Sunday, 19 May 2013

Pentecost Sunday - Dominica Pentecostes

Whitsun, the feast of Pentecost, is one of the greatest feasts in the Liturgical Year ranking next only to Pascha and, like the Queen of Feasts, is a Double of the First Class with a privileged Octave of the first order. The feasts of SS Peter Celestine and Pudentiana are not celebrated this year.

After the beautiful ceremonies of the Vigil yesterday morning First Vespers were sung in the afternoon. On this great feast the rubrics require the most solemn celebration of Vespers with the Hebdomadarius assisted by six pluvialistae in pariti. The solemn tone of Deus, in adjutorium is sung at Vespers, Mattins and at Lauds. The antiphons, Cum complerentur dies Pentecostes etc are proper and sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. During the singing of the hymn, Veni, Creator Spiritus, all kneel during the first verse. All hymns have the Doxology Deo Patri sit gloria, Et Filio, qui a mortuis, Surrexit ac Paraclito, In saeculorum saecula. Veni Creator is sung in tone 8, the other hymns of the Office in tone 1. At Vespers there are no commemorations. At Compline Te lucis is sung as described above and the Dominical preces are omitted for the Octave.

Mattins for the feast, and Octave, is like Pascha in only having one nocturn of three psalms and three lessons. The invitatory is Alleluia, Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum, Venite adoremus Alleluia. The Office hymn is Jam Christus astra ascenderat. The antiphons Factus est etc are sung with psalms 47, 67 & 103. The lessons are from a homily of St. Gregory the Great on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the antiphons, Cum complerentur dies Pentecostes etc, are the same as at Vespers and are sung with the Dominical psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). The Office hymn is Beata nobis gaudia. There are no commemorations.

At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii)under the antiphon Cum complerentur. In the short responsory the versicle Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, alleluia, alleluia is sung. The short lesson is Judaei quoque. At Terce instead of the usual hymn Nunc Sancte nobis the hymn Veni Creator is sung as it was at the third hour the Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles, as a Vespers the first verse is sung kneeling.

At Mass the Vidi aquam is sung for the last time this year and the aspersion takes place with Baptismal water taken after the blessing of the font yesterday (but before the infusion with Chrism!) The Gloria is sung and there is only one collect. After the Alleluia the beautiful sequence Veni, Sancte Spiritus is sung. The Credo is sung. The preface, Communicantes and Hanc igitur are proper to the feast and used throughout the Octave. According to the rubrics of the Gradulae four cantors lead the singing during Mass. In some places, particularly France, the practice found in so many medieval uses is followed where on great feasts the cantors wear copes and the Crucifer and acolytes tunicles.

At Second Vespers the antiphons Cum complerentur dies Pentecostes etc are sung with the Dominical psalms. The versicle and response and antiphon on the Magnificat are proper to Second Vespers. There are no commemorations.

Following the 'liturgical books of 1962' the hymns of Compline, Prime, Sext and None are sung to the solemn tone but do not have the Pentecost Doxology. The antiphons at the Little Hours are doubled.


Anonymous said...

In the current Octave I believe we cannot celebrate major feasts - although minor ones can be commemorated after the first three days which are doubles.

Down here we meet with the the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians as a Patronal on 24th. May. When can we clebrate her?

Today, Friday, is an Ember Day. I presume not now.
I thought transfer to Monday seemed likeliest, barring other accidents.

Thanks again.

J R Johnson

Anonymous said...


Do you know why the text of the first antiphon at Lauds/Vespers is slightly different for the chant in the Antiphonale/Liber Usualis compared to the non-musical text in the Breviary?

"Dum complerentur...dicentes..."


"Cum eodem loco..."

Anonymous said...

Then there are a few further complications, are there not?

A feast transferred to Monday could be celebrated then, but then there would be its Octave – as a Patronal feast. That would run over Corpus Christi and meet another Privileged Octave – on the Friday when it would terminate as if celebrated on its proper date.

Calling it either the-sort-of-octave-customary-with-patronal feasts or a Common Octave under the 1911-13 (re-)definitions, it would be less than a feast of the Lord. Er, I think. Does it acquire extra status as the Octave of a Patronal? Can its Octave Day be celebrated on Friday in the Octave of Corpus Christi?

What will the 1962 brigade do? They are still observing the Octave of Whitsun, aren’t they?

Thank-you again.

J R Johnson

+DM said...

I would think, with regard to the Patronal Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, that the Monday after Trinity Sunday is the day for its celebration.

I believe its octave - Common Octave - would run the normal course, during which no Office of Simple Rite is celebrated, until the Feast of Corpus Christi. From that day forward, I think the Priviledged Octave is observed, with no commemoration of the Common one.

Rubricarius said...

A D1Cl or D2Cl would be moved out of the Pentecost Octave to the Monday after Trinity. The Octave Day of the Patronal feast does not move so the Octave is shortened this year. Octaves can overlap so within a privileged Octave the common Octave is commemorated.

There are numerous differences between the Breviary texts and the Antiphonal and Gradual as their sources are not always the same Latin.