Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for second week after Easter (April 30 - May 6)

For those who say Matins, just a reminder that you can find more detailed notes on the feasts of the week (including where to find the chants for the responsories and other texts) over at my Benedictine Matins Blog.

Sunday April 30 – Second Sunday after Easter, Class II

Matins: Invitatory (Surrexit Dominus), hymn (Rex sempiterne), Gospel, twelve readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: (Three) Antiphons for Eastertide with festal psalms for Eastertide, rest from MD 356* ff

Prime: Antiphons of Eastertide, rest as in the psalter for Sunday

Terce to None: Antiphons of Eastertide, Sunday psalms; chapter verse, versicle and collect from MD 358* ff

VespersI Vespers of St Joseph the Worker, MD [123] ff with a commemoration of the Sunday, MD 358-60*

Monday 1 May – St Joseph the Worker, Class I

Note choice of Offices: MD [126] ff or [133] ff

Matins: All of the feast with twelve readings and responsories

Lauds: Festal psalms, antiphons and other texts for the feast

Prime to None: Antiphons etc of the feast

Vespers: Psalms from the Common of Apostles, rest of the feast

Tuesday 2 May – St Athanasius, Class III

Matins: Invitatory and hymn of a confessor bishop; one reading of the feast

Lauds and Vespers: Psalms and antiphon of the day, rest from Common of a Confessor Bishop, MD (84), except collect, MD [138] and Magnificat antiphon (of a Doctor)

Prime: Antiphon from the Common

Terce to None: Antiphons, Chapter and versicle from the Common; collect, MD [138]

Wednesday 3 May – SS Alexander, Eventius and Theodolus, memorial [in some places: Finding of Holy Cross]

Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 360-1*; collect, MD 358*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [138-9]

Thursday 4 May – Class IV; St Monica, memorial [EF: Class III]

Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 361*; collect, MD 358*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [139-40]

Friday 5 May – Class IVSt Pius V, memorial [EF: Class III]

Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 361*; collect, MD 358*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [140]  

Saturday 6 May – Saturday of Our Lady

Matins: Office of our Lady in Eastertide with reading for Saturday 1 in May

Lauds to None: Office of Our Lady, MD (134) ff; note that the antiphons and versicles for Prime to None should have alleluias added to them

I Vespers of Third Sunday after Easter, MD 362* ff

St Catherine of Siena (April 30)


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The feast of St Catherine is displaced this year by the Sunday, but I wanted to include something for this important doctor of the Church, not least because it is my name day, so please say a prayer for me if you would.

From a General Audience of Pope Benedict XVI, given on 24 November 2010:

Today I would like to talk to you about a woman who played an eminent role in the history of the Church: St Catherine of Siena. The century in which she lived — the 14th — was a troubled period in the life of the Church and throughout the social context of Italy and Europe. Yet, even in the most difficult times, the Lord does not cease to bless his People, bringing forth Saints who give a jolt to minds and hearts, provoking conversion and renewal.

Catherine is one of these and still today speaks to us and impels us to walk courageously toward holiness to be ever more fully disciples of the Lord.

Born in Siena in 1347, into a very large family, she died in Rome in 1380. When Catherine was 16 years old, motivated by a vision of St Dominic, she entered the Third Order of the Dominicans, the female branch known as the Mantellate. While living at home, she confirmed her vow of virginity made privately when she was still an adolescent and dedicated herself to prayer, penance and works of charity, especially for the benefit of the sick.

When the fame of her holiness spread, she became the protagonist of an intense activity of spiritual guidance for people from every walk of life: nobles and politicians, artists and ordinary people, consecrated men and women and religious, including Pope Gregory xi who was living at Avignon in that period and whom she energetically and effectively urged to return to Rome.

She travelled widely to press for the internal reform of the Church and to foster peace among the States. It was also for this reason that Venerable Pope John Paul ii chose to declare her Co-Patroness of Europe: may the Old Continent never forget the Christian roots that are at the origin of its progress and continue to draw from the Gospel the fundamental values that assure justice and harmony.

Like many of the Saints, Catherine knew great suffering. Some even thought that they should not trust her, to the point that in 1374, six years before her death, the General Chapter of the Dominicans summoned her to Florence to interrogate her. They appointed Raymund of Capua, a learned and humble Friar and a future Master General of the Order, as her spiritual guide. Having become her confessor and also her “spiritual son”, he wrote a first complete biography of the Saint. She was canonized in 1461.

The teaching of Catherine, who learned to read with difficulty and learned to write in adulthood, is contained in the Dialogue of Divine Providence or Libro della Divina Dottrina, a masterpiece of spiritual literature, in her Epistolario and in the collection of her Prayers.

Her teaching is endowed with such excellence that in 1970 the Servant of God Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church, a title that was added to those of Co-Patroness of the City of Rome — at the wish of Bl. Pius ix — and of Patroness of Italy — in accordance with the decision of Venerable Pius XII.

In a vision that was ever present in Catherine's heart and mind Our Lady presented her to Jesus who gave her a splendid ring, saying to her: “I, your Creator and Saviour, espouse you in the faith, that you will keep ever pure until you celebrate your eternal nuptials with me in Heaven” (Bl. Raimondo da Capua, S. Caterina da Siena, Legenda maior, n. 115, Siena 1998). This ring was visible to her alone. In this extraordinary episode we see the vital centre of Catherine’s religious sense, and of all authentic spirituality: Christocentrism. For her Christ was like the spouse with whom a relationship of intimacy, communion and faithfulness exists; he was the best beloved whom she loved above any other good. This profound union with the Lord is illustrated by another episode in the life of this outstanding mystic: the exchange of hearts. According to Raymond of Capua who passed on the confidences Catherine received, the Lord Jesus appeared to her “holding in his holy hands a human heart, bright red and shining”. He opened her side and put the heart within her saying: “Dearest daughter, as I took your heart away from you the other day, now, you see, I am giving you mine, so that you can go on living with it for ever” (ibid.). Catherine truly lived St. Paul’s words, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).

Like the Sienese Saint, every believer feels the need to be conformed with the sentiments of the heart of Christ to love God and his neighbour as Christ himself loves. And we can all let our hearts be transformed and learn to love like Christ in a familiarity with him that is nourished by prayer, by meditation on the Word of God and by the sacraments, above all by receiving Holy Communion frequently and with devotion. Catherine also belongs to the throng of Saints devoted to the Eucharist with which I concluded my Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis (cf. n. 94). Dear brothers and sisters, the Eucharist is an extraordinary gift of love that God continually renews to nourish our journey of faith, to strengthen our hope and to inflame our charity, to make us more and more like him.

A true and authentic spiritual family was built up around such a strong and genuine personality; people fascinated by the moral authority of this young woman with a most exalted lifestyle were at times also impressed by the mystical phenomena they witnessed, such as her frequent ecstasies. Many put themselves at Catherine’s service and above all considered it a privilege to receive spiritual guidance from her. They called her “mother” because, as her spiritual children, they drew spiritual nourishment from her. Today too the Church receives great benefit from the exercise of spiritual motherhood by so many women, lay and consecrated, who nourish souls with thoughts of God, who strengthen the people’s faith and direct Christian life towards ever loftier peaks. “Son, I say to you and call you”, Catherine wrote to one of her spiritual sons, Giovanni Sabbatini, a Carthusian, “inasmuch as I give birth to you in continuous prayers and desire in the presence of God, just as a mother gives birth to a son” (Epistolario, Lettera n. 141: To Fr Giovanni de’ Sabbatini). She would usually address the Dominican Fr Bartolomeo de Dominici with these words: “Most beloved and very dear brother and son in Christ sweet Jesus”.

Another trait of Catherine’s spirituality is linked to the gift of tears. They express an exquisite, profound sensitivity, a capacity for being moved and for tenderness. Many Saints have had the gift of tears, renewing the emotion of Jesus himself who did not hold back or hide his tears at the tomb of his friend Lazarus and at the grief of Mary and Martha or at the sight of Jerusalem during his last days on this earth. According to Catherine, the tears of Saints are mingled with the blood of Christ, of which she spoke in vibrant tones and with symbolic images that were very effective: “Remember Christ crucified, God and man….. Make your aim the Crucified Christ, hide in the wounds of the Crucified Christ and drown in the blood of the Crucified Christ” (Epistolario, Lettera n. 21: Ad uno il cui nome si tace [to one who remains anonymous]). Here we can understand why, despite her awareness of the human shortcomings of priests, Catherine always felt very great reverence for them: through the sacraments and the word they dispense the saving power of Christ’s Blood. The Sienese Saint always invited the sacred ministers, including the Pope whom she called “sweet Christ on earth”, to be faithful to their responsibilities, motivated always and only by her profound and constant love of the Church. She said before she died: “in leaving my body, truly I have consumed and given my life in the Church and for the Holy Church, which is for me a most unique grace” (Raimondo da Capua, S. Caterina da Siena, Legenda maior, n. 363). Hence we learn from St Catherine the most sublime science: to know and love Jesus Christ and his Church. In the Dialogue of Divine Providence, she describes Christ, with an unusual image, as a bridge flung between Heaven and earth. This bridge consists of three great stairways constituted by the feet, the side and the mouth of Jesus. Rising by these stairways the soul passes through the three stages of every path to sanctification: detachment from sin, the practice of the virtues and of love, sweet and loving union with God.

Dear brothers and sisters, let us learn from St Catherine to love Christ and the Church with courage, intensely and sincerely. Therefore let us make our own St Catherine’s words that we read in the Dialogue of Divine Providence at the end of the chapter that speaks of Christ as a bridge: “out of mercy you have washed us in his Blood, out of mercy you have wished to converse with creatures. O crazed with love! It did not suffice for you to take flesh, but you also wished to die!... O mercy! My heart drowns in thinking of you: for no matter where I turn to think, I find only mercy” (chapter 30, pp. 79-80). Thank you.

Feast of the Holy Abbots of Cluny (April 29)**



The history of the feast

In most pre-twentieth century Benedictine breviaries, this day is marked as the feast of St Robert of Molesmes, one of the founders of the Cistercian Order.
**Some of the French Congregations, however, seem to have celebrated the feast of St Hugh on this date either instead of St Robert (Cluniacs) or as well as that feast (Solesmes).  The 1897 Liber Antiphonarius lists the feast of St Robert in the main calendar, but also adds St Hugh to that day, while preserving separate feasts for St Odilo (Jan 19), Maiolus (May11) and Odo (Nov 27) for their own congregation.
In (I think) the early twentieth century clean out of the Benedictine calendar though, the ongoing war between the Black and White monks presumably heated up once more, because the feast of St Robert of Molesmes was replaced by one celebrating several of the Cluniac abbots instead (combining several separate feasts celebrated by some Congregations only), against whom the Cistercian reform was rather directed.

Curiously, though, one of the most important Cluniac abbots, who successfully defended his congregation from the attacks of the Cistercians, Blessed Peter the Venerable, didn't actually make the list for the celebration of today's feast at all in the 1963 calendar.  This may be because he was never officially canonised.

The deficiency was, however, rectified in the 1975 revision of the calendar.

The Solesmes Congregation, however, continue to observe the feasts of the various abbots on separate dates, while Le Barroux celebrates the feast of the Cluny abbots, but retains St Robert as a commemoration.

Matins texts and readings for the feast

At Matins in the 1963 breviary, the invitatory antiphon is Exsultent in Domino, and the chant for it can be found in the Liber Responsorialis, page 162.  The hymn, Rex gloriose Praesulum, is the same as for Vespers so can be found in the Antiphonale Monasticum.

The one reading is from Letter 4 of St Peter Damian to St Hugh, but I'm afraid I have been unable to find it online in either Latin or English.  Pope Benedict XVI's comments on the Cluniac reform, however, might be a good substitute, so I have reproduced it below.  Pope Benedict also provided a couple of other General Audiences on the saints in question which are well worth a read, so herewith some links to them, viz:
From a General Audience of Pope Benedict XVI given on 11 November 2009:

This morning I would like to speak to you about a monastic movement that was very important in the Middle Ages and which I have already mentioned in previous Catecheses. It is the Order of Cluny which at the beginning of the 12th century, at the height of its expansion, had almost 1,200 monasteries: a truly impressive figure! A monastery was founded at Cluny in 910, precisely 1,100 years ago, and subsequent to the donation of William the Pious, Duke of Aquitaine, was placed under the guidance of Abbot Berno. At that time Western monasticism, which had flourished several centuries earlier with St Benedict, was experiencing a severe decline for various reasons: unstable political and social conditions due to the continuous invasions and sacking by peoples who were not integrated into the fabric of Europe, widespread poverty and, especially, the dependence of abbeys on the local nobles who controlled all that belonged to the territories under their jurisdiction. In this context, Cluny was the heart and soul of a profound renewal of monastic life that led it back to its original inspiration.

At Cluny the Rule of St Benedict was restored with several adaptations which had already been introduced by other reformers. The main objective was to guarantee the central role that the Liturgy must have in Christian life. The Cluniac monks devoted themselves with love and great care to the celebration of the Liturgical Hours, to the singing of the Psalms, to processions as devout as they were solemn, and above all, to the celebration of Holy Mass. They promoted sacred music, they wanted architecture and art to contribute to the beauty and solemnity of the rites; they enriched the liturgical calendar with special celebrations such as, for example, at the beginning of November, the Commemoration of All Souls, which we too have just celebrated; and they intensified the devotion to the Virgin Mary. Great importance was given to the Liturgy because the monks of Cluny were convinced that it was participation in the liturgy of Heaven. And the monks felt responsible for interceding at the altar of God for the living and the dead, given large numbers of the faithful were insistently asking them to be remembered in prayer. Moreover, it was with this same aim that William the Pious had desired the foundation of the Abbey of Cluny. In the ancient document that testifies to the foundation we read: "With this gift I establish that a monastery of regulars be built at Cluny in honour of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, where monks who live according to the Rule of St Benedict shall gather... so that a venerable sanctuary of prayer with vows and supplications may be visited there, and the heavenly life be sought after and yearned for with every desire and with deep ardour, and that assiduous prayers, invocations and supplications be addressed to the Lord". To preserve and foster this atmosphere of prayer, the Cluniac Rule emphasized the importance of silence, to which discipline the monks willingly submitted, convinced that the purity of the virtues to which they aspired demanded deep and constant recollection. It is not surprising that before long the Monastery of Cluny gained a reputation for holiness and that many other monastic communities decided to follow its discipline. Numerous princes and Popes asked the abbots of Cluny to extend their reform so that in a short time a dense network of monasteries developed that were linked to Cluny, either by true and proper juridical bonds or by a sort of charismatic affiliation. Thus a spiritual Europe gradually took shape in the various regions of France and in Italy, Spain, Germany and Hungary.

Cluny's success was assured primarily not only by the lofty spirituality cultivated there but also by several other conditions that ensured its development. In comparison with what had happened until then, the Monastery of Cluny and the communities dependent upon it were recognized as exempt from the jurisdiction of the local Bishops and were directly subject to that of the Roman Pontiff. This meant that Cluny had a special bond with the See of Peter and, precisely because of the protection and encouragement of the Pontiffs the ideals of purity and fidelity proposed by the Cluniac Reform spread rapidly. Furthermore, the abbots were elected without any interference from the civil authorities, unlike what happened in other places. Truly worthy people succeeded one another at the helm of Cluny and of the numerous monastic communities dependent upon it: Abbot Odo of Cluny, of whom I spoke in a Catechesis two months ago, and other great figures such as Eymard, Majolus, Odilo and especially Hugh the Great, who served for long periods, thereby assuring stability and the spread of the reform embarked upon. As well as Odo, Majolus, Odilo and Hugh are venerated as Saints.

Not only did the Cluniac Reform have positive effects in the purification and reawakening of monastic life but also in the life of the universal Church. In fact, the aspiration to evangelical perfection was an incentive to fight two great abuses that afflicted the Church in that period: simony, that is the acquisition of pastoral offices for money, and immorality among the secular clergy. The abbots of Cluny with their spiritual authority, the Cluniac monks who became Bishops and some of them even Popes, took the lead in this impressive action of spiritual renewal. And it yielded abundant fruit: celibacy was once again esteemed and practised by priests and more transparent procedures were introduced in the designation of ecclesiastical offices.

Also significant were the benefits that monasteries inspired by the Cluniac Reform contributed to society. At a time when Church institutions alone provided for the poor, charity was practised with dedication. In all the houses, the almoner was bound to offer hospitality to needy wayfarers and pilgrims, travelling priests and religious and especially the poor, who came asking for food and a roof over their heads for a few days. Equally important were two other institutions promoted by Cluny that were characteristic of medieval civilization: the "Truce of God" and the "Peace of God". In an epoch heavily marked by violence and the spirit of revenge, with the "Truces of God" long periods of non-belligerence were guaranteed, especially on the occasion of specific religious feasts and certain days of the week. With "the Peace of God", on pain of a canonical reprimand, respect was requested for defenceless people and for sacred places.

In this way, in the conscience of the peoples of Europe during that long process of gestation, which was to lead to their ever clearer recognition two fundamental elements for the construction of society matured, namely, the value of the human person and the primary good of peace. Furthermore, as happened for other monastic foundations, the Cluniac monasteries had likewise at their disposal extensive properties which, diligently put to good use, helped to develop the economy. Alongside the manual work there was no lack of the typical cultural activities of medieval monasticism such as schools for children, the foundation of libraries and scriptoria for the transcription of books.

In this way, 1,000 years ago when the development of the European identity had gathered momentum, the experience of Cluny, which had spread across vast regions of the European continent, made its important and precious contribution. It recalled the primacy of spiritual benefits; it kept alive the aspiration to the things of God; it inspired and encouraged initiatives and institutions for the promotion of human values; it taught a spirit of peace. Dear brothers and sisters let us pray that all those who have at heart an authentic humanism and the future of Europe may be able to rediscover, appreciate and defend the rich cultural and religious heritage of these centuries.

April 26: SS Cletus and Marcellinus

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In the 1963 monastic breviary, today is a memorial for St Cletus only.

Older breviaries, though, mark it as a semiduplex feast of both Popes SS Cletus and Marcellinus. Divinum Officium supplies the following reading for the saints:
Cletus was a Roman, the son of Emilian, of the Fifth Region of the city, and the street called Noble. He ruled the Church in the time of the Emperors Vespasian and Titus. In accordance with the precept of the Prince of the Apostles He ordained twenty-five Priests for the city. He was the first Pope who made use in his letters of the phrase "Health and Apostolic Benediction." When he had ruled the Church for twelve years, seven months, and two days, and brought it into an excellent state of order, in the reign of the Emperor Domitian, and the second persecution since the time of Nero, he was crowned with martyrdom, and buried on the Vatican mount, hard by the body of blessed Peter.
Marcellinus was a Roman; he ruled the Church from the year 296 to the year 304, during the savage persecution which was ordered by the Emperor Diocletian. He suffered through the false severity of those who blamed him as being too indulgent toward them who had fallen into idolatry, and for this reason also hath been slandered to the effect that he himself burnt incense to idols but this blessed Pope, on account of his confession of the faith, was put to death along with three other Christians, whose names are Claudius, Cyrinus, and Antoninus. At the command of the Emperor their bodies were cast out unburied, and lay so for thirty- six days. At the end of that time St Peter appeared in a dream to Blessed Marcellus, and in obedience to his command the said Marcellus went with certain Priests and Deacons, singing hymns, and carrying lights, and buried these four bodies honourably in the Cemetery of Priscilla upon the Salarian Way. Marcellinus ruled the Church for seven years, eleven months, and twenty-three days. During this time he held two Advent ordinations, and ordained at them four Priests, and five Bishops for divers Sees.

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Feast of St Mark/ANZAC Day



St Mark

Today is the feast of St Mark, the writer of the shortest of the four Gospels, and you can find the readings for the feast at Matins here.  St Mark was, according to the martyrology, the 'disciple and interpreter of the apostle St. Peter'.

The entry for today goes on to say that:
he wrote his gospel at the request of the faithful at Rome, and taking it with him, proceeded to Egypt and founded a church at Alexandria, where he was the first to preach Christ. Afterwards, being arrested for the faith, he was bound, dragged over stones, and endured great afflictions. Finally he was confined to prison, where, being comforted by the visit of an angel, and even by an apparition of our Lord himself, he was called to the heavenly kingdom in the eighth year of the reign of Nero.
The Greater Litanies 

This is also the day on which the Litany of the saints is traditionally sung as part of a procession at Mass.  It can also be said privately after Lauds, and those who are bound to say the office (ie clergy and religious) are required either to participate in a procession or say the Litany privately.

ANZAC Day

In Australia and New Zealand, it is however, ANZAC Day, the anniversary of one of the most horrendous defeats of World War I, at Gallipoli in 2015, but a defeat that bought forth a new sense of nationhood in those countries.  In the older calendar, there is a special indult allowing the Mass of the day to be replaced with a requiem for the souls of those killed in war; in the newer calendar, the day actually has its own propers, and St Mark is transferred to tomorrow.

So if you would, please remember to say a prayer for the repose of  the souls of those who served in war.

St Mellitus (April 24)


A page divided into 12 sections, each section displaying a scene from the bible
St Augustine Gospels

In the English Congregation, today is traditionally the feast of St Mellitus, the first Bishop of London in the Saxon period and the third Archbishop of Canterbury.

St Mellitus was a member of the Gregorian mission sent to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons from their native paganism to Christianity, arriving around 601 AD with a group of clergy sent by St Gregory the Great to augment S Augustine's group.

St Mellitus was the recipient of a letter from Pope Gregory I known as the Epistola ad Mellitum, preserved by St Bede, which suggested the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons be undertaken gradually, integrating pagan rituals and customs. In 610, Mellitus returned to Italy to attend a council of bishops, and returned to England bearing papal letters to some of the missionaries.

St Mellitus was exiled from London by the pagan successors to his patron, King Sæberht of Essex, following the latter's death around 616. King Æthelberht of Kent, Mellitus' other patron, died at about the same time, forcing him to take refuge in Gaul. Mellitus returned to England the following year, after Æthelberht's successor had been converted to Christianity, but he was unable to return to London, whose inhabitants remained pagan. Mellitus was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 619. During his tenure, he miraculously saved the cathedral, and much of the town of Canterbury, from a fire. After his death in 624, Mellitus was revered as a saint.

Two books are associated with St Mellitus and may have been bought with him to England: the St Augustine Gospels (pictured above), and a copy of the Rule of St Benedict (MS Oxford Bodleian Hatton 48), though of course the latter claim is disputed by many modern historians, who assign the manuscript a later date.

Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for first week after Easter Octave (April 23-29)

This week we move into the season of Eastertide, which has special rubrics - in particular a lot fewer antiphons!

It also marks the start of the 'summer' timetable in the Office, so that ordinary days only have one short reading each day (which is the same each day during Eastertide) at Matins (you can find the reading and responsory over at my Lectio Divina Blog).


Sunday 23 April – Low Sunday, Class I 

Matins: Invitatory, hymn, antiphons, Gospel, readings and responsories for the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons, MD 341* ff with festal psalms 

Prime to None: Antiphons etc MD 344* ff

Vespers: II Vespers of Low Sunday – psalms of Sunday under one antiphon; chapter etc from I Vespers; Magnificat antiphon, MD 345*

Monday 24 April  Class IV [EF: St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Class III]

Matins: Ordinary of Eastertide: Invitatory, Alleluia...; hymn, Rex sempiterne; one antiphon per Nocturn (alleluia...); versicles, short lesson (Os 6:1-3); chapter (Rom 6:4) with psalms of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 352*; collect, MD 344*

Tuesday 25 April  The Greater Litanies and St Mark [Australia: ANZAC Day]


Matins: All from the Common of Apostles in Eastertide except for the readings and responsories, of the feast)

Lauds to None: All from the Common of Apostles in Paschaltide, MD (23)ff, except for the collect, MD [113]

Vespers: Common of Apostles in Paschaltide MD (20), except for the versicle and Magnificat antiphon, MD (26) and collect, MD [113]

Wednesday 26 April  St Cletus, memorial [EF: SS Cletus and Marcellinus, Class III]

Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 352-3*; collect, MD 344*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [113-4]

Thursday 27 April  Class IV; St Peter Canisius, memorial [EF: Class III]


Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 353*; collect, MD 344*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [114-5]

Friday 28 April – Class IV [EF: St Paul of the Cross]

Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 353*; collect, MD 344*

Saturday 29 April – SS Odo, Majolus, Odilo and Hugh, Class III [EF: St Peter of Verona]

Matins: Invitatory, hymn and one reading of the feast; psalms of the day with antiphons of Eastertide; chapter, Eccles 17:7-8

Lauds: Antiphons for the feast with festal psalms, MD [115] ff

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds with psalms of Saturday

Terce to None: Antiphons and texts of the feast, MD [117] ff

I Vespers of Second Sunday after Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday), MD 354* ff

Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for Octave of Easter (April 16-22)

For the next week the Office is essentially the same each day, a seven day Sunday....

Sunday 16 April – Easter Sunday, Class I with a Class I Octave

Matins and Lauds are included in the Vigil, so do not need to be said by those who attend it. 

Matins: If said, all of the feast, with twelve readings and responsories

Lauds: If said, Psalm scheme 2 (92, etc), MD 328*

Prime to Vespers: Antiphons of Lauds with proper texts of the feast, MD 328* ff

Compline: Marian Antiphon, Regina Caeli henceforward

Monday 17 April – Monday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and collect, MD 335*

Tuesday 18 April – Tuesday in Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and collect, MD 336*

Wednesday 19 April – Wednesday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for the Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons, and collect, MD 336-7*

Thursday 20 April – Thursday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and collect, MD 337*

Friday 21 April – Friday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and collect, MD 337-8*

Saturday 22 April – White Saturday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to None: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus antiphon and the collect, MD 338*

SEASON OF EASTERTIDE

I Vespers of Low Sunday, MD 339* ff

Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for Holy Week (9-15 April)

This week marks the start of Holy Week, and you can find the readings and responsories, as well as notes on where to find the chants for Matins of Palm Sunday here.

For notes on the rubrics of Holy Week more generally, follow the link here.

In essence, this is a week when you particularly need to keep your wits about you, since which hours of the Office you should say depends on which of the other Holy Week ceremonies you attend.

In addition, the Benedictine Office is abandoned for the Triduum in favour of the Roman. and with special rubrics for these three days.  The highlight of the week is always, in my view, the celebration of Tenebrae (Matins and Lauds, generally anticipated) each night (or very early morning).


Sunday 9 April – Second Passion Sunday or Palm Sunday, Class I

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; twelve readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons for the day, MD 255* with psalm scheme 1 (Ps 50, 117, 62); chapter etc for the day

Prime to None: Antiphons and chapter verses, MD 258* ff

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; chapter etc as per I Vespers; Magnificat antiphon, MD 260*

Monday 10 April – Monday in Holy Week, Class I

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds: Antiphons MD 260-1* with psalms of Monday; chapter, responsory and hymn of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 261*

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds (MD 260*) with psalms etc of Monday

Terce to None: Antiphons 2, 3 and 5 of Lauds respectively, MD 260-1*; chapter and versicle of Passiontide; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 244* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect, MD 261-2*

Tuesday 11 April - Tuesday in Holy Week, Class I

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to None: Antiphons MD 262* with psalms of Tuesday; Ordinary of Passiontide; Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 263*

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 244* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 263*

Wednesday 12 April – Wednesday in Holy Week, Class I

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to None: Antiphons MD 263-4* with psalms of Wednesday; Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240*; Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 264*

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 244* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect, MD 265*

Thursday 13 April - Maundy Thursday, Class I

Note: No introductory prayer or hymns are said, and the Gloria Patri is not said at the end of each psalm. 

Matins: (Tenebrae)  - as for the Roman Office, nine psalms and readings

Lauds: MD 265*ff  [Note: Outside a monastery, normally sung in combination with Matins the night before as Tenebrae]

Prime to None: MD 279* ff

Vespers: MD 296* ff, Magnificat antiphon of Maundy Thursday, MD 308* [Note: Not said by those who attend the evening Mass]

Compline: MD 305* 

Friday 14 – Good Friday, Class I

See MD 309*ff.  Note that:
  • There are no opening prayers
  • The Gloria Patri is not said at the end of each psalm
  • The psalms etc for Prime to None are set out at MD 279* ff
  • ‘Mortem autem crucis’ is added to the antiphon Christus factus est, MD 282* at the end of each hour
Matins: (Tenebrae)  - as for the Roman Office, nine psalms and readings

Lauds: MD 309*ff [Note: Normally sung the night before in combination with Matins as Tenebrae]

Prime to None: MD 279* ff

Vespers: MD 296* ff, Magnificat antiphon of Good Friday, MD 308* [Not said by those who attend the afternoon liturgy]

Compline: MD 305*

Saturday 15 April   – Holy Saturday

See MD 318* ff.  Note that:
  • There are no opening prayers 
  • The Gloria Patri is not said at the end of each psalm
  • The psalms and antiphons to be used are set out at MD 279* ff
  • Propter quod…’ is added to the antiphon Christus factus est, MD 282* at the end of each hour
Matins: (Tenebrae)  - as for the Roman Office, nine psalms and readings

Lauds: MD 318*ff [Note: Normally sung the night before in combination with Matins as Tenebrae]

Prime to None: MD 279* ff

Vespers: MD 296* ff, Magnificat antiphon of Holy Saturday, MD 308*

Compline: MD 305*  [Not said by those who attend the Vigil]

Benedictine Office - Ordo for first week of Passiontide (April 2-8)

This Sunday marks the start of the mini-season of Passiontide, which has its own proper texts.  You can find notes on the rubrics for this period here.

And if you are looking for notes and readings on Matins for Passion Sunday, look here.


Sunday 2 April – (First) Passion Sunday, Class I

Matins: Invitatory (Hodie si vocem), hymn (Pange lingua), readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons and texts for the day, MD 234* ff with psalm scheme 1 (Ps 50, 117, 62)

Prime to None: Antiphons etc, MD 238-9*

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; chapter etc as per I Vespers, MD 234* ff; versicle and Magnificat antiphon MD 239* 

PASSIONTIDE

Monday 3 April – Monday in (First) Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide: Invitatory (Hodie si vocem), omit Gloria; hymn (Pange lingua); psalms and antiphons of the psalter; three readings of the day; chapter Jer 11:18-19

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 246-7*

Tuesday 4 April – Tuesday in Passion Week, Class III; St Isidore, memorial

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to VespersOrdinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 247-8*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [107]

Wednesday 5 April – Wednesday in Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 248-9*

Thursday 6 April - Thursday in Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 249-50*

Friday 7 April – Friday in Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 250-2*

Saturday 8 April – Saturday in Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 252*

HOLY WEEK

I Vespers of Palm Sunday: Antiphons and psalms of Saturday with chapter and rest from MD 252* ff

Getting ready for Passiontide


StMartin43-53.JPG

The season of Passiontide, a sub-set of Lent, starts with I Vespers of Saturday, and marks an intensification of our preparations for the Triduum.

In the Office, there is an Ordinary of Passiontide with its own hymns and chants.

At Matins:
  • there is a daily invitatory verse (If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart);
  • the Gloria Patri is not said in Psalm 94 or in the responsories; and
  • the hymn is Lustris sex qui iam peractis.
At Prime to None:
  • the antiphons, chapters and versicles are of the season of Passiontide, and can be found in the psalter section;
  • the collect for Terce to None is the same as for Lauds of that day;
At Lauds and Vespers:
  • chapters, hymns, etc of the season replace those in the psalter section;
  • the responsories omit the Gloria Patri, instead repeating the opening verse;
  • the canticle antiphons are proper for each day. They generally reflect the (EF) Gospel for the day; and
  • there is a specific collect for both Lauds and Vespers each day.

Fr Hunwicke has posted some nice background on the hymns of Passiontide, which are all by the sixth century bishop Venantius Fortunatus, prompted, according to Fr H, by the formidable Abbess Radegund of Poitiers.  Vexilla Regis is used at Vespers; the first five verses of Pange lingua gloriosi Proelium certaminis at Matins, and the remainder of the latter hymn at Lauds (as Lustra sex qui iam peregit).

PS I have added a sidebar on the blog linking to monastic (and related) products being sold for fundraising purposes, such as St Benedict medalsBirra Nursia and so forth.  If monasteries would like me to highlight any particular products, just let me know.

The traditionally oriented monasteries pretty much all have donation pages as well, and many of them are in the midst of major building projects, so do give them consideration as part of your Lenten almsgiving!