Wednesday, 11 May 2011

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.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons etc were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The chapter was proper, the hymn, Te Joseph celebrent agmina Caelitum. feast began with first Vespers yesterday afternoon, described in the post below. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung, Te lucis had the Paschal Doxology.

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 to those for 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).

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 second Vespers a commemoration is made of the following Office of SS Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancras. Again at Compline the Domincial psalms are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Solemnity of St. Joseph simply does not exist as this beautiful feast was shamefully supressed in 1956. Somewhat ironicly this year the feast of SS Philip and James is celebrated today. When the Solemnity of St. Joseph was abolished with the introduction of the abomination of San Giuseppe Comunista SS Philip and James were cast aside to what was the first free liturgical day, May 11th.


Anonymous said...


do you know of an edition of Missale Romanum cc 1954 which contains both St Joe Worker and Ss Philip and James on 1st May? a friend showed one to me complete with the Old Rite Holy Week and Vigil of Pentecost. Was it current or singular?

Rubricarius said...


The 'Joe the Worker' texts didn't appear until 1956 (vide: AAS 48 (1956) pp. 226 - 237) so I would suggest the edition to which you refer must have been after 1956. The decree at the end of the above clearly moves SS P & J to May 11th and abolishes the Solemnity of St. Joseph - so rather a mystery with your friend's copy.

Holy Week and the Vigil of Pentecost are more easily explained as the printers were given instructions not to make changes to the Missal and Breviary in the decree Cum nostra. The new Holy Week was contained in a supplement Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae Instauratus before being incorporated into Missals printed following Rubricarum instructum.

Anonymous said...

In fact, my friend's Missale Romanum is of the 1939 editio. The propers of st joe the worker, a single leaf, was inserted/glued between this solemnity and the feast of ss philip and james. At the verso of the leaf, there's the imprimatur of some French bishop dated 1956, whereas the copyright says 1939 and the 'cover letter' is dated 1949.