Sunday, 28 November 2021

First Sunday of Advent

The first Sunday of Advent is a semi-double Sunday of the first class and its liturgical colour is violet. As with the Sundays in Lent no feast may displace this Sunday. The liturgy of Advent is probably the most exquisite of the entire liturgical year with layers of meaning for both the first and second Comings of the LORD. There is a weave of expectant joy and penance to be found throughout the liturgical texts. The eschatalogical theme of last Sunday's Gospel continues with St. Luke's Gospel today and the Coming of the Divine Judge. During Advent bishops of the Roman rite exchange their violet choir cassocks for black ones (with train) which are worn with either a black mozzeta or black mattelletum with violet linings. Cardinals of the Court of Rome wear their 'winter' violet merino apparel (in contrast to their summer mourning dress of violet watered-silk) in place of their scarlet watered-silk. Vespers on Saturday before Advent Sunday mark the beginning of the Pars Hiemalis or Winter volume of the Breviary.

It should be noted - and it is question we have been asked several times - that Roman Ordines always follow the calendar year and never began with Advent Sunday.


The above is from a 1572 Roman ordo.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons In illa die etc were sung, not doubled, with the psalms of Saturday. The Office hymn was Creator alme siderum. The Suffrage was omitted being Advent. From this Vespers, until the end of None on the Vigil of the Nativity of the LORD, Alma Redemptoris etc is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem venturum and this is sung in both the Dominical and ferial Offices of Advent until the third Sunday. The Office hymn is Verbum supernum. In the first nocturn the antiphons Veniet ecce Rex etc are sung, not doubled, with the usual psalms for Sunday. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the prophet Isaiah. In the second nocturn the antiphons Gaude et laetare etc are sung and the lessons are taken from the writing of St. Leo on the fast of the tenth month, the theme of which is preparing for the Coming. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gabriel Angelus etc are sung and the homily is from St. Gregory continuing the theme of Coming with his commentary on St. Luke's Gospel about the end times. A ninth responsory is sung and the Te Deum is omitted in the Office of Advent. At Lauds the antiphons proper to the first Sunday In illa die etc, are sung, not doubled, with the Dominical psalms. The Office hymn is En clara vox. The Suffrage is omitted, as noted, during Advent.

At Prime the first antiphon from Lauds, In illa die, is sung, not doubled, with the usual Dominical psalms (117, 118i, 118ii). In the short responsory the versicle Qui venturus es in mundum replaces Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris for all of Advent except when an occurring feast has a proper versicle. The Dominical preces are sung. At the other Hours the remaining antiphons of Lauds are sung in the usual order.

Mass is sung after Terce. During Advent for both ferial and Dominical Masses in the Roman rite, with the exception of the third Sunday Gaudete, the deacon and sub-deacon do not wear the dalmatic and tunicle but violet folded chasubles, an ancient feature of the Roman liturgy. The Gloria in not sung, the second collect is Deus, qui de beatae, the third collect is Ecclesiae etc. The Creed is sung, the preface that of the Blessed Trinity and, as the Gloria was not sung, the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers the antiphons In illa die etc are sung, not doubled, with the Dominical psalms. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderum. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of St. Saturnin. The Suffrage is omitted. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. The Dominical preces have been abolished at Compline and at Prime. At Mass the there is the novelty for the the Roman rite of the deacon wearing the dalmatic and the sub-deacon the tunicle in a penitential Mass of the season. Folded chasubles, so ancient and so quintessentially Roman, have been cast aside. There is only one collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal


Novian said...

I have a practical question about the Office of the Dead, when we speak of it being said "on the Mondays of Advent" or "on" any particular day (the anniversary, etc).

Does "on" the day mean, using the example of the Advent Mondays, that vespers are said Sunday evening with matins and lauds said Monday morning (or anticipated), or does it mean that vespers are said Monday evening with matins and lauds said Tuesday morning (or anticipated)? I've always assumed the former but have never found where the rule was specified.

Rubricarius said...


It means the former, i.e. if, as in the pre-1911 Office the Office of the Dead was said on the Monday following Advent Sunday Vespers would be said after Vespers of the day (as after second Vespers on All Saints' day) and Mattins and Lauds of the Dead after Mattins and Lauds of Monday.