Sunday, 1 May 2011

Dominica in Albis - 'Low' Sunday

Low Sunday is interesting in that it is a Greater-double of the first class. The Sunday is also often referred to as Quasimodo from the first words of its introit. Anciently on this day those who had been baptised on Holy Saturday took off their white robes which had been worn since the Oil of Catechumens and Chrism had been lavished upon them on Holy Saturday. The Gospel at Mattins and Mass is the account of the LORD appearing in to His disciples behind the shut doors of the room and the doubting of St. Thomas. The feast of SS Philip and James is transferred to tomorrow, Monday 2nd May.

At Vespers yesterday the psalms of Saturday were sung under the single antiphon, Alleluia. Chapters and hymns return to the Office from this Vespers. The Paschaltide hymn Ad regias Agni dapes was sung. Its Doxology is sung at all hymns of Iambic metre: Deo Patri sit gloria, Et Filio qui a mortuis, Surrexit ac Paraclito, In sempiterna saecula. A commemoration was sung of St. Catherine of Siena. From this Office the dismissal, Benedicamus Domino, is sung without the double Alleluia that marked Easter Week.

At Mattins the invitatory Surrexit Dominus vere Alleluia continues to be sung. The Office hymn is Rex Sempiterne Caelitum. The psalms of each nocturn are sung under a single antiphon. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from a sermon of St. Augustine on the Octave of Easter. In the third nocturn the homily is from the writings of St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148) are sung under a single antiphon. The Office hymn is Aurora caelum purpurat.

At Prime (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii) and the Hours the psalms are again sung under a single antiphon at each Hour.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, there is a single collect. The Creed is sung, the preface is of Paschaltide (In hoc potissimum).

At Vespers a colour change to red is made and first Vespers of the feast of SS Philip and James. Commemorations are sung of the Sunday and St. Athanasius.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' at Vespers there is no commemoration of St. Catherine. At the Hours the Paschaltide Doxology is not sung. Mattins is reduced to one nocturn of three lessons. At Mass there is a change to one word in the introit as 'rationabile' replaced 'rationabiles' in the 1953 edition of the Roman Missal. At Vespers of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of the pseudo-feast of San Giuseppe Comunista, perhaps the nadir of Pius XII's prolific output of liturgical novelty.

Image: Jerome Nadal.


Anonymous said...

Any idea why St. Gertrude the Great in Ohio is celebrating St. Mark tomorrow instead of Sts. Philip and James?

- Dr. Lee Fratantuono

Rubricarius said...

No idea. I believe it is wrong though.

Researching Ordo 2011 I consulted six sources for the similar situation that happened in 1943. Of five extant Ordines and a calendar only one Ordo, from Argentina, had St. Mark transferred to the first day (and several quite serious mistakes on other days).

Anonymous said...

It may have to do with the difference between transferring feasts out of Holy Week and the Paschal Octave vs. transferring a feast that happens to fall on a Sunday of the I Class that isn't in the Paschal Octave. Under that logic, in England S. George trumps the Apostles because he is I Class, but in the general calendar the Apostles trump the Evangelist because the latter (from within the Octave) has to fall on the first free day after everything else is accounted for and the dust has settled, as it were...May 4.


Rubricarius said...

Dr. F.,

Prior to 1911 St. Mark would be celebrated on the first free day. However,following Divino afflatu there are criteria to be followed in determing which feasts take priority. The clearest explanations of this I have found is in Aertnys 'Compendium Liturgiae Sacrae' - my copy is from 1943. With regard to SS P&J and St. Mark the former has greater solemnity than the latter being a former holyday.

Acolytus said...

What does 'Greater Double of the first class' mean?

I first read that in the Stanbrook English translation of the Breviary and had to read it twice.
When i had, I assumed the word 'Sunday' was missing. Then it makes sense. Low Sunday would normally be a greater double as an Octave Day - altho' one that leaves out a lot of the characteristics of its Octave, such as the sequence - and I would accept it would be a Sunday of the First class.