Sunday, 19 June 2011

Trinity Sunday

Today is the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. It is also the first Sunday after Pentecost. The feast is now a Double of the First Class having been raised to that rank in the reforms of 1911-13. Before that it was a Double of the Second Class and before that a double. Its origins appear to be as a local feast that originated in Liege in the tenth century with its celebration spreading in northern France and England. The Franciscan John Peckham revised the texts in the thirteenth century. In many local rites (and in the Dominican rite) Sundays were counted after Trinity rather than Pentecost, as indeed they are the BCP.

The feast began yesterday with first Vespers on Saturday marking the beginning of the Summer (Aestiva) volume of the Breviarium Romanum. The Office is proper. The antiphons Gloria tibi Trinitas etc sung with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 and 116. The chapter, O altitudo, and hymn, Jam sol recedit, will be used at Vespers on Saturdays for all the Sundays after Pentecost. The antiphon on the Magnificat, Gratias tibi, Deus etc, and the collect are proper. A commemoration was sung of the first Sunday after Pentecost. After Vespers the antiphon Salve Regina is sung for the first time this year.

At Mattins there are three nocturns. The invitatory is proper, Deum verum, unum in Trinitate, et Trinitatm in Unitate, Venite adoremus. In the first nocturn he antiphons, Adesto, unus Deus etc., are sung with psalms 8, 18 & 23. The lessons are taken from the sixth chapter of the Prophet Isaiah. In the second nocturn the antiphons, Te invocamus etc., are sung with psalms 46, 47 & 71, the lessons are taken from the Book of Bishop Fulgentius on faith. In the third nocturn the antiphons Caritas Pater est etc are sung with psalms 95, 96 & 97. The homily is from St. Gregory Nazianzen. The ninth lesson is of the first Sunday after Pentecost. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons, Gloria tibi, Trinitas etc., are sung with the Dominical psalms (92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). The Office hymn is Tu, Trinitatis Unitas. Aa commemoration is sung of the Sunday.

At Prime the festal psalms are sung (53, 118i & 118ii) under the antiphon Gloria tibi Trinitas. The Creed of St. Athanasius, Quicumque, is sung after the last stanza of Ps. 118. Prior to the 1911-13 reform Quicumque was sung on all Sundays throughout the year when the Office was Dominical. In many Uses, e.g. Sarum, it was sung on many more days in the year too. The lectio brevis is Tres sunt.

Mass is sung after Terce. Before Mass at the sprinkling of lustral water the antiphon Asperges me returns. The Mass is proper, Benedicta sit. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday, the Credo is sung, the preface that of the Most Holy Trinity (used for all Sundays not having a proper preface after 1759), and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.

In second Vespers the antiphons Gloria tibi, Trinitas etc are sung with the Sunday psalms. A commemoration of the first Sunday after Pentecost is sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there is no commemoration of the first Sunday after Pentecost at Vespers, Mattins or Lauds. The eighth lesson is split into two to make a ninth lesson for the feast. At Prime Quicumque is sung only on this Sunday in the 1962 rite, the lectio brevis is Dominus autem dirigat. At Mass there is no commemoration of the Sunday, and no proper last Gospel.

Art: Rublev's Icon from Wikipedia. The Icon depicts the Hospitality of Abraham and which has been interpreted as representing the Trinity.


Andre said...

In the ordinary form of 1962, I believe the first Sunday after Pentecost does not even exist. In that case in the the 62 form of the Mass if there would be a feria during the week, would it be of the Trinity?

Paleo-Con said...

I have a rather complex question I should like to ask you.
I was telling a tradtionalist friend of mine that the maximum number of commemorations permitted for the Mass/Office on a particular day is seven. He asked me how could there ever be that many commemorations on one specific day? I explained that in the Americas it may not be very common but in Europe much more so.
I believe I know of one particular place where it indeed happens twice this year in the USA as I understand the traditional rubrics. Could you please let me know should my theory be valid and please correct me where I might be wrong.
In the Diocese of Savannah (Georgia) the Primary Patroness is Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Feast: 27 June); the Titual of the Cathedral and Secondary Patron is St. John the Baptist; the Cathedral was consecrated on Thursday,24 June 1920. There are three parishes in the diocese named St William and since no surnames be mentioned I shall assume they be St William of Vercelli(or Monte Vergine)whose feast is 25 June.
I surmise that that in those three parishes there would indeed be seven commemerations this year on both 28 and 30 June and that the order of the commemerations are as follows:
28 JUNE --------
1) VI Within Oct. Corpus Christi;
2) St Irenaeus of Lyons;
3) V Within Oct. St. John Baptist;
4) Vigil Sts. Peter & Paul;
5) II Within Oct. Our Lady of Perpetual Help;
6) V Within Oct. Dedication of Cathedral;
7) IV Within Oct. St William.

30 JUNE --------
1) Octave Day Corpus Christi;
2) Commemoration of St. Paul;
3) St. Peter;
4) VII Within Oct. St. John Baptist;
5) IV Within Oct. Our Lady of Perpetual Help;
6) VII Within Oct. Dedication Cathedral;
7) VI Within Oct. St William.
I should appreciate your help as the undisputed expert on this subject.
God Bless.

Rubricarius said...


No: the texts of the first Sunday are still there with a rubric 'Haec Missa dicenda est diebus ferialibus hebdomadae sequentis.'

Rubricarius said...


What an interesting place Savannah must be!

I am not sure that seven commemorations are a maximum or that a maximum is indeed presribed - if you have some reference I would like to see it.

On June 28th in a church where St. William was the titular (presuming this is the right saint) the commemoration of that octave would come before that of the Dedication of the Cathedral and the Vigil would come last. On June 30th in a church where St. Willian was the titular the commemoration of the day within that octave would come before that of the octave of the Dedication of the Cathedral.

For clarity I should have added earlier that in the OF of 1962 they go into 'Week 12'.

Paleo-Con said...

Thank you Rubricarius for your answer. After further research, I have discovered I misread Item 131 of Rev. Joseph Wuest's 1942 edition of "Matters Liturgical". He was referring to the total number of Optional Collects that might be said on a Simple Feast; not to the total number of commemorations on a given day. That makes my question, other than the Collect order, rather moot.
My determination of the Collect order of "St. William's in Savannah" was based on the Collects of the Universal Calendar taking precedent over those in the Diocesan Calendar and then those taking precedent over the Parochial Calendar. Thank you for the clarification.
Is there a good reference source for "multiple collect order" as I could not find it in Wuest?
I never cease to be thankful for your expertise.
God Bless.