Sunday, 1 February 2015
Septuagesima Sunday is a semi-double Sunday of the second class. The liturgical mood became more sombre yesterday with Vespers of Septuagesima as penitential violet became the liturgical colour of the season. Although more sombre than the season after the Epiphany the short season of Septuagesima is not as penitential as Lent. Although the colour violet is used at Mass the ministers do not wear folded chasubles but dalmatic and tunicle for these three Sundays and for ferial days. The organ is still played until Ash Wednesday. However, from Septuagesima until Holy Saturday the dress of some prelates changes. Cardinals of the Court of Rome no longer wear scarlet choir dress but that of violet. Correspondingly bishops do not wear violet choir dress but their black, or mourning dress. In the case of the latter this is not to be confused with their habitus pianus, or house dress. The black choir cassock has a train, like the violet one, and the mozzeta or mantelletum are faced with violet. However, Protonotaries Apostolic and Domestic Prelates do not change their choir dress (except sede vacante).
At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper to Septuagesima Sunday and the Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of St. Ignatius and St. John Bosco (but not of the anticipated fourth Sunday after Epiphany which was observed on Saturday). The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted. At the end of Vespers Alleluia was added, twice, to both Benedicamus Domino and to its response. After that Alleluia will not be heard again until the Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Saturday. At Compline after the Lesser Doxology, and at all Hours until Compline on Holy Saturday, Laus tibi Domine Rex aeterne gloriae is sung in place of Alleluia. The Dominical preces were sung at Compline.
At Mattins the invitatory is Praeoccupemus as on preceding Sundays and the hymn Primo die. The antiphons and psalms are as on previous 'green' Sundays. In the first nocturn the Incipit of the Book of Genesis is read. In the second nocturn the lessons are from the Enchiridion of St. Augustine, in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily from St. Gregory on the Gospel of the labourers in the vineyard. The Te Deum is not sung but in its place is sung a ninth responsory, Ubi est Abel frater tuus?.
At Lauds the 'second scheme' of psalms is sung: Pss 50, 117, 62, Canticle of the Three Children (Benedictus es) and 148. The antiphons at Lauds are proper to the Sunday as are the versicle after the hymn Aeterne, chapter, antiphon at the Benedictus and collect. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Ignatius is sung. The Suffrage is omitted.
At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper. At Prime the order of psalmody is changed and four psalms are sung, Pss. 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the usual first two stanzas of Ps. 118. Both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted.
At Mass the Gloria is omitted. The ministers wear violet dalmatic and tunicle. The second collect is of St. Ignatius. Today there is no third collect. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the Preface is of the Blessed Trinity. Benedicamus Domino is sung, by the deacon facing the altar, as the dismissal.
In the afternoon there is a colour change to white and first Vespers of the Purification are sung. The antiphons O admirabile commercium etc are sung, doubled, with the psalms of feasts for the Blessed Virgin (Pss. 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147). The chapter is proper to the feast and the Office hymn is Ave, maris stella. The antiphon on the Magnificat is proper to the feast Senex Puerum portabat etc. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of Septuagesima Sunday and of St. Ignatius of Antioch. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Doxology of the Incarnation, Jesu, tibi sit gloria etc.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no anticipated Sundays. At Vespers there were no commemorations. Mattins is reduced to a single nocturn. At Prime the arrangement of psalms is truly bizarre with the festal arrangment of Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii (!) At Mass there is only one collect and Benedicamus Domino is suppressed in favour of Ite, missa est. Vespers, and Compline, are of the Sunday without even a commemoration of the Purification.
Art: Jerome Nadal