Sunday, 7 April 2013

Dominica in Albis - Low Sunday

Dominica in Albis, Low Sunday, is interesting in that it is a Greater-double of the first class. The Sunday is also often referred to as Quasimodo from the first words of its introit. Anciently on this day those who had been baptised on Holy Saturday took off their white robes which had been worn since the Oil of Catechumens and Chrism had been lavished upon them on Holy Saturday. The Gospel at Mattins and Mass is the account of the LORD appearing in to His disciples behind the shut doors of the room and the doubting of St. Thomas.

At Vespers yesterday the psalms of Saturday were sung under the single antiphon, Alleluia. Chapters and hymns return to the Office from this Vespers. The Paschaltide hymn Ad regias Agni dapes was sung. Its Doxology is sung at all hymns of Iambic metre: Deo Patri sit gloria, Et Filio qui a mortuis, Surrexit ac Paraclito, In sempiterna saecula. From this Office the dismissal, Benedicamus Domino, is sung without the double Alleluia that marked Easter Week. Indeed the Office of the Octave of Pascha ended with None. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory Surrexit Dominus vere Alleluia continues to be sung. The Office hymn is Rex Sempiterne Caelitum. The psalms of each nocturn are sung under a single antiphon. In the first nocturn the antiphon is Alleluia, * lapis revolutus est, alleluia: ab ostio monumenti, alleluia, alleluia and the lessons are from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians. In the second nocturn the antiphon is Alleluia, * quem quaeris mulier? alleluia, alleluia, viventem cum mortuis, alleluia, alleluia and the lessons are taken from a sermon of St. Augustine on the Octave of Easter. In the third nocturn the antiphon is Alleluia, * noli flere Maria, alleluia: resurrexit Dominus, alleluia, alleluia and the homily is from the writings of St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148) are sung under a single antiphon,
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (A tragic loss in the reform of 1911-13 was the loss of the ancient nine-fold Alleluia that had been sung with psalms 92, 99 & 62-66). The Office hymn is Aurora caelum purpurat. The Suffrage is omitted.

At Prime (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii) and the Hours the psalms are again sung under a single antiphon at each Hour, Alleluia, * alleluia, alleluia - which is not doubled of course, even today.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, there is a single collect. The Creed is sung, the preface is of Paschaltide (In hoc potissimum).

Vespers are first Vespers of the great feast of the Annunciation, transferred from March 25th. The antiphons, Missus est Gabriel Angelus ad Mariam etc., are proper to the feast and are sung with the psalms from the Common of the BVM (Pss.109, 112, 121, 126 & 147). The chapter is proper to the feast, the Office hymn, Ave Maris stella, from the Common. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect are again proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung. At Compline the Dominical psalms aresung. The hymn, Te lucis, is sung with the Doxology in honour of the Incarnation, Jesu tibi sit gloria etc, with the hymn sung to the melody used with that Doxology.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Mattins is reduced to a single nocturn of three lessons with the single antiphon Alleluia, lapis revolutus etc. At the Hours the Paschaltide Doxology is not sung. At Mass there is a change to one word in the introit as 'rationabile' replaced 'rationabiles' in the 1953 edition of the Roman Missal and subsequent editions. The great feast of the Annunciation loses its first Vespers in favour of the Sunday so Vespers are of the Sunday with a mere commemoration of the Annunciation. At Compline the ordinary Doxology and tone are sung with Te lucis.

Image: Jerome Nadal.


John R said...

Where could one find the chant to the pre-1911 ninefold "Alleluia" antiphon from Lauds?

Gregor Dick said...

A couple of the scanned books at the St. Lalande Library of Rare Books contain the appropriate chant. See the "Miscellaneous Tome" section near the bottom of the main page.

Sheen3D said...

The Benedictine breviary retains the nine-fold Alleluia (along with so much else that has been lost to history in the Roman).

Rubricarius said...


Yes, but is also contains some oddities such as having the Miserere at Lauds on ferial days of Paschaltide.

The Nine-fold Alleluia should appear below this post from the source 'Unknown' links to above.

Anonymous said...

The Lalande Library is a great resource indeed.

I cannot now recall if this has been asked before but is not the rank designation of today, Greater Double of the First Class unique? What does it in fact signify? A greater double of the first order, or something somehow greater than a Double of the First Class? I cannot account for it.