Monday, 5 May 2014

A note on the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross

Our friend Fr. Hunwicke recently made some comments in a post lamenting the passing of the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross or Paschal Suffrage. Whilst agreeing with Fr. Hunwicke's good sentiments and suggestion he does err by suggesting the Commemoration was only made on ferial days, this is incorrect.

Pre-1911 there was a Commemoration of the Cross that was only made in the ferial Office but outside of Paschaltide. Its use was abolished with the changes of 1911 -13. It was only ever used when the Office was ferial, unlike the other Suffrages which were sung when the Office was of semi-double rite or below outside of Passiontide, Advent and Octaves. It was sung after any commemorations and before the other Suffrages. The ferial Commemoration of the Cross was structured as below, the same form being used at both Vespers and Lauds.

Ant. Per signum Crucis de inimicis nostris libera nos Deus noster.
V. Omnis terra adoret te, et psallat tibi.
R. Psalmum dicat nomini tuo Domine.

Collect: Perpetua nos, quaesumus Dominie, pace custodi: quos per lignum sanctae Crucis redimere dignatus es.

In Paschaltide the Commemoration of the Cross had different texts. This Suffrage was used in place of all the other Suffrages (pre-1911 use) and in place of the Suffrage of the Saints (post-1911 use). It is sung in all offices, except within Octaves, that are of semi-double rite and below. Pre-1911 there was a different antiphon used at Vespers and Lauds. At Vespers the antiphon was Crucem sanctam subiit qui infernum confregit, accints est potentia, surrexit die tertia, alleluia. At Lauds the antiphon was Crucifíxus surrexit a mórtuis, et redémit nos, allelúia, allelúia. The V. & R., and the collect were the same at both Vespers and at Lauds:

V. Dícite in natiónibus, allelúia.
R. Quia Dóminus regnávit a ligno, allelúia.

Collect: Deus qui pro nobis Fílium tuum Crucis patibulum subire voluisti, ut inimici a nobis expelleres potestatem: concede nobis famulis tuis; ut resurrectionis gratiam consequamur.

Following the 1911 reform the antiphon used at Vespers disappeared and the antiphon from Lauds, Crucifixus etc was used at both Vespers and Lauds. The texts of the V. & R. and collect were unchanged. Of course in the 'liturgical books of 1962' all Suffrages have been abolished.


The Rad Trad said...

I find it interesting how some of the prayers in the Suffrages appear in other places, such as the collects after the Litanies of Saints or in the votive Mass os Ss Peter & Paul. It suggests to my poor mind, without getting into a chicken-or-egg debate, that these prayers were very popular once (as they ought be, they are wonderful prayers).

Joannes said...

It also appears that the Paschaltide Suffrage of the Cross for Vespers (pre-1911) is identical to the 2nd. Vespers Magnificat antiphon for the Invention of the Cross feast just passed.

Capreolus said...

A propos of Rad Trad's comment, it's gratifying to note that the pre-1911 Vespers antiphon still appears after 1911 in the office of the Invention of the Holy Cross. Such a beautiful feast!

Peter said...

It would be fascinating to know about the nature of the changes to the Suffrages made by Pius X? Were these abolished suffrages very ancient or 19th-century additions? Was his reform on this point a good idea or did it go too far?

Rubricarius said...


A post giving some details will be forthcoming.

The Suffrage of St. Joseph was nineteenth century but the others were much older.