Friday, 10 April 2009

Sarum Good Friday

After the office of None, (the ninth hour, of course, corresponding to three in the afternoon, though the service almost certainly took place in the morning) the celebrant goes to the altar vested in red chasuble, with the deacon, subdeacon and acolyte simply in amice and alb. Directly, the acolyte goes to the choir step to read (unannounced) Hosea 6:1-6, as in the ancient Roman use. The choir then recite the tract, which is followed by a collect. Then the subdeacon reads Exodus 12:1-11, and there is another tract. St John’s passion follows.
Two cloths have been laid on the altar, and when the stripping of Jesus is described, the cloths are removed. At the Lord’s death, there is a pause, all saying Pater, Ave and In manus tuas. The last part of the passion, describing the burial is separately labelled ‘Evangelium’.
The solemn prayers follow directly, with a direction that there be no flectamus genua at the prayer for the Jews.
The celebrant removes his chasuble at the sedilia and sits with the sacred ministers. Two priests in unapparelled albs and with bare feet go behind the high altar on the right side and sing Popule meus, holding up the veiled cross. Three deacons in black copes sing hagios ho theos, the choir of clergy responding Sanctus Deus, kneeling and kissing the benches.
The priests holding the cross uncover it, singing both the Ecce lignum and venite adoremus. The choir, kissing the benches, reply with the Crucem tuam, following it with the psalm Deus misereatur, repeating the crucem tuam after each verse.

The cross is meanwhile placed on the third step of the altar, the two priests sitting on either side of it. The clergy, with bare feet, approach and venerate it. Crux fidelis and Pange Lingua are sung. The cross is then carried to an altar outside the choir for veneration by the people. It is then carried to the high altar.

The priest vests again in chasuble and begins Mass with confiteor up to aufer a nobis in the usual way, but without the customary pax between the sacred ministers before ascending the altar.
The Blessed Sacrament is brought to the altar; it is censed, and wine and water put in the chalice. In spiritu, orate fratres are said as usual. This is immediately followed by the Pater noster and what follows. So it would seem that there is no Canon, as appears in the pre-1955 Roman use. The host is broken as usual and a fragment placed in the wine. There is no pax, nor Agnus Dei, and the priest communicates as usual. After the priest cleans his hands, the office of Vespers begins. At the end, the priest says the collect Respice, which serves as the Postcommunion. Thus Mass and Vespers end.

After this, the priest removes the chasuble again, and with another priest, and barefooted, he places the cross together with the third consecrated Host (in a pyx) in the Easter sepulchre. All kneel. The celebrant alone rises and intones the responsory Aestimatus sum, whereupon all rise. The sepulchre is censed and closed. The celebrant intones another responsory, Sepulto Domino, and a couple more, In Pace in idipsum dormiam et requeiscam, and Caro mea requiescet in spe, during which all kneel until the end of the service. All pray quietly on their knees for a while, then leave as they wish, in no particular order. The celebrant resumes the chasuble and leaves with the sacred ministers.

At least one candle is left burning at the sepulchre until the Easter Vigil, to be extinguished during the singing of the Benedictus at Lauds, and again [so it must have been relit] during the Easter Vigil, when the great paschal candle (the missal directs that this is to be 36 feet high!) is lit.

For an account of Good Friday in pre-Reformation Durham, go here, to Joe versus the Volcano.

The picture shows the surviving Easter Sepuchre at Woodleigh in Devon.


Rubricarius said...

I believe the connection between the liturgy of the day and Vespers is quite important.

Many of the medieval rites and other uses had a blessing of fire for each day in the Triduum. Almost all have this connection with Vespers being incorporated into the liturgy with the procession to the Sepulchre taking place either before or after Vespers.

BTW, Happy Easter!

Fr. Aidan said...

The singing of "Dum fabricator mundi," so beloved in older uses of the Roman rite, was somehow not mentioned above.

What an amazing service!