Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Solemnity of St. Joseph


The feast of the Solemnity of St. Joseph Spouse of the Blessed Virgin and Patron of the Universal Church is a Double of the First class with an Octave. It is the primary feast of St. Joseph although is now a feast that is largely forgotten or even unknown after the liturgical changes. The feast was introduced into the Universal Kalendar by Pius IX in 1847 as the 'Patronage of St. Joseph' as a double of the second class to be celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter. In 1870 the feast was raised to a double of the first class and given an octave with 'Patron of the Church' added. In 1911 the feast was renamed the Solemnity of St. Joseph and became a primary double of the first class. In 1913 the celebration was moved to the Wednesday after the second Sunday after Easter. Although relatively modern the feast is a fine example of typology with the Patriarch Joseph being used as a 'type' of the foster-father of the LORD.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Jacob autem etc were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The chapter was proper and the Office hymn was Te Joseph celebrent agmina Caelitum. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung, Te lucis had the Paschal Doxology.


The Office is proper. At Mattins the invitatory is Laudemus Deum nostrum In veneratione beati Joseph, protectoris nostri, alleluia and the Office hymn is, again, Te Joseph. The antiphons of the nocturns are proper and, as at Vespers, rather beautiful:

Angelus Domini apparuit in somnis Joseph, dicens: Surge, et accipe Puerum et Matrem ejus, et fuge in Ægyptum; et esto ibi, usque dum dicam tibi, alleluia.

Angelus Domini apparuit in somnis Joseph, dicens: Surge, et accipe Puerum et Matrem ejus, et vade in terram Israel; defunct sunt enim qui quaerebant animam Pueri, alleluia.

Consurgens Joseph, accepit Puerum et Matrem ejus, et venit in terram Israel; et habitavit in civitate, quae vocatur Nazareth, alleluia
.

In the first nocturn the lessons are from the book of Genesis and are extended in comparison to those for St. Joseph's 19th March feast. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon on St. Joseph by St. Bernardine of Siena and in the third nocturn the homily is from St. Augustine on the Gospel fragment from St. Luke. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons from Vespers are sung with the Sunday psalms (92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). The Office hymn is Caelitum Joseph decus. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of St. Hermenegild.

At Prime the festal psalms (53, 118i & 118ii) are sung under the first antiphon of Lauds. At Prime and the Hours the hymns are sung with the Paschaltide Doxology.

Mass follows Terce and is proper, with the introit Adjutor. The Gloria is sung. (In private Masses the second collect is of St. Hermenegild). The Creed is sung and the preface is that of St. Joseph.


At second Vespers the antiphons, psalms and hymn are those that were sung yesterday at first Vespers. The Office hymn is Te Joseph. The versicle and its respond along with the antiphon on the Magnificat are proper to second Vespers. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the following Office of St. Justin. At Compline the Dominical psalms are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Solemnity of St. Joseph simply does not exist as this beautiful feast was shamefully suppressed in 1956 to be replaced by the appalling 'San Giuseppe Comunista'. Today is just a IV class Paschaltide feria. The vast majority of 'traditionalists', who vociferously support the 'liturgical books of 1962', are completely and blissfully unaware of the existence of the Solemnity of St. Joseph yet alone its abolition. A few who are aware of it substitute the Office of the feast for the execrable Joe the Worker travesty on May 1st.




Sunday, 15 April 2018

Second Sunday after Pascha


The Second Sunday after Pascha is sometimes referred to as 'Good Shepherd Sunday' from the words of the Epistle from I Peter "For you were as sheep gone astray: but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls" and from the Gospel where the LORD proclaims "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep." The Sunday is also referred to as Misericordia after the opening words of the introit. The Sunday is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the psalms of Vespers for Saturday were sung under the single antiphon, Alleluia. The chapter, Carissimi: Christus passus est pro nobis etc, was proper to the Sunday, the Office hymn was Ad regias Agni dapes. The antiphon on the Magnificat reinforced the theme of the Sunday, Ego sum pastor ovium. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration was sung of the preceding Office of St. Justin. The Paschal Suffrage of the Cross was omitted due to the double feasts. At Compline Te lucis was sung to the Paschal tone with the Doxology Deo Patri sit gloria etc and the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory, Surrexit Dominus, and Office hymn, Rex sempiterne, are sung as last Sunday. Again, at the nocturns the psalms are sung under one antiphon. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Acts of the Apostles. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the first sermon on the Ascension of the Lord by St. Leo. In the third nocturn the homily is from St. Gregory. At Lauds the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148) are sung under a single antiphon. The Office hymn is Aurora caelum purpurat. After the collect of the Sunday the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is sung.

At the Hours the hymns are sung with the Paschal Doxology and the psalms are sung under a single antiphon consisting of a triple Alleluia. At Prime the Dominical psalms are sung (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii. The Dominical preces are sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is Concede nos, the third collect is Ecclesiae. The Creed is sung and the preface is of Paschaltide.

At Vespers the Dominical psalms are sung under the single antiphon Alleluia. The Office hymn is Ad regias Agni dapes. After the collect of the Sunday the Paschal Suffrage of the Cross in sung. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Paschaltide Doxology and the Dominical preces are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' at there are neither commemorations nor Suffrage at either Vespers yesterday. At Compline and the Little Hours the hymns are sung with the ordinary Doxology. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds the Paschal Suffrage is omitted. At Mass there is but a single collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Dominica in Albis - Low Sunday


Dominica in Albis, Low Sunday is a Greater-double of the first class. The Sunday is also often referred to as Quasimodo from the first words of its introit. Anciently on this day those who had been baptised on Holy Saturday took off their white robes which had been worn since the Oil of Catechumens and Chrism had been lavished upon them on Holy Saturday. The Gospel at Mattins and Mass is the account of the LORD appearing in to His disciples behind the shut doors of the room and the doubting of St. Thomas. The Office of the Octave of Pascha ended with the Office of None yesterday.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the psalms of Saturday were sung under the single antiphon, Alleluia. Chapters and hymns return to the Office from this Vespers. The Paschaltide hymn Ad regias Agni dapes was sung. Its Doxology is sung at all hymns of Iambic metre: Deo Patri sit gloria, Et Filio qui a mortuis, Surrexit ac Paraclito, In sempiterna saecula. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Francis of Paula was sung. From this Office the dismissal, Benedicamus Domino, is sung without the double Alleluia that marked the Paschal Octave. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory Surrexit Dominus vere Alleluia continues to be sung. The Office hymn is Rex Sempiterne Caelitum. The psalms of each nocturn are sung under a single antiphon. In the first nocturn the antiphon is Alleluia, * lapis revolutus est, alleluia: ab ostio monumenti, alleluia, alleluia and the lessons are from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians. In the second nocturn the antiphon is Alleluia, * quem quaeris mulier? alleluia, alleluia, viventem cum mortuis, alleluia, alleluia and the lessons are taken from a sermon of St. Augustine on the Octave of Easter. In the third nocturn the antiphon is Alleluia, * noli flere Maria, alleluia: resurrexit Dominus, alleluia, alleluia and the homily is from the writings of St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148) are sung under a single antiphon, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. The Office hymn is Aurora caelum purpurat. The Suffrage is omitted.

At Prime (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii) and the Hours the psalms are again sung under a single antiphon at each Hour, Alleluia, * alleluia, alleluia - which is not doubled of course, even today.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung. There is a single collect today. The Creed is sung, the preface is of Paschaltide (In hoc potissimum).

First Vespers of the transferred feast of the Annunciation are sung. The antiphons Missus est Gabriel Angelus ad Mariam etc., proper to the feast, are sung with the psalms from the Common of the BVM (Pss.109, 112, 121, 126 & 147). The chapter is proper to the feast and the Office hymn is Ave Maris stella. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect, are again, proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Sunday. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Doxology of the Incarnation, Jesu tibi sit gloria etc. The Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Mattins is reduced to a single nocturn of three lessons with the single antiphon Alleluia, lapis revolutus etc. At the Little Hours the Paschaltide Doxology is not sung with the hymns. At Mass there is a change to one word in the introit as 'rationabile' replaced 'rationabiles' in the 1953 edition of the Roman Missal and subsequent editions. Vespers are of the Sunday with a commemoration of the Annunciation. At Compline the ordinary Doxology and tone are sung with Te lucis.

Image: Jerome Nadal.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Dominica Resurrectionis - Easter Sunday - Pascha

Hac die quam fecit Dominus, Solemnitas solemnitatum, et Pascha nostrum Resurrectio Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi secundum carnem. These glorious words are sung, to the tone of the Passion, at Prime today at the reading of the Martyrology before the announcement of the day and moon for tomorrow.  Holy Pascha is a Double of the First Class with a privileged Octave of the first Order.

At the final stages of the Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Saturday yesterday morning an antiphon consisting of a triple Alleluia was sung, doubled with psalm 116. The antiphon on the Magnificat was Vespere autem sabbati etc. After the Vesperal Liturgy the traditional blessing of houses takes place and, in some countries, the Paschal food.  Compline was sung, at the normal time. On Holy Saturday the Office of Compline has some interesting variations. Compline began with the usual Jube, domne, blessing, short lesson and confession. Converte nos, Deus, salutaris noster and its response were then sung followed by Deus in adjutorium etc with Alleluia for the first time since Septuagesima. The psalms were sung, without an antiphon, to a special form of tone 2. The hymn, chapter and responsory are omitted and Vespere autem sabbati sung as a fragment antiphon to the Nunc dimittis. After the Canticle the antiphon is sung in full. After the usual collect, Visita quaesumus, the antiphon Regina Caeli is sung with its versicle and collect.

Mattins begin with the solemn tone for Deus in adjutorium etc. The invitatory is Surrexit Dominus vere Alleluia and psalm 94 is sung to a lovely tone 6 setting. Mattins consists of one nocturn of three psalms. There is no Office Hymn throughout the Octave (c.f. Monastic praxis). The first antiphon is Ego sum qui sum etc and sung with psalm 1. The second antiphon, Postulavi Patrem meum etc, is sung with psalm 2. The third antiphon, Ego dormivi etc, is sung with psalm 3. A versicle and its response are sung follwed by the absolution Exaudi etc. The first lesson has the Gospel fragment Mark 16: 1-7 and is followed by a homily of St. Gregory the Great. The two responsories Angelus Domini descendit and Cum transisset sabbatum are famous and intimately connected with the Quem quaeritis ceremonies. The second lesson, Notandum vero nobis est is sung followed by the second responsory. During the second responsory the cantors and the celebrant don copes the principal one pre-intones the Te Deum. Six pluvialistae assist the Hebdomadarius where possible. The Te Deum is then sung and, where it is the custom the bells ring throughout.

Lauds follow immediately and have a series of beautiful antiphons: Angelus autem DominiEt ecce terraemotusErat autemPrae timore autem ejus and Respondens autem Angelus all taking up the theme of the Angels, earthquake and empty tomb. Psalms 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148 are sung with these antiphons. The chapter, hymn, versicle and response are replaced by the Haec dies. After Haec dies the antiphon Et valde mane is sung and then the Benedictus sung to a solemn tone 8. During the Benedictus the altar, the choir and people are censed in the normal manner. The antiphon is repeated and the collect of Easter, Deus, qui hodierna die sung. Benedicamus Domino, Alleluia, Alleluia and its response are followed by the solemn Regina Caeli, its versicle and collect.

The morning Office begins with Prime. There are no hymns at the Hours during the entire Paschal Octave in the Roman rite. At Prime psalms 53 and the first two divisi of Ps. 118 are sung to a special form of Tone 2. Haec Dies is sung after the psalmody and then everything else is omitted up to the collect Domine Deus omnipotens. The Martyrology is then sung, starting with the verse indicated above. Then Sancta Maria etc is sung, the collect Dirigere et sanctificare etc and the short lesson Si consurrexistis. Terce, and the other Little Hours, are even more simple in their structure. At Terce the usual stanzas of Ps. 118 are sung to the special form of Tone 2 followed by Haec dies and the collect of the day.

Mass is sung after Terce. Instead of Asperges me the Paschaltide Vidi aquam is sung today and all other Sundays in Paschaltide. In the great Mass of Easter, Resurrexi, the Gloria is sung, one collect is sung. Haec dies is sung as the Gradual. The sequence Victimae paschali laudes is sung after the Alleluia. The Creed is sung and Ite missa est alleluia, alleluia is sung as the dismissal.

Sext and None have exactly the same structure as Terce. At Vespers the antiphons sung at Lauds, Angelus autem Domini etc, are are sung with the usual Sunday psalms. Haec dies is sung in place of the chapter, hymn and versicle & response. The solemn tone is used for Benedicamus Domino, alleluia, alleluia.

At Compline the usual psalms are sung to Tone 8G without any preceding antiphon, followed by an antiphon consisting of Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. This is followed by the Nunc dimittis sung to the Paschal Tone 2, without antiphons. Haec dies is then sung followed by the collect Visita quaesumus etc and then, as yesterday the antiphon Regina coeli etc.