Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Vigil of Pentecost According to Divine Worship in Oxford

The Vigil of Pentecost will be celebrated according to Divine Worship, the Missal for the Personal Ordinariates, at Holy Rood Catholic Church in Oxford, England, on Saturday 3 June, starting at 5 pm. The music of the Mass will be Mozart’s Spatzenmesse, and Loquebantur variis linguis by Thomas Tallis.

The history of the Pentecost Vigil, its lamentable suppression and partial restoration, are well known to our readers. There may be some interest in the form of the Vigil given in Divine Worship, which provides two forms for it. The first is the Extended Form, the second is simply the Mass of the Vigil by itself, as is the case in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms. The Extended Form may be celebrated before or after First Vespers, but there is no provision in Divine Worship for the combination of Vespers and Vigil.

The Vigil begins without ceremony. At the sedilia, the priest reads a short exhortation, a ‘traditional language’ version of that found in the Ordinary Form. Four Old Testament Lessons are read, with their Tracts, and a Collect after each one. There are four Lessons in the Ordinary Form, but this was not uncommon in other Uses of the Roman Rite, including Sarum. The texts for the Lessons and Tracts are those in the Ordinary Form: there do not seem to be Gregorian melodies for the Tracts, which are derived from the responsorial psalms set for the Ordinary Form Vigil. The collects, however, are almost all different. 1) is found the Sarum Missal, where it is the collect that concludes the Vigil, prior to the blessing of the font; it is given in A. H. Pearson’s translation; this collect is the Collect of the Mass in the Ordinary Form; 2) is the same as the Ordinary Form’s collect; 3) is identical to the pre-Pian Roman Vigil, and follows the same reading, from Ezekiel 37; 4) is a collect from the Church of England’s proposed 1928 Book of Common Prayer, for the Mission of the Church, derived from Acts 17:26, and found in other liturgical collections throughout the Anglican communion.

After the Lessons, the priest and ministers proceed to the altar and lie prostrate before it. After a period of silent prayer, they kneel, while the Litany of the Saints is chanted, as at the Easter Vigil. This was the practice in churches where there was no font to bless. Then, omitting the Introit, Mass continues. The possibility of the administration of the sacraments of initiation is explicitly foreseen, and is to take place after the homily. This may include baptism, reception, and/or confirmation. If these do not follow, the renewal of baptismal promises takes place (here called “the Memorial of Holy Baptism”), either at the font or done from the chancel. Sicut cervus may be sung if a procession goes to the font. Then, omitting the Prayers of the People and the Penitential Rite (which, in Divine Worship, comes at this point), Mass continues with the Offertory. The propers of the Mass are the same as the Extraordinary Form Vigil Mass, excepting the alleluia, which in Divine Worship is Emitte Spiritum, and the Offertory, which has the same incipit, but is shortened.

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