Sunday, 12 February 2017

Septuagesima Sunday

Septuagesima Sunday is a semi-double Sunday of the second class. Yesterday afternoon the liturgical mood became more sombre 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 certain 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). Yesterday the third Sunday after the Epiphany was anticipated.

At Vespers on Saturday 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 sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation, Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui natus es etc. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of Our Lady of Lourdes and of the Seven Founders of the Servite Order. The Suffrage 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 the Seven Founders 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 the Seven Founders. 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.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday acommemoration is sung of the Seven Founders. The Suffrage is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' 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. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal


Patrick Gray said...

Another interesting post. Mourning dress, for instance -- it is a sad loss, though I do not know when it was lost. I know St. Pius X abandoned at least one beautiful ceremony (that of the Pope dining alone, a sad loss -- it actually would present lots of occasions for penance),he was also described on Wikipedia as a man who abolished traditional ceremonies but I do not know whether to trust it. There was more sorry losses, or mutilations, in the twentieth century (the train on the choir cassock was suppressed by Pius XII) and practically everything was abolished after the recent Council.

It angers me very much to see Princes of the Church in unfitting dress, as also God's priests. The Church is the sole ark of Salvation, the holy city on Earth, and all pomp and splendour befits her and is her due. Those who would impoverish the Bride of Christ cannot love her.

The choir cassock -- with train -- gave the Prelates of the Church a solemnity and dignity which the reduced one does not. Again only someone with malign intentions (or at very best misled by those with malign intentions -- why? ) would strip the Church of her splendour.

The change of dress into a mourning cassock is very beautiful and visibly reflects the sorrow and grief of the Church.

For those interested, the choir cassock can be seen here:

This website belongs to an ''Old Catholic'' or High Anglican sect but it shows the penitential choir-dress:

I do not believe that ceremony and dress are frivolous or unimportant -- they are extremely so. The dress and ceremonies of the Church have been destroyed for a reason -- because by doing so, the Faith is lost. Hierarchy, splendour, reverence, the holy Hierarchy of the Church, the exaltation of the priesthood -- who now would stand for a priest, or give up their seat (a practice still to be found in Catholic France in the time of Pere Ginhac, see his ''Life'' translated by Fr Willie Doyle, or else kiss their hands? It is worth noting that the Irish ascetic and very holy man Matt Talbot was ''nervous of talking to priests''. This seems to me to show a proper reverence. Who would now beg for a blessing, or kneel to a Bishop? The hands that touch the Host are precious beyond reckoning, the hands and brow anointed with chrism are kingly and terrible, crowned with the horns of Moses and clad in silk and lace.

So all the ceremony is destroyed by the Modernisers, the Church is reduced to a commonplace Protestant meeting-house with a ''minister'' just like you and me and no Princes, but merely ''presiders'', cheaply dressed, blandly familiar, as democratic and as cold and as bureaucratic as the officials of our Modernist governments. It reminds me of the French Revolution, with ''Citizen this'' and ''Citizen that'', the creation of a whole new language, manner, dress, to obliterate all memory of the Hierarchy of the Holy Roman Church and the great City of God that She is and ever shall be.

I am very grateful, although it does not make comfortable reading, that you have kept in such detail both the changes in the Breviary (I am still learning the Rubrics).

Please forgive the length of this comment.

Anonymous said...

Our priest holds Pius XII to be an apostate heretic from 1951-1958 & doesn't recognize Pius X as saint because of the Easter Vigil being changed in 1951
The council of Trent places anathema on anyone who changes liturgy.
So Pius XII was unable to canonize anyone in 1953.