(f/a) Vigil of the Nativity–V (I)
Thursday, December 24
The vigils of Christmas, the Epiphany, and Pentecost are called vigiliae majores; they have a proper Office (semi-double), and the vigil of Christmas, from Lauds on, is kept as a double feast. The rest are vigiliae minorea, or communes, and have the ferial office. On the occasion of the reform of the Breviary, in 1568, a homily on the Gospel of the vigil was added, an innovation not accepted by the Cistercians. If a vigil falls on a Sunday, according to the present rubrics, it is kept on the preceding Saturday; during the Middle Ages in many churches it was joined to the Sunday Office. If it occurs on a double or a semi-double feats, it is limited to a commemoration in the Lauds and Mass (a feast of the first class excludes this commemoration), the ninth lesson in the Breviary, and the last Gospel in Mass.