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 Domini, Et ecce terraemotus, Erat autem, Prae 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.