Monday, 30 November 2009

How to...Prime

Today is the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle. The feast is a double of the second class.

Continuing the 'revision' of how to say Canonical Hours originally 'dissected' last year today concludes with Prime before moving on later this week to look at Compline and Mattins. The Office of Prime was discussed previously here and here. Today's example will look at Prime for today's feast.

Prime basically has three forms: festal, Dominical and ferial. These differ mainly in their component psalms, chapters, short lessons and whether the preces, Dominical or ferial, are said. The festal form, as celebrated today, is perhaps the easiest form to start with.

Aperi, Domine etc followed by Pater noster, Ave Maria & Credo. Then Deus in adjutorium, Domine, ad adjuvandum, Lesser Doxology and Alleluia followed by the hymn Jam lucis orto sidere.

The fragment of the antiphon Salve, crux pretiosa (the first antiphon at Lauds is then used for Prime. The antiphons are proper for St. Andrew and found in the texts for November 30th) followed by Psalm 53. At the end of the psalm the Lesser Doxology then the first stanza of Psalm 118, Beati immaculati followed by Lesser Doxology and then the second stanza, Retribue servo tuo. After the Lesser Doxology after the last stanza the antiphon Salve, crux pretiosa is repeated in its entirety.

The chapter Regi saeculorum is then said followed by the short responsory Christe, Fili Dei vivi. In the responsory the versicle Qui venturus es in mundum is said as it is Advent. After a versicle and response the collect Domine, Deus omnipotens and the reading of the Martyrology although this is often omitted outside of Choir.

Then the versicle Pretiosa and its response, Mors Sanctorum ejus, followed (without the usual Oremus) by the collect Sancta Maria, Deus in adjutorium and its response is then sung three times. The Lesser Doxology is then sung followed by Kyrie, Christe, Kyrie.. a secret Pater noster and further short series of versicles and responses, again the Lesser Doxlogy and the collect Dirigere et sanctificare. Then Jube, Domine benedicere, the blessing Dies et actus and short lesson Isaias enim dicit (for St. Andrew) ending with Tu autem, Domine, miserere nobis and Deo gratias. Concluding the Hour of Prime Adjutorium nostrum, its response then Benedicite followed by its response Deus and the blessing Dominus nos benedicat... Amen. Then, if Terce does not follow, a final secret Pater noster.

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