholomew's feast began with first Vespers yesterday. The antiphons Hoc est praeceptum meum etc were sung along with the psalms of first Vespers from the Common Apostles (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116) and other parts from the same Common. The collect of the feast was proper. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the preceding Office of St. Philip Benizi was sung. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung and the preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem Apostolorum Dominum, venite adoremus. The antiphons In omnem terram etc are sung with the psalms from the Common of Apostles. In first nocturn the lessons are Sic nos existimet homo from the former Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. In the second nocturn the lessons are proper to the feast. In the third nocturn the homily is taken from St. Ambrose's commentary on St. Luke's Gospel. At Lauds the antiphons Hoc est praeceptum meum etc are sung with the Sunday psalms.

At the Hours the antiphons from Lauds are used. At Prime the feastal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii). The lectio brevis is Ibant Apostoli.

Mass is sung after Terce. The introit is Mihi autem nimis. The Gloria is sung, the Creed is sung and the preface is of the Apostles.

Vespers are of the feast with commemorations of the following feast of St. Louis of France. At Compline the Dominical psalms are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast loses first Vespers and is not commemorated at Vespers of St. Philip Benizi. The Vigil of St. Bartholomew has been abolished. Compline on Tuesday was ferial. At Prime the ferial antiphons and psalmody are used, the lectio brevis is of the season. At the other Little Hours the ferial antiphons and psalms are also sung. The feast only has second Vespers, with no commemoration of St. Louis.

Icon: Melkite Eparchy in Australia


Geoffrey said...

I notice in that in the 1568 rubrics ( I only have the facsimile!) and in those of my Leo XIII edition that in Rome the Feast used to be observed on 25th August. Was this to do with the dedication feast of the Basilica on the Tiber Island or some other reason and when was this observance suppressed? I have learned a great deal from your website over the past months wothout being in a position to contribute anything. Thank you!

Rubricarius said...



I don't immediately know the answer: quickly checking my 1910 Breviary 25th August is still the day of celebration in Rome yet a Roman Ordo for the Secular Clergy of Rome for 1920 gives the 24th.

Rubricarius said...

I have just found the relevant decree: AAS V (1913) pp.457-464 decree of the SRC 28 Oct 1913 following Pius X's Abhinc duos annos. Section V, 2.d abolishes the Roman practice of St. Bartholomew being celebrated on the 25th (and St. Louis on the 26th). It allows, however, the external solemnity (of both) to be kept on the former days.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for looking this up so speedily in your considerable collection of relvant materal.This particular feature of the calendar and the related Breviary rubric reminded me (rather like the notices of staional churches which were omitted from 1970) os the sense in which the liturgical books were truly Roman books. It would be interesting to know why such an old and significant feast as that of an apostle should have been permanently translated and only in Rome. I cannot think of anything similar.

Geoffrey said...

Sorry - "anonymous" in the previous post should read "Geoffrey".

Rubricarius said...


You have asked the 'killer question'. I have asked highly liturgical minds in the USA and Rome but so far we can't come up with a definite answer.

It appears the 25th is the feast day in the older Sacramentaries and Kalendars but it had been celebrated on the previous day almost universally in the Western rites for a least a couple of centuries before Trent and the Pian revision.

We have a highly probable explanation for the practice in Rome but not for the apparent change of date from 25th to 24th - when a reasonable answer is reached it will be worth a follow-up post.

Geoffrey said...

Many thanks for this!