Friday, April 3, 2015

Sabbato Sancto MMXV

Each day of Majoris Hebdomadae the CTO will feature a detailed daily Ordo.

Saturday, 4 April 2015
Holy Saturday
Duplex I Classis, Violet to White

Late in the evening on Good Friday, 15 unbleached wax candles are lit on a triangular candelabrum (hearse); these will be extinguished one by one, starting from the bottom ends on up, after each psalm of Mattins and Lauds is sung The Office today is completely Proper and is stripped bare to its primitive form. The minor doxology Gloria Patri is now omitted entirely until the Paschal Vigil Mass. There is no Invitatory or Hymn; the lessons are read without conclusions and no responses are made. Mattins begin immediately with the first antiphon; three nocturnes as in the Proper, no Te Deum.

At Lauds: Antiphons from the Proper w/ Pss. 50, 91, 62-66, Canticle of Ezechial (from Tuesday's Lauds), and 148-149-150, there is no Chapter or Hymn, Bened. Ant. proper. The Benedictus sung, the lights of the church are extinguished, and the solitary lit candle atop the hearse is taken and hidden behind the altar whilst the Christus factus estPater noster, Ps. 50 again, and Collect are prayed. The Collect's conclusion is said silently, and then there is the loud strepitus. The candle is returned to the hearse, extinguished, and all depart in silence. There is no final Marian antiphon until Compline of Holy Saturday.

Early in the morning, the Little Hours are prayed consecutively. These are recited without chant; all begin immediately with the usual psalms for these Hours after which follow the Christus factus estPater noster, Ps, 50, and Collect (again the conclusion is silent). The Martyrology is omitted today.

The triple reed carried by the deacon
Photo taken from the St. Lawrence Press blog
After None, the great Paschal Vigil begins. The colour is violet; the Celebrant in cope, the ministers in folded chasubles. The New Fire is struck from a flint and is blessed, and then the light from the fire is carried by the deacon (having changed into white dalmatic) on a triple reed into the darkened church. The deacon chants the Exsultet during which the grains of incense are affixed to and the light from triple reed is used to light the Paschal candle. The 12 Old Testament propechies follow, the deacon having resumed his violet folded chasuble. The ceremony then moves to the Baptistry at which the baptismal water is blessed and confected; the font is incensed. The vigil concludes with a shorter version of the Litany of the Saints, the invocations doubled. Meanwhile, the sacred ministers change into white vestments with the joyful dalmatic and tunicle; folded chasubles will not return again until the Pentecost vigil seven weeks hence.

The joy of the Resurrection is now vesperally anticipated but not fully. Mass of the Paschal Vigil follows in the usual way, except that the acolytes do not carry candles for the Gospel and the Agnus Dei and Pax are omitted. The Gloria is sung during which the bells are rung (having been silent since Maundy Thursday's Gloria) and the holy images are unveiled. There are no commemorations. After the Epistle, the Alleluia, silenced since First Vespers of Septuagesima, resounds again. The Credo is not sung (being not fully Pascha). Paschal Preface w/ Et in hac nocte and Proper Communicantes in the Canon. After Communion, a short form of Vespers is sung w/ Triple Alleluia antiphon (doubled) w/ Ps. 116; Magnif. Ant. Vespere autem sabbati and Magnificat during which the altar is incensed as usual during Vespers; the Celebrant and everyone else are then incensed in the usual order. The Postcommunion prayer doubles as the Collect of Vespers and both the Mass and Vespers conclude with Ite Missa est, alleluia, alleluia. The Last Gospel is said as usual. Lent thus endeth with these Vespers coinciding with midday.

Compline is sung later in the afternoon or early evening using a special format appointed for this evening; the Office continues to employ a primitive form during the octave to follow. All begins as usual, but the psalms are prayed without antiphon. There is no hymn or short respond. The antiphon from Vespers Vespere autem sabbati is used as the antiphon for the Nunc Dimittis. Then the Collect and all that follow concluding with the Regina Coeli sung for the first time.

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