Sunday, 17 December 2017
Third Sunday of Advent
The third Sunday of Advent, often referred to as Gaudete Sunday from the words of its introit, Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico gaudete, sees a lightening of the Advent mood. 'Rejoice in the LORD always; again I say rejoice.' The same words begin the Epistle from Philippians (4:4). The Sunday's rank is that of a semi-double of the second class. The Gospel pericopes from St. John contain the Baptist's famous words "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the LORD." On this Sunday, mirroring Laetare Sunday in Lent, the penitential mood lifts a little with the deacon and sub-deacon wearing violet dalmatic and tunicle rather than their folded chasubles or, following the more modern praxis, with the use of rose-coloured vestments. The use of rose vestments is not obligatory. The absence of folded chasubles means that the organ may be played. On this Sunday Cardinals of the Court of Rome, in better days, removed their violet merino dress and wore rose watered-silk cassocks, with rose watered-silk mozzeta and mantelleta.
At Vespers yesterday the antiphons from tomorrow's Lauds, Veniet Dominus etc, were sung with the psalms of Saturday. The Office hymn was Creator alme siderum. Being Advent the Suffrage was omitted but at Compline the Dominical preces were sung.
At Mattins the invitatory is Prope est jam Dominus: Venite adoremus. This invitatory is now used until the 23rd of December inclusive. The Office hymn is Verbum supernum. In the first nocturn the antiphons Veniet ecce Rex etc are sung with the usual psalms for Sunday. The lessons are a continuation of Isaiah. In the second nocturn the antiphons Gaude et laetare etc are sung and the lessons are taken from St. Leo's sermon on the fast of the tenth month. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gabriel Angelus etc are sung and the homily is from St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel and the record of the Baptist. The Te Deum is omitted and in its place a ninth responsory, Docebit nos Dominus vias suas, is sung.
At Lauds the antiphons Veniet Dominus etc are sung with the Sunday psalms. The Office hymn is En clara vox. The Suffrage is omitted. At Prime the Dominical preces are sung.
Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle. The Gloria not sung. The second collect is Deus, qui de beatae, the third collect is Ecclesiae. The Creed is sung and the preface that of the Trinity. As the Gloria is not sung the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino sung by the deacon facing the altar.
At Vespers the antiphons, Veniet Dominus etc, are sung with the Sunday psalms. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderum. The antiphon on the Magnificat is O Sapientia which is sung doubled with the choir standing. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Dominical preces have been abolished. Mattins is stripped down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Mass there is but a single collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est.
Art: Jerome Nadal depicts today's Gospel where the Jews sent priests and Levites to interrogate St. John the Baptist.