Tuesday, 3 January 2017

December 21st - St. Thomas the Apostle

The feast of St. Thomas the Apostle is of double rite and its liturgical colour is red. According to tradition St. Thomas preached the Gospel in Asia and the Indian sub-continent. He is believed to have founded, inter alia, the St. Thomas Christians on the West coast of India, one of several groups using the East-Syrian family of liturgies.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Hoc est praeceptum meum etc were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was Exsultet caelum laudibus. The antiphon on the Magnificat was proper to the feast, Quia vidisti me etc. After the collect of the Advent feria was commemorated with the Great 'O' Antiphon appointed for the 20th December, O clavis David. At Compline the preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Regem Apostolorum Dominum, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Aeterna Christi munera. In the first nocturn the antiphons In omnem terram etc are sung with psalms 18, 33 & 44. The lessons are Sic nos existimet homo from St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians. The third lesson is considerably longer than that found in the post-Clementine editions of the Breviary continuing Rogo ergo vos imatores mei (...) et spiritu, i.e, vv. 16-21. In the second nocturn the antiphons Principes populorum etc are sung with psalms 46, 60 & 63. The fourth lesson, proper to the feast, is the same as in modern editions of the Breviary. The fifth and sixth lessons are from a homily of St. Gregory (from the Common) and are longer than those found in the modern editions. In the third nocturn the antiphons Exaltabuntur etc are sung with psalms 74, 96 & 98. The homily on St. John's Gospel is from St. Gregory. These lessons are the same as in the post-Clementine editions of the Breviary. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons Hoc est praeceptum meum etc are sung with Pss.92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150. The antiphon on the Benedictus, Quia vidisti me, Thoma, credidisti: beati, qui non viderunt, et crediderunt, alleluia, is proper to the feast and refers to the incident recorded in the Gospel of St. John about St. Thomas' doubt in the Risen LORD. A commemoration is then made of the Advent feria, the antiphon on the Benedictus being Nolite timere etc proper to the 21st day of December.

The antiphons sung at Lauds are sung in due order at the Horae Minores. At Prime the festal psalms (53, 118i & 118ii) are sung and the lectio brevis is Ibant Apostoli.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Advent feria. The Creed is sung and the preface is of the Apostles.

At Vespers the antiphons Juravit Dominus etc are sung with Pss. 109, 112, 115, 125 & 138. The Office hymn is Exsultet caelum laudibus. After the collect of the feast the Advent feria is commemorated with the Great 'O' antiphon O Rex Oriens and the collect of the preceding Sunday. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.