Sunday, August 15, 2010

First Vespers of the Assumption

The Dominican Breviary features magnificent treasures at 1st Vespers - and the rest of their Assumption Office includes the very valuable ancient Collect Veneranda, which teaches - against the immortalists - that Our Lady truly died and yet could not be held in the bonds of death, as she had brought forth the Incarnate Son:

* Only one, extremely long and elaborate antiphon for the five psalms (which are the Laudate Psalms used for all first Vespers: Pss 112, 116, 145, 146, 147):

Tota pulchra es, amica mea, et macula non est in te: favus distillans labia tua, mel et lac sub lingua tua: odor unguentorum tuorum super omnia aromata: jam enim hiems transiit, imber abiit, et recessit: flores apparuerunt, vineæ florentes odorem dederunt, et vox turturis audita est in terra nostra. Surge, propera, amica mea: veni de Libano, veni, coronaberis.
(Cant. 4:7,11,10;2:11,12,13,12,10;4:8)

* Little chapter: either (1956) In omnibus requiem (Ecclus 24:11b-12), from the Common, but actually highly appropriate, what with Our Lady being granted rest in the Lord's tabernacle; or (1962) Benedixit te (Judith 13:22b,23b), since the Dominicans adopted the new proper readings from Pius XII's new Office for the Assumption - which frankly are a distinct loss.

* Long responsory, its opening based on St Luke 1:45:

R/. Beata es, Virgo Maria, Dei Genetrix, quæ credidisti Domino: perfecta sunt in te quæ dicta sunt tibi: ecce exaltata es super choros Angelorum. * Intercede pro nobis ad Dominum Jesum Christum.  V/. Benedicta et venerabilis es, Virgo Maria, quæ sine tactu pudoris inventa es Mater Salvatoris. * Intercede... Gloria Patri... * Intercede...

* Hymn - the traditional Ave, maris stella;

* Versicle Exaltata es;

* Magnificat antiphon most lengthy and ornate, which seems to betray a Byzantine original:

Ascendit Christus super cælos, et præparavit suæ castissimæ Matri immortalitatis locum: et hæc est illa præclara festivitas, omnium Sanctorum festivitatibus incomparabilis, in qua gloriosa et felix, mirantibus cælestis curiæ ordinibus, ad æthereum pervenit thalamum: quo pia sui memorum immemor nequaquam exsistat.
(Christ ascended above the heavens, and prepared a place of immortality for his most chaste Mother: and this is that goodly festival, incomparable to the feasts of all the Saints, on which the Glorious and Happy, all the orders of the heavenly court a-wondering, came to the ethereal nuptial chamber: so that no one should be unmindful of the pious memory of it.)

* Collect (for the Vigil; the Dominicans read the Sunday Collect on the Vigil itself):

Deus, qui virginalem aulam beatæ Mariæ, in qua habitares, eligere dignatus es: da, quæsumus, ut, sua nos defensione munitos, jucundos facias suæ interesse consortes: Qui vivis...
(O God, Who didst deign to choose the virginal chamber of blessed Mary wherein Thou wouldest dwell: grant, we beg, that, we strengthened by her defence, Thou make us to be sharers of her joy: Who livest...)

All this was a most welcome blessing, which I read privately just before attending the Vigil Mass.  For some idiot reason I'd thought that in the modern Rite Mass would be of the Sunday, so I was very glad to find that the Assumption still takes precedence: we had a very devout Lady Mass therefore.

Mass, as celebrated with devotion by Fr Allan, is Mass indeed: Robert (who's visiting me this week-end) and I were very glad to have attended and made our communion.  It was Catholic in the best sense.

The rest of the day, having been the Vigil of the Assumption, I'd read the Little Office (Dominican Rite), and after Communion and Mass I ended with Compline of the Blessed Virgin, as was fitting.

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