Wednesday 30 December 2015

December 17th - Ember Wednesday in Advent

Ember Wednesday in Advent is a greater ferial day of simple rite and its liturgical colour is violet.

At Mattins the invitatory is Prope est and the Office hymn is Verbum supernum. Mattins has a single nocturn of twelve psalms (Pss. 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 65 & 67). The lessons are taken from a homily of St. Ambrose on St. Luke's Gospel. The lessons are all significantly longer than those found in the later editions of the Breviary.

At Lauds the first of several sets of proper antiphons that are used until the Vigil of the Nativity are sung Prophetae praedicaverunt etc. The psalmody is ferial consisting of Pss 50, 64, 62-66, the Canticle of Anna, and 148-149-150. The Office hymn is Vox clara. After the antiphon on the Benedictus, Missus est Angelus etc., is repeated the ferial preces are sung with the choir kneeling. The preces include the psalm De profundis.

At Prime the first antiphon Prophetae praedicaverunt is sung with psalms are Pss. 53, 25, 118(i) and 118(ii). The longer set of ferial preces are sung, kneeling at Prime and the shorter set at the other Little Hours.

Mass is sung after None. The texts are proper, the introit being Rorate, caeli etc. After the Kyrie there immediately follows the dialogue Oremus sung by the celebrant, Flectamus genua sung by the deacon and Levate sung by the sub-deacon. This is followed by the collect Praesta, quaesumus and an additional OT lesson and gradual. After this the celebrant sings Dominus vobiscum and the collect Festina, quaesumus. The second collect is Deus, qui de beatae and the third collect Ecclesiae. The dismissal is Benedicamus Domino sung by the deacon facing the altar. The ministers wear violet folded chasubles. With the celebration of the Eucharist the Office of the Ember Day ends.

At Vespers psalms 126, 127, 128, 129 & 130 are sung. The Office hymn is Conditor alme siderum. At the Magnificat the Great 'O' antiphon O Sapientia is sung. Uniquely for ferial days, the Great 'O' antiphons are sung in their entirety both before and after the canticle and the choir stands. The ferial preces are sung with the choir kneeling and include the psalm Miserere mei Deus. The collect of the preceding Sunday is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung, with the choir kneeling.

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