Sunday, 18 February 2018

First Sunday in Lent

The first Sunday in Lent is a semi-double Sunday of the first class. No feast can take precedence over it or any such Sunday. The liturgical colour of the Sunday is violet. At Mass, unlike in Septuagesima, the ministers wear folded chasubles rather than dalmatic and tunicle and the organ is silent (as has been the practice too since Ash Wednesday). The Gospel pericope at Mattins and Mass is St. Matthew's account of the LORD's temptation by Satan in the desert. Vespers yesterday morning marked the ancient beginning of Lent before the addition of Ash Wednesday and the intervening days. On these added days although certain penitential practices have entered the Liturgy such as the use folded chasubles and the ferial preces at the Hours the Office hymns etc were still those used in previous weeks. Vespers of the first Sunday in Lent mark the beginning of the Pars Verna, the Spring volume of the Breviary,

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper, Fratres: Hortamur vos, and the Office hymn was Audi, benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration was sung of St. Simeon followed by the Suffrage of the Saints. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the hymn is Ex more. These are both used throughout the first four weeks of Lent. The antiphons and psalms given in the Psalter for Sundays are sung, as on previous Sundays. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from a sermon on Lent by St. Leo the Great and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Gregory the Great on St. Matthew's account of the temptation of the LORD. As in Septuagesima there is no Te Deum but a ninth responsory, which today is Angelis suis Deus mandavit de te.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Cor mundum etc., and the second scheme of Psalms is sung (50, 117, 62, Benedictus es, 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and hymn is O sol salutis. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Simeon is sung followed by the Suffrage of the Saints.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Jesus autem etc. At Prime the psalms are 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two divisi of 118. The Dominical preces are sung and the short lesson is Quaerite Dominum.

Mass is sung after Terce. As folded chasubles are word by the ministers the organ is silent. At Mass the Gloria is not sung. The second collect is of St. Simeon, the third collect is A cunctis. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Creed is sung, the preface is of Lent and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the celebrant and altar.

Vespers are of the Sunday, sung at the normal time (as Sundays are not fast days). The antiphons and psalms are those used on Sundays, the chapter is proper and the Office hymn is Audi, benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Vespers on the weekdays of Lent are sung at the same time as during the rest of the Liturgical year. There were no commemorations nor Suffrage at Vespers. There were no preces at Compline. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations nor Suffrage. At Prime the psalms are Ps. 53 and the first two divisi of Ps. 118 as on feasts, there are no Dominical preces At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, as in Septuagesima. There is but a single collect. The dismissal is Ite, missa est. At Vespers the Suffrage is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

Art: Jerome Nadal


Anonymous said...

"Sunday not a fast day" - how far are we taking that? I'm thinking that there would be no point in Refreshment Sunday if all Sundays in Lent were fast free! Our brethren in the Byzantine rite certainly have more rigorous ideas. If a feast occur in a fast, the choice of food is still restricted. What does the West allow on a fast free Sunday in Lent?

John Meyers said...

Two items.
First, you have a reference to St. Casimir in the second paragraph. That should have been St. Simeon (as it is the fourth paragraph).
Second, I see that in my copy of the Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Fr. Lasance Missal, today is listed as the feast of St. Bernadette Soubirous. I can't seem to find this in any calendars--even in those missals!--although I do see her in the Martyrology for April 16 (her actual "birthday"). I tried to find information in the ACTA for 1933 and 1934, but between my poor Latin reading skills and the volume of entries, it was not clear to me if her feast was entered onto the general calendar at all.
Do you have any insight on this?

Rubricarius said...


Sundays were not fasting days - hence the days added to Lent before the first Sunday. At one time they were certainly days of abstinence from meat, eggs and dairy but the quantity of food was not restricted. In the West there appears to have been far more liberality with regard to eating fish than in the East. I would be fascinated to see any evidence you have that the rules for Laetare Sunday were any different to the other Sundays. What you do have is the benefit of being able to hear the organ and dalmatic and tunicle rather than folded chasubles.

John Meyers,

Thank you. St. Casimir typo now corrected. I have had a look through sources immediately to hand and cannot see St. Bernadette in any Universal Calendar through 1962.