Sunday, 3 January 2021

December 21st - Fourth Sunday of Advent


The Fourth Sunday of Advent is of semi-double rite. The liturgical colour, until Vespers, is violet. The feast of St. Thomas the Apostle is transferred to tomorrow.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and Psalms of Saturday (Pss. 143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) were sung. The Office hymn was Conditor alme siderum. The Great 'O' Antiphon O clavis David was sung entire both before and after the Magnificat. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Prope est jam Dominus and the Office hymn is Verbum supernum. In the first nocturn the antiphons Veniet ecce Rex etc are sung with Pss. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14. The lessons in the first nocturn are taken from the prophet Isaiah. The first and second lessons are the same as those found in the post-Clementine editions of the Breviary. The third lesson is slightly longer continuing Viderunt insulae ... eum clavis, ut non moveretur, (i.e. the addition of Cap. 41 vv. 5 -7). In the second nocturn the antiphons Gaude et laetare etc are sung with Pss. 15, 16 and 17. The lessons are taken from a sermon of St. Leo on fasting in the tenth month. These lesson are substantially longer than in the modern editions of the Breviary. The sixth lesson text is completely absent from the modern editions. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gabriel Angelus etc are sung with Pss. 18, 19 and 20. The homily is from St. Gregory's writing on St. Luke's Gospel. These are the same as those found in the modern editions. A ninth responsory, Intuemini, is sung as the Te Deum omitted in the Office of Advent.

At Lauds the antiphons Canite tuba in Sion etc are sung with psalms 92, 99, 62-66, Benedicite and 148-149-150. The hymn is Vox clara ecce intonat. The antiphon on the Benedictus is proper to the 21st December, Nolite timere etc. The Suffrages are omitted in Advent.

At Prime the first antiphon from Lauds, Canite tuba in Sion, is sung with the usual Dominical psalms (53, 117, 118i, 118ii) and Quicumque. In the short responsory the versicle is Qui venturus es in mundum. The Dominical preces are sung. At the other Hours the other antiphons of Lauds are sung in the usual order.

Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear violet folded chasubles. The introit is the delightful Rorate, caeli. The Gloria in not sung, the second collect is of the Blessed Virgin in Advent, Deus, qui de beate, the third collect Ecclesiae. The Creed is sung and the common preface is sung. As the Gloria was not sung, the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino sung by the deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers the liturgical colour changes to red and first Vespers of St. Thomas the Apostle are sung. The antiphons Hoc est praeceptum meum etc are sung, doubled, with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn is Exsultet caelum laudibus. The antiphon on the Magnificat is proper to the feast, Quia vidisti me etc. After the collect of the feast the Sunday is commemorated with the Great 'O' Antiphon appointed for the 21st December, O Oriens. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

Art: Jerome Nadal

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