Carissimi: Today’s Mass; Vigil of the Dormition of the Mother of God; Com. Oct. St Laurence & of St Eusebius

eusebiusVigil of the Dormition [/Assumption] & Com. Octave of St Laurence; Com. Feast of St Eusebius: Missa “Vultum Tuum

As early as the Seventh Century the preparation, by a solemn fast, for keeping devoutly the great festival of the Dormition of the Mother of God (aka The Assumption), is described as a custom of great antiquity. In Orthodoxy and Catholicism, in the language of the scripture, death is often called a “sleeping” or “falling asleep” (Greek κοίμησις; whence κοιμητήριον > coemetērium > cemetery, a place of sleeping). The Church teaches that Mary died a natural death, like any human being; that her soul was received by Christ upon death; and that her body was resurrected on the third day after her repose, at which time she was taken up, bodily only, into heaven. Her tomb was found empty on the third day. Pope Pius XII in Munificentissimus Deus (1950) though dogmatising the doctrine of the Assumption, left open the question of whether or not Mary actually underwent death in connection with her departure, but alludes to the fact of her death at least five times in his Apostolic Constitution.

In many parts of the Church the strict fast enjoined lasted over several days. Traditionally the Orthodox precede the Feast by a two-week fast, referred to as the Dormition Fast. From August 1 to August 14 (inclusive) Orthodox and Eastern Catholics fast from red meat, poultry, meat products, dairy products (eggs and milk products), fish, oil, and wine. The Dormition Fast is a stricter fast than either the Nativity Fast (Advent) or the Apostles’ Fast, with only wine and oil (but no fish) allowed on weekends.

A day of three colours. The liturgical colour of the morning Offices is red for the Octave of St Laurence. Mass is of the Blessed Virgin but in violet vestments as a vigil Mass, thus the Gloria in excelsis is not read and the closing responses are Benedicamus Domino. At First Vespers of the Dormition the colour changes to white.

Today is also the feast of Saint Eusebius, Confessor. He was a Roman priest distinguished for his zeal in the cause of orthodoxy. He lived in the Fourth Century of our era. He appears to have died in prison. The universal veneration in which he was held led to his immediate canonization.

INTROIT Psalm 44: 13, 15-16

All the rich among the people shall entreat thy countenance: after her shall virgins be brought to the King: her neighbors shall be brought to thee in gladness and rejoicing. (Ps. 44: 2) My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. v. Glory be…etc

COLLECT

O God, Who didst deign to choose for Thy dwelling the virginal womb of the blessed Mary, grant, we beseech Thee, that defended by her protection we may assist with joy at her festival. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.

Commemoration of the Octave of St Laurence
Grant us, we beseech Thee O almighty God, to extinguish the flames of our evil dispositions, as Thou didst grant blessed Lawrence to overcome the fires of his torments. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.

Commemoration of St. Eusebius
O God, Who dost gladden us by the annual feast of blessed Eusebius, Thy confessor, mercifully grant that, as we celebrate his natal day, we may also imitate his actions. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.

EPISTLE  Wisdom 24: 23-31

Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odor, and my flowers are the fruit of honor and riches. I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits; for my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb. My memory is unto everlasting generations. They that eat me, shall Yet hunger; and they that drink me, shall yet thirst. He that harkeneth to me shall not be confounded, and they that work by me shall not sin. They that explain me shall have life everlasting.

GRADUAL/ALLELUIA 

Blessed and venerable art thou, 0 Virgin Mary, Who, without spot, wast found the Mother of the Saviour. V.Virgin Mother of God, He Whom the whole world containeth not, being made man, shut Himself in thy womb.

GOSPEL Luke 11: 26-27

At that time: As Jesus Was speaking to the multitudes, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to Him, Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the breasts that gave Thee suck. But He said, “Yea, rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.”

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON

Blessed art thou, O Virgin Mary, who didst bear the Creator of all things: thou didst bring forth Him Who made thee, and remainest forever a virgin.

SECRET

May our offerings be commended to Thy mercy, O Lord, by the prayer of the mother of God, Whom Thou hast removed from this world that she may with confidence intercede for us with Thee. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.

Commemoration of the Octave
Accept, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts offered Thee, and, by the interceding merits of blessed Lawrence, grant that they may be to as a help unto our salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.

Commemoration of St. Eusebius
We offer Thee, O Lord, sacrifices of praise in commemoration of Thy saints, by whom we trust to be delivered from evils both present and future. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.

PREFACE of the Common

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:

COMMUNION ANTIPHON

Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the eternal Father.

POSTCOMMUNION

Grant Thine assistance, O merciful God, to our frailty, that we, who anticipate the festival of God’s holy mother, may, by the aid of her intercession, rise from our iniquity. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.

Commemoration of the Octave
Filled with Thy sacred gift, we humbly beseech Thee, O Lord, that what we celebrate with our homage duly given by the intercession of Thy blessed martyr Lawrence, we may also know as an increase of Thy saving grace within us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, For ever and ever.

Commemoration of St. Eusebius
We, Thy suppliants, who are refreshed with heavenly food and drink, beseech Thee, O our God, that we may be fortified by the prayers of him in whose commemoration we have partaken of these gifts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.

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