Friday, 18 March 2016

Seven Sorrows of the BVM

Today, Friday in Passion week, is the feast of the Seven Sorrows of the BVM. It is of greater-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. In the Breviary and Missal the texts for the feast are found in the Sanctorale at the end of March.

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons, Vadam ad montem etc, were proper to the feast and were sung with psalms 115, 119, 139, 140 & 141. The chapter, from Isaiah, was proper and the Office hymn was the moving Stabat Mater dolorosa. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect were both proper to the feast.  After the collect of the feast commemorations were sung of the preceding feast of St. Patrick, of St. Cyril of Jerusalem and of the the Passiontide feria. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Doxology Jesu, tibi sit gloria, Qui passus es pro servulis etc and the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is proper, Dolores gloriosae etc. The hymn is Sancta Mater, a continuation of Stabat Mater. The antiphons and psalms are proper. The first antiphon, Astiterunt reges terrae, is of course the same antiphon sung at Tenebrae of Good Friday that will be sung on Mandy Thursday evening next week. In the first nocturn Pss. 2, 3 & 12 are sung followed by lessons from Isaiah. The responsories in all three nocturns are proper. In the second nocturn (Pss. 40, 55 & 56) the lessons are from a sermon of St. Bernard. In the third nocturn (Pss. 63, 87 & 108) the lessons are taken from a homily of St. Augustine on St. John's Gospel. The ninth lesson is the homily for Friday in Passion week from St. Augustine on St. John's Gospel. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons Vadam ad montem etc, are proper and sung with the Dominical psalms. The Office hymn at Lauds is Virgo virginum. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of St. Cyril and of the Passiontide feria.

At Prime and the other Hours the hymns are sung to the special tone of the Doxology Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui passus es pro servulis, Cum Patre et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii). In the short responsory the verse Qui passus es propter nostram salutem is sung. The short lesson is proper to the feast Generationem ejus etc.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Cyril and the third collect is of Friday in Passion week. After the Tract Stabat Mater is sung as a sequence. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the BVM with the clause Et te in Transfixione and the last Gospel is of Friday in Passion week. Private Masses may be of the Friday in Passion week with commemorations of the Seven Sorrow and of St. Cyril. The last Gospel is of the Seven Sorrows.

Vespers this morning are first Vespers of the feast of St. Joseph. The antiphons Jacob autem etc are sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn is Te, Joseph celebrent etc. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Friday in Passion week. At Compline Te lucis the Dominical preces are, again, omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Office of the Seven Sorrows has been reduced to a mere commemoration in the ferial Office of the Friday of the 'First Passion Week'. However, a rubric in the 1962 Missal allows two Masses of the former feast to be celebrated for pastoral reasons where devotion to the feast exists. Vespers are the same as in the traditional rite.

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