Saturday 14 January 2012

January 1st (2011) - The Circumcision of the LORD and Octave of the Nativity

Today is the feast of the Circumcision of the LORD. It is of double rite and the liturgical colour is white.

At first Vespers yesterday the antiphons O admirabile commercium etc were sung 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 Mattins the invitatory is Christus natus es nobis, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn 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-Clement 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 as 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.

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.

At Mass, sung after Terce, the introit Puer natus is sung. There is a single collect. The Gloria and Credo are 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.

The Byzantine icon depicts the Circumcision of Christ with St. Basil. St. Basil's feast day in the Byzantine rite is also January 1st (c.f. Roman Martyrology) and on this day his liturgy is served rather than the usual liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in the Byzantine Rite.

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