Monday, 3 January 2011

Octave Day of St. John the Evangelist

Today is the Octave Day of St. John the Evangelist. It is of simple rite. The liturgical colour is white.

At Mattins the invitatory and hymn are as on the feast but the psalmody is ferial. In the nocturn the first and second lessons are from the Epistle to the Romans, the third lesson is proper to the feast from the writing of St. Augustine on St. John. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the psalmody is ferial but the chapter, hymn, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are as on the feast.

At the Little Hours the psalmody is again ferial, the hymns have the Doxology and melody in honour of the Incarnation. At Prime the lectio brevis is In medio Ecclesiae.

Mass is sung after Sext. The Mass is as on the feast. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is Deus, qui salutis the third collect Ecclesiae. The preface is that of the Apostles. (Rubricarius was fortunate to assist at such a celebration this morning in Greenwich, at a very rubrical altar with two candlesticks). Private Votive and Requiem Masses are forbidden today.

Vespers are of the Octave Day of the Holy Innocents, the liturgical colour is red. The antiphons and psalms are from the ferial Psalter, from the chapter as on the feast.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the day is a ferial day of Christmastide. The feast of St. John has lost its Octave. The Doxology or melody of the Incarnation is not sung at the Hours. The Mass is as on January 1st with one collect. Vespers are of the feria. Likewise in the 'Ordinary Form' of the 1962 rite the day becomes a feria of the Christmas season. However, in some countries, like England, the Epiphany was anticipated yesterday and so today becomes a weekday after Epiphany (or the Holy Name following the latest editio typica of the Ordinary Form Missal). Interestingly the 'EF' mess at Spanish Place in London yesterday was of the Epiphany I am informed from an impeccable source.


Anonymous said...

Not surprised about Spanish Place. Some time ago there was word that in England and Wales, at least, the PCED's judgment was that in cases like yesterday's, the EF liturgy should be of the feast the OF was celebrating. So for Epiphany, Ascension, Corpus.

This hasn't caught on in America, mercifully, but it's a significant issue, especially given the voices of influential web commentators who think everyone must celebrate feasts on the same day.

The "new" OF, incidentally, thus creates the truly bizarre situation where you have Jan.1 until None, then Epiphany, and least optionally...Holy Name today. Then a weekday after Epiphany tomorrow.

-Dr. Lee Fratantuono

Andre said...

In the pre-Pius X breviary today was a double. Were all common octaves cut down under Pius X?

A second question, when did the double majors, double of second and first class? Was it under Leon XIII in his reform of the Kalendar in 1884?

A most Merry Christmas time to you!

Rubricarius said...

Dr. F.,
I agree it is totally bizarre. Whilst I can see the argument for having external solemnities on the Sunday after a major feast to have them on a Sunday before...
My impeccable source walked out yesterday when 'Epiphany' was announced, good for him.

Thank you for your kind wishes.

In the 1913 stage of reform the Octaves were divided into privileged, common and simple. Before that time some of the Octaves were certainly higher ranking in practice but were not classified differently. The Octaves of St. Stephen, St. John, the Holy Innocents, St. Lawrence and of Our Lady's Nativity were reduced to simple Octaves where there was no celebration of the days within the Octave just the now simple-rite Octave Day. Before the days within the Octaves were semi-double with the Octave Day a double.

Sorry, I am not quite clear about your other point. Leo XIII stopped the transfer of semi-doubles and ordinary doubles, except that of Doctors.

Andre said...

Woops, I am sorry about that question. I forgot to finish my sentence!

My question was when were those ranks of feast created? I have a set of breviaries (and an altar Missal) from the 1850s and they only have doubles as the highest ranking feast. Were the double majors etc. created by Leon XIII?

Rubricarius said...


No. The classification formally comes in the 1602 Breviary. Many editions of the Missal didn't give the specific rank of double printed in the calendar but these appeared in most Breviaries before the tables of occurence and concurrence. (I am just looking at an 1843 Breviary I have been using recently - that gives e.g. 19 DICl)

There was a massive increase in the number of ordinary doubles in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries so most feasts were off that rank.

Adulio said...

The EF at the London Oratory was that of the Epiphany too. Thankfully there was a another parish that uses the ordo in South London, that doesn't fall this rubbish.

Peter said...

Any photos of this very rubrical altar?

You are very lucky indeed to have had such a Mass!