Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Nativity of the Mother of God

The Nativity of the Mother of God is a Double of the Second Class with a Simple Octave. Prior to the changes to Octaves in 1913 it had a 'normal' Octave.

The feast began with first Vespers yesterday afternoon. The antiphons Nativitas gloriosae etc were sung with the psalms from the Common of the BVM (Pss. 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147). The Office hymn was Ave, maris stella. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect are proper to the feast. At Compline the Sunday psalms were sung andTe lucis was sung to the melody of the Incarnation with the Doxology Jesu tibi sit gloria etc.

At Mattins the invitatory is Nativitatem Virginis Mariae celebremus: * Christum ejus Filium adoremus Dominum, the hymn, from the Common, Quem terra. In the first nocturn the antiphons Benedicta tua etc are sung with psalms 8, 18 & 23. The lessons in the first nocturn are the Incipit of the Song of Songs, with much exquisite imagery, with repsonories proper to the feast. In the second nocturn the antiphons Specie tua etc are sung with psalms 44, 45 & 88. The lessons are taken from a sermon attributed to St. Augustine. Last year a learned reader commented that the sermon is actually from a sermon of (St) Fulbert of Chartres. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gaude, Maria virgo etc are sung with psalms 95, 96 & 97. St. Jerome provides the homily on St. Matthew's Gospel. The ninth lesson is of St. Hadrian, a former perecutor of Christians who became a martyr himself.

At Lauds the antiphons Nativitas gloriosae etc are again sung, this time with the psalms of Sunday Lauds (Ps. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). After the collect of the day a commemoration is sung of St. Hadrian.

At Prime the first of the antiphons used at Vespers and Lauds is sung with the festal psalms (Ps. 53, 118i & 118ii). In the short responsory the versicle Qui natus es is sung. The short lesson is In plateis. At the Hours the hymns are sung with the Doxology and tone of the Incarnation.

Mass is sung after Terce. In some countries a blessing of seeds, figs, grapes or other fruits takes place (the fruits in question depending on the climate of the place. The introit is Salve, sancta Parens, the Gloria is sung, in said Masses the second collect is of St. Hadrian, the Creed is sung and the preface is of the BVM, Et te in Nativitate.

Vespers are of the feast. At Compline the Dominical psalms are sung and Te lucis has the proper Doxology.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast loses first Vespers, and on Wednesday Vespers were ferial. At Mattins there is no ninth lesson of St. Hadrian. At the Little Hours the hymns do not have the melody or Doxology of the Incarnation. At the Little Hours the ferial psalms are sung and at Prime the lectio brevis is of the season.

Icon: Russian, 18th century

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