Friday, June 27, 2014

Sacred Heart: The Office Then & Now

Since some reference has been made by our friend, The Rad Trad, about the improvement to the Office of the feast of the Sacred Heart under Pope Pius XI when said feast was formalized and extended as a universal Double First Class feast along with a newly minted octave. The CTO had adopted this feast as the one and only addition to the Tridentine Temporale, but we have excluded the octave from universal observance. I myself will be observing the octave personally.

That said, I want to take this octave (and likely beyond) to compare the texts of the older Office of the Sacred Heart (as contained in the appendix of my 1854 BreviariumRomanum) to the Pius XI Office of 1928 currently observed in order to test the validity of Rad Trad's claim. I'm sure he doesn't mind. To make matters more interesting, my 1854 BR actually has two different Sacred Heart Offices in its pro aliquibus locis section, so we will be looking at three different sets of texts. My intention is to explore the five antiphons at Vespers and Lauds in this first post, then examine the capitula at these Offices and the Diurnal Hours, discuss the Hymns of the Major Hours, and finally devote three posts to each respective nocturne of Mattins in subsequent posts.

One point of general contrast between the two before we get into each Office is the ranking. In the older texts, the Sacred Heart is a Votive Office of Double Major rank observed ad libitum on the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi. As such, the rubric stated that Vespers on the Thursday evening before are to be Second Vespers of the Octave of Corpus Christi without a commemoration of the following. Since 1928, the Sacred Heart is observed universally as a Double First Class feast on the same day with an octave (Privileged of the Third Order under the Divino Afflatu system). Vespers on Thursday evening, therefore, become the First Vespers of the Sacred Heart without a commemoration of the preceding Octave Day; the Office of the Octave of Corpus Christi now ceases with None on the Octave Day instead of Compline.

Sacred Heart - The Five Antiphons of Vespers and Lauds
Under the new office, the Sacred Heart was accorded a separate set of five antiphons for First Vespers. This makes the new Sacred Heart Office similar to that of Christmas which also has distinct First Vespers' antiphons, the only major feast of the Temporale to do so hitherto. In the old office, there is a single set of five antiphons for both Vespers and Lauds.

1928 BR, First Vespers' Antiphons (no corresponding equivalent in the 1854 BR):
1. Suavi jugo tuo dominare, Domine, in medio inimicorum tuorum.
2. Misericors et miserator Dominus: escam dedit timentibus se.
3. Exortum est in tenebris lumen rectis; misericors et miserator Dominus.
4. Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quae retribuit mihi?
5. Apud Dominum propitiatio est et copiosa apud eum redemptio.

To the above are assigned Pss. 109, 110, 111, 115, and 129.

1854 BR, Office #1, Five Antiphons w/ Pss. 109, 110, 111, 127, and 147.
1. Discite a me, quia mitis sum, et humilis corde.
2. Sanctificavi locum istum, ut sit nomen meum ibi in sempiternum, et permaneant oculi mei, et cor meum ibi cunctis diebus.
3. Et dixi: Ergo sine causa justificavi cor meum, et lavi inter innocentes manus meas, et fui flagellatus tota die.
4. Secundum multitudinem dolorum meorum in corde meo, consolationes tuae laetificaverunt animam meam.
5. Pone me ut signaculum super cor tuum, ut signaculum super brachium tuum.

1854 BR, Office #2, Five Antiphons w/ Pss. 109, 110, 111, 127, and 147.
1. Discite a me, quia mitis sum, et humilis corde, et invenietis requiem animabus vestris.
2. Suavis est Dominus, et in aeternum misericordia ejus.
3. Sitivit in te anima mea; quia melior est misericordia tua super vitas.
4. Sancti, et humiles corde benedicite Domino: laudate, et superexaltate eum in saecula.
5. Beneplacitum est Domino in populo suo: et exaltabit mansuetos in salutem.

1928 BR, Lauds & Second Vespers' Antiphons w/ Pss. 109, 110, 111, 127, and 147.
1. Unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo sanguis et aqua.
2. Stans Jesus clamabat dicens: Si quis sitit, veniat ad me, et bibat.
3. In caritate perpetua dilexit nos Deus, ideo, exaltatus a terra, attraxit nos ad Cor suum, miserans.
4. Venite ad me, omnes qui laboratis et onerati estis, et ego reficiam vos.
5. Fili, praebe mihi cor tuum, et oculi tui custodiant vias meas.

The new First Vespers' antiphons are partially new compositions and partially borrowed and adapted from the Second Vespers of Christmas or Corpus Christi. The third and fifth antiphons are nearly identical to the third and fourth antiphons of Christmas, and are assigned the same psalms, 111 and 129, respectively. The second antiphon is borrowed and adapted (and forms a link) from the freshly finished Corpus Christi. The fourth antiphon is composed from a verse of the corresponding Ps. 115 and is likewise familiar as the text of the prayer said between the Communion of the two separate Species by the priest at Mass: What shall I give back to the Lord for all the things He has given me? To me, Ps. 115 provides a clearer connection to Good Friday while Ps. 129 establishes some penitential yet hopeful supplication within the context of a feast.

The first set of old antiphons, at first glance, seems very verbose and more stern in character (a Jansenist spin on its own antidote?); they also appear the most heavily imbued with devotionalism and the most devoid of connection to their corresponding psalms. Prayerful verbosity is certainly a mark of the post-Tridentine era. The second set of the old version has the longer and completed text of the same phrase for its first antiphon while its other antiphons are clearly linked to the Lauds' psalms they will couple with in the morning. Interestingly, Pius XI had to ditch the fifth antiphon (Beneplacitum, etc.) if not for any other reason than its text is taken from Ps. 149, discarded 17 years earlier from its traditional daily usage in the Roman Office. The second set overall appears to be the more liturgical of the two. In praying Mattins last night, the first lesson of the second nocturne mentions S. John Eudes as being the author of the preliminary liturgical texts of the Sacred Heart; how much or little of his influence in the 1854 texts cited above is not entirely clear to me, though I suspect the first composition probably bears more of his mark. Overall, both older versions show an Office in isolation which could in actuality (because it's a Votive Office) be said any day of the year irrespective of the season or feast.

The 1928 antiphons for Lauds and Second Vespers begin with two direct scriptural references from S. John's Passion forming today's link to Good Friday, which also forms the Gospel pericope of the feast's Mass. The other three antiphons are more devotional in content, though the fourth antiphon (the one not carried to a Day Hour) is also directly scriptural. All of them are divested from their corresponding psalmody. The new Office anchors itself to Corpus Christi, Christmas, and Good Friday, revealing more of a summation of the three timed at the very end of the moveable cycle of feasts.

Not to get ahead, but at least one of the old antiphons, from the first set, migrated as an antiphon into the 1928 Mattins text, but we'll discuss that later.


1 comment:

  1. It seems to me that the older antiphons could be used on any day for most any reason. There is little unique to the feast about them, just generalizations about God's mercy. The newer antiphons, particularly for Lauds/II Vespers, take one through the substance of the feast (piercing of the side and emission of blood, His blood as spiritual drink, His blood as a font of mercy etc. There is a spiritual consistency between the antiphons, which connect the psalms, and help one pray with concentration. It gives flesh and bones in text to God's mercy and the devotion/feast which the older text just does not do.

    If you ever get to discussing the Mass and its differences, see this post on the Bragan rite's Sacred Heart text:

    The author believes it focuses on God's mercy whereas the newer Pian Mass is centered on reparation (he may be right). I wonder if the Bragan Mass, especially the readings, served as a basis for the Pian Mass of 1928.