Sunday 14 November 2010

November 1st - All Saints Day

Today is the great feast of All Saints. It is a double feast. The universal celebration of this feast developed from the dedication of the Pantheon to St. Mary and the Martyrs. This dedication took place on May 13th 610. In some places, and the in Byzantine East to this day, a celebration of All Saints took place after Trinity Sunday. The celebration of the feast spread and Gregory IV transferred the feast and dedication to November 1st in 835. Louis the Pious spread the celebration throughout his empire and the feast entered the Universal Calendar. Sixtus IV gave the feast an Octave in the fifteenth century. The lessons at Mattins, described below, were different in the pre-Tridenine Breviary (wherein many feasts did not have scriptural lessons). Gregory DiPippo has written a series about these lessons on the New Liturgical Movement. The liturgical colour for the feast, and octave, is white. Today is also the twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost and the first Sunday of November. The third nocturn lessons and the pericopes at Mass come from the fourth Sunday after the Epiphany.

At Vespers yesterday the antiphons Vidi turbam magnam etc were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 and 116. The Office hymn was Christe Redemptor omnium. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday was sung (with the antiphon being Vidi Dominum for the Saturday before the first Sunday of November). At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted throughout the Octave.

At Mattins the invitatory is proper and the hymn, Christe Redemptor omnium, is again sung. In the first nocturn the antiphons Novit Dominus etc are sung with psalms 1, 4 and 8. The lessons are taken from the book of the Apocalypse. These are the same as in the modern editions of the Breviary. In the second nocturn the antiphons Domine, qui operati etc are sung with psalms 14, 23 and 31. The lessons are the same as in the modern editions but these are attributed to St. Augustine rather than St. Bede. In the third nocturn the antiphons Timete Dominum etc are sung with psalms 33, 60 and 96. The homily in the third nocturn is from St. Augustine. The eighth and ninth lessons are read together as the eighth lesson and the ninth lesson is the homily for the Sunday. This is from St. Jerome on St. Matthew's Gospel. The three lessons of the homily are read as one and followed by the Te Deum. The lessons are the same as in the modern editions.

At Lauds the antiphons Vidi turbam magnam etc are sung with the Sunday psalms (Pss. 99, 92, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150). After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of St. Caesarius.

The antiphons sung at Lauds are used at the Hours in the usual way. Prime has the festal psalms (53, 118i, 118ii). Quicumque is omitted. The lectio brevis is proper, Benedictio et claritas, to the feast.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday. The Creed is sung, the common preface is sung and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.

At second Vespers the antiphons Vidi turbam magnam etc are again sung with psalms from the Common of Apostles but the fifth psalm is Ps. 115, Credidi. A commemoration of the Sunday is sung.

After Benedicamus Domino the verse Fidelium is omitted and the choir sits as the festive white is removed and is exchanged for the black of mourning. Vespers of the Dead are then sung. These begin with the antiphon Placebo Domino in regione vivorum. Psalms 114, 119, 120, 129 and 127 are sung. Requiem aeternam etc is sung at the end of each psalm in place of Gloria Patri etc. After the psalms there is a versicle and response but no hymn. After the antiphon on the Magnificat the choir kneels for a Pater noster, some versicles and the collect Fidelium.

Update: Time does not permit me to write an entry for the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. In the Tridentine Rite November 2nd is the second day within the Octave of All Saints. Vespers, Mattins and Lauds of the Dead are sung on the evening of All Saints' Day in addition to the Office of the day. On the 2nd in Cathedral and Collegiate Churches two High Masses are sung: one of the day within the Octave, after Terce, and a Requiem after None. In other churches only the Requiem need be celebrated.

The Caeremoniale Episcoporum, Lib. II, Cap. X, #2. directs that in at Pontifical Celebrations of Second Vespers of All Saints after Benedicamus Domino the bishop exchanges his festal white vestments assited by the canons and higher clergy whilst the sacristans etc. change the vesting of the choir altar. During this time the Mansionarii (the lower rank of beneficiaries) or any chaplains and seminarians go and sing Compline in the Secretarium. The bishop then proceeds to preside over Mattins and Lauds of the Dead. Anyone familiar with the parish celebration of a Byzantine 'All Night Vigil' may note the structural similarity with this aggregation of Offices.

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