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
Hebrews 4: 16
Let us go with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in seasonable aid. (Ps. 44: 2) My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. 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.
COLLECT - Let us pray. Almighty, everlasting God, who didst prepare in the Heart of the Virgin Mary a worthy dwelling-place for the Holy Ghost; mercifully grant that we, devoutly contemplating the festivity of the same Immaculate Heart, may be enabled to live according to Thy heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.
COMMEMORATION OF THE OCTAVE DAY OF THE ASSUMPTION - Let us pray. Forgive, we beseech Thhe, O Lord, the sins of Thy servants, that we, who by our own deeds are unable to please Thee, may be saved by the intercession of the Mother of Thy Son, our Lord, Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
Eccles. 24: 23-31
As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odor, and my flowers are the fruit of honor and riches. I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits; for my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honey-comb. My memory is unto everlasting generations. They that eat me, shall yet hunger; and they that drink me, shall yet thirst. He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded, and they that work by me, shall not sin. They that explain me shall have life everlasting. Thanks be to God.
My heart shall rejoice in thy salvation: I will sing to the Lord, who giveth me good things: yea I will sing to the name of the Lord the most high. V. (Ps. 44: 18) They shall remember thy name throughout all generations. Therefore shall people praise thee for ever: yea, for ever and ever.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Luke 1: 46, 47) My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Alleluia.
John 19: 26-27
At that time, there stood by the cross of Jesus, His mother, and His mother's sister Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen His mother and the disciple standing, whom He loved, He saith to His mother,"Woman, behold thy son." After that He saith to the disciple, "Behold, thy mother." And from that hour the disciple took her to his own.
Luke 1: 46
Let us pray. My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior; because He that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is His name.
SECRET Offering the Immaculate Lamb to Thy Majesty, O Lord, we beg that the divine fire which ineffably inflamed the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary may be lighted in our hearts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
SECRET FOR THE OCTAVE DAY May the prayer of the Mother of God aid Thy people, O Lord: and although we know her to have passed out of this life, fulfilling the lot of the flesh, may we experience her intercession for us with Thee in Heavenly glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
John 19: 27
Jesus said to His mother: Woman, behold thy son: Then He said to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.
POST COMMUNION - Let us pray. Refreshed by divine gifts, we humbly beseech Thee, O Lord, that, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the solemnity of whose Immaculate Heart we have just venerated, we may be freed from present dangers and may attain to the joys of eternal life Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen. .
POST COMMUNION FOR THE OCTAVE DAY - Let us pray. Now that we have received, O Lord, the Sacrament of salvation, grant, we beseech Thee, that through the merits and the intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary, who was taken up into heaven, we may be brought to the glory of the resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945