Sunday, 2 July 2017

Visitation of the BVM

The feast of the Visitation of the BVM is a Double of the Second Class and its liturgical colour, this year from Mattins, is white. The feast commemorates the Visitation made by the BVM to her cousin Elizabeth (c.f. Luke 1: 39-80). The feast originated as a concession to the Franciscans at the request of St. Bonaventure in 1263. Urban VI in 1389 confirmed the celebration of the feast with an Octave on July 2nd. Boniface IX in 1390, the Council of Basle in 1441 and Nicholas V in 1451 confirmed the feast but not the Octave, according to the notes of the Pian Commission. In the 1550 Breviary it became a double feast as it also appeared in the Tridentine Breviary, with a partially new Office in 1569. Clement VIII made the feast a greater double in the 1604 BR and Pius IX made it a double of the second class in 1850. The modern reformers couldn't cope with the feast on the day following the Octave Day of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist finding this illogical and so moved it to 31st May. The Byzantines keep the feast, which was only introduced in the nineteenth century, on March 30th. The fourth Sunday after Pentecost is commemorated in the Office and at Mass.

Yesterday afternoon second Vespers of the feast of The Most Precious Blood were sung. The antiphons Quis est iste etc were sung, doubled, with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 147. The Office hymn was Festivis resonent compita vocibus. After the collect of the feast commemorations were sung of the feast of the Visitation of the BVM and of the Sunday. The Suffrage was omitted. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation, Jesu tibi sit gloria etc., and the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the liturgial colour changes to white. The invitatory is proper, Visitationem Virginis Mariae celebremus: Christum ejus Filium adoremus Dominum. The Office hymn, antiphons and psalms are all from the Common of the BVM. In the first nocturn the antiphons Benedicta tu etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 8, 18 & 23. The lessons are taken from the Canticle of Canticles. In the second nocturn the antiphons Specie tua etc are sung with Pss. 44, 45 & 86. The lessons are from a homily of St. John Chrysostom. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gaude, Maria Virgo etc are sung with Pss. 95, 96 & 97. The homily is from St. Ambrose on St. Luke's Gospel. The ninth lesson is of the Sunday. At Lauds the antiphons Exsurgens Maria etc are sung with the Dominical psalms, the Office hymn is from the Common, O gloriosa virginum, and the antiphon on the Benedictus is proper to the feast, Cum audisset etc. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the Sunday and of SS Processus and Martinian. The Suffrage is omitted.

At Prime and the Hours the hymns are sung to the melody and Doxlogy of the Incarnation. The antiphons from Lauds are sung at the Hours in in the usual order. At Prime the festal psalms (53, 118i & 118ii) are sung, in the short responsory the versicle Qui natus es is sung, the lectio brevis is In plateis.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass Salve sancte parens is sung, the Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday, (in private Masses the third collect is of SS Processus and Martinian), the Creed is sung, the preface is of the BVM and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.

All Masses, apart from the Conventual Mass, may be of the feast of the Precious Blood that, prior to the 1911-13 reform, was assigned to the first Sunday of July. The Mass Redemisti nos is sung in red vestments with Gloria, second collect of the Visitation, and third collect of the Sunday. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Cross and the last Gospel is of the BVM.

At Vespers the antiphons Exsurgens Maria etc are sung with the psalms from the Common of the BVM, Pss. 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147. The Office hymn is Ave, maris stella. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the following feast of St. Leo II and of the Sunday. The Suffrage is omitted. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Doxology and melody of the Incarnation and the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgial books of 1962' the celebration of the 'green' Sunday takes precedence over the feast of the Visitation. At Vespers yesterday afternoon there were no commemorations. At Compline and at the Hours on Sunday there is no Doloxology of the Incarnation. The feast of the Visitation is commemorated at Lauds and in Low Masses only. At Mass the last Gospel is In principio. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Rubricarius,
As you may probably know, the Byzantine rite seems to prefer the ordinary Sunday texts but the synaxarion was specifically of the events of the deposition of Our Lady's robe at Blachernae.
The last time I was present in an eastern rite church on this feast I was in Sergiev near Moscow. It was a feast in its own right on a Feria. I seemed to recall it was later in the month but I suppose they were using the Julian calendar