This is a rubric (instruction) for when to sing a hymn. I translated it as "At Sext on third and all doubles." This doesn't seem right to me because the 'third' is redundant. I would like to know what the literal translation is. Thank you.


It would be nice if you could give us a little more context. Where did you get this phrase? What book is it from? When was it published?

It literally means "At Sext on Thirds and all Doubles". I know what Doubles are, they are a kind of feast with a high liturgical rank. I do not know what Thirds might be.

Update: Thanks for the context supplied in your comment below. It confirms in my mind what Brianpck said. There is apparently something called a "Third Double" as well as something called a "Complete Double". I've never heard these terms before, and I cannot tell you what they mean.

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  • Ok, thank you. It is a rubric for the hymn Rector potens, verax Deus found in a catalogue of medieval music: Die mittelalterlichen Hymnenmelodien des Abendlandes. There is a similar one for Rerum Deus tenax vigor: ad nonam in tertiis duplicibus. Yes, the 'tertiis' part is where I am confused. – R. B. Jawad Apr 24 at 22:47
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    I believe both "tertiis" and "totis" modify "duplicibus" as adjectives, i.e. "on tertiary and complete doubles." I found a French work where this was translated as "doubles complets" (complete doubles) and "troisièmes doubles" (third doubles). It appears to be a very old (perhaps pre-16th c.) designation of liturgical feasts, and perhaps it's even peculiar to a religious order. – brianpck Apr 24 at 23:49
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    @brianpck I think you've nailed it. Do you want to make it the answer? – Figulus Apr 25 at 5:13
  • Under 'Ranking of liturgical days' Wikipedia has Doubles, I Class; Doubles, II Class; Greater Doubles; Doubles; Semidoubles. and then, in 1911, 1955, 1960, 1969 simplifications and renaming. – Hugh Apr 25 at 13:47
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    @Hugh I think even that belies the complexity: here's a good Catholic Encyclopedia article that includes a few lists of different terms used: newadvent.org/cathen/06021b.htm – brianpck Apr 25 at 15:48

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