Sunday, 22 December 2019

Fourth Sunday of Advent

The fourth Sunday of Advent is a semi-double Sunday of the second class and its liturgical colour, from Mattins this year, is violet. The Gospel pericopes from St. Luke concern the preaching of St. John the Baptist preaching the baptism of repentance by the Jordan and the reference to Isaias "Prepare ye the way of the LORD: make straight His paths: every valley shall be filled: and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways plain: and all flesh shall see the salvation of God."

Yesterday afternoon second Vespers of the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle were sung. The antiphons Juravit Dominus etc were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. The Office hymn was Exsultet orbis gaudiis. The antiphon on the Magnificat was Quia vidisti me, Thoma etc and the Sunday was commemorated with the Great 'O' Antiphon O Oriens proper to the twenty-first day of December and its collect. At Compline the Dominical psalms are sung and the preces are omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Prope est jam Dominus * Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Verbum supernum prodiens. In the first nocturn the lessons are taken, as usual in Advent, from Isaias. In the second nocturn the lessons are again taken from St. Leo's sermon on the fast of the tenth month. The homily in the third nocturn is from the twentieth homily of St. Gregory on St. Luke's Gospel. A ninth responsory, Intuemini, quantus sit iste, is sung in place of the Te Deum. At Lauds the antiphons proper to the Sunday, Canite tuba etc., are sung with the Dominical psalms. The Office hymn is En clara vox. The Suffrage is omitted in Advent.

At the Hours the antiphons from Lauds are used in the usual sequence. At Prime the versicle in the short responsory is Qui venturus es in mundum and the Dominical preces are sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear violet folded chasubles. The Gloria is omitted. The second collect is of the BVM in Advent, Deus qui de beate, the third collect Ecclesiae etc. 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 Canite tuba etc are again sung this time with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 and 113. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderun. The antiphon on the Magnificat is O Rex Gentium. This is sung entire both before and after the Canticle with the choir standing. The Suffrage is omitted in Advent. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Vespers on Saturday are first Vespers of the Sunday. This year St. Thomas's feast has no Vespers at all. The significance of the doubling of the 'Great O' antiphons is lost as all antiphons are doubled regardless of the rank of the liturgical day or season. At Compline the Dominical preces are always omitted. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons as usual. At Prime the Dominical preces are omitted. At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, there is only one collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal

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