7 April 2024

Ave Crux ...

Well, Easter ... the paschalia festa ... are now peracta; the ancient collect of today, Low Sunday, makes that explicitly clear. But, for our strange Novus Ordo brethren, this same ancient collect is now attached instead ... believe it or not ... to the Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter ... so, presumably, they regard that Saturday as end of their Easter Octave. Seems a funny business to me, but I'm sure that they, poor poppets, understand their own massively peculiar rite better than I do. Anyway, this is not my real subject for today.

As we leave the Easter Octave behind, we have some unfinished business. Lady Day, the Annunciation of our Blessed Lady, needed to be moved out of Holy Week, the Maior Hebdomada, so we celebrate it tomorrow, Monday. It is therefore next Tuesday that restores the normal rhythms of the season. And, as I peer into my 1874 Breviary, in my survey of the liturgical sources and habits which fed the piety of S John Henry Newman, Fr Faber and those heroic early Oratorians, Wiseman and Manning and Ullathorne and so many ...

... there I find this rubric: "Afterwards, there is the Commemoration of the Cross, which happens daily at Lauds and Vespers, up to the Ascension ... other Commemorations, of S Mary, S Joseph, of the Apostles, of Peace are not said in the Easter Season."

Is it strange to commemorate the Cross during Eastertide

I think not. The risen Saviour who comes to greet us is the Crucified One bearing in his limbs the marks of his love. The Feast of the Inventio Sanctae Crucis will beautifully emphasise this; but, with an early Easter this year, May 3 seems a long way off! 

Easter certainly does not cancel out the Crucifixion or diminish the splendour of its Five Wounds; it exhibits them to us as glorious and salvific ... and draws each of us into their wonder.

At Lauds the Commemoration was: 

Antiphon: Crucifixus surrexit a mortuis, et redemit nos, alleluia, alleluia.

V Dicite in nationibus , alleluia. R Quia Dominus regnavit a ligno, alleluia.

Deus, qui pro nobis Filium tuum crucis patibulum subire voluisti, ut inimici a nobis expelleres potestatem: concede nobis famulis tuis; ut resurrectionis gratiam consequamur. Per eumdem. 

At Vespers, the antiphon was Crucem sanctam subiit, qui infernum confregit, accinctus est potentia, surrexit die tertia, alleluia. The V, R and Collect the same as at Lauds


Rubricarius said...

The Commemoration of the Cross in Paschaltide survived the 1911-13 reformers' axe almost intact. The antiphon Crucem santam subiit was dropped and the antiphon at Lauds also used at Vespers. The other Suffrages were put to the slaughter and replaced by a single Suffrage of All Saints.

That, and the Paschal Commemoration of the Cross, survived until the Pacellian axe was wielded for the fatal strike in 1956 with Cum nostra.

Matthew said...

By the same token, today in the Orthodox world it is the 3rd Sunday of Lent, in which as a signal of what is to come we venerate the Cross. At Matins the nine odes of the canon are prefaced by the irmoi of Easter, the first of which begins "This is the day of Resurrection...".

Fr Edward said...

If you turn to the east you'll find that it makes sense in a very powerful way:

3rd May - The Invention of the Holy Cross
5th May - Easter Day

Banshee said...

And Our Lady and Our Lord get celebrated on a day of both Moon and Sun, of darkness and light, as a corona shines out. Very pretty.