Thursday, 24 May 2012

May 11th - The Ascension of the LORD

The feast of the Ascension of the LORD is a double feast with an Octave. The liturgical colour of the feast and its Octave is white.

The celebration of the feast began yesterday afternoon with first Vespers. The antiphons Viri Galilaei etc were sung with Psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn at Vespers, both for the feast and Octave, is Jesu nostra redemptio. At Compline Te lucis is sung to the tone of the Ascension Doxology Gloria tibi Domine, Qui scandis super sidera, Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. The Dominical preces are omitted during the Octave.

At Mattins the invitatory is proper: Alleluia, Christum Dominum ascendentem in caelum, Venite adoremus, alleluia. The Office hymn is Aeterne Rex altissime. In the first nocturn the antiphons Elevata est etc are sung with Psalms 8, 10 & 18. The lessons are taken from the Incipit of the Acts of the Apostles. These are identical to those found in the post-Clementine editions. In the second nocturn the antiphons Exaltare Domine etc are sung with Psalms 20, 29 & 46. A sermon of St. Leo on the Ascension provides the lessons. Again, these are the same as in the later editions of the Breviary. In the third nocturn the antiphons Nimis exaltatus est etc are sung with Psalms 9, 98 & 10, the homily is from St. Gregory. These lessons are significantly longer than those found in the more recent books. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons Viri Galilaei etc are sung with psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite and 148-149-150. The Office hymn is Jesu nostra redemptio.

At the Hours the antiphons Viri Galilaei etc are sung in the usual order. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii)the verse Qui scandis super sidera is sung in the short responsory today and until the Vigil of Pentecost. (Note the correlation between this and the Doxology). The hymns of the Hours are sung with the Ascension Doxology and tone.

At Mass the Gloria is sung. After the Gospel the Paschal Candle is extinguished. The Credo is sung and the preface and communicantes are proper to the feast. After Mass the Paschal Candle is removed from the sanctuary, it makes a brief re-appearance in the services of the Vigil of Pentecost.

Second Vespers are the same as first Vespers except for the antiphon on the Magnificat.

Icon: Bulgarian 16th century from Wikipedia.

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