Friday, 15 April 2011

The Seven Sorrows of the BVM

Today, Friday in Passion week, is the feast of the Seven Sorrows of the BVM. It is of greater-double rite. In the Breviary and Missal the texts for the feast are found in the Sanctoral at the end of March. The liturgical colour of the feast is white.

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons, Vadam ad montem etc, were proper to the feast and sung with psalms 115, 119, 139, 140 & 141. The chapter from Isaiah was proper and the hymn was the moving Stabat Mater dolorosa. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect are both proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of the preceding feast of St. Justin and then of the Passiontide feria. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Doxology Jesu, tibi sit gloria, Qui passus es pro servulis etc.

At Mattins thee invitatory is proper, Dolores gloriosae etc. The hymn is Sancta Mater, a continuation of Stabat Mater. The antiphons and psalms are proper (the first antiphon Astiterunt, of course is the same antiphon sung at Tenebrae of Good Friday. The lessons in the first nocturn are from Isaiah. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon of St. Bernard. In the third nocturn the lessons are taken from a homily of St. Augustine on St. John's Gospel. The ninth lesson is the homily for Friday in Passion week. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons, Vadam ad montem etc, are proper and sung with the Dominical psalms. The Office hymn at Lauds is Virgo virginum. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Passiontide feria.

At Prime and the other Hours the hymns are sung to the special tone of the Doxology: Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui passus es pro servulis, Cum Patre et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii). In the short responsory the verse Qui passus es propter nostram salutem is sung. The short lesson is proper to the feast Generationem ejus etc.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of Friday in Passion week. After the Tract Stabat Mater is sung as a sequence. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the BVM with the clause Et te in Transfixione and the last Gospel is of Friday in Passion week.

Private Masses may be of the Friday in Passion week with a commemoration (and last Gospel)of the Seven Sorrows.

At Second Vespers the antiphons, psalms, chapter and hymn are the same as were sung yesterday but the antiphon on the Magnificat is proper. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Passiontide feria. At Compline Te lucis is sung to with the tone of the proper Doxology.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Office of the Seven Sorrows has been reduced to a mere commemoration in the Office of the Friday of the 'First Passion Week'. However a rubric in the 1962 Missal allows two Masses of the former feast to be celebrated for pastoral reasons where devotion to the feast exists.


Joe @ Defend Us In Battle said...

I wish I understood the calendars better. Does this mean that this feast 'moves' and is always the Friday of Passion Week? Or does it sometimes fall outside of lent?

I am trying to "Get learned" on calendars, but since I am left to my own devices I fail miserably. I cant find "online missals" that are pre-62 so I am having a hard time figuring this out. A little more explanation maybe? Sorry for being so daft.

Rubricarius said...

Joe @ Defend Us In Battle,

Yes, the feast is always on the Friday of Passion Week - unless that Friday is also the Annunciation. In Missals and Breviaries the feast is found at the end of March in the Sanctoral - which is a bit confusing.

Xenophobic hobbledehoy said...

A fun liturgical fact:

According to the Rubrics of the Monastic Breviary, reformed according to the norm of the Bull of Pope St. Pius X, Divino afflatu, the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Blessed Mary the Virgin ranks as a Memorial, commemorated at First Vespers and Lauds. The Office for the Sixth Feria in Passiontide is said, with a proper doxology at the end of the Hymns from Compline of the preceding Feria through None: Gloria tibi, Domine, / Qui passus es pro servulis, / Cum Patre, et Sancto Spiritu, / In sempiterna saecula. Amen.

Prior to the reforms, the Feast had a proper Office in the Monastic Breviary, at least that is my understanding.

Rubricarius said...

Dear XH,

A blessed Holy Week to you!

Indeed my 1880s set of the BM has the feast as a double major.

Xenophobic hobbledehoy said...

A blessed Holy Week to you too Rubricarius!

Thank you for confirming my memory. Throughout the Quadragesimal Season, all occurring Feasts ranking Double Major and below are commemorated in the Monastic Breviary. The principle of superexalting the Ferial Quadragesimal Offices over the Sanctoral Feasts may explain why the Feast of the Seven Dolours of Blessed Mary the Virgin was reduced from Double Major to a Memorial.

If you compare the editions of the Monastic Breviary promulgated before and after the Bull of Pope St. Pius X, you may find that many Feasts were reduced to Memorials or deleted altogether from the Monastic Calendar (though some may have been preserved in the Calendars peculiar to individual Monasteries, Abbeys and entire Benedictine Congregations). The rank of Semi-Double for the Sanctoral Cycle disappeared altogether (save for days within Octaves). The only new Offices I remember being admitted to the Universal Calendar of the Benedictine Order were of those Saints who were declared Doctors of the Universal Church after the Reforms (the only exception I can recall right now would be the Office of Pope St. Pius X).