Sunday, 9 December 2012

Second Sunday of Advent

The second Sunday of Advent (and the third and fourth) are semi-doubles of the second class in rank. The Gospel pericopes, from St. Matthew, tell of St. John the Baptist in prison sending two of his followers to meet the LORD. The liturgical colour is violet and, as folded chasubles are worn, the organ is not played.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem venturum and the Office hymn is Verbum supernum. In the first nocturn the antiphons Veniet ecce Rex etc are sung with the usual psalms for Sunday. The lessons are a continuation of Isaiah and today contain the beautiful symbolism of the Rod of Jesse. In the second nocturn the antiphons Gaude et laetare etc are sung and the them of the Rod of Jesse is continued as the lessons are taken from St. Jerome's Expositon on Isaias the Prophet. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gabriel Angelus etc are sung and the homily is from St. Gregory. The Te Deum is omitted and in its place a ninth responsory, Ecce Dominus veniet, is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons, Ecce in nubibus caeli etc are sung with the Sunday psalms. The hymn is En clara vox. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of the Octave of the BVM is sung. At Prime the versicle is Qui venturus es in mundum. The Dominical preces are omitted due to the Octave.

Mass is sung after Terce, the deacon and subdeacon wear violet folded chasubles. The Gloria is not sung. The second collect is of the Octave. There is no third collect. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Trinity. Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers the antiphons from Lauds, Ecce in nubibus caeli, are sung with the usual Sunday psalms. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderum. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following day within the Octave and of St. Melchiadis. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted due to Octave.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Dominical preces are always omitted at Prime and Compline. Mattins is cut down to one nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, there is only one collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal


Anonymous said...

Have you seen these photos of a recent Mass (a Sunday in Advent) in Budapest? Very consoling!

--Fr. Capreolus

Rubricarius said...

Dear Fr. Capreolus,

Thank you. I had not seen the photographs: the sight of them lifted by heart!

Anonymous said...

Dear Rubricarius,

- An appeal:

I wonder if you or any of your readers can help point me towards recordings, commercially available or otherwise, of the Christmass offices - especially matins.
[Years ago I had a commercial recording of the Mass at cockcrow – but it was Sarum so not much use, and frankly matins is a rather harder nut to crack.] I have not worried about trying to sing it before.

Looking ahead to the texts, one is reminded why Poulenc and others before him set Quem vidistis, and O magnum mysterium, pieces quite popular in other contexts. And also, of course why the anglican bishop who invented the nine-lessons-and-something format in 1880 picked nine for a service in the night of Christmass.

At a time when the tradition is being revived there must be a greater need for this in teaching those who quite simply can never have had the opportunity to hear the authentic plainchant before. How many Catholic parishes will have had matins of the Nativity in the years before the ‘seventies, and then just let the tradition and the knowledge slip away is rather sad to consider.

Even in 1962, I think the actual offices of Christmass night are not deviating from tradition – until one gets to Lauds, of course, but even then, at least one has the original antiphons, etc.

If anyone knows or has recordings to share I should be grateful.
So far the internet has produced nothing other than one office hymn.

Many thanks.

Rubricarius said...


I rather like that Sarum Missa in gallicantu recording I must say.

The only recordings I can think of are this one from Mary Berry and this which is rather fine and has a stunning setting of the Mattins hymn. However, both are incomplete for your purpose.