Wednesday, 31 December 2008

St. Sylvester Pope and Confessor

Today is the feast of St. Sylvester I Pope & Confessor, it is of double rite.

Mattins has three nocturns and the usual nine lessons. The antiphons and psalms being taken from the Psalter for Wednesday. At Lauds a commemoration of the Octave of the Nativity is made.

At Mass the Gloria is sung, a commemoration of the Octave of the Nativity made, the Credo is sung and the preface and communicantes in the Canon are of the Nativity.

Vespers are first Vespers of the Circumcision without any commemorations.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' today is a day within the Octave of the Nativity. At Mattins the antiphons and psalmody are festal but there is only one nocturn of three lessons. At the Little Hours ferial antiphons and psalms are used(and as noted below the hymns do not have the tone or Doxology in honour of the Incarnation). The Mass is Puer natus with a commemoration of St. Sylvester. Vespers are the same as the Old Rite.

In pre-1911 practice in addition to the Octave of the Nativity the Octaves of St. Thomas (in England), St. Stephen, St. John the Evangelist and the Holy Innocents would have beem commemorated at Lauds and Mass.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity


Today, interestingly, the Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity is kept transferred from the 28th with both its Mass and Office. A commentator asked the other day why this should be.

The basic issue appears to be that the number of Sundays after the Fourth Sunday of Advent and before the first Sunday after the Epiphany varies depending on which day the Nativity falls. In addition when the Nativity falls on a Sunday there is never any commemoration of that Sunday. Neither is there a commemoration of any Sunday that falls on the Circumcision, Epiphany or Octave Day of the Epiphany. Between the Nativity and Epiphany there can be either two or just one Sunday (the latter case when the Nativity falls on a Tuesday or Monday). Historical evidence of course strongly suggests that there was a cycle of Dominical observance before the development of the Sanctorale and the older sacramentaries do indeed give two formularies for Sundays after the Nativity but their use is not straightforward. The two Sundays became known as 'vacant' Sundays as they might be celebrated or not depending on the degree of development of the Sanctoral and the day the Nativity fell. The celebration of the Nativity on the 25th December does appear to be more recent (relatively!) than the celebration of the Nativity-Epiphany-Theophany on January 6th but I have no knowledge of what arrangements of pericope cycles were in place then: the longer Advent, as found in the Ambrosian rite, clearly has some significance to that situation. Returning to more 'modern' times the three feasts of the 'comites Christi' have developed rather extraordinary privileges in terms of their occurence with the Sunday after the Nativity. We are of course looking at layers of liturgical history that have been built up over the centuries. Surely the best practice, as when on an archaelogical dig or dealing with an ancient treasure, is not to destroy the artefact or treasure in the process of investigation?

If the 25th, 26th, 27th or 28th of December falls on a Sunday a rubric in the Breviary, found on December 28th, directs that the Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity is celebrated on December 30th, as it is this year. This is a unique example of a semi-double Sunday Mass and Office being 'resumed' in the following week. The Incipit (beginning) of the Epistle to the Romans was traditionally assigned to the 30th (this was moved to the 29th in the 1911-13 reform - which we shall observe has an unfortunate consequence for January 1st in due course). As Incipits normally occur on Sundays this suggests a close relationship with the Sunday.

So today the semi-double Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity is celebrated. The liturgical colour is white. At mattins there are three nocturns and nine lessons, the antiphons and psalmody being that of the feast of the Nativity. At Lauds the Octave of the Nativity is commemorated. At the Hours the antiphons are from the Nativity and the psalmody is festal.

The Mass, Dum medium, is proper, the Gloria is sung, a commemoration of the Octave is made, the Credo is sung and the preface and communicantes of the Nativity are used. Vespers of the Nativity are sung, from the chapter of the Sunday within the Octave with a commemoration of the following day's feast of St. Silvester and of the Octave of the Nativity.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' today is a day within the Octave of the Nativity. Mattins has the antiphons and psalmody of the Nativity (with the shortened Ps. 88 ) and three lessons from occuring scripture, the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. When the 1962ists celebrated their, debatably more rational (?), Sunday within the Octave they had to re-read mattins lessons from the Nativity as St. Paul's Epistle does not begin until the 29th - an interesting novelty. One wonders why the beginning of the Epistle to the Romans was not moved to that Sunday - presumably to avoid the disruption to the pericopes for the other II class days. (In the 1970-2002 rite Liturgia Horaram fails to restore a 'vacant' Sunday within the Octave instead assigning to it the Feast of the Holy Family.) Festal Lauds are celebrated. At the Hours ferial antiphons are psalmody are used and Mass is celebrated of a day within the Octave, Puer natus. Vespers are of the Nativity with no commemorations.

In pre-1911 practice there would have been commemorations of the Octaves of St. Thomas (in dioceses of England and Wales) St. Stephen, St. John the Evangelist and the Holy Innocents in addition to the commemoration of the Octave of the Nativity.

Monday, 29 December 2008

St. Thomas of Canterbury



Today is the feast of St. Thomas of Canterbury, it is of double rite. Today, again, the liturgical colour is red.

St. Thomas of Canterbury, or St. Thomas Becket, fell foul of the political machinations of King Henry II and was slain by the King's soldiers in Canterbury Cathedral on December 29th, 1170.

Mattins has, as usual, three nocturns and nine lessons. The antiphons and psalms are taken from the Psalter for Monday. In the first nocturn the beginning of the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans is read. At Lauds a commemoration of the Octave of the Nativity is made.

At Mass the Gloria is sung, a commemoration of the Octave of the Nativity is made, the Credo is sung and the preface and communicantes in the Canon are of the Octave of the Nativity.

Vespers are of the Octave of the Nativity but from the chapter of the follwing Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity with a commemoration of St. Thomas Becket and of the Octave of the Nativity.

Following the 'liturgical books of 1962' St. Thomas is reduced to a commemoration in the fifth day within the Octave of the Nativity. Unusually festal psalmody is used at mattins and lauds, as on the feast (this contrasts with the practice for third order octaves in the old rite). At the Hours the antiphons and psalmody are ferial. Mass is of a day within the Octave, with Gloria, commemoration of St. Thomas, Credo, preface and communicantes of the Nativity. Vespers are of the Nativity without any commemorations. In pre-1911 practice the Octaves of St. Stephen, St. John the Evangelist and the Holy Innocents would have been commemorated in addition to that of the Nativity.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

The Holy Innocents


Today is the feast of the Holy Innocents, it is a double of the second class with a simple octave. It is also a 'vacant' Sunday as both the Office and Mass of the Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity are transferred this year to the 30th December.

The feast of the Holy Innocents is unique in the Roman rite in that it changes its liturgical colour when it falls on a Sunday, as this year, to when it falls on a feria. This year as the feast falls on a Sunday it is celebrated in red. When it falls on a feria the feast is celebrated in violet. The origin of this practice is a compromise between the differences in Gallican and Roman practice.

This year with the feast falling on the vacant Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity the following rules are observed: Mattins has nine lessons but only eight responsories, the Te Deum being sung. At Lauds a comemmoration is made of the Octave of the Nativity. The office is festal, of that of a double of the second class. At the Little Hours the hymns have their Doxology changed in honour of the Incarnation. As usual on doubles of the second class festal psalmody is used at Prime.

At Mass, in red vestments as noted above, the Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Octave of the Nativity, an Alleluia sung as on other feasts, the Credo is sung and the preface and communicantes are of the Octave of the Nativity. When the feast of the Holy Innocents falls on a feria as well as the liturgical colour being violet the Te Deum is not sung but the ninth responsory sung in its place. Likewise instead of the Alleluia and versicle after the Gradual a Tract is sung.

Vespers are of the Nativity, but from the chapter of the Holy Innocents with a commemoration of the following day's feast of St. Thomas of Canterbury and of the Octave of the Nativity.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the traditional order of the Nativity Octave is destroyed and today becomes the Sunday within the Octave celebrated in white vestments. Mattins has but one nocturn and the first and second lesson from the Nativity are re-read! The Holy Innocents are reduced to a commemoration at Lauds and non-sung Mass. However no commemoration of the Octave of the Nativity is made in either the Office or Mass. As already referred to the proper Doxology is omitted at the Little Hours and the arrangement is applied to the psalmody of Prime that is used for minor Sundays. Vespers are without any commemorations. In pre-1911 practice the Holy Innocents are celebrated as above but in addition to the commemoration of the Octave of the Nativity the octaves of St. Stephen and St. John are commemorated at Lauds, Mass and Vespers.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

St. John Apostle and Evangelist

Today is the feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist, it is a double of the second class with a simple octave.

The Office is again proper. As for all days until Epiphany hymns of Iambic metre have the special Doxology and tone in honour of the Incarnation. Mattins has three nocturns and the Nativity of the LORD is commemorated at Lauds, Mass and Vespers.

At Mass the Gloria and Credo are sung. The preface and communicantes are of the Nativity.

Vespers are of the Nativity but from the chapter of St. John. A commemoration of tomorrow's feast of the Holy Innocents is made and of the Octave of the Nativity.

In pre-1911 practice the day within the octave of St. Stephen's feast was also commemorated at Lauds, Mass and Vespers.

Following the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Doxology in honour of the Incarnation is omitted in the hymns of the Little Hours. At the Little Hours ferial antiphons and psalms are used. Vespers is of the Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity. No commemoration of the Octave is made nor is there any commemoration of the Holy Innocents.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

The Nativity of the LORD


The feast of the Nativity is a double of the first class with a privileged octave of the third order.

Mattins is sung late in the evening, so the Mass which immediately follows can begin at midnight. The Caeremoniale gives special instructions, Lib.II, Cap. XIV, 3, for pontifical mattins, but may be reasonably applied to other celebrations or arranging adequate candles to supply light for the service and talks of candelabris ferreis magnis to help provide this. One can easily see the modern practice of candlelit nine lessons and carols comes from - how unfortunate that the same effort is not made to celebrate mattins.

The invitatorium is proper, when intoning the hymn, Jesu, Redemptor omnium the Hebdomadarius turns and bows to the altar. Mattins has three nocturns and the usual nine lessons. After the Te Deum the collect is sung followed by Benedicamus Domino. The first of the three Masses for the Nativity is then sung. The Gloria is sung (one theory of its origin in the Mass rite is from the song of the Angels on Christmas night to the shepherds) as is the Creed. The preface and communicantes are proper. Lauds, with different antiphons to those used at first vespers immediately follows the Mass.

Later in the morning Prime is sung followed by the second Mass, the Missa in aurora that has a second collect to commemorate St. Anastasia.
After Terce the third Mass is sung. At the Gospel pericope for this Mass is In principio the Gospel of the Epiphany is read as a proper last Gospel.
Second Vespers has yet a third set of proper antiphons for the feast and will be used through the Octave. The following feast of St. Stephen is commemorated.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there a fewer differences today with the old rite. At Mattins, and for the Octave, psalm 88, Misericordias Domini is cut from 51 to 36 verses. The verses from Tu vero repulisti et despexisti to the end are omitted. In the third Mass the last Gospel is omitted and at Vespers no commemoration of St. Stephen is made.


May all readers have a very blessed and Holy Christmas

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Vigil of the Nativity

Uniquely in the Liturgical Year the Vigil of the Nativity changes rank after Mattins and from being a simple then becomes a double from Lauds onwards.

Mattins has one nocturn of three lessons. The invitatorium is Hodie scietis and the hymn Verbum supernum, the antiphons and psalms are from the ferial psalter for Wednesday but the vericles, lessons and responsories are proper. Lauds has proper antiphons on the psalms and Benedictus.

Prime is festal and the Martyrology is sung with extra soleminity today. The Hebdomadarius dons a violet cope and preceded by acolytes bearing candles and a thurifer with incense. After reverencing the choir the Martyrolgy is censed, as a Gospel book, three times. The the choir rise and the Hebdomadarius chants 'Octavo Kalendas Januarii. Luna vicesima septima. Anno a creatione mundi, quando in principio Deus creavit coelum et terram, quinquies millesimo centesimo nonagesimonono: A diluvio etc. listing the years since the birth of Abraham, the Exodus from Egypt, the anointing of David, the time since Daniel the Prophet, since the founding of Rome and the conception of the LORD by the Holy Ghost '...novemque post conceptionem decursis mensibus', then raising the pitch of the chant, whilst the choir kneel, he continues, 'in Bethlehem Judae nascitur ex Maria Virgine factus Homo'. Then in the tone of the Passion: 'Nativitas Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundem carnem.' The choir then rise and sit whilst in the normal tone the Hebdomadarius continues with the entries for the day: 'Eodem die natalis santae Anastasiae etc. The lectio brevis is proper to the Vigil. The antiphons from Lauds are used in sequence at the Hours.



After None Mass is sung. Today the ministers do not wear folded chasubles but dalmatic and tunicle. There is just one collect. The dismissal, Benedicamus Domino, is sung by the deacon to a most beautiful and ornate tone reserved for today, the feast of the Holy Innocents (when celebrated in violet which won't happen this year) and pro re gravi Masses.

First Vespers of the Nativity are sung in the afternoon. All hymns of Iambic metre have the Doxology Jesu, tibi sit glori, qui natus es de Virgine... for the Octave and up until the feast of the Epiphany.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there is no change of rank between Mattins and the rest of the day. The antiphons at Mattins and the Hours are doubled. At Prime the special lesson is omitted and the one used for all of Advent sung. Not having folded chasubles the distinction of the lightening of the penitential tone is lost at Mass and the beautiful chant of the Benedicamus Domino is replaced by Ite, missa est.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

O Virgo Virginum 23 December

The title of this post has nothing to do, directly, with the liturgy of the post-Tridentine Breviary. However, for many years I have been struck by the beauty of some of what might be termed the 'Lesser O Antiphons'. The most widespread of these by far was O Virgo Virginum and was sung in many Western rites, including the illustrious Sarum rite, as the last of the 'O' antiphons on December 23rd. The meant that 'O Sapientia' instead of being sung on December 17th was sung on December 16th. A vestige of this practice can even be found in the 1662 Anglican Book of Common Prayer which, although not providing texts, indicates 'O Sapientia' in the Kalendar on the 16th December.

I recommend the interesting website The Hymns and Carols of Christmas for a visit at this particular season of the Liturgical year and from that site take the texts given below:


O Virgo virginum, quomodo fiet istud? quia noc primam similem visa es, nec habere sequentem. Filæ Jerusalem, quid me admiramini? Divinum est mysterium hoc quod cernitis.


O Virgin of virgins! how shall this be? for never was there one like thee, nor will there ever be. Ye daughters of Jerusalem, why look ye wondering at me? What ye behold, is a divine mystery.



Dom Guéranger notes (see the link above) that this antiphon was used in the post-Tridentine Roman rite in Spain and some of her Dominions for the pro aliquibus locis feast of the Expectation of the BVM on 18th December. The old practice of having the antiphon on the 23rd seems to me at least an excellent one emphasising the inseparable link between the Mother of God and the mystery of the Incarnation. A beautiful acrostic was created (very common in the Sarum breviary) by taking the first letter of each antiphon in reverse order. So for the seven in the Roman Breviary this creates 'Ero Cras' that translates as 'Tomorrow, I will come'. With O Virgo virginum this becomes 'Vero Cras', 'Truly, tomorrow'.

There were also other 'Lesser O's' (again texts from the excellent site of Doug Anderson):


O Hierusalem, civitas Dei summi: leva in circuitu oculos tuos, et vide Dominum tuum, quia jam veniet solvere te a vinculis.


O Jerusalem, city of the great God: lift up thine eyes round about, and see thy Lord, for he is coming to loose thee from thy chains.


O Rex pacifice, Tu ante saecula nate: per auream egrede portam, redemptos tuos visita, et eso illuc revoca unde ruerunt per culpam.

O King of peace, that was born before all ages: come by the golden gate, visit them whom thou hast redeemed, and lead them back to the place whence they fell by sin.

O Gabriel, nuntius caelorum, qui clausis ianuis ad me introisti, et verbum annuntiasti: concipies et paries Emmanuel vocabitur.

O Gabriel! the messenger of heaven, who camest unto me through the closed doors, and didst announce the Word unto me : Thou shalt conceive and bear a Son, and he shall be called Emmanuel.


The last was generally replaced by O Thoma that I mentioned yesterday. Many years ago I speculated that it would be fascinating to interpolate all of the 'O's into the Magnficat on December 23rd as they all have the same tone, 2D. I then discovered that this had indeed been done in some Monastic establishment but didn't record my reference. A good friend I lunched with on my recent visit to Ireland suggested that it may have been Prinknash. I shall investigate this in due course.

In the Roman liturgy the day is of simple rite. The antiphons Rorate, caeli etc are sung at the second scheme of Lauds and at the Little Hours. At the Benedictus an antiphon special to this day is sung: Ecce completa sunt... Behold all things are accomplished... Ferial preces are sung, kneeling at Lauds and at the Little Hours.


At Mass, sung after None, the ministers wear folded chasubles and four candles are on the altar. The chants are ferial. The Mass is of the fourth Sunday of Advent but without the Alleluia and versicle after the Gradual. The second collect is of the BVM, Deus, qui de beate, and the third collect is for the Church, Ecclesiae. As always when violet vestments are worn Benedicamus Domino is the dismissal. As normal on 'kneeling days' the choir kneels for the orations and from the Sanctus to the Fraction.

At Vespers the antiphon O Emmanuel is sung, doubled, and with the choir standing. After the Magnificat and the repetition of the antiphon the ferial preces are sung, kneeling. Again at Compline preces are sung with the choir kneeling.

In the 'ancient' liturgical books of 1962 there are no ferial preces. Antiphons are of course 'doubled' regardless of the rank of day, at Prime the festal Regi saeculorum is sung rather than the ferial Pacem. At Mass, sung after Terce (in the 'ancient' rite of 1962) the distinction of singing the Mass after different Hours depending on the rank of day is lost and all Masses are sung after Terce except for a 'grave reason'), the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, there is no collect of the BVM or for the Church and Ite, missa est is the dismissal. At Vespers the significance of the doubled 'Great 'O' antiphon is lost and there are no preces at either Vespers or Compline.

Monday, 22 December 2008

St. Thomas the Apostle



Today is the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, the feast has a rank of Double of the Second Class and is transferred this year to today as the Fourth Sunday of Advent was the 21st, the normal day of St. Thomas' celebration.

According to tradition St. Thomas preached the Gospel in Asia and the Indian sub-continent. He is believed to have founded, inter alia, the St. Thomas Christians on the West coast of India, one of several groups using the East-Syrian family of liturgies (see image at the bottom of this post).

The Benedictine liturgist Dom Prosper Guéranger has eloquent words for St. Thomas' feast:
"This is the last feast the Church keeps before the great one of the Nativity of her Lord and Spouse. She interrupts the greater ferias in order to pay her tribute of honour to Thomas, the apostle of Christ, whose glorious martyrdom has consecrated this twenty-first day of December, and has procured for the Christian people a powerful patron, who will introduce them to the divine Babe of Bethlehem. To none of the apostles could this day have been so fittingly assigned as to St. Thomas. It was St. Thomas whom we needed; St. Thomas, whose festal patronage would aid us to believe and hope in that God whom we see not, and who comes to us in silence and humility in order to try our faith. St. Thomas was once guilty of doubting, when he ought to have believed, and learnt the necessity of faith only by the sad experience of incredulity: he comes then most appropriately to defend us, by the power of his example and prayers, against the temptations which proud human reason might excite within us."

The liturgy of the day is festal and began with first Vespers of the feast yesterday on the fourth Sunday of Advent. Four pluvialistae in pariti assist the Hebdomadarius at Vespers and Lauds. At Mattins there are the usual nine lessons. At Lauds the antiphon on the Benedictus is proper Quia vidisti me, Thoma, credidisti: beati, qui non viderunt, et crediderunt, alleluia referring to the incident recorded in the Gospel of St. John about St. Thomas' doubt in the Risen LORD. A commemoration is then made of the Advent feria.

Festal hymn tones and psalmody are used at the Horae Minorae. At Mass, which is sung after Terce the Gloria and Creed are both sung and there is a commemoration of the Advent feria, the preface is that of the Apostle. At second Vespers there is a commemoration of the Advent feria with the 'O' antiphon O Rex gentium. Compline ends the celebration of St. Thomas' transferred feast. Dom Guéranger gives a medieval 'O antiphon' for St. Thomas found in several rites including that of Sarum:

O Thoma Didyme! qui Christum meruisti cernere; te precibus rogamus altisonis, succurre nobis miseris; no damnemur cum impiis, in adventu Judicis.

O Thomas Didymus! who didst merit to see Christ; we beseech thee, by most earnest supplication, help us miserable sinners, lest we be condemned with the ungodly, at the coming of the Judge.

According to the 'liturgical books of 1962' St. Thomas, considered so important by Dom Guéranger, is entirely omitted this year and the day is a feria. In the 1970-2002 calendar his feast has been permanently transferred to July 3rd, the date of the translation of his relics. Yet again, the inadequacy of the putative "Gregorian", "TLM", "ancient" 1962 rite is apparent.

Holy Apostle Thomas pray to God for us that we may be delivered from the affliction of the liturgical books of 1962.



Art: (Top) Wikipedia; a Russian Icon of St. Thomas, 18th century.
(Lower) Icon of St. Thomas in the Indian tradition.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

The Fourth Sunday of Advent


Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent, it is a semi-double Sunday of the second class. The feast of St. Thomas the Apostle is transferred to tomorrow.

Mattins has, as for most Sundays, three nocturns and nine lessons. The first nocturn lessons are from the prophet Isiah, the second from a sermon of St. Leo and the third nocturn homily on the Gospel from St. Gregory. The Gospel places the Incarnation in the historical context of various rulers in lands around the Holy Land and the preaching of St. John the Baptist 'Prepare ye the way of the LORD'.

At Lauds the antiphons on the psalms are proper and the antiphon on the Benedictus is proper to the 21st December: Nolite timere... (Fear not..). At Prime the Dominical preces are sung.

At Mass the second collect is of the BVM, Deus, qui de beate, the third for the Church, Ecclesiae, the Creed is sung and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino. The ministers, of course, wear folded chasubles and, as for all Sundays, six candles are on the altar.

Vespers are of St. Thomas the Apostle, the antiphon on the Magnificat is proper and the Sunday is commemorated with the Great O antiphon O Oriens.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Mattins is reduced to one nocturn of three lessons. No preces are sung at Prime. At Mass there is no collect for the BVM and no third collect. The dismissal is Ite, missa est. The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle. Vespers is of the Sunday: St. Thomas, one of the Twelve chosen by the LORD Himself is omitted entirely this year as was the case with St. Andrew barely three weeks ago.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

O clavis David Ember Saturday in Advent

My apologies for the lack of posts in Advent, despatching Ordines has been my priority.

Today is Ember Saturday in Advent and also the Vigil of St. Thomas the Apostle. The rank is simple.

From December 17th a special set of antiphons have been sung at Lauds and the Hours. In the case of today these are the antiphon Intuemini etc. Mattins has one nocturn and three lessons. The second scheme of Lauds is sung (starting with Ps.50, Miserere mei, Deus) and the ferial preces are sung whlst kneeling after the Benedictus. The Vigil is not commemorated in the Office. At the Hours again the special set of antiphons are used in sequence and the ferial preces are sung, kneeling, towards the end of each.

The Mass, sung after None, has the usual, ancient form, for Ember Saturdays. As for all Advent Masses and Ember Days (excepting those of Pentecost) the ministers wear folded chasubles. Four candles are on the altar. After the Kyrie there are a series of structural units comprising of the invitation Oremus, followed by Flectamus genua, Levate, a collect, O.T. reading and gradual. Four of these readings are from Isiah and the last from Daniel. After the pericope from Daniel instead of a gradual the hymn of the Three Men in fiery furnace is sung, Beneditus es, Domine, Deus patrum nostrorum and its collect Deus, qui tribus pueris. After this collect the Vigil is commemorated and the third collect is of the BVM, Deus, qui de Beate. Mass then continues as usual (with of course kneeling for the orations and from the Canon through to the Fraction as usual on penitential days) with Benedicamus Domino as the dismissal and the last Gospel of the Vigil.

A private Mass may be of the Vigil with the second collect of the Ember Saturday, the third collect of the BVM, Deus, qui de Beate. The same praxis about kneeling is followed and Benedicamus Domino sung and the last Gospel of the Ember Saturday.

Vespers of the fourth Sunday in Advent are sung. A series of special antiphons at the Magnificat are used from December 17th (or December 16th in Sarum etc), the great O antiphons. For December 20th this is O clavis David. Exceptionally for a semi-double the O antiphons are 'doubled' and sung entire both before and after the canticle. At compline the preces are sung.

The feast of St. Thomas the Apostle is transferred to Monday.

The unfortunate users of the 'liturgical books of 1962' see the Canticle of Moses at Lauds shortened from 65 to 27 verses. The Vigil of St. Thomas has been abolished. At Prime the ferial chapter Pacem et veritatem.. is replaced by the festal (!) Regi saeculorum.... Ferial preces (that have been sung at all the Hours on feriae) are omitted at Prime and the Hours. The Mass has the option of the 'mini-Ember Day' there is no commemoration of the Vigil or prayer to the BMV, the dismissal is Ite, missa est and the ministers wear dalmatic (the garment of joy!) and tunicle. Vespers, apart from the doubling of the antiphons on the psalms are the same.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Gaudete, the third Sunday of Advent


Gaudete in Domino semper; iterum dico, gaudete. The introit for the third Sunday of Advent's Mass 'Rejoice in the LORD always; again I say rejoice', and also its Epistle, is from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians (4:4). The illustration from Jerome Nadal depicts today's Gospel where the Jews sent priests and Levites to interrogate St. John the Baptist.

The Sunday, mirroring Laetare Sunday in Lent, lightens the penitential violet and so rose vestments may be worn for Vespers and the day. The deacon and sub-deacon instead of wearing folded chasubles - one of the most ancient and typically Roman characteristis of the whole liturgy - wear dalmatic and tunicle today of rose colour. (Where rose vestments are not available violet dalmatic and tunicle are worn in their place.)

The Sunday is of semi-double rank of the second class. Mattins, as usual for most Sundays, has nine lessons and is divided into three nocturns. The invitatory is proper from today until the Vigil of the Nativity, Prope est jam Dominus: Venite adoremus. At Lauds a commemoration of the Octave of the BVM is made. At Mass the Octave is commemorated, the Creed is sung and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino.

At Vespers, which has proper antiphons, a commemoration of the following Octave Day is made. After tomorrow's Octave Day the liturgy takes a more serious and penitential note.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

St. Lucy Virgin & Martyr


The feast of St. Lucy Virgin and Martyr is of double rite and has a 'proper' Office.

St. Lucy of Syracuse's Latin name, Lucia, shares a root (luc) with the Latin word for light, lux. Jacobus de Voragine stated "In 'Lucy' is said, the way of light" at the beginning of his vita of the Blessed Virgin Lucy, in Legenda Aurea, the most widely-read version of the Lucy legend in the Middle Ages. In the Julian Calendar December 13th was the longest night of the year hence the adoption of this day for St. Lucy's feast. Looking at her entry on Wikipedia I was surprised to learn her feast is actually kept by the Lutherans too.

Her Office began with Vespers yesterday with proper antiphons starting Orante sancta Lucia.. and psalms used for feasts of the BVM. At Vespers a commemoration of the Octave of the BVM and the Advent feria was made.

Mattins has three nocturns and nine lessons but the antiphons and psalms are of the Saturday. The responsories in the second and third nocturns are either proper or taken from the Common. At Lauds the same set of 'proper' antiphons are used as at Vespers and the Sunday psalms are sung. Again at Lauds there is a commemoration of the Octave of the BVM and of the Advent Saturday. At the Little Hours the Saturday antiphons and psalms are sung. Because of the Octave of the BVM all hymns of Iambic metre are sung to the special tone for the BMV and have the Doxology Jesu, tibi sit gloria.

Mass follows Terce. The Gloria is sung, the 2nd collect is of the Octave of the BVM, the third collect is of Advent, the Creed is sung (because of the Octave) and the Preface is that of the BVM.

Vespers of the Sunday are sung with a commemoration of St. Lucy and the Octave.

Two interesting points: Firstly, today is a good example of a feast that retained parts proper to it in the reform of 1911-13. Before the reform all double feasts would have used antiphons and psalms from the Common if they lacked (which is the case for the majority) proper antiphons. Secondly, since 1911-13 the versicle in the brief responsory at Prime for Advent Qui venturus es in mundum is considered 'proper'. This means that hymns of Iambic metre on the Sunday follow the normal tone and not that of the Octave.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' St. Lucy loses first Vespers. Mattins is cut down to one nocturn of three lessons. At Lauds the proper antiphons and Sunday psalms are retained. In Mass the Gloria is sung but there is no commemoration of the Octave, hence no Credo and the Preface is Common (unless the ad libitum Preface of Advent is used found in later edtions of the 1962 missal). At Mass of course the deacon and sub-deacon wear dalmatic and tunicle - a practice in the Roman rite 47 years old this Advent - hardly 'ancient', 'traditional' or 'Gregorian'. St. Lucy is not commemorated at Vespers. Neither, of course, is the Octave.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Ordo update

All international orders that had been received as of last Saturday have been despatched. The first batch, sent a week ago, have arrived in the USA.

Today I have sent UK customers (except those who have already ordered) their last paper order form/reminder.

I am away from tomorrow for five days in the West of Ireland. Orders that arrive during my absence will be processed on Monday evening and posted a week today.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Saint Andrew the Apostle



The feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the 'First Called', is celebrated today, displaced by the First Sunday of Advent yesterday.

According to St. John's Gospel St. Andrew was a disciple of St. John the Baptist, whose testimony first led him and St. John the Evangelist to follow Jesus. St. Andrew at once recognised Christ as the Messiah. St. Andrew preached the Gospel in Asia Minor and, according to Eusebius, as far as Kiev. St. Andrew is the patron saint of such diverse countries as Scotland and Russia. According to tradition he was crucified at Patras in Achaea.

Devotion to St. Andrew was strong in the medieval period and many Western Kalendars such as the venerable Sarum Rite had an octave for the feast. In the Roman liturgy clearly St. Andrew was once regarded as more important than in modern times hence his inclusion in the Libera nos.

The liturgy of the day is festal and began with first Vespers of the feast on Advent Sunday. Four pluvialistae in pariti assist the Hebdomadarius at Vespers and Lauds. At Mattins there are the usual nine lessons. At Lauds a commemoration is made of the Advent feria. Festal psalmody is used at the Horae Minorae. At Mass, which is sung after Terce the Gloria and Creed are both sung and there is a commemoration of the Advent feria. At second Vespers there is a commemoration of tomorrow's feast of St. Bibiana and of the Advent feria. Compline ends the celebration of St. Andrew's transferred feast.

According to the 'liturgical books of 1962' St. Andrew is entirely omitted this year, as in the 1970-2002 missal, so much for the supposed "Gregorian", "ancient" 1962 rite - Apostles are clearly of little importance!

Holy Apostle Andrew pray to God for us that we may be delivered from the affliction of the liturgical books of 1962.

Friday, 28 November 2008

The last green vestments for a while

Today will see the last use of green as a liturgical colour until after the Octave of the Epiphany.

In the last week before Advent the 'Minor Prophets' supply occuring scripture for Mattins with a different Incipit for each day. In some years this can lead to some 'leap-frogging' to get them all read but this year it is relatively simple with Nahum on Monday, Habacuc on Tuesday, Sophonias on Wednesday and Aggeus on Thursday.

Today becomes slightly more interesting because Saturday is the Vigil of St. Andrew the Apostle and thus has proper lessons. So in today's ferial nocturn the first and second lesson are from Zacharias but the third lesson is anticipated from Malachias that was due to be read on Saturday.

The rest of the day is that of a feria, Suffrage of the Saints at Lauds, Dominical preces at Prime. At Mass the Gloria is not sung, the second collect is A cunctis the third chosen by the celebrant or Dean. Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal.

Vespers are ferial with a commemoration of St. Saturninus and the Suffrage of the Saints. The Dominical preces are sung at Compline.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Ordines in the Post!


Orders for Ordo 2009 are now going out via AirMail for non-UK customers and 2nd class post for UK ones.

Ordo 2009 got delayed slightly at the printers. Last year an Adobe Acrobat file was used by the printer without any problem. This year the new printer (the former had increased their quotation by a ridiculous amount) had the same format but the dotted lines separating the date and liturgical colours would not print properly. The line was then changed to a solid one but the process had begun and some eighty Ordines were produced which had the defective line. Perhaps they would have become collectors items in a hundred years' time but they ended up in the recycling bin.

The solid line versions arrived on Wednesday and are now going out in batches so please be patient.

Two friends at the weekend commented on how much better the quality of print is this year. The print is much blacker and, consequently, much easier to read. I am delighted with the new printers and trust that you, esteemed customers, will be similarly pleased with your copy(ies) of Ordo 2009.

I am also setting up a PayPal account but have to wait a few days for verification. Please watch this blog.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

The Very Rev. Dr. Gregory Woolfenden, R.I.P.

An old friend of mine Dr. Gregory (Graham) Woolfenden, aka Hegoumen Gregory, died on Thursday evening in the USA. Gregory was one of most erudite liturgical scholars I have ever met. Besides his formidable knowledge he was excellent company and a pleasure to have at the dinner table and enormously good value as a guest. I had emailed him on Thursday morning with a promise to 'phone over the weekend but this clearly was not to be.

He died, after a short illness, from cancer of the kidney. He was 62.

May his soul repose in peace. Please pray for him.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Revisionism strikes again

I was somewhat amused the other week when I spent a delightful evening with the Saint Lawrence Press' two other directors. I was told how an SSPX priest, who shall remain nameless, had said that the "SSPX had always used" the 'liturgical books of 1962'. At best he was clearly misinformed and at worst...

Some years ago a friend, who has now departed this life, gave me a copy of a 1981 Newsletter for the District of Great Britain. The inside cover has the calendar for June:



The Octaves of the Ascension, Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart, St. John the Baptist and SS Peter and Paul are all quite clearly being celebrated as was the Pentecost Vigil. The traditional classification of liturgical days is also to be noted. I suspect SS Peter & Paul being reduced to a double of the second class is a 'typo'. What is also notable is the daily celebration of Prime, Sext and Compline at the chapel in Highclere. Where now in 'parish' situations does this take place?

On the rear cover mention is made of three Corpus Christi processions within the Octave (one albeit implicitly). Most interesting of all, to me at least, is the announcement for the events of the Pentecost Vigil at Highclere. The ancient Vigil ceremonies are being observed at 10:00am. Vespers of Pentecost Sunday are being celebrated at 3:00 followed by Mattins and Lauds at 5:00pm. Does the SSPX even celebrate Mattins and Lauds anywhere anymore one must wonder yet alone the Vigil of Pentecost?



I also used to wonder what was supposedly wrong with the Pentecost Vigil to cause its excision from the later editions of the Roman Missal? Was its time of celebration putatively wrong? The answer came a few years ago when the Latin Mass Society, in a daring mood, used the pre-1962 liturgy for a few months in the late 1990s in Central London. A sung Vigil of Pentecost was arranged which was rather good. After the Mass I saw the celebrant, a rather elderly and very decent priest, shaking with emotion. He said "That's how Holy Week used to be. What they use now isn't really the Old Rite." His honest appraisal answers the question as to why the Pentecost Vigil had to go. Its celebration would remind people too much of the old order.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Versus populum - A Conciliar practice?


One of the great myths of the contemporary liturgical crisis is that Mass facing the people was a product of the Second Vatican Council.

Sadly both the 1962ists and the more avant garde modernists both identify the Council as the originator of the practice in their revisionist rewriting of liturgical history. In fact the Council documents say nothing about versus populum.

Actually the practice was relatively widespread by the 1950s in parts of the USA and Continental Europe. A picture, it is said is worth a thousand words. So for the benefit of readers here are several. The top picture appears in Gerald Ellard's 'Men at Work at Worhip' that was published in 1940. So that picture was probably from the late 1930s. The picture below is taken from the same author's 1948 work 'The Mass of the Future':



Again, from his 1956 book 'The Mass in Transition' the picture below shows a sanctuary that has been reordered, significantly, before the Council. The fact that a book can bear the title 'The Mass in Transition' is rather indicative. Yet the 1962ists would have us believe everything in the Church was wonderful and perfect until the Council?



After the Ordo orders have been despatched I will post an article on the subject.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Octave Day of All Saints

Today is the Octave Day of All Saints and is of greater double rank.

The Office is as on the feast but the psalmody is taken from the Psalter for Saturday. At Mattins the first nocturn lessons are from occuring scripture, the lessons of the second and third nocturns are proper with the ninth lesson being of the Forty Crowned Martyrs.

At Lauds a commemoration is also made of the Four Crowned Martyrs.

At Mass the Gloria is sung and the second collect is of the Four Crowned Martyrs.

Vespers are first Vespers of the following feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica with a commemoration of the Octave Day of All Ssints and the third Sunday of November.

This year the second Sunday of November and its week are omitted.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Within the Octave of All Saints

Today is the fifth day within the Octave of All Saints. The day is of semi-double rank. None of the antiphons are doubled.

The Office is a combination of that of the feast and the occuring feria. At Mattins the invitatory and hymn are from the feast but the psalmody is from the feria. The first nocturn lessons are those for Wednesday in the first week of November. In the second nocturn lessons are proper to the day within the Octave as are those of the third nocturn. At Lauds the psalmody is ferial but from the chapter the Office is as on the feast. A similar pattern is followed for the 'Little' Hours.

At Mass, as on the feast, the Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Holy Ghost, Deus, qui corda and the third collect is for the Church or for the pope. The Creed is always sung during Octaves (except simple ones).

Vespers are of the Octave.

According to the 'liturgical books of 1962' the glories of All Saints has been forgotten and the day is a 'green' feria with but one nocturn at mattins. The Maas is of the preceding Sunday (without Gloria and Creed) and has, despite the omission of the Gloria, Ite, missa est as the dismissal.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Practicalities - Sext

Last week we began to 'dissect' the 'Little' Hours of Terce, Sext and None. By way of a further example Sext for today's Vigil of All Saints will be considered.

The structure of Sext today is as follows:

(Aperi, Domine;)

Pater noster & Ave Maria (said inaudibly);

Deus in adjutorium.., Domine, ad adjuvandum..., Gloria Patri..., Sicut erat..., Alleluia.

The hymn Rector potens, verax Deus.

From Friday's psalmody the antiphon fragment Beati, qui habitant is intoned. Then the 'Psalms' 83(i), 83(ii) & 86. At the end of each stanza or Psalm the Doxology is sung but the antiphon is only repeated, in full, after Psalm 86.

The chapter is taken from the the ferial Office of Friday Nemini quidquam...implevit. The choir responds Deo gratias.

Then the responsory, also from the ferial Office, Benedicam Dominum etc follows. This is followed by the versicle Dominus regit... and then the response In loco pascuae....

The ferial preces are now sung, the choir kneeling.

Dominus vobiscum (or Domine exaudi orationem meam) and response then Oremus and then the collect of the Vigil Domine, Deus noster... etc.

The greeting is repeated then Benedicamus Domino etc.

In Choral service the Hours would normally be aggregated. The choir would sing Prime, Terce, Sext and None and then High Mass of the Vigil would follow.

Vigil of All Saints

Today, for the second time this week, the Roman liturgy dons the violet of penance and has a Vigil, today is the Vigil of All Saints.

The Vigil begins with mattins. Matttins has one nocturn and the lessons Descendens Jesus from the Common of Several Martyrs are read with the responsories of Friday of the Fifth week of October. At Lauds, following the second scheme, the Suffrage of the Saints is omitted as it is considered the same subject as the Vigil.

Before the 1911-13 reform instead of the Suffrage of the Saints several different Suffrages were sung. These all had the same structure of antiphon, versicle and response, and collect. They were of the Cross (in the ferial Office only), of the Blessed Virgin, of St. Joseph (added in the late nineteenth century), of SS Peter and Paul, of the Patron or Titular and, lastly, for Peace. The Suffrage for Peace has the collect Deus, a quo sancta desideria... Ironically, that collect is still heard daily in the English form O God, from whom all holy desires... in Anglican cathedrals. The second collect from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer was taken from the former Suffrage for Peace by Cranmer when he conflated Vespers and Compline into the 'The Order for Evening Prayer' or Evensong. In the pre-1911 Roman liturgy these Suffrages would be sung today.

The ferial preces are sung at Lauds and the 'Little' Hours. These prayers are sung kneeling.

Mass is sung after None. The Gloria is not sung, the second collect is of the Holy Ghost, Deus, qui corda, and the third collect for the Church or for the pope. Following the usual rule Benedicamus Dominio is sung by the deacon, facing the altar, as the dismissal. The altar has four candlesticks and the chants are ferial.

After the Vigil Mass in the afternoon the mood changes completely as first Vespers of the great feast of All Saints is sung.

In 'the liturgical books of 1962' the Vigil of All Saints has been abolished. A 'green' feria is kept.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

SS Simon and Jude Apostles



The feast of SS Simon and Jude is a double of the second class. The feast of these apostles is kept on the anniversary of the transfer of their relics to Old St. Peter's in Rome in the seventh century. St. Simon is traditionally believed to have been martyred by a curved sword. St. Jude, also known as Thaddaeus, was martryed by a club. The two probably met, preaching the Gospel in Mesopotamia.

Solemn tones are used for the hymns, orations and preface. The altar has six candlesticks and is vested in red.

At Mattins there are three nocturns. In the first nocturn the readings are from Epistle of St. Jude. The antiphons and responsories are taken from the Common of Apostles. At solemn Lauds, and later at Vespers too, four assistants in red copes assist the Hebdomadarius. At the 'Little' Hours festal psalms are used (the traditional psalms for the Hours, used daily before 1911-13).

At Mass the Gloria and Creed are sung. The preface is that of the Apostles. Second Vespers and festal Compline conclude the feast.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast has lost first Vespers (rather absurd considering the practice of first Vespers of a feast is more ancient than having second Vespers). At the Hours the ferial antiphons and psalms are used; Prime no longer has the brief lesson of the feast but of the season.

Holy Apostles SS Simon and Jude pray to God for us.

Monday, 27 October 2008

The Vigil of SS Simon and Jude

Today the Roman rites dons the violet of penance and keeps a Vigil for tomorrow's feast of SS Simon and Jude.

The rite is simple. Mattins has three, proper, lessons. The second scheme of Lauds is used, the penitential form and, incidentally the old pre-1911 ferial Lauds in part. The ferial preces are sung, kneeling at Lauds and all the Hours. At Lauds the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

Four candles are placed on the altar. At Mass the deacon and sub-deacon wear violet dalmatic and tunicle. The chant for the Mass is ferial, the second collect is Concede nos, and the third for the Church or pope. As there is no Gloria , following the usual rule, Benedicamus Domino is the dismissal.

In the afternoon first Vespers of the Holy Apostles SS Simon and Jude are sung, the altar has six candlesticks and the Hebdomadarius is assisted by four assistants in red copes. Compine is festal.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there is no Vigil just a IV class 'green' ferial day with the Mass of the previous Sunday without Gloria but with Ite. Mattins and the Hours are completely different and Vespers and Compline are ferial.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Practicalities -Terce, Sext and None

So far we have looked at the Hours of Vespers and Lauds. We have noted that the structure of those Hours is essentially the same with opening rites, five antiphons and psalms, a chapter, hymn, versice and response, antiphon on the NT canticle, NT canticle, (preces on certain penitential days only), commemorations and closing rites.

The 'Little' Hours of Terce, Sext and None all share exactly the same structure and that structure closely resembles that of Vespers and Lauds but with only three psalms, no NT canticle, no commemorations and the hymn is in a different place.

Using Sunday's feast of Christ the King as an example here is a 'dissection' of Terce:

(Aperi, Domine;)

Pater noster & Ave Maria (said inaudibly);

Deus in adjutorium.., Domine, ad adjuvandum..., Gloria Patri..., Sicut erat..., Alleluia (or Laus tibi... in Septuagesima and Lent);

The hymn at Terce is Nunc, Sancte, nobis, Spriritus.

After the hymn the fragment of the second antiphon from Lauds is sung, Dedit ei Dominus, as far as the asterisk. Then the Psalm (or strictly speaking in this case stanzas from the same psalm) is sung. For Sundays and feasts this is always Ps.118(iii), Legem pone mihi.... At the end of the stanza the Doxology is sung but the antiphon is NOT repeated here. Instead the next 'psalm' is intoned Ps.118(iv) Memor esto... then its Doxology and then the third 'psalm' Ps.118(v) Bonitatem fecisti... then its Doxology and then the antiphon Dedit ei Dominus is sung in full, ending with ..et linguae ipsi servient.

After the singing of the antiphon the chapter is read. The chapter is taken from the proper texts for the feast Fratres: Gratias agimus Deo Patri...in regnum Filii dilectionis suae . The choir responds Deo gratias.

Next, a responsory, also from the proper, follows, Data est mihi... This is followed by the versicle Afferte Domino, familiae populorum and then the response Afferte Domino, gloriam et imperium;

Dominus vobiscum (or Domine exaudi orationem meam) and response then Oremus and then the collect Omnipotens sempiterne Deus... etc.

The greeting is repeated then Benedicamus Domino etc. In Choral service the Asperges ceremony before High Mass follows immediately, the choir remaing in their place. In private recitation Fidelium animae is said in a low voice.

Sext and None follow exactly the same structure. At Sext the third antiphon from Lauds is sung and at None the fifth antiphon. The chapters and responsories being taken from the proper of the feast and the rest of Ps 118 is sung.

At the 'Little' Hours the antiphon is never sung in full before the psalmody whatever the rank of Office. There are never any commemorations at the 'Little' Hours either.

Next week we will 'dissect' another 'Little' Hour when the common or ferial texts are used for illustration.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Ordo Recitandi 2009


We are now taking orders for Ordo Recitandi 2009

There have had to be some minor pricing and postage changes to reflect increased costs but we have kept the base price the same.

There are some minor improvements and the inclusion of the first Martyrology entry for moveable feasts announced on their preceding day.

To order a copy please complete and return the form below

Order Form 2009

We will try and set up a PayPal facility on the main website but last time we tried this was difficult with regard to postage costs. Whilst Rubricarius may know how to transfer mattins lessons ICT skills are not his forte!

Orders will be despatched starting in the first week of November.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

XXIII Sunday after Pentecost and 4th of October - Missionary Sunday


Today is the XXIII Sunday after Pentecost and the IV Sunday of October, it is of semi-double rite. It is also Missionary Sunday.

The feast of St. Luke the Evangelist takes precedence in concurrence and so second Vespers of St. Luke were celebrated on Saturday afternoon, in red, with a commemoration of the Sunday (the antiphon upon the Magnificat being Exaudiat Dominus etc) and of St. Peter of Alcantara. Festal Compline is sung with the solemn tone for Te lucis and there are no preces.

The Sunday Office begins at Mattins. As usual there are three nocturns and nine lessons. in the first nocturn the lessons are the beginning of the Second Book of Machabees. The second nocturn, Patristic lessons, are from Treatise of St. John Chrysostom on the forty-third psalm. The gospel is from Matthew and third nocturn lessons a Homily of St. Jerome on the raising of the rulers daughter by the Lord and of the woman with an issue of blood being made whole by touching His garment. At Lauds a commemoration of St. Peter of Alacanatra is made, the Suffrage is not sung. At Prime there are no preces, because of the occuring double feast.

At Mass the Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Peter of Alcantara and the third collect is from the Votive Mass for Propogation of the Faith, Deus, qui omnes homines, the Creed is sung and the preface is of the Blessed Trinity. The last prayer is an example of an oratio imperata pro re gravi.

At Vespers a commemoration is made of Monday's Office of St. John Cantius and also of St. Peter of Alcantara. There is no suffrage and there are no preces at Compline.

In the City of Westminster the Octave of St. Edward is commemorated at Lauds, Mass and Vespers.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Vespers on Saturday is almost the same but the commemoration of St. Peter of Alcantara is omitted. Compline is the same. This year the 1962 books cut out completely the third Sunday and third week of October and jump to the fourth Sunday. At Mattins there is only one nocuturn of three lessons, all of the second nocturn texts being lost. There is no commemoration of St. Peter of Alcantara at either Lauds or Mass. At Mass the collect for Mission Sunday is added, under the same conclusion, to the collect of the Mass. At Vespers there is no commemoration of the following Office.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Shrine of St. Edward the Confessor



Yesterday afternoon I went to the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster, more popularly known as Westminster Abbey, feeling that a visit, within the Octave of St. Edward the Confessor, appropriate after having mentioned the Octave of St. Edward a few days ago here.

After Evensong, which had a very large crowd of people in attendance for a week-day, those who wished were allowed to ascend the Sacrarium (sanctuary) steps and enter the Shrine. The floor of the Sacrarium is formed by the famous Cosmati or Great Pavement. This was the central jewel of Henry III's rebuilding of the Abbey and is made up of fragments of marbles and semi-precious stones taken from the ruins of Ancient Rome. However the pavement was not visible as a major restoration is currently underway (and, quite rightly, it is always covered when there is heavy foot traffic).




We were ushered towards the South door of the Altar Screen. Whilst waiting for the slowly moving queue to creep forward I ended up standing about three or four feet away from the sedilia, one of the greatest medieval treasures of the Abbey. The four-seat sedilia originally had eight painted panels, four on both the North and South sides. Only two now remain on the North side, in a perilous condition, depicting what are thought to be King Edward I (not to be confused with either St. Edward the Confessor or St. Edward the Martyr) and King Henry III. Most of the other panels were destroyed when the Abbey was desecrated by the Enemy of God Oliver Cromwell in the frenzy of destruction and pollution these Isles suffered after the Regicide when Cromwell and his fellow terrorists had seized power in 1649.



Both of the above photographs are from the excellent interactive Plan of the Abbey on its fascinating website.

I passed through the South door of the Altar Screen, noticing that contrary to what I had been told it was not a Victorian structure but a medieval one. The rear of the screen is not gilded but of plain stone, worn smooth and polished by innumerable hands over the centuries. There are numerous niches that must have contained images or lights at one time. I slowly made my way towards the Shrine. The atmosphere was quite electric and palpable. Six very large standard candlesticks with their candles burning high above our heads surrounded the Shrine, the candlesticks on the early-twentieth century altar that is adjoined to the West end of the Shrine had their candles lit and there were other candles higher on the cornice of the structure. Clouds of incense hung in the air almost appearing luminous in the flickering candle light. The queue of people moved slowly forward in an anticlockwise direction most stopping to kneel and pray in one of the niches at the, medieval, base of the Shrine. My turn came and I found the niches are quite deep, to bring the pilgrim closer to the remains of the Saint, I said a prayer and venerated the Shrine with my lips. I re-entered the Sacrarium through the North door and felt that I was floating and was also aware of a deep sense of the Divine.

I would encourage any readers who are in London this week to visit the Shrine (and of course the Abbey itself). Details of times may be found on the Abbey's website (here)

Sunday, 12 October 2008

XXII Sunday after Pentecost and 3rd Sunday of October


The XXII Sunday after Pentecost is of semi-double rite. It is also the third Sunday of October.

The rules of concurrence (basically what happens at Vespers between two Offices) mean that second Vespers of Saturday's feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin take precedence over first Vespers of the Sunday. The Sunday is commemorated (the antiphon at the Magnificat being Lugebat autem Judam). At Compline Te lucis is sung to the Marian tone and the Marian Doxology Jesu tibi sit gloria is used.

The Sunday's office begins with Mattins. As usual Mattins has three nocturns and nine lessons. The third nocturn lessons reflect on the Gospel, on what should be rendered unto Caesar. At Lauds the Suffrage of the Saints is sung. At Prime the Athanasian Creed, Quicumque vult, is sung, as are the Dominical preces.

Mass, as usual for Sundays, follows Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is for the interecesion of all the saints, A cunctis nos, the third collect is chosen by the celebrant, or by the Dean, from those that can be used, the Creed is sung and the preface is of the Blessed Trinity.

In Vespers a commemoration of the following feast of St. Edward the Confessor is made and the Suffrgage of the Saints is sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.


In the 'liturgical books of 1962' a familiar pattern is observed. The Marian Doxology has been stripped from Compline on Saturday. Mattins is axed down to one nocturn of three lessons, the Patristic lessons from the second nocturn being entirely omitted. The Suffrage of the Saints is not sung at Lauds, neither is the Athanasian Creed at Prime, nor are there preces. At Mass there is only one collect. In Vespers there is no commemoration at Vespers of St. Edward and no suffrage. At Compline the preces are not sung.

It is somewhat amusing, and certainly very sad from one perspective, to look at the Services scheduled for the famous and beautiful Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster (Westminster Abbey) for next week (here) The Dean, Dr. Hall, his Canons, chaplains and staff maintain a choral tradition that it would be difficult to find emulated by the users of the 1962 liturgical books. One can only look with admiration and envy at those entries for days described as 'Octave of St. Edward the Confessor' praying, of course, that the Dean and his Chapter are granted a blessed Octave. What, one might ask, will the unfortunate users of the 'liturgical books of 1962' do in a church whose titular is St. Edward for the octave? Nothing! Such octaves were abolished by the 'Bugnini Commission' in 1955. Thankfully, some people have an understanding of Liturgical Tradition and some taste.

Art: Jerome Nadal, S.J. 1595 illustrations for the Gospels. We are grateful to Fr. Cusick for alerting us to these beautiful images.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The feast of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a double of the second class. The feast had been instituted following the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. In 1573 Gregory XIII extended the feast to those churches where an altar had been dedicated to the Rosary to be kept on the first Sunday of October. In 1716 Clement XI extended the feast to the Universal Church with greater-double rank. Leo XIII raised ther rank of the feast to double second class in 1887 and gave the feast proper texts in the following year. During the reforms of 1911-13 the feast was transferred to October 7th.

The feast has proper texts and begins with first vespers, a commemoration is made of the preceding Office of Saint Bruno. At Compline the hymn is sung to the special tone for feasts of the BVM with its special Doxology, Jesu tibi sit gloria. Mattins has three nocturns and nine lessons, the ninth lesson is of St. Mark. At Lauds the Sunday psalms are sung and a commemoration of both St. Mark and then SS Sergius and Companions.

At the Little Hours the psalms are of Sunday, the hymns are sung to the special tone for feasts of the BVM with the Marian Doxology. At Prime psalms 53, 118(i), 118(ii) are sung, the Short Lesson is proper, Quasi cedrus.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung (in private Masses the second collect is of St. Mark and the third collect of SS Sergius and Companions), the Creed is sung, the Preface is of the BVM with the clause Et te in Festivitate.

At second Vespers a commemoration is made of the following feast of St. Bridget.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast is renamed 'Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary' and is of 2nd class. The feast has no first Vespers and begins with Mattins. The hymn from Old Rite first Vespers, Caelestis aulae Nuntius, is joined to the Mattins hymn In monte olivis consito. Mattins has three nocturns and nine lessons but there is no ninth lesson to commemorate St. Mark but he, alone, is commemorated at Lauds. The Hours have ferial psalms, there is no Marian Doxology to the hymns and the short lesson at Prime is of the season. At Mass St Mark alone is commemorted in read Masses. The feast's Vespers (the former second Vespers) have no commemorations. Sunday Compline concludes the feast but without the Marian Doxology to Te lucis.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

XXI Sunday after Pentecost and 2nd of October - Rosary Sunday

The XXI Sunday after Pentecost and second Sunday of October is of semi-double rite. Again, like last Sunday, the Office is classically that of a semi-double 'green' Sunday.

At Vespers on Saturday the ferial psalms are sung and the antiphon at the Magnificat is Refulsit sol (for the Saturday before the 2nd Sunday of October). A commemoration is made of the preceding Office of St. Francis of Assisi and of SS Placid and Others. Unlike last Saturday the Suffrage of the Saints is not sung because the commemorated Office of St. Francis is of greater double rite.

At Mattins there are the usual nine psalms and nine lessons divided into three nocturns. The continuing history of the Machabees is read in the first nocturn. At Lauds there is a commemoration of St. Placid and the Suffrage of the Saints is sung. At Prime the Athanasian Creed, Quicumque, is sung as are the Dominical preces.

At Mass the Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Placid and the third collect is A cunctis. The Credo is sung and the preface is that of the Holy Trinity as used on Sundays.

In Vespers a commemoration of the following double rank feast of St. Bruno is made.

Before the 1911-13 reform the first, calendar Sunday of October (not to be confused with the first Sunday for Mattins although the two could be the same as they will be next year)was the feast of the Most Holy Rosary of the BVM. A decree of the Sacred Congregation for Rites (No. 4308) allowed for feasts previously kept on a Sunday still to be celebrated as Votive Masses on their former days. So all Masses (except the Conventual one in Cathedral and Collegiate churches) may be of the Holy Rosary with Gloria, 2nd collect of the Sunday (and in private Masses the 3rd collect of St. Placid), Creed, Preface of the Blessed Virgin and last Gospel of the Sunday. These Masses are celebrated in white vestments. Traditionally, the Rosary is prayed before Mass, with the Litany of Loreto and the prayer to St. Joseph, Spouse of the BVM. The Catholic Encyclopedia has an article here.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the first Sunday of October rather than the second is celebrated and so a different antiphon at the Magnificat is used (the one sung in the Old Rite last week) and first Vespers is without any commemorations or Suffrage. Mattins, as usual is stripped down to one nocturn of three lessons only with six lessons cast aside. At Lauds there is neither commemoration of St. Placid or the Suffrage. At Prime the Athanasian Creed is not sung and there are no preces. At Mess there is only one collect. Vespers are without any commemoration. St Placid is completely omitted this year.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

The Holy Guardian Angels - Greater Double

The feast of the Holy Guardian Angels is of greater double rite. Continuing the 'practicalities' we considered last week we will 'dissect' Lauds of this feast in greater detail than the other Offices.

The feast began with first Vespers on Wednesday afternoon. The Office of the feast is 'proper' and so the antiphons at Vespers are specific to the feast and the psalms taken from first Vespers of Apostles. The hymn, antiphon at the Magnificat are all proper too. 'Sunday' Compline followed and there were no preces.

Mattins again has proper texts and has three nocturns. Scripture in the first nocturn is taken from Exodus and Zacharias and so occuring scripture is not read. Presuming Lauds follows directly from the singing of Mattins this will be the structure:

Deus in adjutorium..., Domine ad adjuvandum..., Doxology, Alleluia.

The first antiphon is Angelis suis Deus mandavit de te, ut custodiant te in omnibus viis tuis. This is sung in full as the feast is a double. Psalm 92 is then sung followed by the Doxology and repetition of the antiphon Angelis suis etc. The second antiphon, Laudemus Dominum etc is then sung in full followed by psalm 99. After the Doxology the antiphon is repeated. This structure is repeater with the third antiphon being followed by psalm 62, the fourth antiphon being followed by the Benedicite (Note: there is no Doxology sung with the Benedicite as its penultimate verse is Benedicamus Patrem et Filium cum Sancto Spiritu: laudemus et superexaltemus eum in saecula.) The fifth antiphon is followed by psalm 148.

After the repetition of the fifth antiphon the chapter Ecce ego mittam etc is sung followed by the hymn Aeterne Rector Siderum. The versicle and response following the hymn are again proper: In conspectu Angelorum etc and Adorabo ad templum etc. The antiphon at the Benedictus,Reversus est etc is sung entire and is followed by the Benedictus, Doxology and the repetion of the antiphon.

The greeting follows and then the collect of the day, Benedicamus Domino etc and finally the antiphon of the Blessed Virgin Salve Regina etc.

At the Little Hours (Prime, Terce, Sext and None) the first, second, third and fifth antiphons from Lauds are used for each hour in turn along with 'Sunday' psalms. At the Little Hours, even though the feast is a double the antiphons are only sung as far the asterisk before the psalms.

At Mass the Gloria is sung as is the Creed. Second Vespers of the feast are sung (again with the antiphons used at first Vespers and Lauds), the psalms are those from first Vespers of Apostles except the fifth which is psalm 137 Confitebor tibi. The antiphon at the Magnificat is proper to second Vespers of the feast. A commemoration of the following Office of St. Therese of Lisieux is made. 'Sunday' Compline concludes the celebration of the feast.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the feast is down graded to that of III class. There are no first Vespers not even a commemoration of the feast in the ferial Vespers that are prescribed. Compline is of the weekday (ferial) and the feast begins only at Mattins. Mattins is stripped down to one nocturn and loses six lessons (to be strictly fair only five as the second and third lessons from the Old Rite are joined together to make the second lesson in the reformed rite) but two-thirds of the second nocturn's lessons are gone as has the entire third nocturn including the Gospel fragment. Lauds are the same but at the Little Hours the antiphons and psalms are ferial. The Mess has no Creed. Second Vespers is almost the same but the commemoration of the following Office is not made and Compline following Vespers is ferial.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

XX Sunday after Pentecost and 1st of October

Tomorrow is the XX Sunday after Pentecost and the first Sunday of October.

Our profound apologies to Ordo customers for the 'typo' repeating XIX instead of XX. The Sunday Office is classically that of a semi-double 'green' Sunday.

At Vespers on Saturday the ferial psalms are sung and the antiphon at the Magnificat is Adaperiat Dominus (for the Saturday before the 1st Sunday of October). A commemoration is made of the preceding Office of SS Cosmas and Damian and of St. Wenceslaus (of Christmas Carol fame). The Suffrage of the Saints is also sung. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.

At Mattins the invitatory is Adoremus... and the hymn Primo die... Mattins has three nocturns and the beginning of the first Book of Machabees is read in the first nocturn. At Lauds the hymn is Aeterne rerum. This invitatory and the hymns at Mattins and Lauds are sung on Sundays now until the last Sunday in November. At Lauds a commemoration of St. Wenceslaus is made and the Suffrage of the Saints is sung.

At Prime the Athanasian Creed, Quicumque, is sung as are the Dominical preces. At Mass the Gloria is sung, the second collect is of St. Wenceslaus and the third collect A cunctis. The Credo is sung and the preface is that of the Holy Trinity as used on Sundays.

Vespers are first Vespers of the Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel with a commemoration of the Sunday. At Compline the solemn tone for Te lucis is used.

Users of the 1962 books will have been celebrating their delayed Ember Saturday. At Vespers they will use the antiphon at the Magnificat Adonai (for the Saturday before the 4th Sunday of September.) The different antiphons of course dictate different tones for the Canticle. Whilst the Old Rite will use Tone 8G for the Magnificat the 1962 will use 3g (we will consider musical changes in a series of separate posts later). No commemorations will be made at Vespers and the Suffrage of the Saints has been abolished.

At Mattins, with only one nocturn, the invitatory and hymn will be different and the Book of Judith read. At Lauds the hymn will be different and there will be no commemortion or Suffrage.

At Prime the Athanasian Creed is not sung and there are no preces. At Mass there is only one collect and St. Wenceslaus is entirely omitted this year. Vespers will actually be the same!

Friday, 26 September 2008

More practicalities - Vespers re-visited and Lauds

A couple of weeks ago we 'dissected' two examples of Vespers. For the benefit of those learning to use the Breviary we will now 're-visit' the structure of Vespers and then apply that model to the next Hour to be considered, Lauds.

The structure of Vespers is:

Aperi, Domine (if a Little Hour has not been sung in aggregation before);

Pater noster & Ave Maria (said inaudibly);

Deus in adjutorium.., Domine, ad adjuvandum..., Gloria Patri..., Sicut erat..., Alleluia (or Laus tibi... in Septuagesima);

Five structural units of antiphon (sung only as far as the asterisk on semi-doubles, simples and ferial days), psalm, Doxology and antiphon (always sung in full when it is repeated). The antiphons and psalms will either be from the respective day of the week or from the Common or be proper. This is indicated in both the Breviary and Ordo Recitandi;

The Chapter, followed by the hymn, versicle and response;

The antiphon on the Magnificat (sung only as far as the asterisk on semi-doubles, simples and ferial days), the canticle Magnificat, Doxology and antiphon (always sung in full when it is repeated).

Dominus vobiscum (or Domine exaudi orationem meam) and response then Oremus and the collect of the respective Office being celebrated.

(In the ferial Office on certain penitential days the Preces feriales are sung at this point.) Commemorations (if any) follow. They always have the same structure with elements taken from their respective Offices: antiphon on the Magnificat, versicle and response, Oremus and then the collect. This structure is repeated for the various commemorations. The Suffrages are treated exactly like a commemoration. N.B. The conclusion of the collect e.g. Per Dominum... is made in the collect of the day and in the collect of the last commemoration or suffrage only.

The greeting as above then Benedicamus Domino followed by Fidelium animae sung in a low voice.

If Compline follows it starts with Jube, Domine here. Otherwise Pater noster is said inaudibly followed by the versicle Dominus det nobis suam pacem with the response Et vitam aeternam. Amen and the antiphon of the BVM if the choir departs as given in the earlier 'dissections'.

Turning to Lauds, following the 1911-13 reform, it has exactly the same structure as Vespers but with different elements. We will give the example of today's simple rite feast of SS Cyprian and Justina:

(In Choir Lauds always follows Mattins but for the purposes of this didactic excercise we will presume it is being said in private recitation.)

Aperi, Domine;

Pater noster & Ave Maria (said inaudibly);

Deus in adjutorium.., Domine, ad adjuvandum..., Gloria Patri..., Sicut erat..., Alleluia (or Laus tibi... in Septuagesima);

Five structural units of antiphon (sung only as far as the asterisk on semi-doubles, simples and ferial days), psalm, Doxology and antiphon (always sung in full when it is repeated). The antiphons and psalms will either be from the respective day of the week or from the Common or be proper. So the first antiphon will be taken from Friday at Lauds I Exaltate (and that single word said only as this is a simple feast), then psalm 98 Dominus regnavit etc., Gloria Patri etc... and then Exaltate Dominum etc (in full);

After the last antiphon, Lauda, Jerusalem, Dominum has been sung after the last psalm the chapter is read. The chapter is taken from the Common of Martyrs Justorum animae in manu Dei sunt etc. This is followed by the hymn, Rex gloriosae Martyrum etc, the versicle Exultabunt Sancti in gloria and the response Laetabuntur in cubilibus suis;

The antiphon on the Benedictus is Vestri capilli capitis (the antiphon is sung only as far as the asterisk on semi-doubles, simples and ferial days), then the canticle Benedictus, Doxology and antiphon (always sung in full when it is repeated).

Dominus vobiscum (or Domine exaudi orationem meam) and response then Oremus and the collect Beatorum Martyrum Cypriani et Justinae etc.

(Preces feriales if they are to be sung - but not applicable today as after all it is not an Ember Day etc.) There are no commemorations but the Suffrage of the Saints is made: so the antiphon (in full) is Beata Dei Genitrix etc, the versicle Mirificavit etc, the response Et exaudivit etc and after Oremus the collect A cunctis nos etc.

The greeting is repeated then Benedicamus Domino etc followed by Fidelium animae sung in a low voice.

Pater noster is said inaudibly followed by the versicle Dominus det nobis suam pacem with the response Et vitam aeternam. Amen and the antiphon of the BVM Salve Regina etc and the prayer Sacrsanctae.

For those new to the Divine Office we always suggest starting with Vespers and having got used to its structure then adding Lauds. Lauds will usually be much easier to follow having learnt the structure of Vespers.

Next week we will dissect another Lauds and then move on to Terce, Sext and None.

Monday, 22 September 2008

'Leap-frogging' Mattins' lessons



This fourth week of September sees some interesting 'leap-frogging' of Mattins lessons with both resuming and anticipating of scripture taking place.

The feast of St. Matthew on Sunday meant that Sunday's (the 4th of September) Incipit liber Judith could not be read. These lessons take the place of the occurring scripture for Monday in the first nocturn of Mattins for the feast of St. Thomas of Villanova with the responsories of the Sunday. On Tuesday occurring scripture, from Judith, is read.

Wednesday is the feast of Our Lady of Ransom and the delightful Ego sapientia from Proverbs is read from the Common of the BVM. (As on all feasts of the Blessed Virgin the Office hymns of Iambic metre follow a proper tone and end with the Doxology Jesu, tibi sit gloria etc. )

A rubric in the Breviary before Thursday’s lessons informs us that if this day falls after the 24th, and so this is the last week of the month, then the lessons from the fifth Sunday, the beginning of the Book of Esther, with their responsories are anticipated.

So on Thursday in the nocturn the lessons In diebus Assueri etc are read with their responsories. On Thursday too the Mass of the preceding Sunday, Pentecost XIX, is resumed. The Mass is sung in green vestments without Gloria, the second collect is A cunctis, the third at the choosing of the celebrant or Dean and Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal.

On Friday in the nocturn the first two lessons from Esther of the following Friday of the fifth week, Noctem illam duxit and Cumque esset ingressus are read with their responsories. The third lesson is proper to the feast of SS Cyprian and Justina.

Finally, on Saturday, in the first nocturn of the feast of SS Cosmas and Damian, the lessons from the following Saturday of the fifth week, Intravit itaque rex, with their responsories are read. By anticipation the Book of Esther is thus read and on the following Sunday begins the First Book of Machabees.

In the 1962 books the lessons at Mattins are completely different for every day of the week (as they have been for most days of September) and there is neither resumption nor is there anticipation. The only day this week when they potentially could have been the same, the feast of Our Lady of Ransom, has been stripped down to a mere commemoration at Lauds and read Mass in the putative, and somewhat late, “Ember Day” and so doesn't have any lessons itself at all. Likewise nothing from the Book of Esther will be read this year in the 1962 Breviary. The lesson (pun intended) is surely to leap away from the liturgical heteropraxis and novelty of interim rites barely used for three years to the safe ground of Tradition.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

St. Matthew Apostle and Evangelist (XIX Sunday after Pentecost)



Today is the feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist. The feast is a double of the second class and takes precedence over the semi-double Sunday. The altars and ministers of the Roman rite are vested in red.

As normal Mattins has three nocturns. In the first nocturn the antiphons, psalms, lessons and responsories are all taken from the Common of Apostles. In the second and third nocturns all is from the Common except the lessons that are proper to the feast. The ninth lesson is of the Sunday. Appropriately, although coincidentally, the Gospel fragment of the ninth lesson is also from Matthew: Loquebatur Jesus. The Sunday's first nocturn lessons from the beginning of the Book of Judith are resumed tomorrow with their responsories.

The Sunday is commemorated at Lauds. Festal tones are used for all the hymns of the Office. At Mass the Sunday is again commemorated with its collect and last Gospel. Where possible four cantors lead the choir.

Second vespers are sung of the feast with a commemoration of the following Office (St Thomas of Villanova) and the Sunday.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Ember Saturday - SS Eustace and his Companions, Vigil of St Matthew Ap (1)

A highly interesting and not too straight-forward day in the Traditional rite. The double rank feast of SS Eustace and his Companions falls on the Ember Saturday of September. It is also the Vigil of St. Matthew the Apostle.

The Vigil is not commemorated in the Office (because of the Ember Day). The feast is of double rank and was 'from the chapter' of Vespers on Friday. At Mattins in the first nocturn the lessons are from the previous Tuesday (as these were not read because of having to resume the previous Sunday's readings, from the beginning of the Book of Tobias, due to the occurence of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the XVIII Sunday after Pentecost). Ordinarily ferial lessons are not transferred but because of the Ember Days a rubric in the Breviary on Monday prescribes that if the lessons of Monday and Tuesday of the third week of September are not read then they are transferred to an Ember Day if recourse to the common would otherwise have to be made. So this year Monday's lessons were read on Friday and Tuesday's lesson are read today. In the third nocturn the ninth lesson is of the Ember Saturday. At Lauds there is a commemoration of the Ember Saturday.

In the festal Mass, sung after Terce, there is the Gloria, the second collect of the Ember Saturday (the first oration, Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, after the Kyrie from the Ember Saturday texts), the third collect is of the Vigil and the last Gospel of the Ember Saturday.