Monday, 19 January 2015

January 6th - The Epiphany of the LORD

The feast of the Epiphany is a double feast with an Octave. The liturgical colour of the feast and Octave is white.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc were sung with the psalms from the First Vespers of the Common of Apostles (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116). The chapter, Surge, illuminare, Jerusalem was from Isaiah, the Office hymn was Hostis Herodes impie. For the feast and its octave a Doxology in honour of the LORD's manifestation is sung at all hymns of Iambic metre: Gloria tibi Domine, Qui apparuisti hodie, Cum Patre, et Sancto Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. The rest of the Office is proper. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Doxology and tone of the feast.

Mattins begins, without Domine labia me, invitatory and hymn, with with the first antiphon of the first nocturn, Afferte Domino. Psalms 28, 45 & 46 are sung. The lessons in the first nocturn are from Isaiah. These are the same as in the post-Clement editions of the Breviary. In the second nocturn the antiphons Omnis terra adoret te etc are sung with psalms 65, 71 & 85 and the lessons are from a sermon on the Epiphany by St. Leo. The fifth and sixth lessons are longer than those found in the post-Clement editions. In the third nocturn the antiphon Venite adoremus eum etc is sung with Ps. 94, Venite , the usual invitatory psalm, in a responsorial manner. Psalms 95 and 96 are also sung in the third nocturn. The homily on St. Matthew's Gospel if from St. Gregory. These are considerably longer than those found in the later editions. The text of the last sentence of the eighth lesson and the entire ninth lesson are absent from the post-Clementine books. The Te Deum is sung.

After the last lesson of Mattins (or after Compline) the celebrant vested in amice, alb, stole and cope with deacon and subdeacon celebrates the solemn Blessing of the Waters. The rite (which can be found in the Marquess of Bute's excellent study 'The Blessing of Waters on the Eve of the Epiphany') contains antiphons, a Litany, an OT reading, a Gospel, numerous lengthy prayers, a preface, Sanctus, Pater noster etc., and culminates in a Cross being plunged by the celebrant into the waters whilst the choir sings Baptizatur Christus, et sanctificatur omnis mundus: et tribuit nobis remissionem peccatorum: aqua et Spiritu omnes purificamur. (Christ is baptized, and all the world is hallowed, and He granteth unto us the remission of sins. We are purified by water and the Spirit). In 1890 this rite was suppressed and a new form produced by the SRC. Bute comments on the new rite (which is included in the book for comparison)"This form is chiefly interesting as marking an entire variance from the antient [sic] form used in the Church of Rome, and also in all other churches. Those forms are all in commemoration of the baptism of Christ, while in this that subject is entirely ignored and the form made simply one for the blessing of holy water to be used against evil spirits"

At Lauds the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc are sung with the psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150. The chapter is Surge, illuminare from Isaiah and the Office hymn is O sola magnarum urbium.

At the Little Hours the antiphons from Lauds are sung in the usual order. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii), in the short responsory, a versicle Qui apparuisti hodie is sung today and during the Octave, the short lesson is Omnes de Saba. The Doxology Gloria tibi Domine, Qui apparuisti gentibus etc is sung at the hymns of the Little Hours.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Mass, Ecce advenit, is proper. The Gloria and Credo are sung. The preface and communicantes in the Canon are proper to the feast. After the Gospel of the Mass the Moveable Feasts for the year are traditionally announced.

At Vespers the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc are sung with psalms 109, 110, 11, 112 & 113. The Office hymn is Hostis Herodes impie. The antiphon on the Magnificat is Tribus miraculis. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

On this day the old Kalendar Armenians celebrate their ancient Theophany. In the unlikely event that any old Kalendar Armenians read this may you have a blessed Theophany and may the LORD preserve and protect you and may you prosper.

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