Sunday, 19 March 2017

Third Sunday in Lent


The third Sunday in Lent is a semi-double Sunday of the first class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericope from St. Luke at Mattins and Mass recounts the LORD casting out evil from a demoniac. The feast of St. Joseph Spouse of the BVM is transferred to Monday.

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms were of Saturday, the chapter was proper to the Sunday, and the Office hymn was Audi, benigne conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration was sung of the preceding feast of St. Cyril of Jerusalemen. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline due to the double feast.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the Office hymn is Ex more, as on the other Sundays in Lent. The antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung. In the first nocturn the lessons are from Genesis and the story of Joseph, his coat of many colours and his brothers casting him into a pit. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the Book of St. Augustine on Joseph. In the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of the Venerable Bede on St. Luke's Gospel. A ninth responsory, Lamentabatur Jacob, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Fac benigne etc., and the second scheme of Psalms sung (50, 117, 62, Benedictus es, 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and the Office hymn is O sol salutis. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Et cum ejecisset Jesus etc. At Prime the psalms are Pss. 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two divisi of Ps. 118. The Dominical preces are sung.

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

In the afternoon the liturgical colour changes to white and first Vespers of the feast of St. Joseph are sung. The proper antiphons Jacob autem etc are sung, doubled, with Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116. The Office hymn is Te, Joseph, celebrent agmina caelitum. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung. The Suffrage is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at Vespers which are sung in the afternoon as at any other time of the year. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there is no Suffrage. At Prime the psalms are Ps.53 and the first two divisi of Ps.118, the Domincial preces are never sung. At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, as in Septuagesima. There is only one collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est. Vespers are of the Sunday with a commemoration of St. Joseph.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Second Sunday in Lent

The Second Sunday in Lent is a semi-double Sunday of the first class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericopes from St. Matthew's Gospel give the account of the Transfiguration of the LORD.

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms 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 a commemoration of St. Gregory the Great was sung. The Suffrage of the Saints was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the Office hymn is Ex more. The antiphons and psalms given for Sunday are sung. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the twenty-seventh chapter of Genesis and the story of Jacob and Esau. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from the book of St. Augustine against lying and explain the mystery of Jacob's actions. In the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Leo the Great on the Transfiguration of the LORD. A ninth responsory, Cum audisset Jacob, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the antiphons Domine labia mea aperies etc are proper to the Sunday and are sung with the second scheme of Psalms (50, 117, 62, Benedictus es and 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and hymn is O sol salutis. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Gregory is sung.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper to the Sunday. At Prime the psalms are 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two divisions of Ps. 118. The Dominical preces are omitted and the short lesson is Quaerite Dominum.

Mass is sung after Terce. The deacon and subdeacon wear violet folded chasubles. There is no Gloria. The second collect is of St. Gregory. There is no third collect. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Creed is sung, the preface is of Lent and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the altar and celebrant.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms (109, 110, 111, 112 & 113) are of Sunday. The Office hymn is Audi, benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of St. Gregory is sung. The Suffrage of the saints is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline due to the concurring double feast.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Vespers on Saturday are sung at the same time as any other day of the year, there are no commemorations. At Compline the Dominical preces are never sung having been abolished. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there are no commemorations. At Prime the psalms are the festal arrangement of Ps. 53 and the first two divisi of Ps. 118 and the Domincial preces are omitted. At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, as in Septuagesima, there is only a single collect. The dismissal is Ite, missa est. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

First Sunday in Lent


The First Sunday in Lent is a semi-double Sunday of the first class. No feast can take precedence over it or any such Sunday. The liturgical colour of the Sunday is violet. At Mass, unlike on the Sundays of Septuagesima, the ministers wear folded chasubles rather than dalmatic and tunicle and the organ is silent (as has been the practice too since Ash Wednesday). The Gospel pericope at Mattins and Mass is St. Matthew's account of the LORD's temptation by Satan in the desert. Vespers yesterday morning marked the ancient beginning of Lent before the addition of Ash Wednesday and the intervening days. On these added days although certain penitential practices have entered the Liturgy such as the use folded chasubles and the ferial preces at the Hours the Office hymns etc were still those used in previous weeks. Vespers of the first Sunday in Lent mark the beginning of the Pars Verna, the Spring volume of the Breviary,

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper, Fratres: Hortamur vos, and the Office hymn was Audi, benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration was sung of the preceding feast of St. Casimir followed by the Suffrage of the Saints. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Non sit vobis and the hymn is Ex more. These are both used throughout the first four weeks of Lent. The antiphons and psalms given in the Psalter for Sundays are sung, as on previous Sundays. In the first nocturn the lessons are from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from a sermon on Lent by St. Leo the Great and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Gregory the Great on St. Matthew's account of the temptation of the LORD. As in Septuagesima there is no Te Deum but a ninth responsory, which today is Angelis suis Deus mandavit de te.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Cor mundum etc., and the second scheme of Psalms is sung (50, 117, 62, Benedictus es, 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and hymn is O sol salutis. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper to the Sunday, Jesus autem etc. At Prime the psalms are 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two divisi of 118. The Dominical preces are sung and the short lesson is Quaerite Dominum.

Mass is sung after Terce. As folded chasubles are word by the ministers the organ is silent. At Mass the Gloria is not sung. The second collect is A cunctis, the third collect is Omnipotens. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Creed is sung, the preface is of Lent and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the celebrant and altar.

Vespers are of the Sunday, sung at the normal time (as Sundays are not fast days). The antiphons and psalms are those used on Sundays, the chapter is proper and the Office hymn is Audi, benigne Conditor. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration is sung of the following Office of SS Perpetua and Felicitas. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Vespers on the weekdays of Lent are sung at the same time as during the rest of the Liturgical year. There were no commemorations nor Suffrage at Vespers. There were no preces at Compline. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds there is no Suffrage. At Prime the psalms are Ps. 53 and the first two divisi of Ps. 118 as on feasts, there are no Dominical preces At Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, as in Septuagesima. There is but a single collect. The dismissal is Ite, missa est. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Ash Wednesday


Ash Wednesday is a privileged greater feria although only of simple rite. No feast can be celebrated on this day of whatever rank. The liturgical colour of the day is violet. In earlier times the rite which gives the day its name, the sprinkling of ash on the heads of penitents, was reserved to those public penitents who underwent a public and dramatic expulsion from the church building. Although no longer generally practiced echoes of the above can be found in today's Liturgy which contains a general imposition of Ashes on all of those who wish to receive them. The Liturgy is interesting too in that much remains of the Office of the Septuagesima season as originally Lent began with the Office of the first Sunday.

The third part of the Pontificale Romanum still contains the rite for the Expulsion of Public Penitents - De Expulsione Publice Poenitentium ab Ecclesia in feria Quarta Cinerum. In that rite, after Sext, when the bishop was to celebrate Mass this day, the bishop vested in pontificals as far as the dalmatic and then donned a violet cope. Public penitents assembled in sack-cloth in their bare feet and were given a penance for Lent and then were given ashes, which the bishop had blessed. Then followed a ceremony that included the Seven Penitential Psalms and Litany. It culminated in the penitents being led, physically, from the church and expelled. The Caermoniale Episcoporum alludes to the Expulsion of Penitents in churches where it is the custom, C.E. Lib II, Cap.18, 2.

The Expulsion of Penitents from a 1611 edition of the Pontificale Romanum from Google Books.

The Office of Ash Wednesday begins with Mattins. The invitatory is Deum magnum Dominum, Venite adoremus and the Office hymn is Rerum Creator optime both from the ferial Office per annum. The antiphons Speciosus forma etc are sung with the nine psalms/psalm divisi of a single nocturn from the ferial Office for Wednesdays. The second scheme of Mattins for Wednesday is used, wherein Psalm 49 is split into three divisi rather than the usual two. The lessons in the nocturn are from a homily of St. Augustine reflecting on the LORD's Sermon on the Mount from St. Matthew's Gospel. The responsories are taken from the third nocturn of Quinquagesima Sunday. At Lauds the second scheme of psalmody is used (Pss. 50, 64, 100, Canticle of Anna & 145. The antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are both proper to the day. After the antiphon on the Benedictus has been sung in full after the canticle the choir kneels and the ferial preces are sung. After the collect of the day the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At the Hours again the ferial antiphons and psalter are used. Prime has a fourth psalm displaced from Lauds by the Miserere, so the psalmody at Prime is Pss. 25, 51, 52 & 96. At Prime both the Dominical and ferial preces are sung kneeling, the chapter is the ferial Pacem et veritatem. At the other Hours the short set of ferial preces are chanted with the choir again kneeling.

The blessing of Ashes and Mass follows None. The celebrant vests in a violet cope while the deacon and subdeacon wear violet folded chasubles. The organ is silent following the general rule when folded chasubles are worn. The Ashes, made from burning of the preceding year's Palms, are blessed with four collects of blessing. The short conclusion of these prayers may indicate the blessing was separated by the Expusion of Penitents from the Mass which follows. The Ashes are imposed whilst two antiphons are chanted Immutemur habitu and Inter vestibulum. These are followed by the poignant responsory Emendemus in melius. The Mass that now immediately follows is proper. The Gloria is not sung. The second collect is A cunctis, the third Omnipotens. The preface of Lent is sung for the first time this year. The ferial tones are used for the orations, preface and Pater noster. The choir kneels for the Orations and from the Sanctus until Pax Domini. After the last collect the deacon sings Humiliate capita vestra Deo and the celebrant sings the Oratio super populum. The dismissal is Benedicamus Domino, sung by the deacon facing the celebrant and altar.

Vespers are ferial. The Office hymn is Caeli Deus sanctissime. The ferial preces are sung with the choir kneeling. After the collect the Suffrage of the Saints is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung, kneeling.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the ferial preces are sung at Lauds and Vespers only. At Lauds and Vespers Suffrage has been abolished. At Prime there are three psalms 25, 51 & 52 and the chapter is the festal Regi saeculorum - bizzare! At Prime and the Hours the preces are omitted. Mass is sung after Terce. At the blessing of Ashes and Mass the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle. Judica me Deus etc is omitted from the beginning of Mass. There is only one collect. The extended kneeling is omitted with the choir rising at the conclusion of the Canon. The dismissal is Ite missa est.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Quinquagesima Sunday


Quinquagesima Sunday is a semi-double of the second class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Gospel pericopes are taken from St. Luke and give the account of the giving of sight to the man born blind.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms were of Saturday, the chapter, antiphon on the Magnificat and collect were proper to Quinquagesima Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints was sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins, as on the previous two Sundays, the antiphons and psalms are those used on Sundays throughout the year. In the first nocturn the lessons are again from Genesis and this Sunday concern the story of Abraham. In the second nocturn the lessons are from St. Ambrose on the Book on the Patriarch Abraham and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily from St. Gregory on St. Luke's Gospel of the man blind from birth whose sight was restored by the LORD. The blind man is a figure of the human race according to St. Gregory. A ninth responsory, Caecus sedebat secus viam etc, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the 'second scheme' of psalms is sung: Pss. 50, 117, 62, Benedictus es and 148. The antiphons at Lauds are proper for Quinquagesima Sunday, Secundum multitudinem etc, as are the antiphon at the Benedictus and the collect. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper to Quinquagesima Sunday. At Prime the order of psalmody is that used when the second schema of Lauds is sung, i.e. Pss. 92, 99 (displaced at Lauds) and Ps. 118i & 118ii. The Dominical preces are sung.

In Mass the Gloria is omitted, the second collect is A cunctis, the third collect is chosen by the Dean or rector. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Credo is sung, the Preface is of the Blessed Trinity and Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar. The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms are those used on Sundays, the chapter is proper to the Sunday as is the antiphon at the Magnificat. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of the Saints is sung as are the Domincal preces at Compline.

Following the 'liturgical books of 1962' at Vespers the Suffrage has been abolished. At Compline the preces have been abolished. At Mattins there is but a single nocturn. At Prime Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii are sung, as on major feasts, the preces have been abolished. At Mass there is a single collect and Benedicamus Domino is suppressed in favour of Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Sexagesima Sunday


Sexagesima Sunday is a semi-double of the second class and its liturgical colour is violet. The Sunday is characterised by a very lengthy Epistle from St. Paul's Latter Epistle to the Corinthians. The Gospel pericopes are from St. Luke and contain the parable of the sower with his seed landing on rock, amongst weeds and on the good ground.

At Vespers yesterday afternoon the antiphons and psalms were of Saturday. The chapter was proper to the Sunday, Fratres: Libenter suffertis, and the Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of All Saints was sung. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins the antiphons and psalms are from the Psalter for Sundays. In the first nocturn the lessons continue to be read from Genesis (Ch. 5 & 6), the beginning of the story of Noah. In the second nocturn the lessons are from St. Ambrose on Noah and the Ark and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily from St. Gregory on the Gospel of the seed falling on good and poor ground. A ninth responsory, Cum turba plurima, is sung in place of the Te Deum.

At Lauds the 'second scheme' of psalms is sung: Pss 50, 117, 62, Canticle of the Three Children (Benedictus es) and 148. The antiphons at Lauds are proper for Sexagesima Sunday, Secundum magnam misericordiam as are the chapter and antiphon on the Benedictus. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of All Saints is sung.

At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 92, 99 (displaced at Lauds) 118i & 118ii. The Dominical preces are sung. At the Hours the antiphons, Semen cecidit etc, and chapters are proper to Sexagesima Sunday.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is omitted, the second collect is A cunctis, the third collect is chosen by the Dean or Rector. A Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Creed is sung , the Preface is of Trinity and Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal by the deacon facing the altar.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday the Suffrage of All Saints is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Suffrage has been abolished at Vespers and Lauds. The Dominical preces at Compline and Prime have been abolished. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn. At Prime the arrangement of psalmody is festive, Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii. At Mass there is single collect and Benedicamus Domino is suppressed in favour of Ite, missa est.

Art: Jerome Nadal

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Septuagesima Sunday


Septuagesima Sunday is a semi-double Sunday of the second class. Yesterday afternoon the liturgical mood became more sombre with Vespers of Septuagesima as penitential violet became the liturgical colour of the season. Although more sombre than the season after the Epiphany the short season of Septuagesima is not as penitential as Lent. Although the colour violet is used at Mass the ministers do not wear folded chasubles but dalmatic and tunicle for these three Sundays and for ferial days. The organ is still played until Ash Wednesday. However, from Septuagesima until Holy Saturday the dress of certain prelates changes. Cardinals of the Court of Rome no longer wear scarlet choir dress but that of violet. Correspondingly bishops do not wear violet choir dress but their black, or mourning dress. In the case of the latter this is not to be confused with their habitus pianus, or house dress. The black choir cassock has a train, like the violet one, and the mozzeta or mantelletum are faced with violet. However, Protonotaries Apostolic and Domestic Prelates do not change their choir dress (except sede vacante). Yesterday the third Sunday after the Epiphany was anticipated.

At Vespers on Saturday afternoon the antiphons and psalms of Saturday were sung. The chapter was proper to Septuagesima Sunday and the Office hymn was Jam sol recedit igneus sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation, Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui natus es etc. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of Our Lady of Lourdes and of the Seven Founders of the Servite Order. The Suffrage was omitted. At the end of Vespers Alleluia was added, twice, to both Benedicamus Domino and to its response. After that Alleluia will not be heard again until the Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Saturday. At Compline after the Lesser Doxology, and at all Hours until Compline on Holy Saturday, Laus tibi Domine Rex aeterne gloriae is sung in place of Alleluia. The Dominical preces were sung at Compline.

At Mattins the invitatory is Praeoccupemus as on preceding Sundays and the hymn Primo die. The antiphons and psalms are as on previous 'green' Sundays. In the first nocturn the Incipit of the Book of Genesis is read. In the second nocturn the lessons are from the Enchiridion of St. Augustine, in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily from St. Gregory on the Gospel of the labourers in the vineyard. The Te Deum is not sung but in its place is sung a ninth responsory, Ubi est Abel frater tuus?.

At Lauds the 'second scheme' of psalms is sung: Pss 50, 117, 62, Canticle of the Three Children (Benedictus es) and 148. The antiphons at Lauds are proper to the Sunday as are the versicle after the hymn Aeterne, chapter, antiphon at the Benedictus and collect. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration of the Seven Founders is sung. The Suffrage is omitted.

At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper. At Prime the order of psalmody is changed and four psalms are sung, Pss. 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the usual first two stanzas of Ps. 118. Both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted.

At Mass the Gloria is omitted. The ministers wear violet dalmatic and tunicle. The second collect is of the Seven Founders. Today there is no third collect. A Tract replaces the Alleluia after the Gradual, the Credo is sung and the Preface is of the Blessed Trinity. Benedicamus Domino is sung, by the deacon facing the altar, as the dismissal.

At Vespers the antiphons and psalms of Sunday are sung. The Office hymn is Lucis creator. After the collect of the Sunday acommemoration is sung of the Seven Founders. The Suffrage is omitted as are the Dominical preces at Compline.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' at Vespers there were no commemorations. Mattins is reduced to a single nocturn. At Prime the arrangement of psalms is truly bizarre with the festal arrangment of Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii (!) At Mass there is only one collect and Benedicamus Domino is suppressed in favour of Ite, missa est. At Vespers there are no commemorations.

Art: Jerome Nadal