Sunday, 11 October 2020

Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Double of the Second Class and its liturgical colour is white. The feast was instituted in the Universal Calendar in 1932 by Pius XI in honour of the fifteenth centenary of the Council of Ephesus where Mary had been defined as Mother of God. The feast had been granted to Portuguese dioceses in the eighteenth century and by the time of the 1911-13 reform the feast was being kept in almost all local calendars for celebration on the second Sunday of October (with the introit Salve sancta parens otherwise textually the same). The Gospel is St. Luke's account of finding the young Christ in the Temple debating with the doctors of the law. The nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, and second Sunday of October, is commemorated at Vespers, Mattins, Lauds and Mass.

At Vespers yesterday the antiphons Beata es, etc, proper to the feast, were sung doubled with Pss. 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147. The Office hymn was Ave, maris stella. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday was sung (the antiphon on the Magnificat was Refulsti sol for the Saturday before the second Sunday of October). The Suffrage was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation, Jesu, tibi sit gloria etc.

At Mattins the invitatory is Maternitatem beate Marie Virginis celebremus * Christum Filium adoremus Dominum and the Office hymn is Caelo Redemptor praetulit. In the first nocturn the antiphons Benedicta tu etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 8, 18 & 23 from the Common. The lessons in the first nocturn are from the Book of Ecclesiasticus. In the second nocturn the antiphons Specie tua etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 44, 45 & 86. The fourth and fifth lessons are from a sermon by St. Leo on the Nativity of the LORD and the sixth lesson is from the writings of Pius XI. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gaude, Maria Virgo etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 95,96 & 97. The lessons are from a homily by St. Bernard, the ninth lesson is of the commemorated Sunday.

At Lauds the antiphons Beata es etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite and 148. The Office hymn is Te, Mater alma Numinis. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons from Lauds are sung in the usual order. The hymns are sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii) the verse in the short responsory is Qui natus es and the lectio brevis is In plateis.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the BVM (Et te in Festivitate) and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.

At Vespers all is sung as at first Vespers except that the antiphon on the Magnificat is Maternitas tua etc. After the collect of the feast of commemoration of the Sunday is sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Vespers on Saturday were of the Sunday without any commemoration of the feast. The 'green' Sunday takes precedence over the feast. Sunday Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. The feast is commemorated at Lauds and Low Masses only. The Marian Doxology is not sung, Prime's psalms are as on Sundays, there is no Qui natus es. Vespers are of the Sunday without any commemorations.


Andre said...

Formerly this feast was (could be) celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of October. It would seem that this feast vanished from the Kalendar from 1911 until 1932. Is that correct?

Rubricarius said...


I believe it would have remained in some local calendars. I have an Ordo for 1913 for Lyons where the feast is commemorated on a Sunday 12th October (XXII after Pentecost). I know very little about Lyons so do not know what rank the feast was observed before the reform.