Sunday 14 July 2024

VIII Sunday after Pentecost


The eighth Sunday after Pentecost is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is green. The Gospel pericopes from St. Luke contain the parable about the unjust steward.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung.The Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding feast of St. Anacletus and of St. Bonaventure. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted due to the double feast as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Dominum qui fecit nos and the Office hymn isNocte surgentes. In the first nocturn the lessons continue to be read from the third Book of the Kings. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from a St. Augustine's City of God. In the third nocturn the homily on St. Luke's Gospel is from St. Jerome. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds, after the collect of the Sunday, a commemoration is sung of St. Bonaventure. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted.

At Prime Pss. 117, 118(i) & 118(ii) both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted.

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

Vespers are of the Sunday (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) and the Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following Office of St. Henry the Emperor and of St. Bonaventure. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. St. Anacletus has been removed from the Calendar. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. There are no commemorations at Lauds. Mass has a single collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday 7 July 2024

VII Sunday after Pentecost


The seventh Sunday after Pentecost is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is green. The Gospel pericopes from St. Matthew contain the words of warning from the LORD concerning false prophets appearing as sheep but who, in reality, are wolves.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneussung with the Doxology of the Incarnation, Jesu, tibi...Qui natus etc. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Cctave Day of SS Peter & Paul and of SS Cyril & Methodius. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Dominum qui fecit nos and the Office hymn is Nocte surgentes. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the Third Book of the Kings. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from am epistle of St. Jerome to Nepotianus. In the third nocturn the homily on St. Matthew's Gospel is from St. Hiliary. The Te Deum is sung. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the Office hymn is Ecce jam noctis. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of SS Cyril & Methodius. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted.

At Prime (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii) both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of SS Cyril & Methodiux. Today there is no third collect. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Blessed Trinity.

Prior to the reform of 1911-13 the first Sunday of July was the feast of the Most Precious Blood. All Masses, apart from the Conventual Mass, may be of the feast. The Mass Redemisti nos is sung in red vestments with Gloria, and second collect of the Sunday. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Cross and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms (109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) of Sunday are sung. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following Office of St. Elizabeth of Portugal and SS Cyril & Methodius. The Suffrage is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Octave of SS Peter & Paul has been abolished. There are no commemoration at either Vespers. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Mass there is a single collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday 30 June 2024

VI Sunday after Pentecost

The sixth Sunday after Pentecost is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour, from Mattins to None this year, is green. The Gospel pericopes from St. Mark's Gospel describe the Feeding of the Four Thousand with seven loaves and fishes. This year it is the Sunday within the Octaves of St. John the Baptist and SS Peter & Paul.

Yesterday afternoon second Vespers of the feast of SS Peter & Paul were sung. The antiphons Iuravit etc, from the Common, were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 and 138. The Office hymn was Decora lux aeternitatis. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday was sung. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Dominum qui fecit nos, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Nocte surgentes. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the twelfth chapter of the Second Book of the Kings. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from St. Ambrose's Defence of David. Again, St. Ambrose provides the homily in the third nocturn on St. Mark's Gospel. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the Office hymn is Ecce jam noctis. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the Commemoration of St. Paul the Apostle, of St. Peter and of the Octave of St. John the Baptist. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted.

At Prime, Pss. 117, 118(i) & 118(ii) both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Commemoration of St. Paul the Apostle, the third collect is of St. Peter and the fourth collect is of the Octave of St. John the Baptist. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Blessed Trinity.

Where the feast of SS Peter & Paul was not observed yesterday its external solemnity may be celebrated today. All Masses, except the Conventual, may be of the feast. The proper Mass Nunc scio vere is sung with Gloria, the second collect is of the Sunday. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Apostles and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.

At Vespers there is a colour change to red and first Vespers of the feast of The Most Precious Blood are sung. The antiphons Quis est iste etc are sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 and 116. The Office hymn is Festivis resonent compita vocibus. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Octaves of St. John the Baptist and of SS Peter & Paul have been abolished. Mattins is reduced to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Mass there is but a single collect.

Image: Missale Romanum, 1572, Paris.

Sunday 23 June 2024

V Sunday after Pentecost


The fifth Sunday after Pentecost is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour, until Vespers this year, is green. The Gospel pericopes at Mattins and Mass are from St. Matthew. The Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist was anticiated on Saturday.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration was sung of the preceding Office of St. Paulinus. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Dominum qui fecit nos and the Office hymn is Nocte surgentes. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the Second Book of the Kings. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from St. Gregory the Great's Book on Morals. In the third nocturn the homily on St. Matthew's Gospel is from St. Augustine. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds the Office hymn is Ecce jam noctis. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At Prime (Pss. 117, 118i & 118ii) both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is A cunctis, the third collect is chosen by the Dean or rector. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Blessed Trinity.

In the midst of the 1911-13 reform, the feast of St. John the Baptist was moved, briefly, from the 24th June to the Sunday preceding the feast of SS Peter & Paul (2 Jul 1911, De diebus festis AAS 3 (1911) pp. 305-7). All Masses, other than the Conventual Mass, may be of the feast and the liturgical colour is white. The Mass De ventre is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday, the Creed is sung (due to the commemoration of the Sunday), the preface is of the Blessed Trinity and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.

After None there is a colour change to white and first Vespers of the feast of St. John the Baptist are sung. The antiphons, Ipse praeibit etc, proper to the feast, are sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn is Ut queant laxis resonare fibris. The hymn famously rises through a scale in its verses: Ut (Doh), Resonare, Mira, Famuli, Solve, Labii. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung. The Suffrage of the Saints is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' whilst the Vigil of St. John the Baptist is one of the few Vigils that have not been abolished this year it is not observed as it falls on a Sunday. There are no commemorations at Vespers on Saturday. The Suffrage has been abolished as have the Dominical preces at Prime and Compline. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. Quicumque is said but once a year. Mass has but a single collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday 16 June 2024

IV Sunday after Pentecost


The fourth Sunday after Pentecost is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is green.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The chapter was O altitudo and the Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus. This chapter and hymn are used now on all of the 'green' Sundays after Pentecost. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints was sung as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Dominum qui fecit nos and the 'summer' Office hymn is Nocte surgentes. In the first nocturn the lessons are taken from the First Book of Kings. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon of St. Augustine and in the third nocturn the homily is from St. Ambrose on the Gospel account from St. Luke on the huge catch of fish at the lake of Genesareth. At Lauds the Office hymn is Ecce jam noctis. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At Prime both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is A cunctis, the third collect is chosen by the Dean or Rector of the place. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Blessed Trinity.

At Vespers (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) the Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Suffrage of the Saints and the Dominical preces have been abolished. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. Quicumque is said only on Trinity Sunday. At Mass there is but a single collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday 9 June 2024

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 Octave and of SS Primus & Felician. 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 the Octave of the Sacred Heart and of SS Primus & Felician. 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 the Octave, the third collect is of SS Primus & Felician. The Creed is sung and 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 Office of St. Margaret of Scotland 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 2 June 2024

Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi

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 and of SS. Marcellinus, Peter & Erasmus. The Suffrage was omitted 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 SS Marcellinus etc. 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 SS Marcellinus etc. 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 etc, 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.

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 a commemoration is sung of the following day within the Octave. 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 and the second Sunday after Pentecost is celebrated as a 'green' Sunday. There are no commemorations at Vespers. Mattins is stripped down to a single nocturn 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.
 
Image: Missale Romanum, 1572,  Antwerp

Sunday 26 May 2024

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 feasts of St. Philip Neri and St. Eleutherius are omitted in the universal calendar this year.

Yesterday afternoon first Vespers 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, doubled, 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, doubled, 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, doubled,  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, doubled, with the Dominical psalms (92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148). The Office hymn is Tu, Trinitatis Unitas. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung .

At Prime the festal psalms are sung, 53, 118(i) & 118(ii) with Quicumque, the Athanasian Creed, under the antiphon Gloria tibi Trinitas. The lectio brevis is Tres sunt and the Dominical preces are omitted.

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 Creed is sung, the preface is 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, doubled, with the Sunday psalms. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the following feast of St. Bede 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 19 May 2024

Dominica 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. The feasts of St. Peter Celestine and St. Pudentiana are omitted this year in the Universal Calendar.

Yesterday, after None, the beautiful and splendid ceremonies of the Vigil of Pentecost were celebrated with its six prophecies, blessing of the font, litany of the Saints and Vigil Mass. Some fine photographs of the rite can be found here. In the afteroon first Vespers of the feast were sung with the solemn tone of Deus, in adjutorium which is also used at Mattins and at Lauds. The antiphons, Cum complerentur dies Pentecostes etc 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 at 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 Creed 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. The feast of St Bernardine of Siena is omitted this year in the Universal Calendar.

Following 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 have been abolished. 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 12 May 2024

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 Octave and of SS Nereus & Companions. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was omitted due to the 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 SS Nereus & Companions 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 SS Nereus & Companions, the third collect is 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. Robert Bellarmine 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. Vespers yesterday were of the feast of SS Philip & James, jettisoned from their ancient observance on the Kalends of May by the reformers. A commemoration was sung of the Sunday. 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 5 May 2024

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 St. Monica and of St. Pius V. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was omitted. 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 was sung of St. Pius V. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was 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. Pius V. Today there is no third collect. The Creed is sung and 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 Office of St. John before the Latin Gate and of St. Pius V. 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' 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. At Laudas there are no commemorations. At Mass there is but a single collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Wednesday 1 May 2024

SS Philip & James Apostles

The feast of the Holy Apostles SS Philip and James is a Double of the Second Class and its liturgical colour is red. In Western rites SS Philip and James have been honoured together as the relics of both Apostles were jointly placed in the confessio of the Church of the Apostles in Rome at its consecration in the sixth century. The anniversary of this, the church's dedication in c. 560, is May 1st and so the feast of two Apostles has graced this day in Western Kalendars for nearly fifteen centuries. St. Philip, tradition tells us, was from Bethsaida. He was crucified at Hierapolis in Phrygia. St. James the Less was from Cana and was the first bishop of Jerusalem. St. Paul says (Galatians 1:19) 'I did not see any apostle except James the brother of the Lord'. St. James was cast from the pediment of the Temple on the orders of the Jewish High Priest and then clubbed to death. 


The above photograph, taken by the writer whilst on a research trip to Rome three decades ago, shows the tomb of the Holy Apostles Saints Philip and James in the confessio of the Church. Far better photographs can be found on the Orbis Catholicus Secundus blog where the photograph below can be found with others.


At first Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons proper to the feast, Domine, ostende nobis Patrem etc, were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The chapter was Stabant justi and the Office hymn was Tristes erant Apostoli. The antiphon on the Magnificat, Non turbetur etc., and collect were both proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of the preceding Office of St. Catherine of Siena.  At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Paschaltide Doxology and the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem Apostolorum Dominum Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is again Tristes erant Apostoli. In the first nocturn the antiphons Stabunt justi etc are sung, doubled, with psalms 18, 33 & 44. The lessons are from the Epistle of St. James taken from occurring Scripture, Quid proderit, fratres mei, with the responsories from the Common of Apostles in Paschaltide. In the second nocturn the antiphons Ecce etc are sung, doubled, with psalms 46, 60 & 63 and the lessons are proper to the feast. In the third nocturn the antiphons Lux perpetua etc are sung, doubled, with psalms 74, 96 & 98. The Gospel fragment is from St. John and the pericope contains the passage where the LORD tells St. Philip that if he wishes to see the Father to see Him and that in the Father's house there are many mansions. The homily is from St. Augustine. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons Domine ostende nobis Patrem etc are sung, doubled, with psalms 92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148. The Office hymn is Paschale mundo gaudium and is sung with the Paschal Doxology. At the Hours the antiphons from Lauds are sung in the usual sequence. The Office hymns have the Paschal Doxology and the festal psalms are sung at the Hours. At Prime the lectio brevis is Scimus quoniam.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass is proper, Exclamaverunt etc. The Gloria is sung, the Creed is sung, and the preface is of the Apostles.

At second Vespers the antiphons Domine ostende nobis Patrem are again sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. The Office hymn is Tristes erant Apostoli. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the following Office of St. Athanasius. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Paschaltide Doxology and the Dominical preces are omitted.

The 'liturgical books of 1962' plummet to yet another low point today with the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The ancient feast of SS Philip and James has been cast aside until May 11th, the first 'free' liturgical day, expelled from its traditional place in the Kalendar of May 1st by this repugnant accretion to the Calendar. The hymns of the Hours do not have the Paschaltide Doxology.
 
Papa Pacelli's Commission for General Liturgical Reform had discussed making May 1st a Marian feast but settled on S. Giuseppe Artigiano (c.f. minutes of meeting 45; 19 Oct 1954 and 59; 17 Jan 1956 in Giampietro, N., 'Il Card. Ferdinado Antonelli e gli sviluppi della riforma liturgica dal 1948 al 1970', Studia Anselmiana, Rome, 1998). Clearly feasts of antiquity were not considered particularly sacred - but then neither was anything else - so from 1956 the beautiful, albeit relatively modern, feast of the Solemnity of St. Joseph - celebrated two weeks ago - and its Octave were abolished.  The irony is that the feast of 'San Giuseppe Comunista' introduced as a Double of the First Class, becoming First Class in the 1960 Calendar revision - the highest rank of feast, lasted less than fifteen years before plummeting to an 'optional memoria' in the 1969 Calendar revision.
 
Considering the liturgical climate of the 1940s and 1950s the feast reflected the general ethos of the reformers. An account of a 'workers' Mass' of the period is a prime example of that ethos and illustrative of the contemporary heteropraxis:

"Permittente Summo Pastore: a case of a bishop's Mass so celebrated in this 'French' manner with express papal permission is provided by the cathedral of Castres, during November, 1944. Our eyewitness account implies that such an experiment was tried in many places. The account is lengthy, but of special interest: It was ten o'clock at night. The cathedral was already full of people, and the crowd overflowed into the street. The whole congregation was composed of workers brought there by their fellow workers. A stage, erected on a level with the Communion rail, extended some distance down the main aisle of the church. As in the Middle Ages our sanctuaries were used for the presentation of religious plays, so tonight a great mystery was to be enacted in front of the altar. All the actors were workers, wearing their work clothes. They moved forward into the glare of the spotlights. The drama began, concerning itself first with the shame of conquered France, its sufferings during the exodus which drove millions of its homeless people into the south, the misery of its prisoners held in Germany for five years, the horror of the bombardments. There, for two hours, the ordeals of a suffering people unfolded before the congregation. The organ music changed into a joyful melody when two carpenters brought to the stage a carpenters' workbench. Next, weavers appeared, placing on this improvised altar three white linen cloths which they had themselves woven. Two miners took their places on either side of the altar, with their lighted lamps like tapers, linking the world of labor with the worship of God. Lastly, came a printer, with a Missal he had printed especially for this occasion. Then Msgr. Moussaron, Archbishop of Albi, entered, garbed in his purple cassock. In full view of the congregation he was robed in his vestments while a priest explained their meaning. When midnight struck, the archbishop proceeded to the temporary altar and, facing the congregation, began the celebration of the Mass. By special dispensation of the pope, this Mass, except for the Canon, was said in French. The effect on the congregation was instant and profound. For many it was as if they were hearing Mass for the first time."

Ellard, G., 'The Mass of the Future', 1948, p.155

Image (top): Detail of reredos by Maesta, WikimediaWikimedia  

Sunday 28 April 2024

Fourth Sunday after Pascha


The fourth Sunday after Pascha is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour 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 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 St. Peter Canisius, of St. Paul of the Cross and of St. Vitalis. 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 the Incipit of the Epistle of St. James. 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 (92, 99, 62, Benedicite & 148) are sung under a single antiphon, Alleluia. The Office hymn is Aurora caelum purpurat. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of St. Paul of the Cross and of St. Vitalis. 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. Paul of the Cross, the third collect is of St. Vitalis. 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 commemorations are sung of the following Office of St. Peter Martyr and of St. Paul of the Cross. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is omitted due to the occurring double feasts and the Dominical preces are omitted at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. 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.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday 21 April 2024

Third Sunday after Pascha - Sunday within the Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph


The third Sunday after Pascha is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. The Gospel pericopes from St. John's Gospel have the LORD telling the Disciples that in a little while He will be going to the Father. It is also the Sunday within the Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph. Prior to the reform of 1911-13 this feast was celebrated on the third Sunday after Pascha but was subsequently moved to the third Wednesday after Easter. Privileged Votive Masses of the Solemnity of St. Joseph may be celebrated as noted below.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the psalms of Saturday were sung under the single antiphon, Alleluia. The chapter, Carissimi: Obsecro vos etc, was proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn was Ad regias Agni dapes. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph and of St. Anselm. The Paschal Suffrage of the Cross was omitted due to the Octave and double feast. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Paschal Doxology and the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is the great proclamation of the Resurrection, Surrexit Dominus vere, Alleluia. The Office hymn is Rex sempiterne Caelitum. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the book of the Apocalypse of St. John. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from a sermon of St. Augustine and in the third nocturn St. Augustine also provides the homily on St. John's Gospel. At Lauds the Office hymn is Aurora caelum purpurat. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of St. Anselm and of the Octave of St. Joseph. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is omitted.

At Prime and the Hours the hymns have the Paschal Doxology. At Prime the Dominical preces are omitted due to the Octave and double feast.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Anselm, the third collect is of the Octave of St. Joseph. The Creed and the Paschaltide preface are sung.

Masses other than Conventual Masses may all be of the Solemnity of St. Joseph. The Mass Adjutor is sung, as on the feast. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday, the Creed is sung. The preface is of St. Joseph and the last Gospel is of the Sunday. The liturgical colour is white.

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 commemorations are sung of SS Soter & Cajus, of St. Anselm and of the Octave of St. Joseph. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross in omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.


In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. The feast of the Solemnity of St. Joseph and its Octave have been abolished. At Compline and at the Hours Te lucis is sung with the ordinary Doxology. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Mass there is a single collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Wednesday 17 April 2024

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 1911 the feast was renamed the Solemnity of St. Joseph and became a primary Double of the First Class and given an Octave. In October 1913 a decree moved the celebration for the following year to the Wednesday after the second Sunday after Easter. Although, relatively, modern the feast is a fine example of typology with the Patriarch Joseph being used as an OT type of the foster-father of the LORD. The feast of St. Anicetus is omitted this year.

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. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is omitted throughout the Octave. At Compline the Dominical psalms were sung and Te lucis was sung with the Paschal Doxology. The Dominical preces are omitted for the Octave.


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:

I. 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.

II. 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.

III. 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.

At Prime and the Hours the hymns are sung with the Paschaltide Doxology. At Prime the festal psalms 53, 118(i) & 118(ii) are sung under the first antiphon of Lauds and the lectio brevis is Fílius accréscens Joseph.

Mass is sung after Terce and is proper, with the introit Adjutor. The Gloria is sung. The Creed is sung and the preface is that of St. Joseph with the clause Et te in Festivitate.


At second Vespers the antiphons, psalms and hymn are those that were sung at first Vespers. The versicle and its respond along with the antiphon on the Magnificat are proper to second Vespers. 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. Whilst the Benedictine Order had the choice of adopting either the Worker feast or keeping the former Solemnity of St. Joseph on May 1st on a congregation by congregation basis (as they did with the next texts of the Assumption) I am unaware of this exemption pertaining to anyone else.

Sunday 14 April 2024

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 commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of St. Hermenegild, of St. Justin and of SS Tiburtius, Valerian & Maximus. At Compline Te lucis was sung to the Paschal tone with the Doxology Deo Patri sit gloria etc and the Dominical preces were omitted.

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 commemorations are sung of St. Justin and of SS Tiburtius, Valerian & Maximus. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross is omitted.

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 omitted.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Justin, the third collect is of SS Tiburtius, Valerian & Maximus. 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 a commemoration is sung of St. Justin. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross in omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers. 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. There are no commemorations at Lauds. At Mass there is but a single collect.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday 7 April 2024

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. Indeed another name for the Sunday is 'Thomas Sunday'. The Office of the Octave of Pascha ended with the Office of None yesterday. Octaves for other feasts are resumed from today. As the feast of the Annunciation occured on the Monday of Holy Week it is translated to tomorrow. By a curious calendric coincidence, this year, the same happens in the Julian Calendar.

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. From this Office the dismissal, Benedicamus Domino, is sung without the double Alleluia that marked the Paschal Octave. The Suffrage is not sung. 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. 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. There is a single collect.The Creed is sung and the preface is of Paschaltide (In hoc potissimum).

After None first Vespers of the, translated, feast of the Annunciation are sung. The antiphons Missus est Gabriel Angelus ad Mariam etc with an added Alleluia are sung, doubled, with Pss.109, 112, 121, 126 & 14). The Office hymn is Ave Maris stella. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of Low Sunday is sung. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Doxology in honour of the Incarnation, Jesu tibi sit gloria etc.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' 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. Vespers are of the Sunday with a commemoration of the Annunciation. At Compline the ordinary Doxology and tone are sung with Te lucis.

Image: Jerome Nadal.

Sunday 31 March 2024

Dominica Resurrectionis - Easter Day - 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, also doubled, 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 solemn 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 are no Office Hymns 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. Psalms 53, 118(i) & 118(ii) are sung to a solemn 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, Sext and None 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.

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. 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.

Sunday 24 March 2024

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 principal Mass. The liturgical colour, throughout, is violet. The liturgy of the day, particularly the ceremonies of the blessing of Palms and following Procession, along with the Mass that follows symbolically prefigure the events of the week ahead. The great feast of the Annunciation occurs on Monday in Holy Week this year so is translated to the Monday in Low Week, April 8th.

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 hymn was Vexilla regis. The antiphon on the MagnificatPater juste, and the collect were both proper to Palm Sunday.  After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Gabriel the Archangel was sung. 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. Gabriel the Archangel.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Pueri Hebraeorum etc. At Prime psalms 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and 118(i) & 118(ii) 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, in slightly different textual form, at the distribution of the Palms.

The Asperges ceremony takes place, as usual, after Terce and before the principal Mass. 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 blessing of Holy Oils etc). 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 prayers at the foot of the altar are said as at every traditional Mass but the psalm Judica me is omitted being in Passiontide. The introit is Domine, ne longe etc. There is no Gloria. Only the collect of the day is sung at Mass. 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. Gabriel the Archangel. 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'. Vespers were sung yesterday in the afternoon as at any other time of the year. There are no commemorations at either Vespers. Mattins is cut down to the usual single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Prime the psalmody is Ps. 53, 118(i) & 118(ii) as on feasts and as will be sung on the Queen of Feasts a week hence. At the massively truncated blessing of Palms the ministers wear red dalmatic and tunicle instead of folded chasubles, the prayers at the foot of the altar are omitted and the Passion is curtailed to Matthew 26: 36-75, 27: 1-60 thus omitting 35 verses from the beginning and 6 from the end.  In an excellent series of articles on the reforms Gregory DiPippo details what is omitted from the Passion narrative:
'The verses removed from the beginning of St Matthew’s Passion recount the conspiracy of the elders and chief priests against the Lord, the anointing of His feet at Bethany, Judas’ betrayal, the preparation and celebration of the Last Supper, the Institution of the Eucharist, the departure to the Mount of Olives, and the prediction of Peter’s betrayal. The verses removed from the end recount the placing of the guard at the tomb, which is not in any of the other Gospels.'
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 details of the catalogue of destruction of what turned a splendid day into a miserable event see this post here. The image below shows a typical blessing of Palms in the reformed rite, actually following its rubrics rather than dressing it up to lessen the damage, with the palms on a table versus populum etc.