Sunday, 16 August 2015

St. Joachim

The feast of St. Joachim, father of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a Double of the Second Class and its liturgical colour is white. By happy calendrical accident the feast falls on its both its current date of celebration, August 16th, and on its former day of celebration: the Sunday within the Octave of the Assumption. Today is also the XII Sunday after Pentecost and third Sunday of August which is commemorated at Vespers, Mattins, Lauds and Mass. Although the day within the Octave is not commemorated hymns of Iambic metre still take the Marian Doxology and tone and Qui natus es is sung at Prime in the short responsory.

In pre-Trent times the feast was commonly celebrated on the 20th March. The feast was suppressed by Pius V in the Tridentine Missal and Breviary and re-instated by Gregory XIII in 1584. In 1623 the feast gained a proper Office and was transferred to the Sunday within the Octave of the Assumption by Clement XII in 1738. Leo XIII raised the feast to a double of the second class in 1879. The 1948 Pian Commission discussed joining the feast with that of St. Anne, which indeed happened in due course (c.f. Memoria sulla riforma liturgica, ## 108, 178).

Vespers yesterday afternoon were second Vespers of the feast of the Assumption. The antiphons Assumpta est Maria etc were sung with the psalms from the Common of the BVM. The Office hymn was Ave maris stella. The antiphon on the Magnificat was Hodie Maria Virgo caelos ascendit: gaudete, quia cum Christo regnat in aeternum. After the collect of the feast commemorations were sung of St. Joachim, and of the XII Sunday after Pentecost (the antiphon on the Magnifcat being Omnis sapientia for the Saturday before the third Sunday of August). At Compline the Sunday psalms were sung and Te lucis is sung with the proper Doxology and tone.

At Mattins the lessons in the first nocturn are taken from the Common of Confessor non-Pontiffs, Beatus vir, with their responsories. In the second nocturn the lessons are proper to the feast. The fourth lesson is from the Discourse on the Praises of the Virgin by St. Epiphanius, the fifth and six lessons from a Discourse on the Birth of the Virgin by St. John Damascene. In the third nocturn the lessons are again from St. John Damascene. In the better praxis the ninth lesson is joined with eighth, to form a longer eighth lesson, and the ninth lesson is of the commemorated Sunday. The ninth lesson is therefore the Gospel fragment Exiens Jesus and the homily of St. Gregory Quid est... Again the better praxis it to combine the three lessons of the homily as one lesson, the ninth.

At Lauds a commemoration of the Sunday is sung. Prime is festal, as noted above Qui natus es is sung in the responsory because of the Octave and the lectio brevis is Justum deduxit.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect of the Sunday, the Creed is sung, the preface is that of Sunday and the last Gospel is also of the Sunday.

At Vespers commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. Hyacinth and of the Sunday.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the XII Sunday after Pentecost takes precedence over the feast of St. Joachim. At Vespers yesterday there was no commemoration of St. Joachim. There are no proper Doxologies or tones as the Octave has been wiped away. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn. At Lauds a commemoration of St. Joachim is sung. At Low and Conventual Masses St. Joachim gets commemorated, but not in others. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Art: Icon of SS Joachim and Anna from the Greek Church

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