Sunday, 13 June 2021

Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart - Third Sunday after Pentecost


The Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart, the third Sunday after Pentecost, is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. The structure of the Office is as last Sunday. The Gospel pericopes from St. Luke have the parable of the shepherd going after one sheep missing from his hundred strong flock.

At Vespers Yesterday afternoon the antiphons Unus militum etc were sung,not doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 115, 127 & 147. The chapter was of the Sunday and the Office hymn was En ut superba criminum, as on the feast. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of St. John of San Facundo of St. Anthony of Padua and of the Octave of the Sacred Heart. The Suffrage was omitted. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung and Te lucis was sung with the Doxology and tone of the Octave. The Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Cor Jesu amore nostri vulneratum, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Auctor beate saeculi, both as on the feast., In the first nocturn the antiphons from the feast, Cogitationes etc are sung, not doubled, with Pss. 32, 35 & 40 and the lessons are a continuation of the First Book of the Kings. The responses are of the Octave. In the second nocturn the antiphons Rex omnis terrae etc are sung with Pss. 46, 60 & 93. The lessons are from the Encyclical of Pius XI in 1928 that, inter alia, gave the feast an Octave. In the third nocturn the antiphons Qui diligitis Dominum etc are sung with Pss. 96, 97 & 107. The homily is from St. Gregory on St. Lukes Gospel. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons Unus militum etc are sung, again as on the feast but not doubled, with psalms 92, 99, 62 Benedicite & 148. The Office hymn is Cor, arca legem continens. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of St. Anthony of Padua and of the Octave. The Suffrage is omitted.

At the Hours the hymns have the Doxology Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui Corde fundis gratiam etc. The antiphons from Lauds are sung in the normal sequence at the Hours. At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii). In the short responsory the versicle Qui Corde fundis gratiam is sung. The lectio brevis is of the Sunday, Deus autem.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Anthony of Padua, the third collect is of the Octave. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Sacred Heart.

At Vespers the antiphons Unus militum etc are sung, not doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 115, 127 & 147. The Office hymn is En ut superba criminum. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. Basil, of St. Anthony of Padua and of the Octave. The Suffrage is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Octave of the Sacred Heart has been abolished. The liturgical colour of the day is green. There are no commemorations at either Vespers. Mattins is is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. Mass has a single collect and the preface of the Trinity.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi


The Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi,  the second Sunday after Pentecost, is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white, the colour of the feast and Octave.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of the feast of Corpus Christi, Sacerdos in aeternum etc, were sung, not doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 115, 127 & 147. The chapter was of the Sunday, the Office hymn, Pange, lingua, as on the feast. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect were of the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the Octave, of St. Norbert and of St. Boniface. The Suffrage was omitted due to the double feasts and being within an Octave.  At Compline Te lucis was sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation, Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui natus es de Virgine, Cum Patre et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. The Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Christum Regem adoremus dominantem Gentibus: Qui se manducantibus dat spiritus pinguedinem. The Office hymn is Sacris solemnis. The antiphons and psalms are as on the feast of Corpus Christi but the antiphons are not doubled.  The lessons are proper to the Sunday. In the first nocturn these are taken from the First Book of Kings. In the second nocturn they are taken from a sermon of St. Chrysostom to the people of Antioch and the homily in the third nocturn is from St. Gregory on St. Luke's Gospel. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons are those sung on the feast of Corpus Christi, Sapientia etc but they are not doubled. The chapter is of the Sunday, the Office hymn is Verbum supernum prodiens as on the feast. The antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are of the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the Octave and St. Norbert. The Suffrage is omitted.

At the Little Hours the hymns are sung to the same tone as on the feast of the Nativity of the LORD (there of course being a deep link between the Incarnation and Corpus Christi) with the Doxology Jesu tibi sit gloria etc. At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii), the versicle in the short responsory is Qui natus es for the feast and Octave, the short lesson is Filioli mei, of the Sunday.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Octave, the third collect is of St. Basil. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Nativity.

In Collegiate and Cathedral Churches a Mass of the feast of Corpus Christi is sung after None with Gloria, the second collect of the Sunday, the Sequence Lauda Sion, Creed, preface of the Nativity and last Gospel of the Sunday. After this a Procession is made as on the feast. Likewise in those countries where the External Solemnity of Corpus Christi is observed on the Sunday following the feast Masses are of the feast with a commemoration of the Sunday. Indeed for a few years in the second decade of the twentieth century Corpus Christi ceased to be a holy day and its external solemnity observed on the second Sunday after Pentecost by a motu proprio of Pius X, De Diebus festis (AAS 3, 1911, pp.305-306).


(Second section of the motu proprio: Note also the moving to Sundays of St. Joseph's March feast and the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist)

In the first edition of 'The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described'  Dr Adrian Fortescue notes that Corpus Christi is no longer a holy day.


Inserted into the book after its printing (1918) is a corrigendum slip indicating that recent changes had reversed the 1911 decree and that Corpus Christi was restored as a holy day.


At Vespers the antiphons Sacerdos in aeternum etc, are sung, not doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 115, 127 & 147. The chapter is of the Sunday and the Office hymn is Pange, lingua. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the Octave and of St. Norbert. The Suffrage is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi, and the Octave itself, have been abolished. The second Sunday after Pentecost is celebrated as a 'green' Sunday. There are no commemorations at Vespers. Mattins is stripped down to a single of three lessons with the invitatory and antiphons of the Sunday. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Mass there is a single collect. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Trinity Sunday


The feast of the Most Holy Trinity is now a Double of the First Class having been raised to that rank in the reforms of 1911-13. Prior to those reforms it was a Double of the Second Class and before that a double. Its origin appears to be as a local feast that originated in Liege in the tenth century with its celebration spreading in northern France and England. The Franciscan John Peckham revised the texts in the thirteenth century. In many local rites (and e.g., in the Dominican rite) Sundays were counted after Trinity rather than Pentecost, as indeed they still are in the BCP. The first Sunday after Pentecost is commemorated in the Office and Mass. The feast of St. Felix is omitted this year.

The singing of first Vespers of the feast yesterday afternoon marked the beginning of the Summer (Pars Aestiva) volume of the Breviarium Romanum. The antiphons Gloria tibi Trinitas etc were sung, doubled, with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 and 116. The chapter, O altitudo, and Office hymn, Jam sol recedit, will be used at Vespers on Saturdays for all the Sundays after Pentecost. The antiphon on the Magnificat, Gratias tibi, Deus etc, and the collect were proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the first Sunday after Pentecost was sung. After Vespers the antiphon Salve Regina etc was sung for the first time this year. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is proper, Deum verum, unum in Trinitate, et Trinitatm in Unitate, Venite adoremus. In the first nocturn he antiphons, Adesto, unus Deus etc., are sung with psalms 8, 18 & 23. The lessons are taken from the sixth chapter of the Prophet Isaiah. In the second nocturn the antiphons, Te invocamus etc., are sung with psalms 46, 47 & 71, the lessons are taken from the Book of Bishop Fulgentius on faith. In the third nocturn the antiphons Caritas Pater est etc are sung with psalms 95, 96 & 97. The homily is from St. Gregory Nazianzen. The ninth lesson is of the first Sunday after Pentecost. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the antiphons, Gloria tibi, Trinitas etc., are sung with the Dominical psalms (92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). The Office hymn is Tu, Trinitatis Unitas. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Sunday.

At Prime the festal psalms are sung, 53, 118(i) & 118(ii), under the antiphon Gloria tibi Trinitas. The Creed of St. Athanasius, Quicumque, is sung after the last stanza of Ps. 118. The lectio brevis is Tres sunt.

Mass is sung after Terce. Before Mass at the sprinkling of lustral water the antiphon Asperges me returns. The Mass is proper, Benedicta sit. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday, the Credo is sung, the preface that of the Most Holy Trinity (used for all Sundays not having a proper preface after 1759), and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.

At Vespers the antiphons Gloria tibi, Trinitas etc are sung with the Sunday psalms. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. Angela Merici and of the first Sunday after Pentecost.  At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' so much has been excised from the Breviary that four volumes are no longer needed. The 'Pars Altera' of the two volumes begins today. There is no commemoration of the first Sunday after Pentecost at Vespers, Mattins or Lauds. The eighth lesson is split into two to make a ninth lesson for the feast. At Prime Quicumque is sung on this Sunday alone in the 1962 rite, the lectio brevis is Dominus autem dirigat. At Mass there is no commemoration of the Sunday and therefore no proper last Gospel. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Domenica Pentecostes - Pentecost Sunday

The feast of Pentecost, or Whitsun - as it is known in English speaking lands from 'White Sunday' most likely a reference to the white albs the newly baptized at the Vigil would wear - is one of the greatest feasts in the Liturgical Year ranking next only to Pascha and, like the Queen of Feasts, is a Double of the First Class with a privileged Octave of the first order. The liturgical colour of the feast and its Octave is red.

After the beautiful and splendid ceremonies of the Vigil of Pentecost yesterday morning first Vespers of the feast were sung in the afternoon. The solemn tone of Deus, in adjutorium is used at Vespers, Mattins and at Lauds. The antiphons, Cum complerentur dies Pentecostes etc are proper and were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. During the singing of the hymn, Veni, Creator Spiritus, all knelt during the first verse. All hymns of the feast and Octave have the Doxology Deo Patri sit gloria, Et Filio, qui a mortuis, Surrexit ac Paraclito, In saeculorum saecula. Veni Creator is sung in tone 8, the other hymns of the Office in tone 1. At Vespers there were no commemorations. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted for the Octave.

Mattins for the feast, and Octave, is like Pascha in only having a single nocturn of three psalms and three lessons. The invitatory is Alleluia, Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum, Venite adoremus Alleluia. The Office hymn is Jam Christus astra ascenderat. The antiphons Factus est etc are sung with psalms 47, 67 & 103. The lessons are from a homily of St. Gregory the Great on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the antiphons, Cum complerentur dies Pentecostes etc, are the same as at Vespers and are sung with the Dominical psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). The Office hymn is Beata nobis gaudia. There are no commemorations.

At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii) under the antiphon Cum complerentur. In the short responsory the versicle Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, alleluia, alleluia is sung. The short lesson is Judaei quoque. At Terce instead of the usual hymn Nunc Sancte nobis the hymn Veni Creator is sung as it was at the third hour the Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles, as a Vespers the first verse is sung kneeling.

At Mass the Vidi aquam is sung for the last time this year and the aspersion takes place with Baptismal water taken after the blessing of the font yesterday morning. The Gloria is sung and there is only one collect. After the Alleluia the beautiful sequence Veni, Sancte Spiritus is sung. The Credo is sung. The preface, Communicantes and Hanc igitur are proper to the feast and used throughout the Octave.

At second Vespers the antiphons Cum complerentur dies Pentecostes etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113. The Office hymn is Veni, Creator Spiritus. The versicle and response and antiphon on the Magnificat are proper to second Vespers. There are no commemorations.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the magnificent ceremonies of the Vigil have been entirely abolished - no doubt as they would remind the faithful of the traditional form of Holy Saturday - although the Hanc igitur of the Mass of the Vigil still retains the clause '...on behalf of these whom Thou hast vouchsafed to bring to a new birth by water and the Holy Ghost..' even though the ancient baptismal rites are not celebrated. At Compline and at the hymns of the Hours, except Terce, the ordinary Doxology is sung. The antiphons at the Little Hours are doubled.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 16 May 2021

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 Office 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 commemorations were sung of the preceding feast of St. John Baptist de la Salle, of St. Ubaldus and of the Octave. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was omitted due to the double feasts and 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 commemorations are sung of St. Ubaldus and of the Octave.

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 etc.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Ubaldus, the third collect of the 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. Paschal Baylon, of St. Ubaldus and of the Octave. 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.

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Fifth Sunday after Pascha


The fifth Sunday after Pascha is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. The Gospel pericopes from St. John describe how the LORD tells His disciples to ask for anything in His name after He has ascended to the Father. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week are the Rogation Days of the Lesser Litanies before the feast of the LORD's Ascension on Thursday.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the psalms of Saturday were sung under the single antiphon Alleluia. The Office hymn was Ad regias Agni dapes. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding feast of the Appartion of St. Michael the Archangel and of St. Gregory Nazianen. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was omitted due to the double feasts. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Paschal Doxology and the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Surrexit Dominus vere, Alleluia and the Office hymn is Rex sempiterne Caelitum. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the first Epistle of St. Peter. In the second nocturn the lessons are from the writing of St. Ambrose on faith in the Resurrection and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Augustine on St. John's Gospel on the LORD's words "Amen, amen, I say to you: if you ask the Father anything in my name, he will give it to you." The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the Office hymn is Aurora. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of St. Gregory Nazianen. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is omitted.

At the Hours the hymns are sung with the Paschal Doxology. At Prime the Dominical preces are omitted.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Gregory Nazianen. Today there is no third collect. The Creed is sung, 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 commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. Antoninus. of St. Gregory Nazianen and of SS Gordian & Epimachus. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is omitted. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Paschal Doxology and the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962'the feast of the Apparitions of St. Michael the Archangel has been excised from the Calendar. There are no commemorations at either Vespers. The Paschal Doxology is not sung at Compline or at the Little Hours. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn. There are no commemorations at Lauds. At Mass there is but a single collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Fourth Sunday after Pascha


The fourth Sunday after Pascha is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour, from Mattins to None inclusive this year, is white. The Gospel pericopes are from the sixteenth chapter of St. John's Gospel where the LORD talks of His ascending to Heaven and the coming of the Paraclete.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon second Vespers of the feast of the Apostles SS Philip and James were sung. The antiphons Domine ostende nobis Patrem were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. The Office hymn was Tristes erant Apostoli. After the collect of the feast commemorations were sung of the Sunday and of St. Athanasius. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was omitted due to the double feasts. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Paschaltide Doxology and the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Surrexit Dominus and the Office hymn, Rex sempiterne as on previous Sundays of Paschaltide. In the first nocturn the lessons are Omme datum optium from Monday with the responsories of the Sunday. This is due to the Incipit of the Epistle to James being read yesterday in the first nocturn of the feast of SS Philip and James c.f. rubric in the Breviary). In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the Treatise of St. Cyprian on the boon of patience. In the third nocturn the homily is from St. Augustine. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the Sunday psalms are sung under a single antiphon, Alleluia. The Office hymn is Aurora caelum purpurat. After the collect of the Sunday a commemorations is sung of St. Athanasius. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is omitted due to the occurring double feast.

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

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Athanasius. Today there is no third collect. The Creed is sung and the preface is of Paschaltide.

At Vespers the liturgical colour again changes to red and first Vespers of the Invention of the Holy Cross are sung. The antiphons O magnum pietatis opus etc are sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 and 116. The Office hymn is Vexilla regis, last heard towards the end of the Mass of the Pre-Sanctified on Good Friday morning, but the verse O Crux ave differs by one line, Paschale quae fers gaudium. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the Sunday and of St. Athanasius. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is omitted. At Compline the Dominical psalms are sung, Te lucis is sung with the Paschal Doxology and the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' yesterday second Vespers of the deplorable "St Jerz the Werz' were sung with a commemoration of the Sunday. Mattins is reduced to a single nocturn. At Lauds there are no commemorations. The hymns at the Little Hours do not have the Paschal Doxology. At Mass there is but a single collect. At Vespers, of the Sunday, there are no commemorations. The feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross has been struck from the Calendar.
Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Saint Mark the Evangelist - Greater Litanies

Tzanes Emmanuel - St Mark the Evangelist - Google Art Project

The feast of St. Mark the Evangelist is a Double of the Second Class and the liturgical colour of the feast is red. Today is also the celebration of the Greater Litanies: the Litanies more ancient than those sung on the Rogation days and the ones, traditionally, sung with greater solemnity. St. Mark was particularly close to St. Peter. He is one of the Four Evangelists and is traditionally represented by a lion (as can be seen in the icon above) as it is one of the four beasts in the Prophecy of Ezechiel. St. Mark preached in Egypt and was martyred at Alexandria. The third Sunday after Pascha is commemorated in the Office and at Mass. It is also Sunday within the Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph but the rubrics do not admit of the commemoration of a common Octave on a Double of the Second Class although a privileged votive Mass of the feast may be celebrated as noted below.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Sancti tui etc were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was Tristes erant Apostoli. The chapter was Stabunt justi. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of the preceding Office of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringa and of the Sunday. Hymns of Iambic metre have the Paschaltide Doxology and tone. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung and the preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory, the hymn is again Tristes erant Apostoli, and the antiphon on the psalms of each nocturn are from the Common of Apostles. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the Book of the Prophet Ezechiel, Et factum est trigesimo anno etc., from the Common of Evangelists in Paschaltide. The responsories are also from this Common. In the second nocturn lessons four and five are from St. Jerome on ecclesiastic writers, the sixth lesson is from St. Gregory's writing on Ezechiel. In the third nocturn the homily is from the Common of Evangelists along with its responsories. The ninth lesson is of the Sunday. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons Sancti tui etc., from the Common of Apostles, are sung, doubled, with the Dominical psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). The Office hymn is Paschale mundo gaudium. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung.

At the Hours the hymns have the Paschaltide Doxology. At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii) and the lectio brevis is Scimus quoniam etc.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday, the third collect is of the Greater Litanies. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Apostles and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.

In Cathedral and Collegiate Churches two High Masses are sung.  The first, after Terce, is of St. Mark, with commemoration and last Gospel of the Sunday, but without any commemoration of the Greater Litanies.  After None the Paschal Candle is extinguished and the antependia changed to violet.  The celebrant, vested in violet cope, assisted by deacon and subdeacon in violet dalmatic and tunicle reverence the altar then kneel and pray for a short while. They rise and the cantors begin the antiphon Exsurge Domine. The choir continue....adjuva nos, et libera nos, propter nomen tuam. Ps. Deus auribus nostris audivimus patres nostri annuntiaverunt nobis. Gloria Patri etc, Sicut erat etc and then Exsurge Domine is repeated. All all kneel (except the crucifer and acolytes who go and stand at the entrance of the choir) and the cantors then begin the Litany of the Saints. This is sung in the full form, and not the shorter form used on Holy Saturday. Each invocation is doubled, i.e. the cantors sing e.g. Pater de caelis, Deus, miserere nobis and this is repeated in its entirety by everyone else. When Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis has been repeated all rise and the Procession commences.

The Procession goes outside of the Church and may visit other Churches on its route. In this case the celebrant is offered lustral water at the entrance to the church and processes to the High Altar. After a moment for silent prayer the choir signs the antiphon of the patron of the church, its versicle and response (with Alleluia added as it is Paschaltide) and the celebrant sings the collect of the Patron. The Litany is then resumed and the Procession continues. If the Procession has a long route the Litany, from Sancta Maria etc may be repeated or the Seven Penitential Psalms sung to the tonus in directum. When the Procession enters the church where Mass will be celebrated, lustral water is received on entering and the Procession goes to the sanctuary. All kneel as the Litany ends. The celebrant intones Pater noster etc and then the cantors sing psalm 69. After the versicles that follow the celebrant stands to sing the ten collects. He then kneels again as Exaudiat nos etc is sung. The ministers then rise and the celebrant changes from a cope to chasuble and all put on their maniples. The Mass Exaudivit is then sung without any commemoration of St. Mark. The chants are those used for ferial Masses. The Gloria is not sung, there are the additional prayers of the season with the second collect Concede nos and the third collect Ecclesiae or Deus omnium. There is no Creed - even on a Sunday. The preface of Paschaltide is sung to the ferial tone, the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino

Where the Procession takes place and there is only one Mass then that Mass is of the Greater Litanies (except in churches whose titular is St. Mark, or a Double of the First Class is to be celebrated) with a commemoration of St. Mark and of the Sunday.

As before the reform of 1911-13 the third Sunday after Pascha was the feast of the Solemnity (olim Patronage) of St. Joseph today all Masses except the Conventual Mass may be of the feast. The Mass Adjutor is sung in white vestments with Gloria, the second collect is of St. Mark, the third collect is of the Sunday, the fourth collect is of the Greater Litanies. The Creed is sung, the preface is of St. Joseph and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.

In the afternoon second Vespers of the feast of St. Mark are sung. The antiphons Sancti tui etc are sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. The Office hymn is Tristes erant Apostoli. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the following Office of SS Cletus and Marcellinus and of the Sunday.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' St. Mark's feast is superceded by the Sunday. At Vespers, of the Sunday, there are no commemorations. At Compline the ferial psalms are sung. At the Hours the hymns do not have the Paschaltide Doxology. At Lauds, only, a commemoration of St. Mark is made. At Prime the lectio brevis is of the season. At Masses other than those following the Procession a commemoration of the Greater Litanies is made. The Rogation Procession may be replaced by another suitable service at the discretion of the Ordinary. When the Procession takes place the petitions of the Litany are not doubled and the collects at the end of the Litany have the short conclusion. Where the Litany or another service takes place in the vernacular those with an obigation to the Office are not bound to say the Litany in Latin. At the II class votive Mass following the Procession the preparatory prayers, Judica me Deus etc, are omitted. The second collect is of the Sunday, the Creed is sung - being a Sunday (R.G. 343(a) - and the dismissal is Ite, missa est. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Icon: St. Mark from Emmanuel Tzanes

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

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 (c.f. 19th March) although is now a feast that is largely forgotten or even sadly unknown after the liturgical changes of the last century. The feast was introduced into the Universal Kalendar by Pius IX in 1847 originally 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 had 'Patron of the Church' added to its title. 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 with an Octave. 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, doubled, 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 and Te lucis was sung with 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. Anselm.

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 is sung after Terce and is proper, with the introit Adjutor. The Gloria is sung. (In private Masses the second collect is of St. Anselm). 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 SS Soter & Caius. 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 suppressed in 1956 to be replaced by the appalling 'San Giuseppe Comunista'. The 19th March returned to being the primary feast of St. Joseph.  The vast majority of 'traditionalists', who vociferously support the 'liturgical books of 1962', are completely and blissfully ignorant 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 of May 1st.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Second Sunday after Pascha


The second Sunday after Pascha is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. It 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.

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 the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was sung. At Compline Te lucis was sung to the Paschal tone with the Doxology Deo Patri sit gloria etc and the Dominical preces were sung.

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, 118(i) & 118(ii). The Dominical preces are sung.

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

At Vespers the Dominical psalms (109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) are sung under the single antiphon Alleluia. The Office hymn is Ad regias Agni dapes. After the collect of the Sunday Paschal Commemoration 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' the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross has been abolished. 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 Mass there is but a single collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 11 April 2021

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, or on Saturday, 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,Deo Patri sit gloria, Et Filio qui a mortuis, Surrexit ac Paraclito, In sempiterna saecula, is sung at all hymns of Iambic metre until the Ascension. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Leo 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. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Leo is sung. 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. The second collect is of St. Leo. The Creed is sung, the preface is of Paschaltide (In hoc potissimum).

At Vespers the Dominical psalms are sung under a single antiphon Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. The Office hymn is Ad regias Agni dapes. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Leo is sung. The Suffrage is omitted. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at Vespers or Lauds. 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, there are no commemorations. At Compline the ordinary Doxology and tone are sung with Te lucis.

Image: Jerome Nadal.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

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. It 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 incensed 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.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' yesterday afternoon a novel Vespers, created in 1956, in said, not sung, with unlit candles. It follows the form used on Mandy Thursday and Good Friday but substituting the first antiphon Calicem salutaris with Hodie aflictus.  The antiphon on the Magnificat is newly crafted from Mt. 27: 62, 66 Principes sacerdotum (c.f. IX responsory Mattins of Holy Saturday) and the new collect used at Mattins & Lauds and the Hours of Holy Saturday is used again at Vespers. Compline is said by those who do not take part in the nocturnal shenanigans of the Easter Vigil. Compline has the same structure as on Mandy Thursday and Good Friday but the collect Visita, quaesumus replaces Respice. There is no Regina Caeli and the Offices are in the same penitential spirit as those of Mandy Thursday and Good Friday. Those, fortunate enough, not to take part in the Easter Vigil say Mattins & Lauds. For those who do attend it the novel Easter Vigil replaces Compline, Mattins & Lauds so the Queen of Feasts, as Gregory DiPippo has pointed out, becomes the only feast of the Liturgical Year - and the greatest feast of all - not to have first Vespers, Mattins, proper Lauds or the Te Deum.  The rest of the day is, thankfully, free from further significant changes.

Friday, 2 April 2021

The Mass of the Pre-Sanctified

'Solemn Mass' celebration of Mass of the Pre-Sanctified, FSSP




'Mass at the Faldstool' celebration, SGG

The faldstool is not in its normal place but on the footpace of the altar. The subdeacon has removed his black folded chasuble and is chanting the lesson. The ministers sit on the altar steps.


'Pontifical Mass at the Throne' form of celebration The celebrant does not use a throne this day but a faldstool on the footpace of the altar.  Note the deacon and subdeacon as well as assistant deacons wear black folded chasubles.
Celebration of the Mass of the Pre-Sanctifed in the presence of the Pope (Pius XI), 1936 

The Pope did not celebrate on Good Friday but presided wearing a red cope, paeony-coloured stole and cloth of silver mitre. The Cardinal-celebrant (wearing a simple white mitre), Cardinal Pacelli, on the faldstool is the man who would destroy so much of liturgical tradition in the reforms of the 1950s. Note the Cardinal-deacon and Cardinal-Subdeacon in black folded chasubles seated on the altar steps.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Dominica in Palmis - Palm Sunday

Assisi-frescoes-entry-into-jerusalem-pietro lorenzetti
Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, Pietro Lorenzetti, Wikipedia

Palm Sunday is a privileged semi-double Sunday of the first class and the sixth, and last, Sunday in Lent. No feast can take its place. In the Roman rite Palm Sunday, in its traditional form, is a truly magnificent day with the splendid solemn blessing of Palms and Procession before the principle Mass. The liturgical colour, throughout, is violet.  The liturgy of the day, particularly the ceremonies of the Palms and Mass symbolically prefigure the events of the week ahead.

The Office began, as usual in Lent, with Vespers yesterday morning. Vespers were sung with the antiphons and psalms of Saturday. The chapter, from Philippians, Fratres: Hoc enim senite, was proper to the Sunday. The Office hymm was Vexilla regis. The antiphon on the MagnificatPater juste, and the collect were both proper to Palm Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of St. John Damascene and of St. John Capistran. At Compline, sung at the usual time, the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins there are the usual three nocturns. The antiphons and psalms at all the nocturns are those appointed for Sundays. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the book of Jeremiah the Prophet. In the second nocturn the lessons are a sermon of St. Leo the Great and in the third a homily of St. Ambrose. The Te Deum is not sung but a ninth responsory, Circumdederunt me viri mendaces etc., is sung in its place. At Lauds the proper antiphons, Dominus Deus etc., are sung with the second scheme of Psalms  (50, 117, 62, Benedictus es, 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn is Lustra sex. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of St. John Capistran.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Pueri Hebraeorum etc. At Prime psalms 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two divisi of Ps. 118 are sung. The Dominical preces are omitted and the short lesson is Faciem meam. At Terce the antiphon is Pueri Hebraeorum vestimenta .  Both Pueri antiphons will be heard again shortly afterwards at the distribution of the Palms.


The beginning of the Blessing of Palms, Missale Romanum, Paris, 1572, B.L. 1475bb15 - the very first Tridentine Missal this writer ever held and studied at the British Library in the 1990s

The Asperges ceremony takes place after Terce and before the principal Mass as usual. The deacon and subdeacon wear violet folded chasubles. Being in Passiontide the Lesser Doxology is omitted after the verse of the Miserere. After the Asperges the celebrant and ministers proceed to the Epistle corner and begin the solemn blessing of Palms whilst the choir sing the antiphon Hosanna fili David, O Rex Israel etc. The rubrics direct that the Palms are to be blessed at the Epistle side of the altar.

As the choir sing the antiphon Hosanna Filio David  the celebrant reads it in a low voice and then chant the collect Deus, quim diligere which is then followed by the reading of an Epistle and Gospel of the blessing. The normal ceremonies of High Mass are followed. The subdeacon removes his folded chasuble to sing the Epistle taken from the Book of Exodus. Following the Epistle two texts are given, Collegerunt pontifices and In monte Oliveti (the latter will appear again as a responsory during the Triduum) to be sung as a 'gradual', both may be sung.


Following the Gospel the deacon resumes his folded chasuble and the collect Auge fidem is sung followed by a preface, Sanctus and four further collects Deus, qui dispersa, Deus, qui miro, Deus, qui per olivae and Benedic quaesumus. The presence of a preface is indicative of the solemn blessing (c.f. the great blessing of waters at Epiphany). The collect Deus, qui miro is a didactic masterpiece. Readers will note the strong correlation between the text of the collect and of the second lesson of Mattins for the Saturday before Palm Sunday from St. Augustine:
O God, who, by the wonderful order of Thy disposition, hast been pleased to manifest the dispensation of our salvation even from things insensible: grant, we beseech Thee, that the devout hearts of Thy faithful may understand to their benefit what is mystically signified by the fact that on this day the multitude, taught by a heavenly illumination, went forth to meet their Redeemer, and strewed branches of palms and olive at His feet. The branches of palms, therefore, represent His triumphs over the prince of death; and the branches of olive proclaim, in a manner, the coming of a spiritual unction. For that pious multitude understood that these things were then prefigured; that our Redeemer, compassionating human miseries, was about to fight with the prince of death for the life of the whole world, and, by dying, to triumph. For which cause they dutifully ministered such things as signified in Him the triumphs of victory and the richness of mercy. And we also, with full faith, retaining this as done and signified, humbly beseech Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, that in Him and through Him, whose members Thou hast been pleased to make us, we may become victorious over the empire of death, and may deserve to be partakers of His glorious Resurrection.

The celebrant then puts on incense and blesses it. The Palms are then sprinkled with lustral water, the celebrant saying in a low voice Asperges me etc, and then censed. Another collect, Deus, qui Filium is then sung. The celebrant then receives his Palm from the senior canon present. If no other priest is present the celebrant kneels and takes the Palm from the of the altar, kisses it then passes it to the subdeacon who places it again on the mensa. The celebrant then gives Palms to the deacon and subdeacon and other ministers and then the people. The Palm is kissed first and then the celebrant's hand. During the distribution the antiphons Pueri Hebraeorum and Pueri Hebraeorum vestimenta are sung. After the distribution the celebrant and ministers go back to the altar, bow to the Cross and then go to the Epistle corner where the celebrant's hands are washed. Then, at the missal, he sings the collect Omnipotens sempiterne.

Distribution of the Palms at a Pontifical Mass from the Caeremoniale Episcoporum

As the celebrant's hands are washed after the distribution of the Palms, the, veiled Processional Cross is decorated with some of the blessed Palms. A Procession is then formed, led by the thurifer, followed by the subdeacon (of the Mass, not this day an additional subdeacon) bearing the Processional Cross. The deacon sings Procedamus in pace and the following antiphons are sung during the Procession Cum appropinquaret, Cum audisset, Ante sex dies, Occurrunt turbae, Cum angelis et pueris and Turba multa.


Before re-entering the church, Fribourg - New Liturgical Movement

Ideally the Procession goes outside and around the church but circumstances may dictate the Procession must simply go around the aisles of the church. Towards the end of the Procession the cantors re-enter the church and the door is closed. The beautiful hymn of Theodolph Gloria, laus, et honor is then sung in alternation between the cantors inside the church and everyone else outside. At the end of the hymn the subdeacon, or Crucifer when there are no ministers, strikes the church door three times with the foot of the Processional Cross and the party re-enters the church to the singing of Ingrediente Domino.

The celebrant removes his cope and dons his chasuble. The preparatory prayers are said but the psalm Judica me is omitted being in Passiontide. The introit is Domine, ne longe etc. There is no Gloria. Psalm 21 is sung in its entirety as a Tract. The major difference from any other Sunday is singing of the Passion according to St. Matthew by three additional deacons of the Passion. The text of the Passion is Matthew 26: 1-75; 27: 1-66. After the singing of the Passion the last part, Altera autem die...lapidem cum custodibus, is sung with the ceremonies of a Gospel by the deacon of the Mass (having removed his folded chasuble etc) to a most haunting tone.



The choir and people hold their Palms during the singing of the Passion. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Cross and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the celebrant and altar.

Sext and None again have proper antiphons, Tibi revelavi etc and Invocabo etc respectively. 

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung. The chapter is Hoc enim senite and the Office hymn is Vexilla regis. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of St. John Capistran. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Palm Sunday has been given a radical 'makeover' to the extent that the official title of the day has even been changed to 'Second Sunday of the Passion or Palm Sunday'. Mattins is cut down to the usual single nocturn of three lessons and there are no commemorations at Lauds and Vespers. At Prime the psalmody is Ps. 53, 118(i) & 118(ii) as on feasts. At the massively truncated blessing of Palms and at Mass the ministers wear red dalmatic and tunicle instead of folded chasubles, the prayers at the foot of the altar are omitted, the Passion is shortened, the dismissal is Ite, missa est and the last Gospel is omitted. (In Masses without the blessing of Palms the Gospel for the blessing Cum appropinquasset Jesus is read as a proper last Gospel, the only surviving proper last Gospel in the 'liturgical books of 1962').  For those interested in the depressing catalogue of destruction of what turned a splendid day into a miserable thing an earlier post here gives the grim details.  The image below shows a typical blessing of Palms in the reformed rite, actually following its rubrics, with the palms on a table versus populum etc.


Image: Screen shot from a video of the FSSP, Warrington, 2019

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Passion Sunday


Passion Sunday is the fifth and penultimate Sunday in Lent. It is a semi-double Sunday of the first class and its liturgical colour is violet.

The most apparent and visually striking feature of this Sunday is the Roman practice of veiling all crosses and images with violet cloth. The custom seems to have developed from the words in the day's Gospel 'Jesus autem abscondit se' - but Jesus hid himself. The veiling takes place after Mass on Saturday morning before Vespers are sung. The praxis should not be confused with that of Lenten Array where holy images were covered in off-white linen or cloth from the very beginning of Lent. From Vespers along with the veiling, the liturgy takes on certain more penitential aspects that belong to Passiontide. The Gloria Patri is omitted from the invitatory of Mattins, from the responsories of Mattins and from the short responsories of the Hours. It is also omitted from the Asperges ceremony before Mass on both Passion Sunday and on Palm Sunday. In Masses 'of the season' Gloria Patri is also omitted from the introit and Lavabo along with the psalm Judica me Deus. The Suffrage of the Saints is also omitted at Vespers and at Lauds until after Trinity Sunday.

At Vespers, yesterday morning, the antiphons and psalms were those of Saturday, the chapter was proper to Passion Sunday. The Office hymn was Vexilla regis. This hymn is sung at Vespers throughout Passiontide and at the Mass of the Pre-Sanctified on Good Friday morning. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect were proper to the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Benedict was sung. At Compline the Lesser Doxology was omitted from the short responsory as noted and the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Hodie, si vocem Domini audieritis, Nolite obdurare corda vestra from Ps. 94 and a special rubric indicates the omission of that verse in the psalm. The hymn is Pange, lingua ...Lauream. The same invitatory and hymn are sung from today until the Sacred Triduum in the Office of the Season. The antiphons given in the Psalter for Sundays are sung. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the book of Jeremiah. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the ninth sermon on Lent by St. Leo the Great. In the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel. The Te Deum is omitted as on other Lenten Sundays and a ninth responsory, Quis dabit capiti, sung in its place. At Lauds the antiphons, Vide Dominum etc., are proper to the Sunday and the second scheme of Psalms sung (50, 117, 62, Benedictus es & 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and office hymn is Lustra sex. After the collect of the Sunday a comemoration of St. Benedict is sung.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons, Ego daemoninum etc., are proper to the Sunday. At Prime the psalms are 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and 118(i) & 118(ii). At Prime the Dominical preces are omitted.

Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear folded chasubles. The Gloria is not sung. The second collect is of St. Benedict. There is no third collect in Passiontide. As usual in Lent a Tract is sung after the Gradual. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Cross and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino sung by the deacon whilst facing the celebrant and altar.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung. The Office hymn is Vexilla regis. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Benedict is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Passion Sunday becomes re-branded as 'First Sunday of the Passion'. Vespers were sung yesterday in the afternoon as at any other time of the year. There are no commemorations at either Vespers. Mattins is reduced down to the usual single nocturn of three lessons. There were no commemorations at Lauds. At Prime the psalmody is Ps. 53, 118(i) & 118(ii) as on feasts. At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle instead of folded chasubles, there is only a single collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Fourth Sunday in Lent

The fourth Sunday in Lent is known as Laetare Sunday after the opening words of the Introit at its Mass Laetare, Jerusalem - Rejoice Jerusalem - and is also known as 'mid-Lent' Sunday and is also 'Mothering Sunday' in many countries including Britain and Ireland. It is a semi-double Sunday of the first class. The distinguishing feature of this Sunday is the permitted, though not obligatatory, use of rose-coloured vestments. Rose is perceived as a lighter shade of violet and the use of rose vestments developed from the older praxis of a golden rose being given to female monarchs by the Pope on this day. Cardinals of the Court of Rome wore rose watered-silk choir dress on this Sunday along with the corresponding Gaudete Sunday in Advent. For the rest of Lent Cardinals wore their 'winter violet' merino cassock, mantelletum and mozzeta (not the violet watered silk of their 'summer' violet). This practice disappeared at the Papal Court towards the end of the nineteenth century but continued with Cardinals at their titular churches until the 1920s.

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The Office hymn was Audi benigne conditor. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints was sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is, as on the previous Sundays of Lent, Non sit vobis and the Office hymn is Ex more. The antiphons given in the Psalter for Sundays are sung. In the first nocturn the lessons are from Exodus and the story of Moses and the Burning Bush. In the second nocturn the lessons are from the writings of St. Basil the Great on fasting and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Augustine on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the antiphons, Tunc acceptabis etc., are proper to the Sunday and the second scheme of Psalms sung (50, 117, 62, the canticle Benedictus es, 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and hymn is O sol salutis. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons, Accepit ergo etc., are proper to the Sunday. At Prime the psalms are 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and 118(i) & 118(ii). The Dominical preces are sung and the short lesson is Quaerite Dominum.

Mass is sung after Terce. As folded chasubles are not worn the organ may be played. The ministers wear violet, or rose, dalmatic and tunicle. The Gloria is not sung. The second collect is A cunctis, the third collect Omnipotens. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Credo 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. Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113 are sung. 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 were sung yesterday in the afternoon as at any other time of the year. The Suffrage of the Saints has been abolished. The Dominical preces have been abolished. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Prime the psalms are 53, 118(i) & 118(ii) as on feasts. At Mass there is a single collect. The dismissal is Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Third Sunday in Lent


The third Sunday in Lent is a semi-double Sunday of the first class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericope from St. Luke at Mattins and Mass recounts the LORD casting out evil from a demoniac.

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn was Audi, benigne conditor. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding feast of SS Perpetua & Felicity and of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the Office hymn is Ex more, as on the other Sundays in Lent. The antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung. In the first nocturn the lessons are taken from Genesis and the story of Joseph, his coat of many colours and his brothers casting him into a pit. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the Book of St. Augustine on Joseph. In the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of the Venerable Bede on St. Luke's Gospel. A ninth responsory, Lamentabatur Jacob, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Fac benigne etc., sung with the second scheme of Psalms (50, 117, 62, Benedictus es, 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn is O sol salutis. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Thomas Aquinas is sung. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Et cum ejecisset Jesus etc. At Prime the psalms are Pss. 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two divisi of Ps. 118. The Dominical preces are omitted.

Mass is sung after Terce. The deacon and subdeacon wear violet folded chasubles. There is no Gloria. The second collect is of St. Thomas Aquinas. Today there is no third collect. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Credo is sung, the preface is of Lent and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the altar and celebrant.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung at the normal time. The Office hymn is Audi, benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday commemoration are sung of the following feast of St. John of God and of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In 'liturgical books of 1962' Vespers were sung in the afternoon as at any other time of the year. There are no commemorations at either Vespers. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Prime the psalms are Pss.53, 118(i) & 118(ii) as on feasts. At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, as in Septuagesima etc. There is but a single collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Second Sunday in Lent

The second Sunday in Lent is a semi-double Sunday of the first class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericopes from St. Matthew's Gospel give the account of the Transfiguration of the LORD.

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn was Audi, benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of the preceding Office of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was sung. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the Office hymn is Ex more. The antiphons and psalms given for Sunday are sung. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the twenty-seventh chapter of Genesis and the story of Jacob and Esau. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the book of St. Augustine against lying and explain the mystery of Jacob's actions. In the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Leo the Great on the Transfiguration of the LORD. A ninth responsory, Cum audisset Jacob, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the antiphons Domine labia mea aperies etc are proper to the Sunday and are sung with the second scheme of Psalms (50, 117, 62, Benedictus es and 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and hymn is O sol salutis. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

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

Mass is sung after Terce. The deacon and subdeacon wear violet folded chasubles. There is no Gloria. The second collect is A cunctis, the third collect is Omnipotens. 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 altar.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms (109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) are of Sunday. 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 Saturday are sung at the same time as any on other day of the year. There were no commemorations at Vespers. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. The Suffrage of the Saints has been abolished. At Prime the psalms are the festal arrangement of Ps. 53, 118(i) & 118(ii) and the Dominical preces have been abolished. At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, as in Septuagesima, and there is only a single collect. The dismissal is Ite, missa est.

Art: Mosaic of the Transfiguration, St. Catherine's Monastery Sinai, Wikipedia.