Although of course whether it is visibly splendid or not I cannot yet tell, it being just 0600. Grey skies, periods of rain, periods of sunniness, eh. Am going to proceed to Prime and Terce and then turn on the recorded Mass from Paris-- it was live at 0200 and at that point I was sleeping soundly, I expect because the diet is different propter ieiunium and have been done with the day's eating by two o'clock or so. Today, I'd say that the soundness of sleeping is worth prolonging the 'Lenten regime' throughout the rest of the year-- but I expect that won't happen, ahem.
Seven lessons at the Mass Intret oratio mea, if I counted right. There may be more excellent singing of the propers, somewhere, but one must give the Schola Sainte-Cécile and Saint-Eugène high praise indeed for their performance Sunday after Sunday and feast after feast, season after season, of the Gregorian rites, without paying attention unnecessarily to the totemic mysteries of the 1960/1962 missal and calendar when Tradition suggests the better option.
Cardinal Schuster does a masterful job of explaining the form of the Mass but I'm not going to copy it all onto this page (it's all online e.g. here).
Saint Mary in Transpontina [where was the collecta] stood, as ancient writers tell us, in capite porticus; that is to say, between the Aelian Bridge and the colonnade which led to St Peter’s. Near by was the terebinthus Neronis, whence the clergy moved in procession, when they escorted the new Emperor as he went to receive the crown in St Peter’s from the hands of the Pope. The church was destroyed, perhaps, under Pius IV (1559-65), and the one which now bears its name is not an ancient building, nor does it stand on the original site, but about three hundred yards nearer the Vatican. In former days this Saturday was aliturgical, as it had to be spent in strict fasting, and Mass was not said until the end of the vigil preceding the Sunday, which took place at St Peter’s [where is the statio]. But for many centuries now the Church in her motherly condescension has allowed the rites of the vigil to be anticipated on the morning of the Saturday. The station at the Vatican Basilica was prompted by the eminently Roman idea that every transmission of ecclesiastical power, through the conferring of one of the sacred orders, was derived from the supreme power of Peter. Therefore ordinations in Rome must take place at the Vatican, with this distinction, that whereas it was the prerogative of the Pope to receive consecration at the altar which was over the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles, in other cases the ceremony took place in one of the adjoining oratories. The surroundings were especially inspiring. That ancient basilica, whose destruction in order to make room for the existing building of Bramante and Michelangelo can never be sufficiently deplored, was the monument of the victory of Christianity over Paganism, on the very spot where Nero crucified the first Pope. Around the tomb of the Galilean fisherman, whom Christ had raised to the dignity of being the foundation-stone of His Church, a noble band of Pontiffs slept the sleep of death. All the Catholic nations had built hospices for their pilgrims around this spot, and it could be said with truth that the sepulchre of St Peter was the goal of the desires of all Christianity, the centre of the Catholic world. In olden times the faithful spent the whole of this night in prayer, singing psalms, and listening to the reading, both in Greek and in Latin, of twelve lessons from Holy Scripture. The ceremony was enlivened by the beautiful melodies of the schola, by the brilliant light from the silver lamps which dispelled the shadows of the night, and by the perfume of incense and Eastern aromatics, with which the tomb of St Peter was incensed at the reading of each lesson. St Gregory the Great reduced the twelve lessons of the Roman Pannuchis to six, and in our days the five lessons which precede the Epistle are the last relics of this most ancient nocturnal solemnity. The Introit derives its antiphon....
Post Vesperas. Am having a bit of a crisis in that my chair seems to be falling apart, tsk. I did buy this one at Walmart for what I'm sure was the least expensive price available, three if not more years ago-- I suppose a small enough cost over those many months. Still; the inconveniences and unwelcome expense are never a good thing.
It is also the feast of Saint Luke (12th century), of Saint Honorina (4th century), and of Saint Anna (17th century).
R. Deo grátias.