Saturday, February 1, 2014

Feast of the Purification of Our Lady (Candlemass)


This Sunday we celebrate Candlemass, aka the Purification of Our Lady aka The Presentation in the Temple.  It is normally a Class II feast, but is treated as if it were Class I when it occurs on a Sunday.

The Gospel for the feast is St Luke 2:22-32 (which includes the Nunc Dimittis, the only Office canticle that rarely features in the Benedictine form of the Office), and you can find the Matins readings for it over at my Lectio Divina Blog, along with what I think is the most beautiful setting of the Nunc Dimittis, by Geoffrey Burgon for the British tv series Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

This week in the Benedictine Office

Here is a summary of the week in the Office.  You can find further details in the Ordo provided in the sidebar of the blog.

Sunday February 2 - Purification of the BVM, Class II
Monday February 3 - Class IV; St Blase, Memorial
Tuesday February 4 - Class IV [EF: ST Andrew Corsini]
Wednesday February 5 – St Agatha, Class III
Thursday February 6 - Class IV [EF: St Titus]
Friday February 7 – St Romuald, Class III
Saturday February 8 - Class IV, Saturday of Our Lady [EF: St John of Matha]

Change of seasons

Candlemass, as forty days after the birth of Jesus, marks the end of the Christmas season in the Office.

Accordingly, from Sunday, the Marian antiphon at Compline changes to Ave Regina Caelorum (you can listen to a video of Solemn Tone version of the chant, for use on Saturdays, Sundays and major feasts, below).

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