History of Octaves
While the Novus Ordo calendar unfortunately only has 2 octaves, traditional Catholics will be familiar with the idea of multiple overlaping Octaves. The practice of celebrating an Octave, while not only traced to the time spent by the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary awaiting the Paraclete, also has its origins in the Old Testament eight-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:36) and the Dedication of the Temple (2 Chronicles 7:9). Very truly, Christ did not come to abolish the Old Law but to fulfill it.
By the 8th century, Rome had developed liturgical octaves not only for Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas, but also for the Epiphany and the feast of the dedication of a church.
After 1568, when Pope Pius V reduced the number of octaves (since by then they had grown considerably), the number of Octaves was still plentiful. Octaves were classified into several types. Easter and Pentecost had "specially privileged" octaves, during which no other feast whatsoever could be celebrated. Christmas, Epiphany, and Corpus Christi had "privileged" octaves, during which certain highly ranked feasts might be celebrated. The octaves of other feasts allowed even more feasts to be celebrated.
To reduce the repetition of the same liturgy for several days, Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X made further distinctions, classifying octaves into three primary types: privileged octaves, common octaves, and simple octaves. Privileged octaves were arranged in a hierarchy of first, second, and third orders. For the first half of the 20th century, octaves were ranked in the following manner, which affected holding other celebrations within their timeframes:
- Privileged Octaves
- Privileged Octaves of the First Order
- Octave of Easter
- Octave of Pentecost
- Privileged Octaves of the Second Order
- Octave of Epiphany
- Octave of Corpus Christi
- Privileged Octaves of the Third Order
- Octave of Christmas
- Octave of the Ascension
- Octave of the Sacred Heart
- Privileged Octaves of the First Order
- Common Octaves
- Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM
- Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph
- Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
- Octave of Saints Peter and Paul
- Octave of All Saints
- Octave of the Assumption of the BVM
- Simple Octaves
- Octave of St. Stephen
- Octave of St. John the Apostle
- Octave of the Holy Innocents
INTROIT Acts 12:11.
Now I know in very deed, that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. (Ps. 138: 1, 2) Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O God, Who hast consecrated this day to the martyrdom of Thine apostles Peter and Paul, grant to Thy Church in all things to follow their teaching from whom it received the right ordering of religion in the beginning. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
EPISTLE Acts 12:1-11
In those days, Herod the king stretched forth his hands to afflict some of the Church: and he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword; and seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days of the Azymes: and when he had apprehended him, he cast him into prison, delivering him to four files of soldiers to be kept, intending after the pasch to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains; and the keepers before the door kept the prison: and behold an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shined in the room and he striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying, Arise quickly; and the chains fell off from his hands: and the angel said to him, Gird, thyself and put on thy sandals; and he did so: and he said to him, Cast thy garment about thee and follow me: and going out he followed him: and he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel; but he thought he saw a vision. And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city, which of itself opened to them; and going out, they passed on through one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. And Peter coming to himself, said, Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. S. Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Ps 44:17-18
Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth: they shall remember Thy name, O Lord. V. Instead of Thy fathers, sons are born to Thee; therefore shall people praise Thee. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Matt 16: 18.) Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church. Alleluia.
At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Cæsarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples, saying, " "Whom do men say that the Son of man is?" But they said, Some, John the Baptist, and other some, Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them, "But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him, "Blessed art thou, Simon BarJona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in Heaven: and I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 44:17-18
Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth: they shall remember Thy name, O Lord, throughout all generations.
May the prayer of Thine apostles, O Lord, accompany the sacrifices which we offer to be consecrated to Thy name, and through it do Thou grant us to be pardoned and defended. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew: 16-18
Thou art Peter: and upon this rock I will build My Church.