This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Thursday 28 July 2011

Commemorations at Vespers

Commemorations of the Blessed Virgin, of St Joseph, of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and for Peace. 

I've commented before that I am keen on extra commemorations during Holy Mass or during the Divine Office. These could be of secondary saints, or an octave, for example. This evening - 28th July - was First Vespers of St Martha, with a commemoration of SS Nazarius and Celsus, and a separate commemoration of SS. Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice.

The format of a commemoration is easy. The Magnificat antiphon, versicle and response, and collect, of the office that would have been said had those saints been commemorated. See below for some examples.

However, there was a further delight today. Since the office of St Martha is a semi-double in rank, there are also a number of standard commemorations - or suffragia - which are recited at certain times of the year, typically for ferial offices or those of feasts of rank less than double. (See the rubrics for full details, if you need them).

According to the St Pius X version of the breviary, which was in force from 1911 up to 1955 - and is still commonly used today by many right-minded traditionalists - there is one commemoration: of All Saints.

According to the Tridentine breviary, which was in force up to 1911 - and which is the subject of renewed interest among traditionalists - there are four separate commemorations: of the Blessed Virgin, of St Joseph, of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and for Peace.

Here are these four commemorations in translation. For the original Latin you might look at the excellent divinumofficium website, which allows comparisons of the different versions of the breviary from pre-Tridentine Monastic through to 1960. I have pinched the translations from the same source.

Ex-Anglicans, or those who have been illicitly visiting the rites of our separated brethren, will recognize the prayer for peace, which was retained by Cranmer in his bastardized office of Evensong.

Incidentally, if you follow the revised rubrics post 1955, your life is a lot easier but less enriched. You simply have vespers of the double feast of SS. Nazarius, Celsus, Victor, and Innocent. No commemorations of other saints, no commemoration of Our Lady, St Joseph, SS Peter and Paul. And no prayers for Peace required.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Ant. O Holy Mary, be thou an help to the helpless, a strength to the fearful, a comfort to the sorrowful; pray for the people, plead for the clergy, make intercession for all women vowed to God may all that keep thine holy remembrance, feel the might of thine assistance.

V. Pray for us, holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord God, unto all thy servants, that they may continually enjoy soundness both of mind and of body, and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, always a Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness, and enter into the joy of thine eternal gladness.

Commemoration of St. Joseph

Ant. Behold a faithful and wise servant whom his Lord hath made ruler over His household.

V. Glory and riches shall be in his house.
R. And his righteousness endureth for ever.

Let us pray.
O God, who, in thine unspeakable foreknowledge, didst choose thy blessed servant Joseph to be the husband of thine own most holy Mother; mercifully grant that now that he is in heaven with thee, we who on earth do reverence him for our defender, may worthily be holpen by the succour of his prayers to thee on our behalf.

Commemoration of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul

Ant. Peter the Apostle, and Paul the Teacher of the Gentiles, have taught us thy law, O Lord.

V. Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth.
R. They shall be mindful of thy Name, O Lord.

Let us pray.
O God, whose right hand caught the Blessed Peter when he walked upon the water, and began to sink, and thrice delivered his fellow-Apostle Paul from the deep of the sea, when he suffered shipwreck graciously hear us, and grant, for the sake of them both, that we also may attain everlasting glory.

For Peace.

Ant. Give peace in our time, O Lord, for there is none other that fighteth for us, but only Thou O Lord.

V. Peace be within thy walls.
R. And prosperity within thy palaces.

Let us Pray.
O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed; Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; so that, with our hearts set to obey thy commandments, and freed from the fear of the enemy, we may pass our lives in peace under thy protection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.