Sunday, 15 April 2018

April 2nd - Dominica in Albis - Low Sunday


Dominica in Albis or Low Sunday is of double rite. The Gospel at Mattins and Mass is the account of the LORD appearing in to His disciples behind the shut doors of the room and the doubting of St. Thomas.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the psalms of Saturday (Pss. 143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) were sung under the single antiphon, Alleluia. Chapters and hymns returned to the Office with this service, the Octave having ended with None. The Paschaltide hymn Ad cenam Agni providi was sung. Its Doxology is sung at all hymns of Iambic metre: Gloria tibi Domine, Qui surrexisti a mortuis, Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula. After the collect of the Sunday the Paschal Suffrage was omitted. From this Office of Vespers, the dismissal, Benedicamus Domino, is sung without the double Alleluia that had been sung since Pascha. At Compline Te lucis is sung to the Paschal tone with the Doxology Gloria tibi Domine etc. This Doxology is sung with all hymns of Iambic metre until the Ascension. The Dominical preces are omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory Surrexit Dominus vere Alleluia continues to be sung. The Office hymn is O Rex aeterne Domine. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung under the single antiphon Alleluia, Lapis revolutus etc. The lessons in the first nocturn are from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians; the first begins Igitur si consurrexistis otherwise it and the other two first nocturn lessons are the same as in the post-Clementine editions. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 & 17 are sung under the single antiphon Alleluia, quem quaeris mulier etc. The lessons are from a sermon of St. Augustine and are the same as in the modern editions. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung under the single antiphon Alleluia, noli flere Maria etc. The homily is from the writings of St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel and the same same as in modern editions except they are missing the words 'Dixit eis' at the beginning of the ninth lesson. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the Sunday psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite, 148, 149 & 150) are sung under a single antiphon, a nine-fold Alleluia - an ancient feature of the Roman rite that would be destroyed in the 1911-13 reform. The Office hymn is Aurora lucis rutilat.

At Prime the Dominical psalms 53, 118(i), 118(ii) and Quicumque are sung under the antiphon Alleluia. The Dominical preces are omitted. At the other Little Hours Alleluia is also sung as the antiphon, the hymns have the Paschal Doxology.

Mass is sung after Terce. Before Mass the antiphon Vidi aquam is sung during the aspersion. At Mass the Gloria is sung. There is a single collect. The Creed is sung and the preface is of Paschaltide.

First Vespers of the translated feast of the Annunciation are sung. The antiphons Missus est Gabriel Angelus ad Mariam etc., proper to the feast, are sung, doubled, with the psalms from the Common of the BVM (Pss.109, 112, 121, 126 & 147). The Office hymn is Ave Maris stella. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect are also proper to the feast. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

March 26th - Dominica Resurrectionis - Pascha


The Sunday of the Resurrection is the Queen of Feasts and the most important of all liturgical celebrations and is of double rite with Octave.

During the evening of Holy Saturday Compline is sung, at the normal time. On Holy Saturday the Office of Compline has some interesting variations. Compline begins with the usual Jube, domne, blessing, short lesson and confession. Converte nos, Deus, salutaris noster and its response are sung followed by Deus in adjutorium etc with Alleluia for the first time since Septuagesima. The psalms are sung, without an antiphon, to the usual Tone 8. The hymn, chapter and responsory are omitted and Vespere autem sabbati sung as a fragment antiphon to the Nunc dimittis. After the Canticle the antiphon is sung in full. After the usual collect, Visita quaesumus, the antiphon Regina Caeli is sung with its versicle and collect.

The church is decorated for the greatest of feasts. Before Mattins the images that have been veiled from Passiontide (or from the beginning of Lent where Array was used) are removed. Six candlesticks are on the altar. Mattins begin with the solemn tone for Deus in adjutorium etc. The invitatory is Surrexit Dominus vere Alleluia and psalm 94 is sung to a lovely tone 6 setting. Mattins consists of a single nocturn of three psalms. There is no Office Hymn throughout the Octave (c.f. Monastic praxis). The first antiphon is Ego sum qui sum etc and sung with psalm 1. The second antiphon, Postulavi Patrem meum etc, is sung with psalm 2. The third antiphon, Ego dormivi etc, is sung with psalm 3. A versicle and its response are sung followed by the absolution Exaudi etc. The first lesson has the Gospel fragment Mark 16: 1-7 and is followed by a homily of St. Gregory the Great. The two responsories Angelus Domini descendit and Cum transisset sabbatum are famous and intimately connected with the Quem quaeritis ceremonies. The second lesson, Notandum vero nobis est is sung followed by the second responsory. The lessons are identical to those found in the later editions. During the second responsory the cantors and the celebrant don copes and the principal cantor pre-intones the Te Deum. Six pluvialistae assist the Hebdomadarius where possible. The Te Deum is then sung and, where it is the custom the bells ring throughout.

Lauds follow immediately and have a series of beautiful antiphons: Angelus autem Domini, Et ecce terraemotus, Erat autem, Prae timore autem ejus and Respondens autem Angelus all taking up the theme of the Angels, earthquake and empty tomb. Psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150 are sung with these antiphons. The chapter, hymn, versicle and response are replaced by the Haec dies. After Haec dies the antiphon Et valde mane is sung and then the Benedictus sung to a solemn tone 8. During the Benedictus the altar, the choir and people are censed in the normal manner. The antiphon is repeated and the collect of Easter, Deus, qui hodierna die sung. Benedicamus Domino, Alleluia, Alleluia and its response are followed by the solemn Regina Caeli, its versicle and collect.

At Prime and the Hours the usual festal psalms are sung but without antiphons. Haec dies replaces the chapter, responsories etc. At Prime the Martyrology is read again, having not been read for the days of the Triduum. Before the announcement of the following day and moon "Hac die quam fecit Dominus, Solemnitas solemnitatum, et Pascha nostrum Resurrectio Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi secundum carnem" is sung to the tone of the Passion.

Mass is sung after Terce. Vidi aquam replaces the Asperges during Paschaltide. At Mass the Gloria is sung, the Creed is sung, the preface, communicantes and Hanc igitur are proper. Ite, missa est with a double Alleluia is the dismissal.

At Vespers the anitphons Angelus autem Domini etc are sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 and 113. Again Haec dies replaces the chapter and hymn. The antiphon on the Magnificat is Et respicientes etc. At Compline the usual psalms are sung with a triple Alleluia after them. The the Nunc dimittis is sung followed by Haec dies and the collect Visita quaesumus.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

March 19th - Dominica in Palmis - Palm Sunday


Palm Sunday is a privileged semi-double Sunday. It is the sixth and last Sunday in Lent and the beginning of Great or Holy Week. The liturgical colour is violet. The magnificent ceremonies for the solemn blessing of the Palms, which follows a similar structure to the Blessing of the Waters at Epiphany, make it, arguably, the finest jewel in the crown of the liturgical year. The feast of St. Joseph is transferred until after Low Sunday.

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms of Saturday (Pss. 143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) were sung. The chapter, Hoc enim in sentite vobis, was proper to the Sunday. The Office hymn was Vexilla regis. The Suffrages were not sung, as it is Passiontide. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins, as last week and daily until the Triduum, the invitatory is Hodie, si vocem Domini audieritis, Nolite obdurare corda vestra from Ps. 94 and a special rubric indicates the omission of that verse in the psalm. The Office hymn is Pange, lingua. The antiphons given in the Psalter for Sundays are used. As usual Mattins has three nocturns and nine lessons. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung. The lessons in the first nocturn are from the book of Jeremiah. These are the same, as are their responsories, as those found in the post-Clement editions of the Breviary. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 and 17 are sung and the lessons are from a sermon on the Passion by St. Leo. The fifth lesson begins with the words Qui ut humanum genus and incorportates what is now the sixth lesson from Fefellit ergo illum.. until famulatae sunt Redemptori. The sixth lesson, Quod ergo...justitiae esse propositum is not found in the later editions of the Breviary. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung and the lessons are a homily of St. Ambrose, their arrangement is slightly different to that found in the modern books. The Te Deum is omitted as on other Lenten Sundays and a ninth responsory, Circumderunt me viri mendaces..., sung in its place.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to Palm Sunday, Dominus Deusetc, and sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150. The hymn is Lustra sex. The versicle after the hymn Eripe me, chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to the Sunday.

At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 53, 92, 118(i), 118(ii) and Quicumque. The Dominical preces are sung. At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper.

After Terce the Asperges takes place as usual (the Lesser Doxology being omitted) and is followed by the magnificent Blessing and Procession of Palms. The ministers wear violet folded chasubles. After the Asperges the celebrant and ministers proceed to the Epistle corner and begin the solemn blessing of Palms whilst the choir sing the antiphon Hosanna fili David, O Rex Israel etc. The rubrics give a direction that the Palms to be blessed at the Epistle side.  The blessing begins with the celebrant reading the antiphon Hosanna Filio David followed by a collect Deus, quim diligere and then the reading of an Epistle and Gospel. The normal ceremonies of High Mass are followed. The subdeacon removes his folded chasuble to sing the Epistle taken from the Book of Exodus. Following the Epistle two texts are given, Collegerunt pontifices and In monte Oliveti (the latter will appear again as a responsory during the Triduum) to be sung as a 'gradual', both may be sung.  Following the Gospel the deacon resumes his folded chasuble and the collect Auge fidem is sung followed by a preface, Sanctus and four further collects Deus, qui dispersa, Deus, qui miro, Deus, qui per olivae and Benedic quaesumus. The presence of a preface is indicative of the solemn blessing (c.f. the great blessing of waters at Epiphany). The collect Deus, qui miro is a didactic masterpiece. Readers will note the strong correlation between the text of the collect and of the second lesson of Mattins for the Saturday before Palm Sunday from St. Augustine:
O God, who, by the wonderful order of Thy disposition, hast been pleased to manifest the dispensation of our salvation even from things insensible: grant, we beseech Thee, that the devout hearts of Thy faithful may understand to their benefit what is mystically signified by the fact that on this day the multitude, taught by a heavenly illumination, went forth to meet their Redeemer, and strewed branches of palms and olive at His feet. The branches of palms, therefore, represent His triumphs over the prince of death; and the branches of olive proclaim, in a manner, the coming of a spiritual unction. For that pious multitude understood that these things were then prefigured; that our Redeemer, compassionating human miseries, was about to fight with the prince of death for the life of the whole world, and, by dying, to triumph. For which cause they dutifully ministered such things as signified in Him the triumphs of victory and the richness of mercy. And we also, with full faith, retaining this as done and signified, humbly beseech Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, that in Him and through Him, whose members Thou hast been pleased to make us, we may become victorious over the empire of death, and may deserve to be partakers of His glorious Resurrection.

The celebrant then puts on incense and blesses it. The Palms are then aspersed with lustral water, the celebrant saying in a low voice Asperges me etc, and then censed. Another collect, Deus, qui Filium is then sung. The celebrant then receives his Palm from the senior canon present. If no other priest is present the celebrant kneels and takes the Palm from the of the altar, kisses it then passes it to the subdeacon who places it again on the mensa. The celebrant then gives Palms to the deacon and subdeacon and other ministers and then the people. The Palm is kissed first and then the celebrant's hand. During the distribution the antiphons Pueri Hebraeorum and Pueri Hebraeorum vestimenta are sung. After the distribution the celebrant and ministers go back to the altar, bow to the Cross and then go to the Epistle corner where the celebrant's hands are washed. Then, having returned to the missal, he sings the collect Omnipotens sempiterne.

Whilst the celebrant's hands are washed after the distribution of Palms the Processional Cross is decorated with the blessed Palms. A Procession is then formed, led by the thurifer, followed by the subdeacon (of the Mass, not this day an additional subdeacon) bearing the Processional Cross. The deacon sings Procedamus in pace and the following antiphons are sung during the Procession Cum appropinquaret, Cum audisset, Ante sex dies, Occurrunt turbae, Cum angelis et pueris and Turba multa.  Ideally, the Procession goes outside and around the church. Often circumstances dictate the Procession must simply go around the aisles of the church. Towards he end of the Procession cantors re-enter the church and the door is closed. The beautiful hymn of Theodolph Gloria, laus, et honor is then sung in alternation between the cantors inside the church and everyone else outside. At the end of the hymn the subdeacon strikes the church door three times with the foot of the Processional Cross and the party re-enters the church to the singing of Ingrediente Domino.

Mass then follows the usual manner. The celebrant removes his cope and dons his chasuble. The preparatory prayers are said but the psalm Judica me is omitted in Passiontide. The introit is Domine, ne longe etc. There is no Gloria. No commemoration is made of an occuring Office on Palm Sunday so there is only one collect. Psalm 21 is sung in its entirety as a Tract. The major difference from any other Sunday is singing of the Passion according to St. Matthew by three additional deacons of the Passion. The text of the Passion is Matthew 26: 1-75; 27: 1-66. After the singing of the Passion the last part, Altera autem die...lapidem cum custodibus, is sung with the ceremonies of a Gospel by the deacon of the Mass (having removed his folded chasuble etc).  The choir and people hold their Palms during the singing of the Passion. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Cross and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino sung by the deacon facing the celebrant and altar.

Vespers are of the Sunday and the Office hymn is Vexilla regis. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung. The additional Offices of the Little Office of the BVM, the Office of the Dead, the Gradual Psalms and the Penitential Psalms and Litany are omitted in Great Week.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

March 12th - Passion Sunday


Passion Sunday is the fifth and penultimate Sunday in Lent. It is a semi-double Sunday and its liturgical colour is violet. After Mass on Saturday morning all images and crosses are veiled in violet, according to the Roman praxis. The veils on the crosses are removed during the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday morning, those on the images of the saints remain until after the Office of Holy Saturday is ended. The Office of St. Gregory of Rome is translated to Monday,

At Vespers, yesterday morning, the antiphons of Saturday, Benedictus etc., were sung with psalms 143, 144, 145, 146 and 147. The chapter, Fratres: Christus assistens Pontifex, was proper to the Sunday, taken from Hebrews. The Office hymn was Vexilla regis. From this Vespers until Trinity the Suffrages are omitted. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung. The Lesser Doxology was omitted in the short responsory.

At Mattins the invitatory is Hodie, si vocem Domini audieritis, Nolite obdurare corda vestra from Ps. 94 and a special rubric indicates the omission of that verse in the psalm. The Lesser Doxology is omitted from Venite for Passiontide in Offices of the Season. The Office hymn is Pange, lingua. The same invitatory and hymn are sung until Spy Wednesday inclusive. The antiphons given in the Psalter for Sundays are sung. As usual Mattins has three nocturns and nine lessons. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung. The psalms retain the Lesser Doxology (until the Triduum) but the third reponsories of each nocturn lose it for Passiontide. The lessons in the first nocturn are the the Incipit of the book of Jeremiah. These are substantially longer than in the modern editions of the Breviary. The first lesson runs from Verba Hieremiae until verse 10, ... et aedifices, et plantes. The second lesson runs from verse 11, Et factum est verbum Domini to verse 16, ...et adoraverunt opus manuum suarum. The third lesson begins with verse 17, Tu ergo accinge lumbos tuos.., and continues until verse 3 of the second chapter, ... mala venient super eos, dicit Dominus. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 and 17 are sung and the lessons are from a sermon by St. Leo. These again are longer than those found in the modern editions. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung and the lessons are a homily of St. Gregory, again slightly longer than in the modern books. The Te Deum is omitted as on other Lenten Sundays and a ninth responsory, Quis dabit capiti meo aquam etc, sung in its place.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to Passion Sunday, Vide Domine etc, and sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150. The office hymn is Lustra sex. The versicle after the hymn Eripe me, chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to the Sunday. The Suffrages are not sung in Passiontide.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper, Ego daemonium etc. At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 53, 92, 118(i), 118(ii) and Quicumque, the 'Athanasian' Creed. The Dominical preces are sung. At all the Hours the chapters are proper. The Lesser Doxology is omitted from the short responsory at Prime and at those of the other Horae Minores.

Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear folded chasubles. In Mass there is no Gloria, the second collect is Ecclesiae, for the Church. There is no third collect in Passiontide. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the preface of the Cross is sung. Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the celebrant and altar.

At Vespers the liturgical colour changes to white and first Vespers of the transferred feast of St. Gregory are sung. The antiphons Domine quinque talenta etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn is Iste confessor. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 18 March 2018

March 5th - Fourth Sunday in Lent

The fourth Sunday in Lent is of semi-double rite. The liturgical colour of the Sunday is violet (no sign of rose). The Gospel pericopes from St. John describe the multiplication miracle of the five barley loaves and two fishes to feed the Five Thousand.

At Vespers, yesterday morning, the antiphons and psalms (143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) of Saturday were sung, the chapter was proper to the Sunday. The Lenten hymn Audi benigne conditor was sung. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc were sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the hymn is Ex more. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the third chapter of the Book of Exdodus and the story of Moses and the Burning Bush. The second lesson includes part of what is now the third lesson in modern editions: Dixitque Moyses ad Deum...immolabis Deo super montem istum. The third lesson begins Ait Moyses ad Deum and continues with the addition of verses 16 through to 19. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 & 17 are sung, the lessons are from St. Basil and are longer than in modern editions. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung and the lessons are a homily of St. Augustine, again slightly longer than in the modern books. The Te Deum is omitted and in its place a ninth responsory, Attendite, popule meus etc., is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons, Tunc acceptabis etc., are proper to the Fourth Sunday and are sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150. The Office hymn is Jam Christe sol justitiae. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Gloriosi principes etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc are sung.

At the 'Little Hours' the antiphons, Accepit ergo etc., are sung. At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 53, 92, 118(i), 118(ii) and Quicumque. The Dominical preces are sung.

At Mass there is no Gloria, the second collect is A cunctis nos, the third collect is Omnipotens. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the preface of Lent is sung. Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar. Today the ministers wear violet dalmatic and tunicle rather than folded chasubles.

Vespers are of the Sunday. The antiphons and psalms (109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) of Sunday are sung. The Office hymn is the beautiful Ad preces nostras Deitatis aures. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc were sung. After Vespers of the Sunday Vespers of the Dead are sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted. After Mattins and Lauds of Monday Mattins and Laud of the Dead are sung.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 11 March 2018

February 26th - Third Sunday in Lent


The third Sunday in Lent is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericopes from St. Luke recount the LORD casting out evil from a demoniac.

At Vespers, yesterday morning, the antiphons and psalms (143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) of Saturday were sung. The chapter, Fratres: Estote imitatores Dei etc, was proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn was Audi, benigne conditor. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc were sung. At Compline the Dominical preceswere sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the Office hymn is Ex more. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Book of Genesis and the story of Joseph. The first lesson includes the first sentence of the second lesson in modern editions: Invidebant...considerabat. The second lesson is longer than in modern editions and includes the text from the modern third lesson Audiens autem...et reddere patri suo. The third lesson begins Confestim igitur and continues until the end of verse 34 rather than verse 28. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 & 17 are sung, the lessons are from St. Ambrose on Joseph. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung and the lessons are a homily from the Venerable Bede.

At Lauds the antiphons, Fac benigne etc., are proper to the Sunday and sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150. The Office hymn is Jam Christe sol justitiae. The chapter, antiphon at the Benedictus and collect are proper to the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Gloriosi principes etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc are sung.

At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 53, 92, 118(i), 118(ii) and Quicumque. The Dominical preces are sung. At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper.

At Mass the ministers wear violet folded chasubles. There is no Gloria, the second collect is A cunctis nos, the third collect is Omnipotens. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the preface of Lent is sung. Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal and the ministers wear violet folded chasubles in place of dalmatic and tunicle.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung. The chapter is proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn is Ad preces nostras deitatis aures. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc are sung. After Benedicamus Domino and its response in Vespers of the Sunday Vespers of the Dead are sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung. After Mattins and Lauds of Monday are sung Mattins and Lauds of the Dead follow.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 4 March 2018

February 19th - Second Sunday in Lent

The second Sunday in Lent is of semi-double rite. No feast can take precedence over it, or any such a Sunday, in occurrence. The Gospel pericopes are St. Matthew's account of the LORD's Transfiguration. The liturgical colour is violet.

At Vespers, yesterday morning, the antiphons and psalms (143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn was Audi, benigne conditor. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc were sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung, with the choir standing.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the hymn is Ex more. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the twenty-seventh chapter of the Book of Genesis. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 & 17 are sung, the lessons are from St. Augustine's Book against Liars. The fourth lesson is several sentences longer than the lesson found in more modern editions. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung and the lessons are from a homily from St. Leo on the Gospel. The eighth lesson contains part of the text of the modern ninth lesson and the ninth lesson contains more material than that found in the modern editions. In place of the Te Deum a ninth responsory is sung, Cum audisset Jacob.

At Lauds the antiphons, Domine labia mea aperies etc., are proper to the Second Sunday and sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite & 148-149-150. The Office hymn is Jam Christe sol justitiae. The versicle after the hymn Angelis suis, chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to the Sunday (the versicle and its response being used throughout Lent). After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Gloriosi principes etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc are sung.

At Prime and the Hours the antipons are proper to the Sunday, Domine bonum est etc. At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 53, 92, 118i, 118ii and Quicumque. The Dominical preces are sung. At all the Hours the antiphons, as noted, and chapters are proper.

At Mass the ministers wear folded chasubles. There is no Gloria, the second collect is A cunctis nos, the third collect is Omnipotens. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the preface of Lent is sung. The dismissal is Benedicamus Domino sung by the deacon facing the altar and celebrant.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms are of Sunday (109, 110, 111, 112 & 113). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn is Ad preces nostras deitatis aures. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc are sung. After Benedicamus Domino and its response in Vespers of the Sunday Vespers of the Dead are sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung. After Mattins and Lauds of Monday are sung Mattins and Lauds of the Dead follow.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

February 12th - First Sunday in Lent



The first Sunday in Lent is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is violet. No feast can take precedence over it or any such Sunday. The Gospel pericopes at Mattins and Mass are St. Matthew's account of the LORD's temptation by Satan in the desert.

At Vespers, yesterday morning, the antiphons and psalms (143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn was Audi, benigne conditor. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine . At Compline the Dominical preces were sung, with the choir standing.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the Office hymn is Ex more. These are both used throughout the first four weeks of Lent. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung and the lessons are from the Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. The second lesson is longer than that found in modern versions of the Breviary with the addition of Propter quod...Dominus omnipotens, vv. 17 & 18. The third lesson is also longer, beginning at the first verse of Ch. 7 with Has ergo habentes...pro vobis preceding the text found in modern editions which begin at the fourth verse. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 & 17 are sung, the lessons are from St. Leo and again give more of his sermon than found in modern editions. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung and the lessons are a homily from St. Gregory on the Gospel. Yet again the text found in the Tridentine Breviary is truncated in later editions. A ninth responsory, Angelis suis Deus mandavit de te, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to Quadragesima Sunday, Cor mundum crea in me Deus etc., and are sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150. The Office hymn is Jam Christe sol justitiae. The versicle after the hymn Angelis suis, chapter, antiphon at the Benedictus and collect are proper to the Sunday (the versicle and its response being used throughout Lent). After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Gloriosi principes etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc are sung.

At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 53, 92, 118(i), 118(ii) and Quicumque, the 'Athanasian' Creed. The Dominical preces are sung. At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper.

At Mass the ministers wear violet folded chasubles, there is no Gloria, the second collect is A cunctis nos, the third collect is Omnipotens. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the preface of Lent is sung. Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar.

Vespers are of the Sunday. The antiphons and psalms (109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) of Sunday are sung. The Office hymn is the beautiful Ad preces nostras Deitatis aures. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc. After Vespers of the Sunday Vespers of the Dead are sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 18 February 2018

February 5th - Quinquagesima Sunday


Quinquagesima Sunday is of semi-double rite and it liturgical colour is violet. The Epistle consists of perhaps one of the most famous pericopes in the NT, St. Paul's discourse to the Corinthians on faith, hope and charity. The Gospel from St. Luke has the story of the granting of sight to the man born blind. This Sunday corresponds in the Byzantine rite,to the Sunday of Forgiveness or Cheesefare Sunday, the Sunday being the last day dairy products are eaten until Pascha. The semi-double feast of St. Agatha is transferred to Monday.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday (Pss. 143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) were sung. The Office hymn was O lux beata Trinitas. The chapter, antiphon on the Magnificat and collect were proper to Quinquagesima Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc were sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins, as for the previous Sundays, the invitatory is Praeoccupemus and the Office hymn is Primo dierum. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung. The lessons, from Genesis, are the beginning of the story of Abraham. These are the same as those in found in the post-Clementine editions of the Breviary. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 & 17 are sung, the lessons are from St. Ambrose on the Patriarch Abraham. The fifth lesson is, unusually, slightly shorter than in later editions: Sed ideo addidit...Sequere Deum. The sixth lesson begins at the preceding verse to modern editions, Facto praevenit... In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung and the lessons are from a homily from St. Gregory on the Gospel. These are the same as those found in the later editions. The ninth responsory, Caecus sedebat, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to Quinquagesima Sunday, Secundum multitudinem etc., and are sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150. The versicle after the hymn Aeterne, chapter, antiphon at the Benedictus and collect are proper to the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Gloriosi principes etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc are sung.

At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 53, 92, 118i, 118ii and Quicumque. The Dominical preces are sung. At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper to the Sunday

In Mass the Gloria is omitted, the second collect is A cunctis nos, the third collect is chosen by the Dean or Rector of the place. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the Common Preface is sung. Following the general rule as the Gloria is not sung Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal. The ministers wear violet dalmatic and tunicle and the organ may be played.

Vespers are of the Sunday with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113. The Office hymn is Lucis Creator. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of the following, transferred, feast of St. Agatha followed by a commemoration of St. Dorothy and then the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 11 February 2018

January 29th - Sexagesima Sunday


Sexagesima Sunday is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericopes are from St. Luke and the parable of the sower with his seed landing on rock, amongst weeds and the good ground. In the Kalendar of the Byzantine rite Sexagesima corresponds to the Sunday of the Last Judgement or Meatfare Sunday, the last day on which meat is eaten until Pascha.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms for Saturday (Pss. 143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) were sung. The chapter was proper to Sexagesima, Fratres: Libenter suffertis and the Office hymn was O lux beata Trinitas. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine were sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins, as for Septuagesima Sunday, the invitatorium is Praeoccupemus and the Office hymn Primo dierum. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung. The lessons continue to be taken from Genesis are read concerning the story of Noah. The lessons are longer than those found in the post-Clementine editions of the Breviary. The first continues Videns autem Deus ...me fecisse eos, i.e with most of the text of the modern second lesson. The second lesson begins Noe vero invenit ... and continues with all of the modern third lesson and the addition of verse 16: Fenestram in arca facies ... tristega facies in ea. The third lesson, the text of which is entirely absent from the modern books, begins Ecce ego ... and continues until Fecit igitur omnia quae praeceperat illi Deus, Gen. 6:17 - 22. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 & 17 are sung, the lessons are from St. Ambrose on Noah and the Ark. These are identical to those found in the modern edtions. In the third nocturn (Pss. 18, 19 & 20 the lessons are taken from a homily of St. Gregory. The eighth and ninth lessons are slightly longer than in the modern editions. A ninth responsory, Cum turba plurima, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Secundum magnam misericordiam etc., and are sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150. The versicle after the hymn Aeterne, chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are all proper to the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Gloriosi principes etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc are sung.

At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 53, 92, 118(i), 118(ii) and Quicumque. The Dominical preces are sung. At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper.

In Mass there is no Gloria, the second collect is A cunctis, the third collect is chosen by the Dean or Rector. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the Common Preface is sung. Following the general rule as the Gloria is not sung Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar. The ministers wear violet dalmatic and tunicle.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) of Sunday are sung, the chapter is proper to Sexagesima Sunday as in the antiphon at the Magnificat, Vobis datum est etc. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace, Da pacem Domine are sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

January 22nd - Septuagesima Sunday


Septuagesima Sunday is of semi-double rank and its liturgical colour, from Mattins, is violet. At Mattins the book of Genesis is begun with the account of the Creation. The Gospel pericopes from St. Matthew at Mattins and Mass contain the parable of the labourers in the vineyard. The semi-double feast of SS Vincent & Anastasius is transferred to Monday.

Vespers yesterday were second Vespers of the feast of St. Agnes. The anipthons Ingressa Agnes etc were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 147. The Office hymn was Jesu, corona Virginum. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday was sung (the antiphon on the Magnificat was proper to the Sunday, Dixit Dominus etc). The Suffrages were omitted. At the conclusion of Vespers to Benedicamus Domino and its response a double Alleluia was added and after that Alleluia is not heard again until Holy Saturday. At Compline and at the beginning of all the Hours until the Triduum Laus tibi Domine Rex aeterne gloriae is sung in place of Alleluia. The Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatorium is Praeoccupemus as on preceding Sundays and the hymn Primo dierum. In the first nocturn (Pss. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14) the lessons are the Incipit of the Book of Genesis. These are the same as those found in modern editions. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 & 17 are sung, the lessons are from the Enchiridion of St. Augustine. These are substantially longer than those found in the post-Clementine editions and the sixth lesson is not found in the later books, the fifth lesson effectively having been divided into two. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung and the lessons are from a homily of St. Gregory on the Gospel of the labourers in the vineyard. Again, these are longer than those found in the modern editions. Today the text given for the eighth and ninth lessons are joined and an extended eighth lesson is read. The ninth lesson is that given for SS Faustinus and Jovita. The Te Deum is omitted and in its place a ninth responsory, Ubi est Abel frater tuus, is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Miserere mei Deus etc, and sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite and 148-149-150. The versicle after the hymn Aeterne rerum conditor, chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to Septuagesima Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrages of the BVM Santa Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Gloriosi principes etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine etc are sung.

At the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper to the Sunday. At Prime the order of psalmody is changed from the usual order. Under the antiphon Conventione autem Pss. 53, 92, 118i, 118ii and Quicumque are sung. The Dominical preces are also sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear violet dalmatic and tunicle. The Gloria is omitted, the second collect is A cunctis, the third collect chosen by the Dean or rector. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the Common Preface is sung. The dismissal is Benedicamus Domino , sung by the Deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) of Sunday are sung, the chapter is proper to Septuagesima Sunday as in the antiphon at the Magnificat, Simile est etc. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the transferred feast of SS Vincent & Anastasius and of St. Emerentiana followed by the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace, Da pacem Domine. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 28 January 2018

January 15th - Second Sunday after the Epiphany

The second Sunday after the Epiphany is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is green. The Gospel fragment at Mattins and the Gospel at Mass are St. John's account of the Marriage Feast at Cana. The semi-double feast of St. Paul the first Hermit is transferred to Monday this year.

Vespers yesterday afternoon were second Vespers of the feast of St. Hiliary. The antiphons Ecce sacerdos magnus etc were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 131. From the chapter the Office was of the Sunday. The Office hymn was O lux beata Trinitas. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding feast of St. Hiliary and of St. Maurus followed by the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domine were sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Adoremus Dominum and the Office hymn Primo dierum omnium. In the first nocturn (Pss. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14) the lessons are the Incipit of the Epistle to the Galatians. The first and second lessons are the same as those in the post-Clementine editions of the Breviary. The third lesson is longer and continues Cum autem placuit (...) eum diebus quindecim, i.e. the addition of vv. 15 - 18. In the second nocturn (Pss. 15, 16 & 17) the lessons are from St. Augustine's Expositon on the Epistle to the Galatians. These are the same as those found in later editions. In the third nocturn (Pss. 18, 19 & 20) the homily is from St. Jerome on St. Matthew's Gospel. Again, the lessons are the same as those found in later editions. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite 148-49-150 are sung. The Office hymn is Aeterne rerum conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of St. Maurus followed by the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Gloriosi principes etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace Da pacem Domineetc.

At Prime (Pss. 53, 117, 118i & 118ii) Quicumque is sung as are the Dominical preces.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Maurus, the third collect is of the BVM, Deus, qui salutis. The Credo is sung and the Common Preface is sung.

Vespers are of the Sunday with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following, transferred, Office of St. Paul the Hermit and of St. Marcellus followed by the Suffrages of the BVM Sancta Maria succurre etc, the Apostles Petrus Apostolus etc, of the Patron and lastly for peace, Da pacem Domine etc. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 21 January 2018

January 8th - Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany


Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. The Gospel pericopes from St. Luke's Gospel describe the Finding in the Temple with the LORD debating with the learned doctors to the amazement of those who witnessed this manifestation of Him.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc were sung, not doubled, with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113. The chapter, Fratres: Obsecro vos, was proper to the Sunday. The Office hymn was Hostis Herodes impie. After the collect of the Sunday within the Octave a commemoration was sung of the Octave of the Epiphany (the antiphon on the Magnificat being proper to the second day within the Octave, the 7th January, Videntes stellam Magi. The Suffrages were omitted. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Doxology Gloria tibi Domine, Qui apparuisti hodie etc as are the hymns of the Hours throughout the Octave.

At Mattins the invitatory is Christus apparuit nobis, Venite adoremus. The Office hymn is Hostis Herodes impie. The antiphons and psalms are as on the second day within the Octave. In the first nocturn the Incipit of St. Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians is read. The lessons are longer than those found in the post-Clementine editions: The first lesson includes the modern second lesson Gratias ago Deo meo ... Christi, Domini nostri. The second lesson begins Obsecro autem, the same as the modern third lesson. The third lesson is absent from the modern editions, Gratias ago Deo...prudentiam reprobabo, i.e. vv. 14 - 19. The first responsory is Hodie, the other responsories as on the feast. In the second nocturn the lessons are from a sermon of St. Leo (again these are longer than in the post-Clementine editions of the Breviary). In the third nocturn the homily is from St. Augustine, the lessons are the same as in the modern editions. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the antiphons from the feast, Ante luciferum genitus etc are sung with the festal psalms (Pss. 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150). The chapter is proper to the Sunday, as sung at Vespers yesterday, and the Office hymn is O Sola magnarum urbium. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of the Octave, the antiphon on the Benedictus is Tria sunt munera etc., proper to the 8th January.

At the Hours the psalms of Lauds are used in the usual sequence. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii) the versicle Qui apparuisti hodie is sung (as it is for the entire Octave) and the lectio brevis is Sicut enim in uno corpore etc. The Dominical preces are omitted being within the Octave.

The Mass In excelso throno is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Octave. Being a Sunday within an Octave there is no third collect. The Creed is sung and the communicantes and Hanc igitur are of the Epiphany.

At Vespers the antiphons Ante luciferum genitus etc are again sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113. The Office hymn is Hostis Herodes impie. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of the Octave is sung, the antiphon on the Magnificat being proper to the 8th January, Lux de luce. The Suffrages are omitted as are the Domincal preces at Compline.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 14 January 2018

January 1st - The Circumcision and Octave-Day of the Nativity of the LORD


The feast of the Circumcision of the LORD and Octave Day of the Nativity is of double rite and its liturgical colour is white. It is also the Sunday within the Octaves of St. Stephen, St. John and the Holy Innocents but these are not commemorated today in either the Office or Mass.

At first Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons O admirabile commercium etc were sung, doubled, with the psalms for feasts of the BVM (Pss. 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147). The Office hymn was Christe Redemptor omnium (as on the feast of the Nativity). The Doxology which has been sung since first Vespers of the Nativity Gloria tibi Domineetc continues to be sung until the Epiphany. After the collect of the feast there were no commemorations. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Christus natus es nobis, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Christe Redemptor omnium. In the first nocturn the antiphons Dominus dixit ad me etc, are sung with psalms 2, 18 & 23. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Epistle to the Romans, Chapters 3 and 4 , 'What advantage then hath the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? and all of St. Paul's discourse on circumcison and the Gentiles. They are, therefore, longer than those found in the post-1911 books. In the second nocturn the antiphons Speciosus forma etc are sung6 & 95. The lessons are from St. Leo's seventh sermon on the Nativity of the LORD. These are significantly longer than those found in post-Clementine editions. In the third nocturn the antiphons In principio etc are sung with psalms 96, 97 & 98 and the homily is from the writings of St. Ambrose on St. Luke's Gospel. These are the same as in later editions of the Breviary. The Te Deum is sung.

At Lauds the same antiphons that were sung at Vespers, O admirabile commercium etc, are sung with psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150. The Office hymn is as on the feast of the Nativity, A solis ortus cardine. The antiphon on the Benedictus, Mirabile mysterium etc, is proper to the feast. There are no commemorations.

At the Hours, the antiphons from Lauds are used in the usual order. The Doxology in honour of the Incarnation is sung at the hymns. At Prime the antiphon O admirabile commercium is sung with the festal psalms (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii). In the short responsory the versicle Qui natus es is sung, as it has been from the feast of the Nativity and will be sung until the Vigil of the Epiphany inclusive. The lectio brevis is Ipsi peribunt. The chapters at the Hours of Sext and None are the same as those sung on the feast of the Nativity.

Mass is sung after Terce. The introit Puer natus is sung, there is a single collect, the Credo is sung and the preface and communicantes are of the Nativity.

At Second Vespers the antiphons O admirabile commercium are again sung with the same psalms as at first Vespers (Pss. Pss.109, 112, 121, 126 & 147). The versicle and its respond and the antiphon on the Magnificat are proper to Second Vespers of the feast. A commemoration is sung of the following Octave Day of St. Stephen.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

December 25th - The Nativity of the LORD


The feast of the Nativity of the LORD is a double feast with an Octave and its liturgical colour is white. The Office of the Nativity completely takes the place of the Sunday.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons Rex pacificus magnificatus est etc were sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 113. The Office hymn was Christe Redemptor omnium. At Compline, and the Hours throughout the Octave, a proper Doxology, Gloria tibi Domine, Qui natus es de Virgine, Cum patre et almo Spiritu, In sempiterna saecula, is sung at all hymns of Iambic metre until the Epiphany. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted.

At Mattins the invitatory is Christus natus est nobis, Venite adoremus. When intoning the hymn, Christe, Redemptor omnium, the Hebdomadarius turns and bows to the altar. Mattins has three nocturns and the usual nine lessons. In the first nocturn the lessons are from Isaiah but, interestingly, are sung without a title. These are the same as in the modern editions. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from a homily on the Nativity by St. Leo. All three lessons are longer than in the post-Clementine editions. In the third nocturn three Gospel pericopes are sung, two from St. Luke and the third from St. John. The seventh lesson does not begin at the words Quia, largiente Domino, as in the later editions, but at Quid est, quod nascituro Domino. It is longer by a couple of sentences. The eighth lesson is longer by a sentence and the ninth lesson by several sentences. After the Te Deum the collect is sung followed by Benedicamus Domino. Then the first of the three Masses for the Nativity is sung. The Gloria is sung (one theory of its origin in the Mass rite is from the song of the Angels on Christmas night to the shepherds) as is the Creed. The preface and communicantes are of the Nativity. Lauds immediately follow this Mass.

At Lauds a different set of antiphons to those used at first Vespers, Quem vidistis pastores etc., are sung with the Dominical psalms (92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150). The Office hymn is A solis ortus cardine.

Later in the morning Prime is sung. The first antiphon from Lauds, Quem vidistis pastores, is sung with the festal psalms (53, 118i & 118ii). In the short responsory the versicle Qui natus es de Maria Virgine is sung. Prime is followed by the second Mass, the Missa in aurora, that has a second collect to commemorate St. Anastasia. The Gloria and Creed are sung, the preface and communicantes are of the Nativity.

After Terce the third Mass is sung. This Mass too has the Gloria and Creed along with the preface and communicantes of the Nativity. As the Gospel pericope for this Mass is In principio the Gospel of the Epiphany, Cum natus esset Jesus, is read as a proper last Gospel.

Second Vespers has yet a third set of proper antiphons for the feast, Tecum principium etc., that are sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 129 and 131. These antiphons and psalms will be used through the Octave. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the following feast of St. Stephen.

A very blessed and Holy, Julian Kalendar, Christmass to all.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

December 24th - Vigil of the Nativity

The Vigil of the Nativity is unique in the Liturgical Year in that it is of simple rite at Mattins and then becomes of double rite from Lauds onwards. The liturgical colour throughout is violet.

Mattins has a single nocturn of three lessons, preceded, where it is of observed, by Mattins and Lauds of the BVM. The invitatory is Hodie scietis quia veniet Dominus, Ex mane videbitis gloriam ejus and the hymn is Verbum supernum prodiens. The antiphons Ut non delinquam etc are sung with psalms 97, 98, 91, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107 & 108 from the Psalter for Saturday. After the last antiphon a versicle proper to the day, Hodie scietis, quia veniet Dominus, and its respond, Et mane videbitis gloriam ejus are sung. The homily is taken from St. Jerome's commentary on the first chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel. The first lesson consists of the text of both the first and second lessons in the post-Clementine books. The second lesson is the same as the modern third lesson. The third lesson, Joseph fili David noli timere (...) salvum faciet populum suum, is entirely absent from the post-Clementine books. A third responsory is sung in place of the Te Deum. At Lauds the antiphons, Judaea et Jerusalem nolite timere etc (sung under double rite), are proper to the day and are sung with the psalms of Sunday (92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite and 148-149-150. The Office hymn is Vox clara ecce intonat. The V & R, chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus, and collect are proper to the Vigil. The ferial preces are not sung. As the Office is now of double rite the Officium Parvum is not celebrated.

At Prime the first antiphon sung at Lauds is sung with Pss. 53, 118(i) and 118(ii). The Martyrology is sung with extra solemnity today. The Hebdomadarius dons a violet cope and preceded by acolytes bearing candles and a thurifer with incense enters the choir. After reverencing the choir and altar the Martyrology is censed, as a Gospel book, three times. The the choir rise and the Hebdomadarius chants Octavo Kalendas Januarii. Then, after announcing the moon, continues Anno a creatione mundi, quando in principio Deus creavit coelum et terram, quinquies millesimo centesimo nonagesimonono: A diluvio etc., listing the years since the birth of Abraham, the Exodus from Egypt, the anointing of David, the time since Daniel the Prophet, since the founding of Rome and the conception of the LORD by the Holy Ghost '...novemque post conceptionem decursis mensibus', then raising the pitch of the chant, whilst the choir kneel, he continues, 'in Bethlehem Judae nascitur ex Maria Virgine factus Homo'. Then in the tone of the Passion: 'Nativitas Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundem carnem.' The choir then rise and sit whilst in the normal tone the Hebdomadarius (or a lector, depending on the custom of the place) continues with the entries for the day: 'Eodem die natalis santae Anastasiae etc. The lectio brevis, Per quem accepimus, is proper to the Vigil. The antiphons from Lauds are used in sequence at the rest of the Hours.

Mass is sung after None. Today the ministers do not wear folded chasubles but dalmatic and tunicle. There is just one collect. The dismissal, Benedicamus Domino, is sung by the deacon to a most beautiful and ornate tone reserved for today, the feast of the Holy Innocents and pro re gravi Masses.

First Vespers of the Nativity are sung in the afternoon. The antiphons Rex pacificus etc are sung with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. All hymns of Iambic metre have the Doxology Gloria tibi Domine, Qui natus es de Virgine for the Octave and up until the feast of the Epiphany. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

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, doubled, 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 feast the Advent feria was commemorated with the Great 'O' Antiphon appointed for the 20th December, O clavis David and the collect of the preceding Sunday. 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 with the collect of the preceding Sunday.

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 collect of the preceding Sunday). 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.