Didn't get out of bed until...

Half past four so in consequence the Night Office wasn't done until just after six and I haven't yet-- it almost 0700-- made it to Prime. I seem to be sleeping much more soundly with the Lenten eating regime ongoing, hmm. It is the Saturday post Cineres with no feast day in the Calendar. In the Traditional Rite, one will celebrate Vespers by midday from here on, until Easter, I mean. Am not going to do this because I don't want to say the entire day's Hours so close together (and it is not as if I'm going out to High Mass each of these days)-- and it would mean the vanishing of my mornings-- but I might begin to do so later in the season. Am not quite sure why this was done, either: it had to do with the day beginning at sunset, and then with not breaking the fast until... I really don't know, although I've read the explanation. More than once. My memory is like an expanding sieve. Thursday. Dr DiPippo posted on this question (of the anticipation of Vespers before midday) at New Liturgical Movement today. 

There is a concert performance of Cavalli's Xerse later on, at 1130 Pacific, in London at The Cockpit, which is apparently a or the theatre of the City of Westminster College; had never heard of either the college or the venue-- I'm pretending it's Sunday in order to justify this, there also being the fact that I spent $10 for a ticket in early Septuagesima, before I was anywhere near ready to begin thinking about the Lenten regime. 

Saint Lawrence in Lucina [the site of the collecta] stands on the Via Lata in the Campus Martius, and perhaps owes its origin to a matron named Lucina, who is mentioned frequently in the Acts of Pope Saint Marcellus (304-9), and of Saint Sebastian, and who probably left the Church heir to her great wealth in the 4th century. The title of Lucina still stands first in hierarchical rank among the presbyteral titles, and besides many other relics of early martyrs, a large portion of the gridiron on which Saint Lawrence was burnt is preserved in the spacious basilica, consecrated by Pope Celestine III in 1196. 

The title of [the station at] Saint Trypho, on the other hand, is of medieval origin, and appears to have been built and restored in the 10th century by the famous Crescenzi family, whose stronghold was near by. Under the altar were the bodies of the martyrs Trypho, Respicius, and Nympha, whose natalis is celebrated on November 10; but when Clement VIII was Pope (1592-1605), the building being then in a ruinous condition, both the station and the relics were transferred to the neighbouring Church of St Augustine. In the days of St Gregory, although the Lenten fast began four days earlier, there were held, as we have said, in Quinquagesima week, only the two traditional synaxes of Ferias IV and VI; hence the antiphonary contains no chants for this Mass, but those of the previous day are repeated. 

The Collect is as follows: 'Give ear, O Lord, to our supplications; and grant that we may celebrate with devout service this solemn fast, which thou hast ordained as a salutary remedy both for our souls and bodies'. The Lesson from Isaias (LVIII 9-14) is the continuation of that of yesterday; consequently its theme is the same. If Israel desires to receive the divine graces, let him break the bonds of his sins, let him perform works of mercy, and let him render to God not merely outward and formal worship, but that which is inward and spiritual. The Sabbath which is most pleasing to God is that on which man abstains from sin, and practises self-denial. The Church, in these first days of Lent, insists constantly on the importance of the spiritual side of our penitence, which has nothing in common with the observances of the Pharisees, or of the followers of Mohammed. The Gospel (Mark VI 47-56) describes how our Lord, after approaching the Apostles across the tempest-tossed waves, returned with them to the land of Genesareth, where he healed all those who came to him and crowded about him that they might touch but the hem of his garment. The choice of this passage of Scripture has reference to the numerous miracles obtained by the faithful at the tomb of St Lawrence. The Secret is the following: 'Receive, O Lord, this sacrifice, by the offering of which thou hast vouchsafed to be appeased; and grant, we beseech thee, that we may be cleansed through its virtue, and may offer to thee the acceptable affection of our mind'. The Post-Communion is thus conceived: 'Being quickened by the gift of a heavenly life, we beseech thee, O Lord, that what is in this life a mystery, may become to us a help for eternity'. 

The Sabbath is symbolical of the peace of God, and of the repose of the soul after the tempests of this life. Many desire this Sabbath, but few attain to it, because they will not accept the truth that in order to reach it they must first endure the dereliction of Good Friday. He who would rest with Christ must first climb the mount of Calvary and die upon the cross before he can find peace in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.

The Roman Pontiff accepted the resignation of Robert Cardinal Sarah as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments today. One more impediment removed. Long life to Benedict XVI!

Have been looking about and found this at Rubricarius's St Lawrence Press Blog. It is my emphasis.  

... Today, and for the rest of Lent with the exception of Sundays, Vespers are not sung at the usual time in the afternoon but are sung before lunch. A rubric in the Spring volume of the Breviary, before first Vespers of the first Sunday of Lent, states:

Hodie et deinceps usque ad Sabbatum sanctum, exceptis diebus Dominicis, Vesperae dicuntur ante comestionem, etiam in Festis.

An English translation of the above, from the Stanbrook Abbey English edition of The Roman Breviary:

On this day, and thereafter until Holy Saturday, except on Sundays, Vespers are said before the principal meal at midday, even on Feasts.

This practice, much criticised by the reformers of the 20th century Liturgical Movement, and indeed by some today-- particularly one American blogger who despises our work-- was popularly associated with the practice of fasting. 

However, a contrary view, and one I share, would be that the practice represents a symbolic inversion of time as a consequnce of the Fall, with the restoration of 'normality' with the victory of the LORD at Easter. The practice is not confined to the Roman (or other Western rites) as it is found in the East too. A Google search of the times for the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts will reveal many Orthodox Churches serving this Liturgy, with its integral Vespers, on Wednesday and Friday mornings. Certainly for this Blogger and Ordo compiler the praxis is one of the most wonderful in the Liturgical Year and his Vespers today will end as the clock strikes noon....

Hmm. Since I take my principal meal at between one and two, I wonder if I can adjust this to 'Vespers before two'?  Xerse is long-- there's just now, at 1306, a fifteen minute interval. 

Ante Vesperas. When Xerse is completed. It is 1430. It has at last hit me that the odd capitalisations that occur sometimes when I 'publish' here are an intended function of the software, for emphasis and perhaps variety in the appearance of the pages. It's never e.g. jUSt tHiS but always JUST THIS. That took months, poor head of mine.

Ombra mai fu, famous in Handel's Serse, and also in Bonocini's and Cavalli's: how often does the most famous of arias occur in the first five minutes of an opera or oratorio? That then proceeds for another 200+ minutes. 

Ante completorium. I'm listening to what I am supposing is an owl. I heard it, whatever it is, this morning, too, before the Dawn. But I remember the last time I heard what I thought was an owl the bird turned out to be a dove, so am scarcely a reliable reporter. I think this is an owl, if only because there have to be a heck of a lot of doves or pigeons in this square acre and I've not heard this call before this morning. 

Today in 1798, the lackeys of that Corsican dragged the captive Pope Pius VI from Rome, to Siena and eventually to Valence in Drôme. And it is the anniversary of the execution of Andreas Hofer.  

It is also the feast of Saint Ulrick (12th century), of Saint Eleutherius (6th century), and of Blessed Giulia Rodzinska (20th century).

V. Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
R. Deo grátias.