Sunday, 19 May 2013
The feast of St. John before the Latin Gate is of double rite and its liturgical colour is red. The feast appears in the Gregorian Sacramentaries on May 6th and and is the dedication festival of the fifth century church in Rome named after the feast.
At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Sancti tui etc were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was Tristes erant Apostoli. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday was sung. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Doxology of Paschaltide and the Dominical preces were omitted due to the double feast.
At Mattins the invitatory is Regem Apostolorum Dominum, Venite adoremus. The Office hymn is again Tristes erant Apostoli and in the first nocturn the antiphon Stabunt justi is sung with psalms 18, 33 & 44 from the Common of Apostles. The lessons for the first nocturn are the Incipit of the first Epistle of St. John, Quod fuit, found on Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension, which are sung with the responsories from the Common. The lessons are the same as those found in post-Clementine editions of the Breviary. In the second nocturn the antiphon Ecce quomodo etc is sung with psalms 46, 60 & 63. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the writings of St. Jerome against Jovinian, in the fifth lesson St. Jerome relates Tertullian's account of St. John's 'martyrdom'. Again, these lessons are the same as those found in the post-Clementine editions. In the third nocturn the antiphon Lux perpetua etc is sung with psalms 74, 96 & 98. The homily on St. Matthew's Gospel is again from St. Jerome. The lessons are identical to those found in the later editions. The eighth and ninth lessons are read together to form the eighth lesson and the ninth lesson is formed of the three lessons of the homily from St. Gregory for the commemorated second Sunday after Pascha. The Te Deum is sung.
At Lauds the antiphons Sancti tui etc are sung with psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite and 148-149-150. The Office hymn is Claro Paschale gaudio. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Sunday. The Suffrage is omitted.
At the Hours the Paschaltide Doxology is sung at the conclusion of the Office hymns. The antiphons Sancti tui etc are sung at the Hours. At Prime the festal psalms are sung (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii), the short lesson is Scimus quoniam. The Dominical preces are omitted.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass Protexisti is sung. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday. The Creed is sung, the preface is that of the Apostles and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.
At Vespers the antiphons Sancti tui etc are sung with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. The Office hymn is again Tristes erant Apostoli. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Sunday.
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
At first Vespers yesterday afternoon, the antiphons were proper to the feast, Domine, ostende nobis Patrem etc and were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The chapter was Stabant justi and the Office hymn Tristes erant Apostoli. The the antiphon on the Magnificat, Non turbetur etc., and collect were are proper to the feast. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Paschaltide Doxology and the Dominical preces were omitted.
At Mattins there are the usual three nocturns. The invitatory is Regem Apostolorum Dominum Venite adoremus, the antiphons Stabunt justi etc and the Psalms are from the Common of Apostles. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of letter of St. James from the fourth Sunday after Easter, these are the same as those found in the post-Clementine editions. These lessons are followed by the responsories from the Common, Beatus vir, qui metuit Dominum, alleluia etc. In the second nocturn the lessons are proper to the feast. Again, these are the same as in the later revisions. The Gospel in the third nocturn 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. These are substantially longer than those found in the post-Clementine editions, the text of the Tridentine ninth lesson missing from later editions except for the first sentence. The Te Deum is sung.
At Lauds the antiphons Domine ostende nobis Patrem etc are sung with psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150. The Office hymn is Paschale mundo gaudium and is sung with the Paschal Doxology. At the Hours the same antiphons are sung in the usual sequence. The Office hymns have the Paschal Doxology and the feastal 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 Credo is sung and the preface is that of the Apostles.
At second Vespers the antiphons Domine ostende nobis Patrem are sung again this time 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.
Sunday, 12 May 2013
Dominica in Albis or Low Sunday is of double rite. 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.
At Vespers yesterday the psalms of Saturday (Pss. 143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) were sung under the single antiphon, Alleluia. Chapters and hymns returned to the Office with this service, the Octave ending with None. The Paschaltide hymn Ad cenam Agni providi was sung. Its Doxology is sung at all hymns of Iambic metre: Gloria tibi Domine, Qui surrexisti a mortuis, Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. From this Office of Vespers, the dismissal, Benedicamus Domino, is sung without the double Alleluia that had been sung since Pascha.
At Mattins the invitatory Surrexit Dominus vere Alleluia continues to be sung. The Office hymn is O Rex aeterne Domine. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung under a single antiphon Alleluia, Lapis revolutus etc. The lessons in the first nocturn are from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians; the first begins Igitur si consurrexistis otherwise it and the other two first nocturn lessons are same as in modern editions. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 & 17 are sung under the single antiphon Alleluia, quem quaeris mulier etc. The lessons are from a sermon of St. Augustine and are the same as in the modern editions. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung under the single antiphon Alleluia, noli flere Maria etc. The homily is from the writings of St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel and the same same as in modern editions except they are missing the words 'Dixit eis' at the beginning of the ninth lesson. The Te Deum is sung.
At Lauds the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite, 148, 149 & 150) are sung under a single antiphon, a nine-fold Alleluia - an ancient feature of the Roman rite that would be destroyed in the 1911-13 reform. The Office hymn is Aurora lucis rutilat.
At Prime the Dominical psalms 53, 118(i), 118(ii) and Quicumque are sung under the antiphon Alleluia. At the other Little Hours Alleluia is also sung as the antiphon, the hymns have the Paschal Doxology.
Mass is sung after Terce. Before Mass the antiphon Vidi aquam is sung during the aspersion. At Mass the Gloria is sung, there is a single collect. The Creed is sung and the preface is of Paschatide.
At Vespers the Sunday psalms are sung under the single antiphon Alleluia. The Office hymn is Ad cenam Agni providi. There is a single collect. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.
Sunday, 5 May 2013
The Sunday of the Resurrection is the Queen of Feasts and the most important of all liturgical celebrations. The Sunday is of double rite. The semi-double feast of SS Soter and Cajus is transferred to after the Paschal Octave.
Before Mattins the images that have been veiled from Passiontide (or from the beginning of Lent where Array was used) are removed. At Mattins the invitatory is the triumphal proclamation of the Resurrection, Surrexit Dominus vere, Alleluia. There is no Office hymn at any of the Hours until Vespers on the following Saturday afternoon. Mattins has a single nocturn consisting of three psalms (Pss. 1, 2 & 3) and three lessons. The lessons are taken from a homily of St. Gregory on St. Mark's Gospel. The lessons are the same as those found in the post-Clementine editions. The Te Deum is sung after the third lesson.
At Lauds the antiphons Angelus autem Domini etc are sung with the festal psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150). After the last antiphon has been repeated Haec dies is sung in place of the chapter and hymn. The antiphon on the Benedictus is Et valde mane etc. Benedicamus Domino with a double Alleluia and its response are sung at both Lauds and Vespers of the Octave.
At Prime and the Hours the usual festal psalms are sung but without antiphons. Haec dies replaces the chapter, responsories etc. At Prime the Martyrology is read again, having not been read for the days of the Triduum. Before the announcement of the following day and moon "Hac die quam fecit Dominus, Solemnitas solemnitatum, et Pascha nostrum Resurrectio Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi secundum carnem" is sung to the tone of the Passion.
Mass is sung after Terce. Vidi aquam replaces the Asperges during Paschaltide. At Mass the Gloria is sung, the Creed is sung, the preface, communicantes and Hanc igitur are proper. Ite, missa est with a double Alleluia is the dismissal.
At Vespers the anitphons Angelus autem Domini etc are sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 and 113. Again Haec dies replaces the chapter and hymn. The antiphon on the Magnificat is Et respicientes etc. At Compline the usual psalms are sung with a triple Alleluia after them. The the Nunc dimittis is sung followed by Haec dies and the collect Visita quaesumus.
A very blessed and happy Pascha to all our readers!
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
The choir enters, seniores ante inferiores, and take their places and kneel to say Aperi, Domine and the Triple Prayer sub silentio. When the choir rises the sign of the Cross is made as the cantors intone the first antiphon of Mattins, Zelus domus tuae. This is sung in full and then the first psalm Salvum me fac, Deus intoned by the cantors. In the last verse of the psalm, after the asterisk, the tone changes and the psalm ends, regardless of the reciting tone, with a drop of a fourth. The psalms of the first nocturn are Pss. 68, 69 & 70. At the end of the psalm (the Lesser Doxology is omitted for the Triduum) the lowest candle on the Gospel side of the hearse is extinguished. Then the next antiphon is sung with its psalm etc. After the first three psalms there is a versicle and response and then all stand for a silent Pater noster. During the Triduum there are no absolutions and blessings at Mattins. The lessons of the first nocturn are from the Lament of Jeremy the Prophet. These are longer than those found in the post-Clement books. The first lesson begins with Aleph but continues with the addition of Vau after He. The second lesson begins with Zain and continues with both Jod and Caph after Teth. The third lesson begins with Lamech and, after Nun has the addition of Samech and Ain. A responsory follows each lesson. In the second nocturn, Pss. 71, 72 & 73, the lessons are from a treatise of St. Augustine on the psalms. These are the same as those found in the modern books. In the third nocturn, Pss. 74, 75 & 76, the lessons are from St. Paul to the Corinthians on the foundation of the Holy Eucharist. These are the same as in the post-Clement books. At Tenebrae the Hebdomadarius does not chant the ninth lesson. At the end of Mattins the Tenebrae Hearse has five candles exstinguished on the Gospel side and four on the Epistle side with six remaining candles still burning.
Lauds follow immediately. The psalms sung at Lauds are Pss. 50, 89, 62-66, Cantemus Domino and 148-149-150. After each psalm of Lauds a further candle is extinguished so that after the last psalm only the candle on the summit of the hearse is still alight. After the last antiphon is repeated a versicle and response follow. Then the antiphon on the Benedictus is intoned, for Mandy Thursday this is Traditor autem dedit eis signum, dicens: Quem osculatus fuero, ispe est, tenete eum. The concept of the betrayal of Judas is key to the day. The plainsong for the Benedictus is the haunting tone 1g. During the last six verses each of the altar candles is exstinguished beginning with the outside candle on the Gospel side. All other lamps in the church are now also extinguished. During the repetition of the antiphon the MC takes the candle from the hearse and places it on the mensa at the Epistle corner of the altar. All kneel and the choir now sings Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem. During this antiphon the MC hides the lit candle behind the altar. A Pater noster is now said in a low voice by all and then psalm 50, the Miserere is chanted in a subdued voice. This has been adapted by many composers into polyphonic masterpieces, perhaps the most famous being by Allegri. The Miserere is of course part of the ferial preces of Vespers. After the Miserere the collect Respice is chanted by the Hebdomadarius, still kneeling. Then a strepitus, is made. After the strepitus the MC brings forth the candle and returns this symbol of the light of Christ to the top of the hearse. It either remains there, or is extinguished or, what seems the better practice, is taken by the MC ahead the procession as the choir retires.
Image: Pontifical Tenebrae from the Caeremonale Episcoporum of 1600 facsimile edition.
Sunday, 28 April 2013
Palm Sunday is a privileged semi-double Sunday. It is the sixth Sunday in Lent and the beginning of Great or Holy Week. The liturgical colour is violet.
At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms (Pss. 143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) were sung. The chapter, Hoc enim in sentite vobis, was proper to the Sunday. The Office hymn was Vexilla regis. The Suffrages were not sung, as it is Passiontide. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.
At Mattins, as last week and daily until the Triduum, the invitatory is Hodie, si vocem Domini audieritis, Nolite obdurare corda vestra from Ps. 94 and a special rubric indicates the omission of that verse in the psalm. The hymn is Pange, lingua. The antiphons given in the Psalter for Sundays are used. As usual Mattins has three nocturns and nine lessons. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung. The lessons in the first nocturn are from the book of Jeremiah. These are the same, as are their responsories, as those found in the post-Clement editions of the Breviary. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 and 17 are sung and the lessons are from a sermon on the Passion by St. Leo. The fifth lesson begins with the words Qui ut humanum genus and incorportates what is now the sixth lesson from Fefellit ergo illum.. until famulatae sunt Redemptori. The sixth lesson, Quod ergo...justitiae esse propositum is not found in the 'modern' Breviary. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung and the lessons are a homily of St. Ambrose, their arrangement is slightly different to that found in the modern books. The Te Deum is omitted as on other Lenten Sundays and a ninth responsory, Circumderunt me viri mendaces..., sung in its place.
At Lauds the antiphons are proper to Palm Sunday, Dominus Deusetc, and sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150. The hymn is Lustra sex. The versicle after the hymn Eripe me, chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to the Sunday.
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.
The Asperges, the magnificent Blessing and Procession of Palms and Mass takes place after Terce. The ministers wear violet folded chasubles. 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 give a direction that the Palms to be blessed at the Epistle side. The blessing begins with the celebrant reading the antiphon Hosanna Filio David followed by a collect Deus, quim diligere and then the reading of an Epistle and Gospel. 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 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 aspersed 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.
The celebrant's hands are washed after the distribution of Palms whilst the Processional Cross is decorated with 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. Ideally, the Procession goes outside and around the church. Often circumstances dictate the Procession must simply go around the aisles of the church. Towards he end of the Procession 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 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.
Mass then follows the usual manner. The celebrant removes his cope and dons his chasuble. The preparatory prayers are said but the psalm Judica me is omitted being in Passiontide. The introit is Domine, ne longe etc. There is no Gloria. No commemoration is made of an occuring Office on Palm Sunday so there is only one collect. 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). 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.
Vespers are of the Sunday. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung. The additional Offices of the Little Office of the BVM, the Office of the Dead, the Gradual Psalms and the Penitential Psalms and Litany are omitted in Great Week.
Sunday, 21 April 2013
Passion Sunday is the fifth and penultimate Sunday in Lent. It is semi-double Sunday and its liturgical colour is violet. After Mass on Saturday all images and crosses are veiled in violet, according to the Roman praxis. The veils on the crosses are removed during the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday, those on the images of the saints remain until after the Office of Holy Saturday is completed.
At Vespers, yesterday morning, the antiphons of Saturday, Benedictus etc., were sung with psalms 143, 144, 145, 146 and 147. The chapter, Fratres: Christus assistens Pontifex, was proper to the Sunday, taken from Hebrews. The Office hymn was Vexilla regis. From this Vespers until Trinity the Suffrages are omitted. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung. The Lesser Doxology was omitted in the short responsory.
At Mattins the invitatory is Hodie, si vocem Domini audieritis, Nolite obdurare corda vestra from Ps. 94 and a special rubric indicates the omission of that verse in the psalm. The Lesser Doxology is omitted from Venite for Passiontide in Offices of the Season. The Office hymn is Pange, lingua. The same invitatory and hymn are sung until Spy Wednesday inclusive. The antiphons given in the Psalter for Sundays are sung. As usual Mattins has three nocturns and nine lessons. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung. The psalms retain the Lesser Doxology (until the Triduum) but the third reponsories of each nocturn lose it for Passiontide. The lessons in the first nocturn are the the Incipit of the book of Jeremiah. These are substantially longer than in the modern editions of the Breviary. The first lesson runs from Verba Hieremiae until verse 10, ... et aedifices, et plantes. The second lesson runs from verse 11, Et factum est verbum Domini to verse 16, ...et adoraverunt opus manuum suarum. The third lesson begins with verse 17, Tu ergo accinge lumbos tuos.., and continues until verse 3 of the second chapter, ... mala venient super eos, dicit Dominus. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 and 17 are sung and the lessons are from a sermon by St. Leo. These again are longer than those found in the modern editions. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung and the lessons are a homily of St. Gregory, again slightly longer than in the modern books. The Te Deum is omitted as on other Lenten Sundays and a ninth responsory, Quis dabit capiti meo aquam etc, sung in its place.
At Lauds the antiphons are proper to Passion Sunday, Vide Domine etc, and sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150. The office hymn is Lustra sex. The versicle after the hymn Eripe me, chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to the Sunday. The Suffrages are not sung in Passiontide.
At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper, Ego daemonium etc. At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 53, 92, 118(i), 118(ii) and Quicumque, the 'Athanasian' Creed. The Dominical preces are sung. At all the Hours the chapters are proper. The Lesser Doxology is omitted from the short responsory at Prime and at those of the other Horae Minores.
Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear folded chasubles. In Mass there is no Gloria, the second collect is Ecclesiae, for the Church. There is no third collect in Passiontide. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the preface of the Cross is sung. Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the celebrant and altar.
Vespers are of the Sunday. The antiphons and psalms of Sunday (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) are sung. The chapter, from Hebrews, is as at first Vespers as is the Office hymn Vexilla regis. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage are not sung. After Vespers of the Sunday Vespers of the Dead are sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung. After Mattins and Lauds of Monday are sung they are followed by Mattins and Lauds of the Dead.
Art: Jerome Nadal