Sunday, 27 June 2010

June 14th - St. Basil the Great

Today is the feast of the great Eastern doctor St. Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, and one of the most distinguished theologians of the Church. St. Basil was born probably in 329. He died 1 January, 379. He was a friend of Gregory of Nazianzus and his brother Gregory of Nyssa, and with them makes up the trio known as 'The Three Cappadocians'. The feast is of double rite and the liturgical colour is white.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Ecce sacerdos magnus etc from the Common of Confessor Pontiffs were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was Iste confessor Domini sacratus. The antiphon on the Magnificat was O Doctor optime, Ecclesiae sanctae lumen, beate Basili, divinae legis amator, deprecare pro nobis Filium Dei. A commemoration was sung of the fifth Sunday after Pentecost with the antiphon Montes Gelboe etc. As the feast is a double the Suffrages were omitted. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted for the same reason.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem Confessorum Dominum, Venite adoremus. The Office hymn is Iste confessor as above. In the first nocturn the antiphons, from the Common, Beatus vir etc, are sung with psalms 1, 2 & 3. The lessons in the first nocturn are the Incipit of the Second Book of the Kings, of the fifth Sunday. The third lesson is slightly shorter than in modern editions and ends ..ut occideres Christum Domini. In the second nocturn the antiphons Invocantem exaudivit etc are sung with psalms 4, 5 and 8. The lessons are historical ones of the feast, Basilius, nobilis Cappadox etc. These are followed by the responsories Inveni David etc from the Common. These are the same as in the modern editions. In the third nocturn the antiphons Domine iste Sanctus etc are sung with psalms 14, 20 and 23. The lessons are taken from St. Basil's Longer Book of Rules, Question 8. They are substantially longer than those found in the modern editions. They are followed by responsories from the Common. The eigth and ninth lessons are read as one and the ninth lesson is made up of the three lessons of the Sunday's homily from St. Augustine read as one. Again these are substantially longer than in modern recensions. 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. A commemoration of the fifth Sunday after Pentecost is sung after the collect of the day.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons of Lauds are sung. At Prime the festal psalms are sung (53, 118i & 118ii). Quicumque is omitted. The lectio brevis is Fungi sacerdotio.

Mass is sung after Terce and the Asperges. The introit is In medio. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday. The Credo is sung, the Common Preface is sung and the last Gospel is of the fifth Sunday after Pentecost.

Vespers are of the feast, the antiphons are again Ecce sacerdos magnus etc sung with psalms (109, 110, 111, 112 & 131). After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the Sunday and the following Office of SS Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

Icon: St. Basil the Great - an icon from Holy Dormition Orthodox Church in the USA.

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