Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension
Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension is of semi-double rite and its liturgical colour is white. The theme of the great feast of the Ascension continues with most of the texts coming from the feast. However, unlike on the feast itself, the antiphons at the Greater Hours are not doubled. The Gospel pericopes from St. John contain the beautiful words of the LORD promising the gift of the Paraclete.
At Vespers yesterday the antiphons for the feast, Viri Galilaei etc, were sung (not doubled) along with the psalms of the feast (Pss. 109, 110, 111, 112 & 116). The chapter was of the Sunday, the hymn was of the Ascension, Salutis humane Sator, and the antiphon on the Magnificat and collect proper to the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations were sung of the preceding Office of St. Stanislaus, of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel and of the Octave. The Paschal Commemoration of the Cross was omitted, being within an Octave. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the Ascension Doxology, but the Dominical preces were omitted because of the Octave.
At Mattins the invitatory, hymn and antiphons, Elevata est etc., are as on the feast, but the antiphons are not doubled. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the First Epistle of St. John, the responsories are of the feast. In the second nocturn the lessons are taken from a sermon on the Ascension by St. Augustine and the same Father provides the third nocturn lessons reflecting on St. John’s Gospel. At Lauds all is from the feast except the chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the Apparition of St. Michael and of the Octave.
At the Little Hours the hymns are sung to the melody for the Ascension Doxology (Tone 4) and with the Doxology of the Ascension. At Prime the festal psalms (Pss. 53, 118i, 118ii) are sung rather than the Dominical ones (117, 118i, 118ii) the short lesson is Si quis loquitur. The Dominical preces are omitted due to the Octave.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Apparition of St. Michael, the third collect of the Octave. The Creed is sung, the preface and communicantes are of the Ascension and the last Gospel is of the Apparition of St. Michael.
At Vespers again the antiphons and psalms are as on the feast. The chapter, antiphon on the Magnificat and collect are of the Sunday. After the collect of the Sunday commemorations are sung of the following Office of the following feast of St. Gregory Nazianzen, of the Apparition of St. Michael and of the Octave.
In the ‘liturgical books of 1962’ the Octave had been stripped from the feast in 1956 so today becomes the Sunday after the Ascension. At Vespers yesterday afternoon the psalms were sung under a single antiphon as in the rest of Paschaltide. There were no commemorations. Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn, the invitatory and hymn of the Ascension are sung but the psalms are those for Sunday under a single antiphon. At Lauds the psalms are sung under a single antiphon and there are no commemorations. At Prime the Dominical psalms are sung (117, 118i & 118ii) and the short lesson is, perhaps surprisingly, Viri Galilaei for Ascensiontide. The hymns of the Hours do not have the Ascension Doxology. In Mass there is only one collect. The preface of the Ascension is sung but not the communicantes in the Canon. Vespers are of the Sunday, the psalms sung under one antiphon – as on other Sundays after Pascha – there are no commemorations. The feast of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel has been struck from the Calendar.