Sunday, 12 December 2010

November 29th - The First Sunday of Advent


The season of Advent begins at the chapter of Vespers on the Saturday before Advent Sunday. The first Sunday of Advent is of semi-double rite . During Advent bishops exchange their violet choir cassock for a black one with mozzeta or mattelletum with violet linings. Cardinals of the Court of Rome wear their 'winter' violet merino apparel (in contrast to their summer mourning dress of violet watered-silk) in place of their watered-silk scarlet. (The Vigil of St. Andrew the Apostle was anticipated on Saturday).

At Vespers yesterday the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung (note the contrast with the post 1911-13 books where the antiphons of Lauds are sung). The chapter, Fratres, hora est jam nos etc., marked the beginning of Advent. The Office hymn was Conditor alme siderum. After the collect of the Sunday the usual Suffrages are omitted during Advent. From this Vespers the Marian Antiphon sung is Alma Redemptoris Mater. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem venturum and this is sung in the Dominical and ferial Offices of Advent until the third Sunday. The hymn is Verbum supernum. In the first nocturn the antiphons Veniet ecce Rex etc are sung with Pss. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14. The lessons in the first nocturn are the Incipit of the prophet Isaiah. The first lesson is longer than that found in modern editions and continues with the first lines of the modern second lesson: Vae genti peccatrici... until ..abalienati sunt retrorsum. The second lesson begins Super quo percutiam... and continues until the end of the modern third lesson, ...Gomorrha similes essemus. The third lesson is absent from the modern books. It begins Audite verbum Domini... and continues until sanguine plenae sunt, i.e. VV. 10 - 15. In the second nocturn the antiphons Gaude et laetare etc are sung with Pss. 15, 16 and 17. The lessons are taken from the writing sof St. Leo on the fast of the tenth month. These are substantially longer than in the modern editions of the Breviary. The fourth lesson comprises the entirety of the modern fourth and fifth lessons. The fifth lesson contains text absent from the modern sixth and the sixth lesson text is completely absent from the modern editions. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gabriel Angelus etc are sung with Pss. 18, 19 and 20. The homily is from St. Gregory's writing on St. Luke's Gospel. Again, these are significantly longer than those in the modern editions with the sevent lesson comprising of all of the modern seventh and eighth lessons. The eighth lesson contains all of the modern ninth and an equal amount of text from the St. Gregory's homily that is absent from the modern editions and the ninth lesson is completely absent from the modern Breviary. A ninth responsory is sung and the Te Deum omitted in the Office of Advent.

At Lauds the antiphons In illa die etc are sung with psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite and 148-149-150. The hymn is Vox clara ecce intonat. As noted above for Vespers the Suffrages are omitted in Advent.

At Prime the first antiphon from Lauds, In illa die, is sung with the usual Dominical psalms 117, 118(i), 118(ii) and Quicumque. In the short responsory the versicle Qui venturus es in mundum replaces Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris for all of Advent except when an occuring feast has a proper versicle. The Dominical preces are sung. At the other Hours the other antiphons of Lauds are sung in the usual order.

Mass is sung after Terce. During Advent the deacon and sub-deacaon do not wear the dalmatic and tunicle but violet folded chasubles, an ancient feature of the Roman liturgy. The Gloria in not sung, the second collect is of the Blessed Virgin in Advent, Deus, qui de beate, the third collect Ecclesiae. The Creed is sung, the preface is the Common Preface. As the Gloria was not sung, the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino.

Vespers are first Vespers of St. Andrew the Apostle. The antiphons Salve crux etc are sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 and 116. The Office hymn is Exsultet caelum laudibus. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Sunday. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

Art: Jerome Nadal

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