Thursday, 14 November 2013

November 1st - All Saints' Day

The great feast of All Saints is a double feast with Octave. 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 liturgical colour for the feast, and its Octave, is white.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem regum Dominum, Venite adoremus: Quia ipse est corona sanctorum omnium. The Office hymn is Christe Redemptor omnium. 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 post-Clementine 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 lessons are the same as in the modern editions. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons Vidi turbam magnam etc are sung with psalms 99, 92, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150. The Office hymn is Jesu salvator saeculi. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of St. Caesarius.

The antiphons sung at Lauds, Vidi turbam magnum etc, are used at the Hours in the usual way. Prime has the festal psalms (53, 118i, 118ii) and the lectio brevis, Benedictio et claritas, is proper to the feast and sung throughout the Octave.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the Creed is sung, as is the the common preface.

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. The Office hymn is, as yesterday, Christe Redemptor omnium.

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.

The Caeremoniale Episcoporum, Lib. II, Cap. X, #2, directs that at Pontifical Celebrations of Second Vespers of All Saints after Benedicamus Domino the bishop exchanges his festal white vestments assisted by his 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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