Sunday, 21 March 2021

March 8th - First Sunday in Lent

The first Sunday in Lent is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour, from Mattins, is violet. No feast can take precedence in occurence 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.

Vespers, yesterday morning, were second Vespers of the double feast of St. Thomas Aquinas. The antiphons Domine quinque talenta etc, taken from the Common of Confessor non-Pontiffs, were sung doubled with psalms 109, 110, 111, 112 & 11. The chapter was Beatus vir and the hymn Iste Confessor. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday was sung. The Suffrage was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

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 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 (this same 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 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 a commemoration is sung of the following feast of the SS Forty Martyrs 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


  1. Do you know where I might find an account of the shortening of the lessons at Matins in post-Tridentine editions of the Roman Breviary?