Saturday, February 2, 2019

February 2: The Purification of the B. V. M., II Class

Today, the Christmas season finally comes to an official end, with the glorious feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This is one of those feasts in the Dominican Office which contains a responsory at 1st Vespers (and at the ix lesson at Matins) which is, shall we say, antagonistic toward the unbelieving Jews and directly mocks their own lack of faith in our Lady's perpetual virginity.  (Another one can be found at 2nd Vespers of Easter Sunday, which mocks their lack of belief in the Resurrection).

The 1962 Breviarium SOP retained the pre-reformed office of 1st Vespers (for use where it is celebrated as a 1st Class Feast).  That hour includes an arrangement that, to my knowledge, does not appear on any other feast in the Dominican Breviary.  I also don;t see it in the monastic or Roman Breviaries.

After the Little Chapter is prayed, the respond is prayed as follows:

℟. Rejoice, Virgin Mary, alone you have destroyed all heresies. You trusted in the words of the archangel Gabriel. * While a virgin, you brought forth God and man; and after childbirth, you remained a virgin inviolate.  ℣.  We know that the angel Gabriel spoke to you by God's decree; we believe that your womb was made fruitful by the Holy Spirit.  Let the unhappy Jew blush who says that Christ was born of Joseph's seed. - While a virgin. - Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

At this point, the resumption of the respond is omitted, and instead the Inviolata prayer is immediately taken up:
Mary, Maid inviolate, chaste and undefiled,  Mother well beloved of Christ, your own true child.You were made the shining gate of Heaven above,Accept from us these words of praise we offer you with love.We now implore devoutly, from the heart within,That our souls be stainless, our bodies free from sin.May you bring us ever is our earnest prayer,  The pardon that is granted through your moving pleading rare.O gracious one who alone has remained immaculate.
A genuflection is made immediately, as the Ave maris stella is begun, until the second stanza.

Happy Feast Day!