Sunday, 19 February 2017

February 6th - Sexagesima Sunday


Sexagesima Sunday is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericopes are from St. Luke and the parable of the sower with his seed landing on rock, amongst weeds and the good ground. In the Kalendar of the Byzantine rite Sexagesima corresponds to the Sunday of the Last Judgement or Meatfare Sunday, the last day on which meat is eaten until Pascha. The feast of St. Peter's Chair at Antioch is transferred to Monday.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Qui es tu etc were sung with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 147. From the chapter, Fratres: Libenter suffertis, the Office was of the Sunday. The Office hymn was O lux beata Trinitas. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of St. Agatha and of St. Dorothy followed by the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine . At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins, as for Septuagesima Sunday, the invitatorium is Praeoccupemus and the hymn Primo dierum. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung. The lessons continue to be taken from Genesis are read concerning the story of Noah. The lessons are longer than those found in the post-Clementine editions of the Breviary. The first continues Videns autem Deus ...me fecisse eos, i.e with most of the text of the modern second lesson. The second lesson begins Noe vero invenit ... and continues with all of the modern third lesson and the addition of verse 16: Fenestram in arca facies ... tristega facies in ea. The third lesson, the text of which is entirely absent from the modern books, begins Ecce ego ... and continues until Fecit igitur omnia quae praeceperat illi Deus, Gen. 6:17 - 22. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 & 17 are sung, the lessons are from St. Ambrose on Noah and the Ark. These are identical to those found in the modern edtions. In the third nocturn (Pss. 18, 19 & 20 the lessons are taken from a homily of St. Gregory. The eighth and ninth lessons are slightly longer than in the modern editions. A ninth responsory, Cum turba plurima, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Secundum magnam misericordiam etc., and are sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150. The versicle after the hymn Aeterne, chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are all proper to the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Dorothy is sung followed by the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Gloriosi principes etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc.

At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 53, 92, 118(i), 118(ii) and Quicumque. The Dominical preces are sung. At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper.

In Mass there is no Gloria, the second collect is A cunctis, the third collect is chosen by the Dean or Rector. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the Common Preface is sung. Following the general rule as the Gloria is not sung Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar. The ministers wear violet dalmatic and tunicle.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) of Sunday are sung, the chapter is proper to Sexagesima Sunday as in the antiphon at the Magnificat, Vobis datum est etc. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace, Da pacem Domine are sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

February 2nd - Purification of the BVM - Candlemass

The Feast of the Purification of the BVM is a double rank feast. The liturgical colour of the day is white but violet is used for the blessing of candles and procession.

At Vespers yesterday the antiphons used on the feast of the Circumcision, O admirabile commercium etc., were sung with the psalms of feasts for the Blessed Virgin (Pss. 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147). The chapter was proper to the feast and the Office hymn Ave, maris stella. The antiphon on the Magnificat was proper to the feast Senex Puerum portabat etc. At Compline the tone of Te lucis was that for feast of the Virgin with the Doxology in honour of the Incarnation Gloria tibi Domineetc. The Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is proper, Ecce venit as templum sanctum suum Dominator Dominus: Gaude et laetare, Sion occurrens Deo tuo and the Office hymn is Quem terra. In the first nocturn the antiphons Benedicta tu etc are sung with psalms 8, 18 & 23, from the Common of the BVM. The first lesson is from the book of Exodus, the second and third lessons lessons are from Leviticus. These are the same as in the post-Clement editions of the Breviary. The responsories are proper to feast and particularly beautiful. In the second nocturn the antiphons Specie tua etc are sung with psalms 44, 45 & 86. The lessons come from a sermon of St. Augustine. These are longer than those found in the later books. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gaude Maria Virgo etc are sung with psalms 95, 96 & 97. The Gospel fragment is from St. Luke's Gospel and the homily is from St. Ambrose of Milan. These are the same as in later editions of the Breviary. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the feast, Simeon justus etc. These are sung with psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150. The Office hymn is O gloriosa Domina. The antiphon on the Benedictus is again proper to the feast, Cum inducerent etc.

At the Hours the hymns have the melody of the BVM and the Doxology Gloria tibi Domine etc. The antiphons from Lauds, Simeon justus etc., are sung with the festal psalms. At Prime the psalms are Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii and in the short responsory the versicle Qui natus es de Virgine is sung and the lectio brevis is proper to the feast, Et placebit.

After Terce the blessing of candles takes place. The celebrant vests in a violet cope and the ministers in violet folded chasubles. The altar is vested in white but a violet antependium placed over the festal one etc. The organ is silent (as is always the case when folded chasubles are used).

At the Epistle corner the celebrant sings five prayers of blessing in the ferial tone. Incense is then blessed, lustral water sprinkled over the candles whilst the celebrant says Asperges me and then the candles are incensed. At the centre of the altar the celebrant receives a candle from the senior canon present, kissing the candle before taking it. In no canon or senior cleric is present the celebrant kneels before the altar and takes his own candle. Candles are then distributed while the antiphon Lumen ad revelationem is sung interpolated into the canticle Nunc dimittis. Those receiving the candles kiss them, first, then the celebrant's hand. At the conclusion of the distribution the antiphon Exsurge, Domine is sung with a Doxology and the candles lighted. After the distribution the celebrant returns with the ministers to the Epistle corner and chants Oremus. As the feast falls after Septuagesima the deacon chants Flectamus genua and all kneel for a moment. The celebrant sings the collect Exaudi. The procession then takes place. The subdeacon of the Mass takes the processional cross. The procession goes around the church with lighted candles during the singing of three antiphons Adorna thalamum, Responsum accepit Simeon and Obtulerunt. These text are clearly ancient and found, almost verbatim, in the Menaion of the Byzantine rite.

After the Procession the ministers change from violet vestments to white and Mass is celebrated. The Gloria is sung. The Creed is sung and the preface is that of the Nativity, the feast being a 'satellite' of Christmas. Lighted candles are held by all during the chanting of the Gospel, including the celebrant, and from the beginning of the Canon until after the distribution of Communion.

Caeremoniale Episcoporum, 1651, Google Books - note the assistant-deacons in planetis plicatis

At second Vespers the antiphons Simeon justus etc are sung with psalms 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147. The Office hymn is Ave maris stella. The antiphon on the Magnificat is proper, Hodie. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of following, transferred, feast of St. Ignatius and of St. Blaise. From Compline the Marian antiphon changes from Alma, Redemptoris to Ave, Regina caelorum etc.

Icon of the Hypapante from St. John's Parish of the Melkite Eparchy in Australia.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

January 30th - Septuagesima Sunday


Septuagesima Sunday is of semi-double rank and its liturgical colour is violet. At Mattins the book of Genesis is begun with the account of the Creation. The Gospel pericopes from St. Matthew at Mattins and Mass contain the parable of the labourers in the vineyard. Yesterday the fourth Sunday after the Epiphany was anticipated under simple rite with a single nocturn of the twelve ferial psalms and three lessons.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms (143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) of Saturday were sung. The Office hymn was O lux beata Trinitas and the antiphon on the Magnificat was proper to the Sunday, Dixit Dominus etc. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace, Da pacem Domine were sung. At the conclusion of Vespers to Benedicamus Domino and its response a double Alleluia is added and after that Alleluia is not heard again until Holy Saturday. At Compline and at the beginning of all the Hours until the Triduum Laus tibi Domine Rex aeterne gloriae is sung in place of Alleluia. The Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatorium is Praeoccupemus as on preceding Sundays and the hymn Primo dierum. In the first nocturn (Pss. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14) the lessons are the Incipit of the Book of Genesis. These are the same as those found in modern editions. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 & 17 are sung, the lessons are from the Enchiridion of St. Augustine. These are substantially longer than those found in the post-Clementine editions and the sixth lesson is not found in the later books, the fifth lesson effectively having been divided into two. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung and the lessons are from a homily of St. Gregory on the Gospel of the labourers in the vineyard. Again, these are longer than those found in the modern editions. Today the text given for the eighth and ninth lessons are joined and an extended eighth lesson is read. The ninth lesson is that given for SS Faustinus and Jovita. The Te Deum is omitted and in its place a ninth responsory, Ubi est Abel frater tuus, is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Miserere mei Deus etc, and sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite and 148-149-150. The versicle after the hymn Aeterne rerum conditor, chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to Septuagesima Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Santa Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Gloriosi principes etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc are sung.

At the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper to the Sunday. At Prime the order of psalmody is changed from the usual order. Under the antiphon Conventione autem Pss. 53, 92, 118i, 118ii and Quicumque are sung. The Dominical preces are also sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear violet dalmatic and tunicle. The Gloria is omitted, the second collect is A cunctis, the third collect chosen by the Dean or rector. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the Common Preface is sung. The dismissal is Benedicamus Domino , sung by the Deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) of Sunday are sung, the chapter is proper to Septuagesima Sunday as in the antiphon at the Magnificat, Simile est etc. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace, Da pacem Domine are sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 5 February 2017

January 23rd - Third Sunday after the Epiphany


The third Sunday after the Epiphany is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is green. The Gospel pericopes from St. Matthew record the LORD healing the leper and the centurion's servant.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Isti sunt sancti etc, from the Common of Several Martyrs, were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 115. From the chapter the Office was of the Sunday. The Office hymn was O lux beata Trinitas and the antiphon on the Magnificat Suscepit Deus. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of SS Vincent & Anastasius and then of St. Emerentiana. These were followed by the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace, Da pacem Domine . At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Adoremus Dominum and the hymn is Primo dierum omnium . In the first nocturn (Pss. 1 , 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14) the lessons are the Incipit of the Epistle to the Galatians. The first and second lessons are the same as those found in the modern editions, the third lesson is longer and continues Cum autem placuit ... diebus quindecim (vv. 15 - 18). In the second nocturn, Pss. 15, 16 & 17, the lessons are an Exposition on Galatians by St. Augustine. These are the same as in the modern editions. In the third nocturn, Pss. 18, 19 & 20, the homily is from St. Jerome on St. Matthew's Gospel. These are the same as in the modern editions. The eighth and ninth lessons are read as one and the ninth lesson is the historical lesson for St. Emerentiana. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite 148-49-150) are sung. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of St. Emerentiana followed by the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Gloriosi principes etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine.

At Prime (Pss. 53, 117, 118i & 118ii) Quicumque is sung as are the Dominical preces.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Emerentiana, the third collect is Deus, qui salutis. The Credo is sung and the Common Preface is sung.

At Vespers (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) the Office hymn is Lucis Creator. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of St. Timothy followed by the the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace, Da pacem Domine . At Compline the Dominical preces . At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 29 January 2017

January 16th - Second Sunday after the Epiphany

The Second Sunday after the Epiphany is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is green. The Gospel fragment at Mattins and the Gospel at Mass are St. John's account of the Marriage Feast at Cana. The semi-double feast of St. Marcellus is transferred to Wednesday.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Domine quinque talenta etc, from the Common of a Confessor non-Bishop, were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. From the chapter, O Altitudo, Vespers were of the Sunday, the Office hymn was O lux beata Trinitas. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration was sung of St Paul the first Hermit. After the commemoration the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine were sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Adoremus Dominum and the Office hymn Primo dierum omnium. In the first nocturn (Pss. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14) the lessons are the Incipit of the Epistle to the Galatians. The first and second lessons are the same as those in the post-Clement editions of the Breviary. The third lesson is longer and continues Cum autem placuit (...) eum diebus quindecim, i.e. the addition of vv. 15 - 18. In the second nocturn (Pss. 15, 16 & 17) the lessons are from St. Augustine's Expositon on the Epistle to the Galatians. These are the same as those found in later editions. In the third nocturn (Pss. 18, 19 & 20) the homily is from St. Jerome on St. Matthew's Gospel. Again, the lessons are the same as those found in later editions. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite 148-49-150 are sung. The Office hymn is Aeterne rerum conditor. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Gloriosi principes etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine are sung.

At Prime (Pss. 53, 117, 118i & 118ii) both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the BVM Deus, qui salutis, the third collect is Ecclesiae. The Credo is sung and the Common Preface is sung.

Vespers are first Vespers of the double feast of St. Anthony the Abbot with a colour change to white. The antiphons Domine quinque talenta are, again, sung - this time doubled - with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn is Iste Confessor. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Sunday. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 22 January 2017

January 9th - Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany


Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. The Gospel pericopes from St. Luke's Gospel describe the Finding in the Temple with the LORD debating with the learned doctors to the amazement of those who witnessed this manifestation of Him.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc were sung, not doubled, with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113. The chapter, Fratres: Obsecro vos, was proper to the Sunday. The Office hymn was Hostis Herodes impie. After the collect of the Sunday within the Octave a commemorations was sung of the Octave of the Epiphany (the antiphon on the Magnificat being proper to the third day within the Octave, the 8th January, Lux de luce. The Suffrages were omitted. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Doxology Gloria tibi Domine, Qui apparuisti hodie etc as are the hymns of the Hours tomorrow.

At Mattins the invitatory is Christus apparuit nobis, Venite adoremus. The hymn is Hostis Herodes impie. The antiphons and psalms are as on the second day within the Octave. In the first nocturn the Incipit of St. Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians is read. The lessons are longer than those found in the post-Clementine editions: The first lesson includes the modern second lesson Gratias ago Deo meo ... Christi, Domini nostri. The second lesson begins Obsecro autem, the same as the modern third lesson. The third lesson is absent from the modern editions, Gratias ago Deo...prudentiam reprobabo, i.e. vv. 14 - 19. The first responsory is Hodie, the other responsories as on the feast. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon of St. Leo (again these are longer than in the post-Clementine editions of the Breviary). In the third nocturn the homily is from St. Augustine, the lessons are the same as in the modern editions. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons from the feast, Ante luciferum genitus etc are sung with the festal psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150). The chapter is proper to the Sunday, as sung at Vespers yesterday, and the Office hymn is O Sola magnarum urbium. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of the Octave, the antiphon on the Benedictus is Vidimus stellam ejus etc., proper to the 9th January.

At the Hours the psalms of Lauds are used in the usual sequence. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii) the versicle Qui apparuisti hodie is sung (as it is for the entire Octave) and the lectio brevis is Sicut enim in uno corpore etc. The Dominical preces are omitted being within the Octave.

The Mass In excelso throno is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Octave. Being a Sunday within an Octave there is no third collect. The Creed is sung and the communicantes and Hanc igitur are of the Epiphany.

At Vespers the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc are again sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113. The Office hymn is Hostis Herodes impie. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of the Octave is sung, the antiphon on the Magnificat being proper to the 9th January, Interogabat. The Suffrages are omitted as are the Domincal preces at Compline.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Thursday, 19 January 2017

January 6th - The Epiphany of the LORD


The feast of the Epiphany is a double feast with an Octave. The liturgical colour of the feast and Octave is white.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc were sung with the psalms from the First Vespers of the Common of Apostles (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116). The chapter, Surge, illuminare, Jerusalem was from Isaiah, the Office hymn was Hostis Herodes impie. For the feast and its octave a Doxology in honour of the LORD's manifestation is sung at all hymns of Iambic metre: Gloria tibi Domine, Qui apparuisti hodie, Cum Patre, et Sancto Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. The rest of the Office is proper. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Doxology and tone of the feast.

Mattins begins, without Domine labia me, invitatory and hymn, with with the first antiphon of the first nocturn, Afferte Domino. Psalms 28, 45 & 46 are sung. The lessons in the first nocturn are from Isaiah. These are the same as in the post-Clement editions of the Breviary. In the second nocturn the antiphons Omnis terra adoret te etc are sung with psalms 65, 71 & 85 and the lessons are from a sermon on the Epiphany by St. Leo. The fifth and sixth lessons are longer than those found in the post-Clement editions. In the third nocturn the antiphon Venite adoremus eum etc is sung with Ps. 94, Venite , the usual invitatory psalm, in a responsorial manner. Psalms 95 and 96 are also sung in the third nocturn. The homily on St. Matthew's Gospel if from St. Gregory. These are considerably longer than those found in the later editions. The text of the last sentence of the eighth lesson and the entire ninth lesson are absent from the post-Clementine books. The Te Deum is sung.

After the last lesson of Mattins (or after Compline) the celebrant vested in amice, alb, stole and cope and assisted by deacon and subdeacon celebrates the solemn Blessing of the Waters. The rite (which can be found in the Marquess of Bute's excellent study 'The Blessing of Waters on the Eve of the Epiphany') contains antiphons, a Litany, an OT reading, a Gospel, numerous lengthy prayers, a preface, Sanctus, Pater noster etc., and culminates in a Cross being plunged by the celebrant into the waters whilst the choir sings Baptizatur Christus, et sanctificatur omnis mundus: et tribuit nobis remissionem peccatorum: aqua et Spiritu omnes purificamur. (Christ is baptized, and all the world is hallowed, and He granteth unto us the remission of sins. We are purified by water and the Spirit). There are clearly strong parallels with other solemn blessings such as that used for the Palms and the Font.

At Lauds the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc are sung with the psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150. The chapter is Surge, illuminare from Isaiah and the Office hymn is O sola magnarum urbium.

At the Little Hours the antiphons from Lauds are sung in the usual order. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii), in the short responsory, a versicle Qui apparuisti hodie is sung today and during the Octave, the short lesson is Omnes de Saba. The Doxology Gloria tibi Domine, Qui apparuisti gentibus etc is sung at the hymns of the Little Hours.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass, Ecce advenit, is proper. The Gloria and Credo are sung. The preface and communicantes in the Canon are proper to the feast. After the Gospel of the Mass the Moveable Feasts for the year are traditionally announced.

At Vespers the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc are sung with psalms 109, 110, 11, 112 & 113. The Office hymn is Hostis Herodes impie. The antiphon on the Magnificat is Tribus miraculis. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.