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.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

January 5th - Vigil of the Epiphany

The Vigil of the Epiphany is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour, from Mattins, is white. In the Tridentine Missal, and its reformed editions until 1956, the Vigil of the Epiphany takes the place of the Office of the Sunday which occurs between the 1st to 5th January and has all the privileges of a Sunday. Pre-Trent praxis sees a differentiation between the second Sunday after the Nativity of the LORD and the Vigil. The liturgical rank of the Comities Christi Octave Days meant the Sunday was perpetually outranked and had to be resumed on the 5th January. When January 5th falls on a Sunday the Creed is sung at Mass.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon second Vespers of the Octave Day of the Holy Innocents was sung. The antiphons Herodes iratus etc were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 115. The Office hymn was Salvete flores martyrum, sung with the Doxology of the Incarnation. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of the Vigil of the Epiphany (with the antiphon on the Magnificat and collect from the Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity).

At Mattins the invitatory, hymn, antiphons and psalms are those used for the feast of the Lord's Circumcision. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the seventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans (c.f. the post 1911-13 rite). The lessons are longer than those found in the post-Clementine editions. The first lesson consists of the text of both the post-Clementine first and second lessons. The second lesson begins Quid ergo dicemus? (the beginning of the post-Clementine third lesson)and continues, beyond the limits of the post-Clementine third lesson Ego autem mortuus sum.. until per illud occidit i.e. vv. 10-11. The third lesson, entirely absent from the later books begins Itaque lex quidem... and continues until sed quod nolo malum, hoc ago i.e. vv. 12-19. The responsories are from the feast of the Circumcision. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon by St. Augustine. These are significantly longer than those found in the later editions. In the third nocturn the homily is from St. Jerome's commentary on the second chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel. The lessons differ slightly from those found in the later editions. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds and the Hours again the antiphons are those from the Circumcision, O admirabile commercium etc. The Dominical psalms are sung (Pss. 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150) The chapter is proper to the Vigil, the hymn A solis ortus cardine as sung for the Nativity and the Circumcision, and the antiphon on the Benedictus is Dum medium silentium and the collect, Omnipotens.

At the Hours the antiphons of Lauds are sung in sequence in the usual order. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii) the preces are omitted and the lectio brevis is Itaque jam non est servus. The hymns of the Little Hours are sung with the Doxology and melody in honour of the Incarnation.

At Mass, sung after Terce, the Gloria is sung, the second collect of the BVM, Deus, qui salutis, the third collect Ecclesiae or pro papa. The preface is of the Nativity.

Vespers are first Vespers of the great feast of the Epiphany. The antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc are sung with the psalms from the First Vespers of the Common of Apostles (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116). The chapter, Surge, illuminare, Jerusalem is from Isaiah, the Office hymn 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 Dominic, Qui apparuisti hodie, Cum Patre, et Sancto Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. The rest of the Office is proper. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Doxology and tone of the feast.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

January 4th - Octave Day of the Holy Innocents


The Octave Day of the Holy Innocents is of double rite. The liturgical colour of the Octave Day, from Mattins, is always red regardless of on what day of the week the feast falls.

Vespers yesterday afternoon were second Vespers of the Octave Day of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. The antiphons Valde honorandus etc were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. The Office hymn was Exultet caelum laudibus. Hymns of Iambic metre have the Doxology of the Incarnation. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of the following Octave Day of the Holy Innocents. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem Martyrum Dominum, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Audit tyrannus anxius as on the feast. In the first nocturn the antiphons Secus decursus aquarum etc are sung with psalms 1, 2 & 3. The lessons are from the fifth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. The first lesson is longer than that found in the post-Clementine editions. It continues Ut quid enim Christus... until ... quis audeat mori, i.e. vv. 6-7 which in later editions form the opening sentences of the second lesson. The second lesson begins Commendat autem charitatem and continues until ...per quem nunc reconcilliationem accepimus, i.e. vv. 8-11 what is contained in the modern second and most of the third lesson. The third lesson begins Propterea sicut per unum and continues until ...Christi in plures abundavit, i.e. vv. 12-15. The responsories are from the feast. In the first nocturn the lessons are taken from the Epistle to the Romans. In the second nocturn the antiphons Dabo sanctis meis etc are sung with psalms 14, 15 & 23. The lessons are taken from a sermon of St. Augustine on the Holy Innocents. These are the same as in the modern editions. In the third nocturn the antiphons Justi autem etc are sung with psalms 32, 33 & 45. The homily on St. Matthew's Gospel is from St. Chrysostom. The lessons are the same as those found in the later editions. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons from the feast, Herodes iratus are sung with the festal psalms (92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150). The Office hymn is Salvete flores martyrum.

The antiphons from Lauds are sung in the usual sequence at the Little Hours. At Prime the festal psalms (53, 118i, 118ii) are sung. At the Hours the hymns have the Doxology in honour of the Incarnation sung Gloria tibi Domine etc.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung. The Alleluia and its verse are always sung on the Octave Day in place of the Tract. The preface is that of the Nativity (but not the communicantes).

At Vespers the antiphons Herodes iratus etc are sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 115. The Office hymn is again Salvete flores martyrum. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the following Vigil of the Epiphany.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

January 2nd - Octave Day of St. Stephen the Protomartyr


The Octave Day of St. Stephen the Protomartyr is of double rite and its liturgical colour is red.

At Mattins the invitatory is as on the feast, Christum natum, qui beatum hodie coronavit Stephanum. The Office hymn is Deus, tuorum militum sung with the Doxology of the Nativity. In the first nocturn the antiphons In lege Domini etc are sung with psalms 1, 2 & 3 all from the Common of a Martyr. The lessons are from the seventh and eighth chapters of the Acts of the Apostles with responsories proper to the feast. The first lesson begins Tabernaculum tesmimonii fuit cum patribus (7:44) and continues until the end of verse 50. This lesson is absent from the modern (pre-1911) books. The second lesson begins Dura cervice... and continues until the end of verse 55, ...a dextris virtutis Dei, i.e. including the first sentence of the 'modern' second lesson. The third lesson begins Exclamantes autem... and continues until ...planctum magnum super eum. In the second nocturn the antiphons Filii hominum etc are sung with psalms 4, 5 & 8 and the lessons are from a sermon of St. Augustine. These lessons are significantly longer than those found in the later books. In the third nocturn the antiphons Justus Dominus etc are sung with psalms 10, 14 & 20. The homily is from St. Jerome on St. Matthew's Gospel. The ninth lesson is a sentence longer than that found in the modern books. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the proper antiphons, Lapidaverunt Stephanum etc., is sung with the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150). The Office hymn is Martyr Dei, qui unicum sung with the Doxology of the Incarnation. After the collect of the feast, proper to the Octave Day, commemorations are sung of the Octave of St. John and the Octave of the Holy Innocents.

At Prime the antiphon Lapidaverunt Stephanum is sung with the festal psalms (53, 118i & 118ii). The short responsory has the versicle of the Incarnation and the lectio brevis is Positis autem. At the other Little Hours the antiphons sung at Lauds are used in the usual order. The hymns of the Little Hours have the tone and Doxology of the Incarnation.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung and the second collect is of the Octave of St. John, the third collect of the Octave of the Holy Innocents. The Credo is sung. The preface is of the Nativity.

Vespers are from the chapter of the following Octave Day of St. John and so the liturgical colour is white. The antiphons Lapidavernunt Stephanum etc are sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 115. The chapter is Qui timet Deum etc., and the Office hymn Exultet caelum laudibus. After the collect of St. John commemorations are sung of the Octave Day of St. Stephen and the Octave of the Holy Innocents.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

January 1st - The Circumcision and Octave Day of the Nativity


The feast of the Circumcision of the LORD and Octave Day of the Nativity is of double rite and its liturgical colour is white.

At first Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons O admirabile commercium etc were sung, doubled, with the psalms for feasts of the BVM (Pss. 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147). The Office hymn was Christe Redemptor omnium (as on the feast of the Nativity). The Doxology which has been sung since first Vespers of the Nativity Gloria tibi Domineetc continues to be sung until the Epiphany. After the collect of the feast there were no commemorations. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Christus natus es nobis, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Christe Redemptor omnium. In the first nocturn the antiphons Dominus dixit ad me etc, are sung with psalms 2, 18 & 23. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Epistle to the Romans, Chapters 3 and 4 , 'What advantage then hath the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? and all of St. Paul's discourse on circumcison and the Gentiles. They are, therefore, longer than those found in the post-1911 books. In the second nocturn the antiphons Speciosus forma etc are sung6 & 95. The lessons are from St. Leo's seventh sermon on the Nativity of the LORD. These are significantly longer than those found in post-Clementine editions. In the third nocturn the antiphons In principio etc are sung with psalms 96, 97 & 98 and the homily is from the writings of St. Ambrose on St. Luke's Gospel. These are the same as in later editions of the Breviary. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the same antiphons that were sung at Vespers, O admirabile commercium etc, are sung with psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150. The Office hymn is as on the feast of the Nativity, A solis ortus cardine. The antiphon on the Benedictus, Mirabile mysterium etc, is proper to the feast. There are no commemorations.

At the Hours, the antiphons from Lauds are used in the usual order. The Doxology in honour of the Incarnation is sung at the hymns. At Prime the antiphon O admirabile commercium is sung with the festal psalms (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii). In the short responsory the versicle Qui natus es is sung, as it has been from the feast of the Nativity and will be sung until the Vigil of the Epiphany inclusive. The lectio brevis is Ipsi peribunt. The chapters at the Hours of Sext and None are the same as those sung on the feast of the Nativity.

Mass is sung after Terce. The introit Puer natus is sung, there is a single collect, the Credo is sung and the preface and communicantes are of the Nativity.

At Second Vespers the antiphons O admirabile commercium are again sung with the same psalms as at first Vespers (Pss. Pss.109, 112, 121, 126 & 147). The versicle and its respond and the antiphon on the Magnificat are proper to Second Vespers of the feast. A commemoration is sung of the following Octave Day of St. Stephen.

Friday, 13 January 2017

December 31st - St. Sylvester of Rome


The feast of St. Sylvester I Pope and Confessor is of double rite and its liturgical colour is white. The texts for the Office are taken largely from the Common of Confessor-bishops.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem Confessorum Dominum, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Iste Confessor. The antiphons and psalms are from the Common of a Confessor Bishop. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the second chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. The first lesson consists of the text of both the first and second lessons in the post-Clementine editions of the Breviary. The second lesson begins Tribulatio et angustia.. (as the modern third lesson) but continues beyond v.13 to the end of v. 16, ...secundum evangelium meum, per Jesum Christum. The third lesson, entirely absent from the post-Clement editions, consists of vv. 17 - 25. In the second nocturn the lessons are hagiographical. These show textual variations to those found in later editions (e.g. Arius is declared damned in the Tridentine Breviary, condemned in later revisions of these lessons). In the third nocturn the homily is Sint lumbi from the Common of Confessor non-Pontiffs with the responsories of Confessor-Pontiffs. These are the same as those found in the modern editions except before the ninth lesson the additional words Unde et protinus subditur are found in the 1568 edition. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons Ecce sacerdos magnus etc are sung with psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150. The Office hymn is Jesu, Redemptor omnium and it is sung with the Doxology of the Incarnation. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the Octave of the Nativity, the Octave of St. Stephen, the Octave of St. John and the Octave of the Holy Innocents.

At the Hours the hymns have the Doxology of the Incarnation. The antiphons from Lauds are sung in the usual order. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i. 118ii) the lectio brevis is Fungi sacerdotio.

Mass is sung after Terce. The formulary is Sacerdotes tui etc. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Octave of the Nativity, the third collect of the Octave of St. Stephen, the fourth collect of the Octave of St. John and the fifth collect of the Octave of the Holy Innocents. The Creed is sung and the preface and communicantes in the Canon are of the Nativity.

Vespers are first Vespers of the Circumcision without any commemorations.

The icon is from the All Merciful Saviour Mission's selection of icons of Western Saints.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

December 30th - Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity


Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white.

At Mattins the invitatory is Christus natus est nobis, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Christe, Redemptor omnium,> The antiphons, not doubled, and psalms are as on the feast of the Nativity of the LORD. In the first nocturn the Incipit of the Epistle to the Romans is read. The first lesson is identical to that found in the later editions (in the post-1914 Breviary Romans begins on the 29th December not the 30th). The second lesson is longer and continues with about half of the verses from the modern third lesson, Nolo autem vos ignorare fratres (...) qui Romae estis, evangelizare. The third lesson begins Non enim erubesco... and continues until ...se esse sapientes, stulti facti sunt, i.e. until v. 22. The responsories of the Octave are sung. In the second nocturn the lessons are from St. Leo on the Nativity. These are longer than those found in the post-Clementine editions so the fourth and fifth lessons contain the text of the later fourth, fifth and sixth. The sixth lesson is absent from the later editions. In the third nocturn the homily is taken from St. Augustine's writings on the second chapter of St. Luke's Gospel. These are marginally longer than those found in the later editions. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons from the Nativity, Quem vidistis etc., are sung, without doubling, with psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150. The chapter is proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn is A solis ortus cardine. The versicle is Verbum caro etc and its respond Et habitavit etc. The antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the Octave of the Nativity, the Octave of St. Stephen, the Octave of St. John and the Octave of the Holy Innocents.

At the Hours the antiphons from Lauds are sung in the usual order. The hymns of the Hours are sung with the Doxology of the Incarnation. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i, & 118ii) the lectio brevis is proper to the Sunday, Itaque jam non est servus.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass formulary is Dum medium etc. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Octave of the Nativity, the third collect of the Octave of St. Stephen, the fourth collect of the Octave of St. John and the fifth collect of the Octave of the Holy Innocents. The Creed is sung and the preface and communicantes are of the Nativity.

At Vespers the antiphons, not doubled, and psalms of the Nativity are sung. From the chapter the Office is of the following feast of St. Sylvester of Rome. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the Sunday, thee Octave of the Nativity, the Octave of St. Stephen, the Octave of St. John and the Octave of the Holy Innocents. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.