Sunday, 24 June 2012
The Nativity of St. John the Baptist
The feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist is a double of the first class with an Octave. The liturgical colour of the feast and Octave is white. The celebration of the feast on June 24th is ancient and was mentioned by the Council of Agde in 506 and is in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum.
At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons, Ipse praeibit etc, proper to the feast, were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was Ut queant laxis resonare fibris. The hymn famously rises through a scale in its verses: Ut (Doh), Resonare, Mira, Famuli, Solve, Labii. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of the fourth Sunday after Pentecost. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung and the Dominical preces were omitted.
At Mattins the invitatory is proper Regem Praecursoris Dominum, Venite adoremus. The Office hymn is Antra deserti teneris sub annis. The antiphons, psalms and responsories are proper for all three nocturns. In the first nocturn the lessons are taken from the Incipit of the Prophet Jeremiah. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon by St. Augustine on the saints and in the third nocturn the homily is from the writings of St. Ambrose on the first chapter of St. Luke's Gospel. The ninth lesson is of the Sunday. The eighth and ninth lessons of the feast may be read as one and the three lessons of the homily read together as the ninth lesson but it suffices to omit the ninth lesson of the feast and read, in its place, the first lesson of the Sunday homily. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons Elisabeth Zachariae etc are sung with the Sunday psalms. The rest of Lauds is proper to the feast with the Office hymn O nimis felix. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung.
At the Hours the antiphons of Lauds are sung with the Sunday psalms. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii) the lectio brevis is Reges videbunt. The Dominical preces are omitted.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass is proper, De ventre. The Gloria is sung, after the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Sunday. The Creed is sung as the feast falls on a Sunday and the preface is of the Blessed Trinity. The last Gospel is of the Sunday.
At Second Vespers the antiphons sung at Lauds are sung again with the psalms from Vespers for the Common of Apostles. The hymn Ut queant laxis is again sung, the rest of the Office is proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. William and of the Sunday. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast remains relatively unscathed. At Mattins there is no ninth lesson of the Sunday. The antiphons are, of course, doubled at the Little Hours Prime has the seasonal lectio brevis. At Mass the last Gospel is In principio. At Vespers there is only a commemoration of the Sunday. The Octave has been stripped away.
Icon: A Russian icon of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist from Wikipedia.