Sunday, 7 July 2013
June 24th - The Nativity of St. John the Baptist
The great feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist is a double feast with an Octave. The liturgical colour for the feast and Octave is white. The celebration of the feast on June 24th is ancient and is mentioned by the Council of Agde in 506 and in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum. This year the feast falls on the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi.
The feast began with First Vespers yesterday. The antiphons, Ipse praeibit etc, were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was Ut queant laxis resonare fibris. The hymn famously rises through a scale in its verses: Ut (Doh), Resonare, Mira, Famuli, Solve, Labii. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christ (the second Sunday after Pentecost) and of the Octave of Corpus Christi. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Doxology of the Incarnation, Gloria tibi Domine, Qui natus es de Virgine etc.
At Mattins the invitatory is proper Regem Praecursoris Dominum, Venite adoremus. The Office hymn is Antra deserti teneris sub annis. The antiphons and responsories are proper for all three nocturns. In the first nocturn (Pss. 1, 2 & 3) the lessons are taken from the Incipit of the Prophet Jeremiah. These are identical to those found in the modern editions. In the second nocturn (Pss. 4, 5 & 8) the lessons are taken from a sermon by St. Augustine on the saints. The first lesson is slightly shorter than that found in the modern books with the omitted text beginning the second lesson. In the third nocturn (Pss. 14, 20 & 23) the homily is from the writings of St. Ambrose on the first chapter of St. Luke's Gospel. These are the same as in modern editions. The ninth lesson today is of the Sunday. The eighth and ninth lessons of the feast are read together to form the extended eighth lesson and the ninth lesson is formed of the three lessons of the homily of the Sunday. This homily in is from St. Gregory on St. Luke's Gospel. The lessons are longer than in the modern editions so that the third lesson of the homily Sed superna...quod praesto est, perat is not found in the later books. The Te Deum is sung.
At Lauds the antiphons Elisabeth Zachariae etc are sung with the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150). The rest of Lauds is proper to the feast with the Office hymn O nimis felix. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the Sunday within the Octave and of the Octave of Corpus Christi.
At the Hours the hymns are sung with the Doxology of the Incarnation. The antiphons of Lauds are sung with the Dominical psalms. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii) the lectio brevis is Reges videbunt.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass is proper, De ventre. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday, the third collect is of the Octave of Corpus Christi. The Creed is sung - as the feast falls on a Sunday and the preface is of the Nativity. The last Gospel is of the Sunday.
At Second Vespers the antiphons sung at Lauds are sung again with the psalms from Vespers for the Common of Apostles. The hymn Ut queant laxis is again sung, the rest of the Office is proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the Sunday and of the Octave of Corpus Christi. At Compline Te lucis has the Doxology of the Incarnation.