Saturday 27 September 2008
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
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.)
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
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
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
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.
A private Mass may also be of the Vigil with second collect of the feast of St Eustace, the third collect of the Ember Saturday, Omnipotens sempiterne Deus. Again as in the Ember Saturday Mass Benedicamus Domino is sung but the last Gospel is of the Ember Saturday. In this case the deacon and sub-deacon wear violet dalmatic and tunicle. As for the Ember Saturday Mass four candlesticks are on the altar.
Vespers are first vespers of St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist with a commemoration of the preceding office of SS Eustace and of the fourth Sunday of September and XIX after Pentecost (the antiphon at the Magnificat being Adonai, Domine). When vespers are celebrated solemnly there will be four pluvialistæ in pariti assisting the Hebdomadarius in red vestments.
Followers of the 1962 liturgical books will celebrate a completely different liturgy today. The feast of SS Eustace and his Companions has been stripped down to a mere commemoration in the Saturday Office of the BVM. The Vigil of St. Matthew has been abolished. Mattins has but one nocturn with completely different scriptural lessons. When, in a week’s time, the 1962-ists celebrate Ember Saturday a novel mini-version is permitted: after the first prayer, OT lesson and gradual all the other units are missed out and the former second prayer is sung in place of Deus, qui tribus (without Flectamus genua etc) and any commemorations then made (a relative rarity by 1962). Folded chasubles have gone as has Benedicamus Domino.
In 1962 vespers St. Matthew does not even get a mention and ‘green’ vespers of the third Sunday of September are sung (with the antiphon at the Magnificat Ne reminiscaris that was sung last Saturday in the traditional rite). St. Matthew only gets a commemoration at Lauds and read Mass. Again a good illustration of John Eppstein’s point. (vide:http://ordorecitandi.blogspot.com/2008/08/st-bartholomew-apostle.html)
Wednesday 17 September 2008
In Mass the Gloria is sung and the second collect is of the Ember Wednesday and the last Gospel is also that of the Ember Wednesday. 'Private' Masses may be of the Ember Wednesday which has its own proper texts that appear in the Roman Missal after the XVII Sunday after Pentecost. Immediately after the Kyrie the celebrant chants Oremus, the deacon Flectamus genua and the sub-deacon Levate. A collect (the one used if the Ember Wednesday is commemorated in a festal Mass) is followed by an OT reading from Amos and a Gradual. After that the normal Mass structure of collects, and pericopes follows. A commemoration of St. Francis' feast is made and, as there is no Gloria, Benedicamus Domino is sung as the dismissal. The deacon and sub-deacon do not wear dalmatic and tunicle as the ancient Roman practice of them wearing folded chasubles is followed for these Ember days. The ferial tone is used throughout for the collects and preface.
In Cathedral and Collegiate churches two Masses are celebrated: in the Ember Wednesday Mass (sung after None) the second collect is A cunctis and the third of the choosing of the celebrant (or Dean).
The traditional arrangement of the Ember Days is an ancient feature of Western liturgy. An English rhyme runs:
Lent, Whitsun, Holyrood, and Lucie."
The September Ember Days fall in the third week of September and always are the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Holyrood in the rhyme). One of the many novelties contained in the '1962 liturgical books' was a new way of counting Sundays that meant that the September Ember days no longer necessarily fall on their traditonal days as is the case this year. Characteristically too there was an unprecedented 'mini-Ember Day' rite optionally reducing the number of ancient lessons (c.f. Holy Saturday) and the structure of the Saturday Ember Day. In addition the ancient practice of using folded chasubles was dropped and the sub-deacon's role curtailed by having the deacon chant Levate.
Vespers are of the following feast of St. Joseph of Cupertino with a commemortion of St. Francis' feast. The Ember day is not commemorated. In contrast the 1962 rite has created a Vespers for Ember days and so the antiphon at the Benedictus from Lauds is used as an antiphon at the Magnifcat at Vespers - most bizzare!
Sunday 14 September 2008
Today's feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is of greater-double rite. Interestingly we have received several emails asking whether the Ordo contained a mistake by placing a greater-double feast on a Sunday. Ordinarily according ot the rubrics a semi-double Sunday is preferred to a greater-double. However, greater-doubles that are feasts of the Lord do take precedence in both occurence and concurrence.
The feast commences with first Vespers with the beautiful and haunting Vexilla Regis as the hymn. Perhaps this hymn is the most stunning of all the Office hymns? It is certainly this writer's favourite. The Sunday is commemorated at Vespers with the Magnificat antiphon Ne reminiscaris of the Saturday before the 3rd Sunday of September and the collect for the XVIII Sunday after Pentecost.
Mattins has nine lessons, the ninth lesson being that of the commemorated Sunday. The Sunday is also commemorated at Lauds and at Mass. At Mass the Gloria and Creed are sung and instead of In principio the last Gospel is that of the Sunday, Ascendens Jesus in naviculam.
Vespers are of the following feast of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a commemoration of the Exalation of the Holy Cross and of the Sunday.
Saturday 6 September 2008
Thursday 4 September 2008
At Lauds the collect of the preceding Sunday, Pentecost XVI, is sung followed by the Suffrage of the Saints. At Prime the Dominical preces are sung.
After Sext Mass of the preceding Sunday is sung but without either Gloria or Creed. The second collect is A cunctis, the third of the celebrants choosing. As the Gloria is not sung Benedicamus Domino is sung by the deacon as the dismissal.
The chants used for both the Office and Mass are ferial, two candlesticks are required by the Caeremoniale to be on the altar
Vespers are sung of the following feast of St. Lawrence Justinian. As the day is not actually the dies obitus the third line of the hymn Iste Confessor is changed from 'This day with merits full his labours o'er...' to 'This day receives those honours which are his...' This change is indicated in the Calendar and Ordo by the letters 'mtv' - mutatur tertius versus. As the feast is of semi-double rank the Suffrage of the Saints is sung and at Compline the Domincal preces are sung too.
Monday 1 September 2008
At Mattins there is one nocturn with three lessons. At Lauds there is a commemoration of the Twelve Holy Brothers and the Suffrage of the Saints is sung. At Prime the Domincal preces are sung.
At Mass the Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the commemorated Office of the Twelve Holy Brothers and the third collect is A cunctis nos. Following the general rules a celebrant of a private Mass may add votive collects to those prescribed but only so that there is an odd number and the total does not excdeed seven: thus two or four votive collects may be added to those prescibed for today but not three. With so many things to pray for in today's world it is unfortunate there is general ignorance of this rule.
The Office of a simple rank feast ends after None. Vespers are therefore first Vespers of St. Stephen (a semi-double feast). The Suffrage of the Saints is sung and at Compline the Dominical preces are sung.