Tuesday 10 March 2009

First Friday of March

Last Friday was our last Mass of Hillary Term, the First Friday of March, which was the Friday of the First Week of Lent. Mass was sung by Fr John Saward in his church, SS Gregory & Augustine. Notice the 'Lenten array' which now covers the reredos and the panelling on either side: it is a large, patterned purple curtain.

Each day of Lent has its own Mass in the Traditional Missal. Outside Lent the Mass one gets on a given weekday will either be a votive Mass, a ferial Mass (ie the repetition of the previous Sunday Mass) or (most likely) the feast of a saint. During Lent there are Masses (ie a full set of propers and chant settings for them) for each day. Important feasts and votive Masses can still be said, of course, but these Lenten Masses are of great antiquity and beauty.

Fr John Saward accordingly said the Mass of the Friday after the First Sunday of Lent, which is in fact the Ember Friday of Lent. Like many days of Lent, this makes use of the Tract of Ash Wednesday. All the other propers, however, are unique to this Mass.

At the offertory we also sang the beautiful hymn to the Holy Name of Jesus, Iesu dulcis memoria, since First Friday Masses are a devotion to the Sacred Heart.

At communion, after the communion antiphon 'Erubescant, et conturbentur' we sang the Lenten prose, 'Attende Domine'.