Monday, 22 December 2014

St. Thomas the Apostle

The feast of St. Thomas the Apostle is a Double of the Second Class. As this year St. Thomas' feast fell on one of the greater Sundays its celebration is transferred to today. The liturgical colour of the feast is red. According to tradition St. Thomas preached the Gospel in Asia and the Indian sub-continent. He is believed to have founded, inter alia, the St. Thomas Christians on the West coast of India, one of several groups using the East-Syrian family of liturgies.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Hoc est praeceptum meum etc were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was Exsultet orbis gaudiis. The antiphon on the Magnificat was proper to the feast, Quia vidisti me etc. After the collect of the feast the fourth Sunday of Advent was commemorated with the Great 'O' Antiphon appointed for the 21st December O Oriens and the collect of the Sunday. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung and the preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem Apostolorum Dominum, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Aeterna Christi munera. In the first nocturn the antiphons In omnem terram etc are sung with psalms 18, 33 & 44. The lessons are Sic nos existimet homo from St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians. In the second nocturn the antiphons Principes populorum etc are sung with psalms 46, 60 & 63. The fourth lesson is proper to the feast, the fifth and sixth are taken from the Common. In the third nocturn the antiphons Exaltabuntur etc are sung with psalms 74, 96 & 98. The homily on St. John's Gospel is from St. Gregory. At Lauds the antiphons Hoc est praeceptum meum etc are sung with the Dominical psalms (92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). The Office hymn is Exsultet orbis gaudiis. The antiphon on the Benedictus, Quia vidisti me, Thoma, credidisti: beati, qui non viderunt, et crediderunt, alleluia, is proper to the feast and refers to the incident recorded in the Gospel of St. John about St. Thomas' doubt in the Risen LORD. A commemoration is then sung of the Advent feria, the antiphon on the Benedictus is Dicit Dominus etc for the Monday of the fourth week of Advent (the antiphon appointed to be sung on the 21st day of December does not transfer with St. Thomas' feast).

The antiphons sung at Lauds are sung in due order at the Horae Minores. At Prime the festal psalms (53, 118i & 118ii) are sung and the lectio brevis is Ibant Apostoli.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Advent feria. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Apostles.

At second Vespers the antiphons Juravit Dominus etc are sung with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. The antiphon on the Magnificat is Quia vidisti me, Thoma etc and the Advent feria is commemorated with the Great 'O' Antiphon O Rex Gentium and collect of the preceding Sunday. At Compline the Dominical psalms are sung and the preces are omitted.

According to the 'liturgical books of 1962' St. Thomas' feast is entirely omitted this year - as was that of St. Andrew three weeks ago - except where locally it is observed as I class. Even for the grey-haired amongst us the absurdity of just omitting the feast of an Apostle still shocks. The 1962 books observe today as an Advent feria but there are no preces, the festal Regi saeculorum is sung at Prime, a single collect is sung at Mass, the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle and Ite, missa est is sung as the dismissal. Very trad.

Art: Wikipedia: a Russian Icon of St. Thomas, 18th century.

No comments: