Wednesday 18 January 2017

January 5th - Vigil of the Epiphany

The Vigil of the Epiphany is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour, from Mattins, is white. In the Tridentine Missal, and its reformed editions until 1956, the Vigil of the Epiphany takes the place of the Office of the Sunday which occurs between the 1st to 5th January and has all the privileges of a Sunday. Pre-Trent praxis sees a differentiation between the second Sunday after the Nativity of the LORD and the Vigil. The liturgical rank of the Comities Christi Octave Days meant the Sunday was perpetually outranked and had to be resumed on the 5th January. When January 5th falls on a Sunday the Creed is sung at Mass.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon second Vespers of the Octave Day of the Holy Innocents was sung. The antiphons Herodes iratus etc were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 115. The Office hymn was Salvete flores martyrum, sung with the Doxology of the Incarnation. After the collect of the feast a commemoration was sung of the Vigil of the Epiphany (with the antiphon on the Magnificat and collect from the Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity).

At Mattins the invitatory, hymn, antiphons and psalms are those used for the feast of the Lord's Circumcision. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the seventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans (c.f. the post 1911-13 rite). The lessons are longer than those found in the post-Clementine editions. The first lesson consists of the text of both the post-Clementine first and second lessons. The second lesson begins Quid ergo dicemus? (the beginning of the post-Clementine third lesson)and continues, beyond the limits of the post-Clementine third lesson Ego autem mortuus sum.. until per illud occidit i.e. vv. 10-11. The third lesson, entirely absent from the later books begins Itaque lex quidem... and continues until sed quod nolo malum, hoc ago i.e. vv. 12-19. The responsories are from the feast of the Circumcision. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon by St. Augustine. These are significantly longer than those found in the later editions. In the third nocturn the homily is from St. Jerome's commentary on the second chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel. The lessons differ slightly from those found in the later editions. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds and the Hours again the antiphons are those from the Circumcision, O admirabile commercium etc. The Dominical psalms are sung (Pss. 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150) The chapter is proper to the Vigil, the hymn A solis ortus cardine as sung for the Nativity and the Circumcision, and the antiphon on the Benedictus is Dum medium silentium and the collect, Omnipotens.

At the Hours the antiphons of Lauds are sung in sequence in the usual order. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii) the preces are omitted and the lectio brevis is Itaque jam non est servus. The hymns of the Little Hours are sung with the Doxology and melody in honour of the Incarnation.

At Mass, sung after Terce, the Gloria is sung, the second collect of the BVM, Deus, qui salutis, the third collect Ecclesiae or pro papa. The preface is of the Nativity.

Vespers are first Vespers of the great feast of the Epiphany. The antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc are sung with the psalms from the First Vespers of the Common of Apostles (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116). The chapter, Surge, illuminare, Jerusalem is from Isaiah, the Office hymn 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 Dominic, Qui apparuisti hodie, Cum Patre, et Sancto Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. The rest of the Office is proper. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Doxology and tone of the feast.

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