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

No comments: