Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Ember Wednesday In Advent.

This excellent summation, of Ember Wednesday in Advent,


Ember Wednesday in Advent

Today is Ember Wednesday in Advent and the first of three Ember Days observed this week. The day is of simple rite and its liturgical colour is violet.

The Office of the Ember Day begins with Mattins. The invitatory is Prope est and the Office hymn Verbum supernum. In the nocturn the antiphons Speciosus forma etc, from the Psalter for Wednesday, are sung with psalms 44i, 44ii, 45, 44, 481, 48ii, 49i, 49ii & 49iii. Psalm 49 is divided into three rather than two divisi as the second scheme of Lauds will be sung later. The lessons are a homily from St. Ambrose on St. Luke's Gospel. Following the third lesson a third responsory, Modo veniet Dominator Dominus, is sung. At Lauds the second schema is sung and so the antiphons appointed for the Wednesday before the Vigil of the Nativity, Prophetae praedicaverunt etc, are sung with psalms 50, 64, 100, Exsultavit cor meum & 145. The Office hymn is En clara vox. After the antiphon on the BenedictusMissus est Gabriel, has been sung in full after the Canticle the choir kneels for the singing of the ferial preces. The same set of antiphons are sung with the Little Hours in the usual order. At Prime Pss. 25, 51, 52 & 96 the chapter is the ferial Pacem et veritatem etc. At the Hours, the ferial preces are sung, the choir kneeling.

Mass is sung after None. The texts are proper, the introit being Rorate, caeli etc. After the Kyrie, there immediately follows the dialogue Oremus sung by the celebrant, Flectamus genua sung by the deacon and Levate sung by the sub-deacon followed by the, Praesta, quaesumus, is sung followed by an additional OT lesson and gradual. After this the celebrant sings Dominus vobiscum and the collect Festina, quaesumus. The second collect is Deus, qui de beatae and the third collect Ecclesiae. The dismissal is Benedicamus Domino sung by the deacon facing the altar. The ministers, of course, wear violet folded chasubles. With the celebration of the Eucharist, the Office of the Ember Day ends.

Vespers is of the Advent ferial day. The Office hymn is Creator alme siderum. The antiphon on the Magnificat is proper to the seventeenth day, O Sapientia, and is sung in full both before and after the Canticle with the choir standing. The choir kneels for the ferialpreces and the collect of the previous Sunday is sung. At Compline the Domincal preces are sung, kneeling.

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