89. A Table of all the Feasts that are to be observed in the Church of England throughout the Tear.
All Sundays in the Year.
The Days of the Feasts of
Monday and Tuesday in Easter Week.
To the above Table of all the Feasts that are to be observed in the Church of England through the year, must be added the solemnity of the Feast of Dedication of every parish Church, and of the saint to whom such church is dedicated.
The Feast* of Dedication was originally celebrated on the very day of dedication as it annually occurred, and was afterwards transferred to some other day, especially Sunday. By an Act of Convocation passed in the reign of Henry VIII., a.d. 1536, the feast of the dedication of every church is ordered to be kept on one and the selfsame day, viz., the first Sunday in October; and the church holyday, that is, the festival of the Saint to whom the church is dedicated, is wholly laid aside.
In regard to the church holyday. It is obvious that when the church is dedicated to GOD in honour of a saint in the English Calendar whose Festival is on the Table of all the Feasts that are to be observed through the year, that the feast may be kept on the festival of such saint.
* The Sunday within the Octave was always observed with as great devotion as the feast itself.
When, however, the church is in honour of a black letter saint, the minor festivals being only of private obligation, for manner of proceeding see Note † and Subnote 1 to Par. 22 and Par. 91.
91. The Minor Festivals of the Church; commonly called “The Black Letter Saints’ Days.”*
* “Sixty-six in number: 16 are of Eastern origin, 17 are British, 15 French, 2 African, 1 Spanish, 16 Italian or Sicilian. Of these 31 commemorate persons or events before the first General Council in 325; 19 belong to the interval between the 1st and 6th Council in 680 ; 7 between that date and the schism between East and West in the 9th century, and 10 belong to the period subsequent to that Division. Those of S. George, Lammas Day, S. Lawrence, and S. Clement were restored to the Calendar in Queen Elizabeth’s reign.”—Note in Churchman’s Diary.
†This is not a festival, but a note to remind the faithful that certain anthems begin to be used.
These festal commemorations are “to be observed,” and it is convenient for the minister to declare unto the people the days on which they are to be observed. See Par. 22, note (†). As in the case of Vigils* and Rogation Days the black letter feast days have no proper offices provided for them, yet when it is remembered that the Second Book of Homilies contains one “for the days of Rogation Week,” it is convenient to give a short discourse upon the teaching of the minor holydays of the Church, in order that the faithful may learn the private obligation thereof. No. 89 contains all the Feasts with proper offices and of statutable observance.
92. A Table of the Vigils, Fasts, and Days of Abstinence, to be observed in the Year.
The Eves or Vigils before
NOTE, that if any of these Feast-days fall upon a Monday, then the Vigil or Fast-day shall be kept upon the Saturday, and not upon the Sunday next before it.
S. Luke has no Vigil probably because the Church is doubtful whether he suffered martyrdom. The eve of course remains.
The Feast of S. Michael and All Angels has no Vigil, because the fasted eve is symbolical of a state of trial through which saints pass before entering heaven, and therefore it is inapplicable to the eve of a Festival in honour of angels.†
95. Unfasted Eves.
The Feasts which fall generally between Christmas and the festival of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary have no vigils, simply eves, because the
* It is not perhaps strictly correct to say that vigils have no “offices” appointed for them— the collect used by anticipation is such as far as it goes. And yet when a feast falls on a Monday, the vigil is kept on the Saturday, whilst the office (= collect) is not used then, but on the Evensong of the Sunday.
† This is not equally true of the East as of the West, as a twelve days’ fast before S. Michael and All Angels was observed in at least one portion of it.
Church does not deem it right to multiply fast days at such a joyful season. The Feasts which fall during this period are SS. Stephen, John the Evangelist, the Holy Innocents, (see infra Par. 98,) the Circumcision of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, the Epiphany, and the Conversion of S. Paul.
96. Unfasted Eves.
The Feasts which generally fall between Easter and Whitsuntide have no vigils, simply eves, for the like reason. The feasts are those of SS. Mark the Evangelist, Philip and James the Apostles, and Barnabas the Apostle.
As exceptions to the above must be noted the Festival of the Ascension of our LORD JESUS CHRIST and Whitsun-day itself, which have Vigils. The Rogation days, the third of which falls on the Vigil of the Ascension, together with Fridays, are the only abstinence days at the above period.
97. The Concurrence and Occurrence of Holy-days.
Festivals are said to “concur” when one feast is succeeded by another feast, so that the second Evensong of the former “concurs” (viz. takes place at the same Evening Prayer) with the first Evensong of the latter. The “occurrence” of festivals is when they “occur” on the same day, in which case the inferior feast is “translated” to some unoccupied day, or at least “commemorated” by its collect.
98. Eves or Vigils.*
“note, that the Collect appointed for every Sunday, or for any Holyday that hath a Vigil or Eve, shall be said at the Evening Service next before”
Not that a vigil or eve is implied to be one and the selfsame thing, but that the collect for fast days which have of course neither vigil nor eve must not be said at Evening Service next before.
* The distinction between vigils and eves will be manifest from a consideration of the rubric for S. Stephen’s Day. “Then shall follow the collect of the Nativity which shall be said continually until New Year’s Eve.” Thus though the Circumcision has no vigil, its eve is recognised by the Book of Common Prayer in accordance with Catholic usage, and its collect, and that alone, is to be said on that eve. Again, Christmas Day has a vigil, but if it falls on a Monday, the rubric upon vigils commands the vigil to be kept on the Saturday preceding. In which case, if vigil and eve be the same thing, the Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Advent must be said at the Evening Service on Saturday without the First, thus violating the rubric which orders “this collect is to be repeated every day with the other collects in Advent until Christmas Eve.” If however we take Christmas Eve to be the first evensong of the Nativity, that is, the Evening Service next before, the matter is quite plain, the order of collects varies as follows :
Vigil of Christmas. —At Evensong, Saturday Service, coll. (1) 4th Sund. in Advent (2) Advent.
Eve of Christmas.—At Evensong, Sunday Service, collect for Christmas.
It is convenient to remember that fast days have no evens, and that festivals have always; the collect for a festival is always said at the evening service next before.
The day before a festival, if fasted is called its vigil, if unfasted its eve. If a festival which has a vigil fall on Monday, Saturday is the vigil, Sunday the eve. The Church never fasts on the LORD’s Day. An eve is not a fast. It is to be noted in the above case that the collect for the festival will not be said at all on the vigil, but on the eve at the Evening Service next before. That is, not at Evensong on Saturday, but on Sunday.
99. Vigils, Eves, and Evensongs, use of Collect thereon.
The collect for a saint’s day, and that alone, save in certain exceptional cases, (for which see infra,) is to be said on its eve at first Evensong, or on its vigil except the feast fall on a Monday, in which case Saturday is the vigil and Sunday the eve. Thus if the Feast of the Nativity fall on a Monday, Saturday in compliance with the rubric, or note to the Table of Vigils, will be the vigil or fast day—the Church never fasting on the LORD’s Day—and Sunday the eve. The collect of the Nativity will therefore not be said at all on the vigil, but that of the Fourth Sunday in Advent and First at Evensong. On the Evensong of Sunday, being the first Evensong of the Nativity, that is, the Evening Service next before, the collect of the Nativity is alone said, the Sunday is not to be commemorated.
100. General Rule for using Collect of First Evensong.
The collect for the festival and that alone, is to be said at the Evening Service next before, whether it be that of vigil or eve.*
101. Concurrence of First and Second Evensongs of Festivals.
For instance, when the second Evensong of a festival concurs with the first Evensong of a commencing festival, the proper use of collects on such Evensong will be (1) coll. for the office of the morrow, (2) coll. for the day.
Thus, the collect of first Evensong takes precedence on concurrence of first and second Evensongs of the festivals. When there are two Evensongs there is of course no “concurrence.” At the first the office (= collect) of the day will be said, at the latter that of the morrow.
* All holydays have eves or vigils, except fasts, in which case the collect is not to be said at Evening Service next before.
The Feasts of SS. Stephen, John, and Holy Innocents have no first Evensongs. Hence the collects should be said thus :—at second Evensong of Christmas (1) Christmas Day, (2) S. Stephen, as memorial. Of course at Matins of S. Stephen, (1) S. Stephen, (2) Christmas. The same order of collects obtains at Holy Communion. At Evensong on the 26th of December, (1) S. Stephen, (2) Nativity, (3) S. John, as memorial. At Matins of 27th, (1) S. John, (2) Nativity. At Evensong of 27th, (1) S. John, (2) Nativity, (3) Holy Innocents, as memorial. At Matins, Holy Communion, and Evensong of 28th, (1) Holy Innocents, (2) Nativity.
102. Occurrence of Eves.
When a saint’s day falls for instance on a Sunday, the collects of both festivals must be used upon the Evening Service next before. The saint’s day collect first, because the saint’s day takes precedence of the Sunday, and that of the Sunday after it as a commemoration, not as being part of a Service whose first Evensong is then beginning. (For exceptions to this rule see infra Par. 105 and 106.)
103. Cases in which the Sunday Collect is added as a memorial to that of the Saint’s Day, though it be otherwise ordered.
In “the Order how the rest of Holy Scripture is appointed to be read,” occurs the following note:
“The Collect, Epistle, and Gospel, appointed for the Sunday shall serve all the week after, where it is not in this book otherwise ordered.” See infra Par. no for Services during Octaves.
When a saint’s day falls on any day except Sunday, it is otherwise ordered; and therefore the Sunday collect ought not to be repeated after the collect for the saint’s day, either on the festival or the Evensong of its eve or vigil.
Two first collects are never said, one after the other, except on Occurrence of Holy Days, or Concurrence of second and first Evensongs, (see Par. 97,) or that of saint’s day and Sunday, when the latter is said on eve and festival in commemoration only, not as forming part of service of the day (see infra Par. 104), and during the Octaves of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. (See Par. 20, for Advent and Lent, &c.)
104. Occurrence of Holy-days, Memorial Collect.
When a feast day falls upon a Sunday it was ordered in the service of Sarum, our legitimate guide in cases not treated of in our present rubric, that the Sunday service should give way to the proper service ordained for the
festival, except some peculiar Sunday only, and then the one or the other was transferred to some day of the week following. Our Prayer Book though silent upon the translation* of festivals, evidently allows it, as of course the compilers intended its silence to be traditionally explained, as in the antiphonal recitation of the Psalms and so many other matters. But where translation does not obtain, and a Holy Day is not transferred to some unoccupied day, we must by the light of the Use of Sarum, and the universal practice of the entire Western Church, act on an analogous principle. Our best plan will be, according to the custom of the most approved ritualists, when two holydays (this word includes Sundays, feasts and fasts,) fall together, to observe the superior Holy Day, commemorating the inferior by the use of its collect.
105. Sundays which take precedence of Saints’ days.
In all other cases the festival should have precedence of the Sunday.
106. Holy-days which take precedence of other Holy-days.
* It were to be wished that Convocation would authorize the annual publication of an Ordo recitandi for the translation of festivals and other ritual matter.
107. The Services of Holy-days not to be mingled.
It has been shown that when two Holy-days “occur” the only notice commonly taken of the inferior in the English Church is by the use of its collect as a memorial after that of the day; the translation of festivals not being general amongst us. And this memorial is to be used at Matins and Evensong, as well as in the Communion Office. The head Collects of Seasons, viz. Advent and Lent, are only used as “memorials” in the Eucharistic, not in the ordinary Office.* (See Par. 20.)
108. The Lessons.
As to the Lessons, it is perfectly against all correctness and precision of ritual to use the Lessons belonging to one service, and the Epistle and Gospel belonging to another. The Lessons must always belong to the same Holy Day as the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel, except on Ferial, that is, on ordinary week-days.
109. Exceptions to the above Rule for the Lessons.
The Feast of SS. Philip and James has a second as well as first Lesson at Matins. If this festival falls on the higher one of Low Sunday, the second Morning Lesson must of necessity (there being no second Lesson for Morning Prayer in the Calendar on May 1st, though there is a second Lesson for the Ferial Evensong,) be that of SS. Philip and James ; but no further notice must be taken of the festival save by its memorial collect, (see Par. 104 and 105.)
110. Octaves and Proper Prefaces.
The festivals whose octaves are observed in the English Church by the use of proper prefaces for seven days after, are Christmas, Easter, Ascension
* Though this is undoubtedly the Sarum Use, yet—as many may be averse to throw away the head collects from the Daily Service, and with them the note of the season, the only one we have left, (since, unhappily, for once that the Eucharistic Service is used, the ordinary Service is used ten or a dozen times)—as a matter of edification the retention of the head collects in the ordinary office is strongly advised (since the rubric certainly admits of it, and probably intended it,) in those cases where there is not daily celebration, as where this is the case, the omission of the head collect would in some sort depenitentialise Lent and strip Advent of Advent feeling.
and Whitsunday. The preface for Whitsunday is ordered to be used only six days after that festival, because the seventh, viz., the Octave of Whitsunday, would be Trinity Sunday which has a preface of its own. The two first days of the Octaves of Easter and Whitsuntide have festal services, and are days of obligation.
It is proper during the octave to say the service of the feast of which the octave is kept, viz., the Liturgy of the feast,* and the collect for the daily service. The LORD’s Day within the octave is excepted, as it has its special Eucharistic and Dominical office. This will include the Easter Day anthems.
111. Days of fasting, or Abstinence.
I. The Forty Days of Lent.
II. The Ember Days at the Four Seasons, being the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after
III. The Three Rogation Days, being the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, before Holy Thursday, or the Ascension of our LORD.
IV. All the Fridays in the Year, except CHRISTmas day.
Fast days, for which no special service is appointed, may be marked by the use of the collect “O GOD, Whose Nature and Property.” Consequently, although the Collect for Ash Wednesday is said in the Communion Office on all the Sundays in Lent, thus giving them a penitential character, yet as they are still feast days, the collect “O GOD, Whose Nature, &c.” must not be used. By analogy this collect will be used on vigils and not on eves.
The distinction between (1) fasting and (2) abstinence, requires, the first— abstaining from food, or diminishing the amount of it; the second—laying aside the more nourishing kinds of it, i.e. all flesh meats. Lent, vigils, and Rogation days are of the former, Fridays of the latter class.
The Prayer for those who are to be admitted into Holy Orders is to be said every day in Ember Week, and not only on the three fasting days. The rubric of the Book of Common Prayer, 1637, prepared for the Church of Scotland by Archbishop Laud, is explicit on this point. “A Prayer to be said in the Ember Weeks, for those which are then to be admitted into Holy Orders: and is to be read every day of the week, beginning on the Sunday before the Day of Ordination.”—Keeling, p. 52-58.
Some ritualists argue that the Ember prayer should only be said on the Ember
* That is, except on such days as have their own Liturgy, viz. the three Martyr days, which occur during the octave of the Nativity, and the Mondays and Tuesdays in those of Easter and Whitsuntide.
days. Their argument is based on the circumstance of the 31st Canon 160¾; calling the three fast days which precede the Ordination Sunday, jejunia quatuor temporum, commonly called Ember weeks. The word “weeks” applying to the three fasting days as a technicality, though they do not make up a whole week. The present rubric however is quite sufficient, even without the light of the Scotch Prayer Book of Laud, to warrant the use of the Ember collect every day in Ember week from Sunday to Saturday inclusive. The first prayer might be used on the Sunday till Friday inclusive, the second on the final Saturday: the collect “O GOD, Whose Nature and Property,” &c., will be used on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
It is incorrect to use the prayer on the succeeding Sunday also. The ancient usual day for Ordination in the English Church was Saturday.
Rogation Days* are to be observed by the use of the collect “O GOD, Whose Nature,” &c., and by the reading of a several part of the sermon for Rogation week, to be found in the second book of Homilies. The fourth part thereof is to be read on the day of perambulation, which is sometimes on Ascension Day, though sometimes on the day following. Of course the Priest is at liberty to preach a sermon of his own, so it be in a like spirit.
During the perambulation the 104th Psalm, Benedic, anima mea, should be sung. Banners for the perambulation are provided by Winchelsea’s Constitution, they are expressly named “vexilla pro rogationibus.”†
It is convenient for the parish Priest to inculcate this and such sentences, as “Cursed be he which translateth the bounds and doles of his neighbour,” and to say certain prayers and collects.
Fridays may be marked by the collect “O GOD, Whose Nature, &c.,” except when Christmas Day falls on a Friday, in which case the abstinence is abolished.
* Permission should be gained from the Diocesan to say the Litany.
† Enforced by Parliamentary authority, viz. by 25 Henry VIII., c. 19. This is “the authority of Parliament in the second year of King Edward VI.,” as set forth in the rubric, regulating the ornaments of the church and of the ministers thereof at all times of their ministration, which occurs before the Order for Morning Prayer daily throughout the Year. (See Gibson’s Codex, Vol. i., p. 225.)
 See rubric after the collect for Ash Wednesday. The collect for the day (de die) is properly so called in ordering it for Matins and Evensong as well as for the Daily Eucharist.