Sunday, 24 May 2020

Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension

The Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. The theme of the great feast of the Ascension continues with most of the texts coming from the feast. However, unlike on the feast itself, the antiphons at the Greater Hours are not doubled. The Gospel pericopes from St. John contain the beautiful words of the LORD promising the gift of the Paraclete.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons for the feast, Viri Galilaei etc, were sung (not doubled) with the psalms of the feast (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116). The chapter was of the Sunday, the hymn was of the Ascension, Salutis humane Sator, and the antiphon on the Magnificat and collect were proper to the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of the Octave was sung but the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was omitted being within an Octave. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Ascension Doxology Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui victor in caelum redis etc, but the Dominical preces were omitted because of the Octave.

At Mattins the invitatory, hymn and antiphons, Elevata est etc., are as on the feast, but the antiphons are not doubled. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the First Epistle of St. John, the responsories are of the feast. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from a sermon on the Ascension by St. Augustine and the same Father provides the third nocturn lessons reflecting on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds all is from the feast, but with the antiphons not doubled, except the chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of the Octave is sung.

At the Little Hours the hymns are sung with the melody and Doxology of Ascension. At Prime the festal psalms (Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii) are sung rather than the Dominical ones (117, 118i, 118ii) the short lesson is Si quis loquitur. The Dominical preces are omitted due to the Octave.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Octave. Today there is no third collect being a Sunday within an Octave. The Creed is sung, the preface and communicantes are of the Ascension.

Where the External Solemnity of the Ascension is celebrated on Sunday the Mass of the feast is celebrated with a commemoration, and last Gospel, of the Sunday.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms are as on the feast. The chapter, antiphon on the Magnificat and collect are of the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following Office of St. Gregory VII, of the Octave and of Urban I. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Octave is abolished having been stripped from the feast in 1956 so today becomes the Sunday after the Ascension. At Vespers yesterday afternoon the psalms were sung under a single antiphon as in the rest of Paschaltide. There were no commemorations. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn, the invitatory and hymn of the Ascension are sung but the psalms are those for Sunday under a single antiphon. At Lauds the psalms are sung under a single antiphon and there are no commemorations. At Prime the Dominical psalms are sung (117, 118i & 118ii) although the short lesson is, perhaps surprisingly, Viri Galilaei for Ascensiontide. The hymns of the Hours do not have the Ascension Doxology. In Mass there is but a single collect. The preface of the Ascension is sung but not the proper communicantes in the Canon. Vespers are of the Sunday, the psalms sung under one antiphon - as on other Sundays after Pascha - there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal.

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