Sunday, 27 September 2020
September 14th - The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is of double rite and its liturgical colour is red. The origin of the feast was the dedication of Constantine's basilica in Jerusalem in 335. The feast appears to have been celebrated in Rome since the seventh century. The sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, this year the Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin and the third Sunday of September, is commemorated at Vespers, Mattins, Lauds and Mass.
At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons O magnum pietatis opus etc were sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn was the magnificent Vexilla regis. After the collect of the feast commemorations of the Sunday (the antiphon on the Magnificat being Ne reminiscaris for the Saturday before the third Sunday of September) and of the Octave of the Nativity of the BVM were sung. The Suffrages were omitted due to the double feast as were the Dominical preces at Compline. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnatiion, Gloria tibi Domine etc., as are all the hymns of the Little Hours.
At Mattins the invitatory is Christum Regem, pro nobis in Cruce exaltatum, Venite adoremus. The Office hymn is Pange linua. In the first nocturn the antiphons Nobile lignum exaltatur etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 1, 2 & 3. The lessons in the first nocturn are taken from the Book of Numbers. These are the same as those found in the later editions of the Breviary. In the second nocturn the antiphons O Crucis victoria etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 4, 10 & 20. The lessons describe the taking of the Cross from Jerusalem and its triumphant return. Again, they are the same as those in the later books. In the third nocturn the antiphons Adoramus te Christe etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 95, 96 & 97. The lessons are from a homily on the Passion of the Lord from St. Leo the Great. These are the same as those found in the later books. Today the eighth and ninth lessons of the feast are read together to form an extended eighth lesson of the day and the ninth lesson is form from the three lessons appointed for the homily of the Sunday. These are from a homily of St. Ambrose on St. Luke's Gospel. The eighth and nine lessons (of the Sunday) are slightly longer than those found in the post-Clementine editions. The Te Deum is sung.
At Lauds the antiphons O magnum pietatis opus etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite and 148-149-150. The Office hymn is Lustris sex. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the Sunday and of the Octave of the BVM.
At the Hours the O magnum pietatis opus etc are sung in the usual order. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118) both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted, the lectio brevis is proper, Humiliavit semetipsum. The hymns have the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday, the third collect is of the Octave. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Holy Cross and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.
At Vespers the antiphons O magnum pietatis opus are, again, sung, doubled, with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn is Vexilla regis. After the collect of the feast commemorations are sung of the following Octave Day of the Nativity of the BVM and of the Sunday. The Suffrages are omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline The week ahead will be that of the September Ember Days.
Icon from the Greek Catholic Church.