Monday, 22 June 2009
How to read the Ordo - I
A comment from a reader expressed the view that Ordo-speak is not easily understandable so this is the first of several posts the aim of which is to explain the Ordo entries. It really is not about reading Latin but learning Ordo-speak.
Starting with the left-hand column that is simply the day of the month. The right-hand column gives the liturgical colour of the day, in this case 'A' for albus - white. (Beware that 'V' is for viridis - green but 'U' is for violaceus - violet.)
Reading the central block 'Fer III' is Tuesday. In parenthesis the next piece of information is that it is the Vigil of the feast of St. John the Baptist. The entry is in parenthesis because the Vigil cannot be celebrated in its entirety because there is a higher ranking feast, in this case the fifth day within the Octave of the Sacred Heart. The rank of the Office to be kept is then indicated - 'sd' for semi-duplex - semi-double. A semi-double will be a feast of nine lessons (i.e. three nocturns) at Mattins except for days within the Octaves of Easter and Pentecost.
'Off ut in fest et pr loco' translates as the Office is as on the feast and what is proper to the day. In practice this means that most of the texts come from the actual feast of the Sacred Heart. When looking at the Breviary or Antiphonale this becomes easy to see. The parts proper to the day are the lessons at Mattins.
'Ad Mat L IX Vig et com Vig* in L et M' is telling us that the ninth lesson at Mattins is of the Vigil and that the Vigil is also commemorated at Lauds and at Mass. The asterisk indicates that the name of St. John the Baptist is in the Canon and the celebrant makes a bow of the head when he says that name.
'In M Gl, 3 or Concede nos, Cr, Praef pr, ult Ev Vig.' means that at Mass the Gloria is sung, the third prayer (oration) is Concede nos (we know that the second collect is of the Vigil from the preceding line explained in the paragraph above) that the Creed is sung, the preface is proper, i.e. of the Sacred Heart and that the last Gospel is of the commemorated Vigil rather than In principio.
The next line informs us that 'private' Masses may be of the Vigil (again the asterisk reminds the celebrant that a bow of the head is made at the name of St. John in the Canon) that the Gloria is not said (noted by the omission of 'Gl'), the second collect is of the Octave, the third collect is Concede nos, the preface is of the Sacred Heart and the dismissal is Bendicamus Domino and that the vestment colour is violet.
Vespers are first Vespers of the following feast (note the second colour letter in the right-hand column) and that the Octave is commemorated.
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