Sunday 18 August 2013

August 5th - Dedication of St. Mary of the Snows

This feast of the Dedication of St. Mary of the Snows is of double rite and commemorates the dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major or Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Popular tradition has it that a miraculous fall of snow delineated the original ground plan of the church that was dedicated during the pontificate of Liberius. The feast appears in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum. In the late Middle Ages it appears in Radolfo di Rivo's Liber de officis Ecclesiasticis as a feast particular to the Diocese of Rome. Pius V made it a double feast in the 1568 Breviary and Clement VIII raised it to a greater double thirty or so years later. The liturgical colour of the feast is white. Today is also the eighth Sunday after Pentecost and the second Sunday of August.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Dum esset Rex etc were sung with the psalms of first Vespers from the Common of feasts of the BVM, Pss. 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147. The Office hymn was Ave, maris stella. Following the collect commemorations were sung sung of the preceding Office of St. Dominic and of the Sunday (the antiphon on the Magnificat being Ego in altissimis for the Saturday before the second Sunday of August). At Compline Te lucis was sung to the melody of hymns in honour of the Incarnation with the Doxology Gloria tibi Domine etc.

At Mattins the invitatory is Sancta Maria Dei Genitrix Virgo * Intercede pro nobis and the Office hymn is Quem terra. In the first nocturn the antiphons Benedicta tu etc are sung with Pss. 8, 18 & 23. The lessons are Ego sapientia from the Proverbs of Solomon. These are the same as in the post-Clementine editions. In the second nocturn the antiphons Specie tua etc are sung with Pss. 44, 45 & 86. The lessons, proper to the feast, have a minor re-arrangement in comparison to those found in the post-Clementine editions. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gaude Maria Virgo etc are sung with Pss. 95, 96 & 97. The homily is from the Venerable Bede on St. Luke's Gospel. These are longer than those found in the later editions. The eighth and ninth lessons are read as one and the ninth lesson is formed from the three lessons of the Sunday. These are from St. Jerome on St. Luke's Gospel. Again the texts in the Tridentine Breviary are longer than that found in later editions. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons Dum esset Rex etc are sung with Pss. 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite and 148-149-150. The Office hymn is O Gloriosa Domina. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Sunday.

At the Hours the hymns have the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii) the versicle in the short responsory is Qui natus es and the short lesson In plateis. Both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass formularly is Salve, sancta Parens. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday, the Creed is sung and in the preface of the BVM Et te in Festivitate is inserted. The last Gospel is of the Sunday.

Vespers are first Vespers of the following feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The antiphons Assumpsit Jesus Petrum et Jacobum etc are sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn is Quicumque Christum quaeritis. The antiphon on the Magnificat is Christus Jesus, splendor Patris etc and the collect is proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of the Dedication of Sancta Maria ad Nives, of the Sunday, and of SS Xystus, Felicissimus and Agapitus. At Compline, Te lucis has the Doxology Gloria tibi Domine, Qui apparusti hodie, Cum Patre et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula and its melody.

Art: Masolino di Panicale: Fondazione della basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

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