Second Week of Advent

Notes on the Office in Advent can be found here.

You can find the list of Matins readings for the week here.



Sunday 4 December – Second Sunday of Advent, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon, hymn, antiphons and readings of Sunday II in Advent

Lauds to Vespers: Antiphons and proper texts, MD 22* ff; psalms of Sunday 

At Lauds, schema 1: Ps 50, 117, 62

Monday 5 December – Monday in the second week of Advent, Class III


Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings of the Advent day 

Lauds to Vespers:Ordinary of Advent, MD 9* ff (Prime to None antiphons of wk II, MD 13* ff); collect (Sunday II), MD 11*; canticle antiphons at Lauds and Vespers, MD 26-7*

Tuesday 6 December – Tuesday in the second week of Advent, Class IIISt Nicholas, memorial [EF: Class III]


Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings of the Advent day 

Lauds to VespersOrdinary of Advent, MD 9* ff (Prime to None antiphons of wk II, MD 13* ff); collect (Sunday II), MD 11*; canticle antiphons at Lauds and Vespers, MD 27*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [9-10]

Wednesday 7 December – St Ambrose, Class III

Matins: Invitatory and hymn from Common of a Confessor bishop; psalms and antiphons of Wednesday; first two readings of Wednesday in Advent week 2 (combine reading 2&3, omit responsory 2 of the feria); third reading and responsory of the feast; Chapter verse for a confessor bishop

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the day; chapter etc from Common of a Confessor Bishop, MD (64); collect, MD [10]. Commemoration of the feria, MD 27*/11*

Prime:  Antiphon 1 of Lauds from the Common

Terce to None: Antiphons and proper texts from Common, collect MD [10]
I Vespers of the Immaculate Conception, MD [11]; commemoration of the Advent feria, MD 27* (antiphon for the Magnificat)/17*(versicle)/11*(collect)

Thursday 8 December – The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Class I

Matins: Invitatory, hymn, antiphons and twelve lessons and responsories of the feast

Lauds: Festal psalms of Sunday with antiphons and rest from MD [13] ff; commemoration of the feria, MD 27*/11*

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds of the feast

Terce to None: Antiphons, chapter, versicle and collect of the feast

Vespers: Psalms of I Vespers of the BVM, MD (119); antiphons and rest of the feast, MD [11] ff; Magnificat antiphon, MD [17]; commemoration of the Advent feria, MD 28*/17*/11*

Friday 9 December – Friday in the second week of Advent, Class III


Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings

Lauds to Vespers:Ordinary of Advent, MD 9* ff (Prime to None antiphons of wk II); collect (Sunday II), MD 11*; canticle antiphons at Lauds and Vespers, MD 28*

Saturday 10 December – Saturday in the second week of Advent, Class III [In some places, Blessed Mark Barkworth, John Roberts and companions, memorial; EF: Commemoration of St Melchiades]

For Bl.  Mark Barkworth, MD 2**


Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings

Lauds to VespersOrdinary of Advent, MD 9* ff (Prime to None antiphons of wk II, MD 13*ff); collect (Sunday II), MD 11*; canticle antiphon at Lauds, MD 28*

I Vespers of Third Sunday in Advent, MD 28* ff

December 3: S Francis Xavier, Memorial


Saint Francis Xavier (1506 – 1552) was a missionary and was co-founder of the Society of Jesus. 

He was a student of Saint Ignatius Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits who dedicated themselves to the service of God at Montmartre in 1534.  He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly in the Asian Portuguese Empire of the time. He was influential in the spreading and upkeep of Catholicism most notably in India, but also ventured into Japan, Borneo, the Moluccas, and other areas which had thus far not been visited by Christian missionaries.   He died in China...

He is said to have converted more people than anyone else has done since Saint Paul. By his compromises in India with the Christians of St. Thomas, he developed the Jesuit missionary methods along lines that subsequently became a successful blueprint for his order to follow. His efforts left a significant impression upon the missionary history of India and, as one of the first Jesuit missionaries to the East Indies, his work is of fundamental significance to Christians in the propagation of Christianity in China and Japan. India still has numerous Jesuit missions, and many more schools. There has been less of an impact in Japan. Following the persecutions of Daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the subsequent closing of Japan to foreigners, the Christians of Japan were forced to go underground and developed an independent Christian culture.

Pope Benedict XVI said of both Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier: "not only their history which was interwoven for many years from Paris and Rome, but a unique desire — a unique passion, it could be said — moved and sustained them through different human events: the passion to give to God-Trinity a glory always greater and to work for the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ to the peoples who had been ignored."

December 2: St Peter Chrysologus, Memorial


St Peter Chrysologus, circa 380 – 450, was Bishop of Ravenna from about AD 433. 

He is a Doctor of the Church. 

According to the Wikipedia:

"Peter was born in Imola, where he was ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. He was made an archdeacon through the influence of Emperor Valentinian III. Pope Sixtus III appointed Peter to the See of Ravenna in about the year 433, apparently rejecting the candidate elected by the people of the city. The traditional account, as recorded in the Roman Breviary, is that Sixtus had a vision of St. Peter and St. Apollinaris, the first bishops of Rome and Ravenna respectively, who showed Sixtus a young man and said he was the next Bishop of Ravenna. When the group from Ravenna arrived, including Cornelius and his archdeacon Peter from Imola, Sixtus recognized Peter as the young man in his vision and consecrated him as a bishop.

Known as The Doctor of Homilies, Peter was known for his short but inspired talks; he is said to have been afraid of boring his audience. After hearing his first homily as bishop, Empress Galla Placidia is said to have given him the surname Chrysologus, by which he is known. Galla Placidia was to become the patroness of many of Peter's projects. Peter spoke against the Arian and Monophysite teachings, condemning them as heresies, and explained topics such as the Apostles' Creed, John the Baptist, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the mystery of the Incarnation, in simple and clear language. Peter advocated daily reception of Holy Communion. He urged his listeners to have confidence in the forgiveness offered through Christ.

He was a counsellor of Pope Leo I. The monophysite Eutyches appealed to Peter to intervene with the pope on his behalf after he was denounced at a synod held in Constantinople in 448. The text of Peter's letter in response to Eutyches has been preserved in the Acts of the Council of Chalcedon; in it, Peter admonishes Eutyches to accept the ruling of the synod and to give obedience to the Bishop of Rome as the successor of Saint Peter."

St Andrew (Nov 30)


St Andrew was the first-called of the apostles and the brother of St Peter.

Here is Pope Benedict XVI's catechesis on the saint from a General Audience given in 2006:

"...today we shall speak of Simon Peter's brother, St Andrew, who was also one of the Twelve.

The first striking characteristic of Andrew is his name:  it is not Hebrew, as might have been expected, but Greek, indicative of a certain cultural openness in his family that cannot be ignored. We are in Galilee, where the Greek language and culture are quite present. Andrew comes second in the list of the Twelve, as in Matthew (10: 1-4) and in Luke (6: 13-16); or fourth, as in Mark (3: 13-18) and in the Acts (1: 13-14). In any case, he certainly enjoyed great prestige within the early Christian communities.

The kinship between Peter and Andrew, as well as the joint call that Jesus addressed to them, are explicitly mentioned in the Gospels. We read:  "As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men'" (Mt 4: 18-19; Mk 1: 16-17).

From the Fourth Gospel we know another important detail:  Andrew had previously been a disciple of John the Baptist:  and this shows us that he was a man who was searching, who shared in Israel's hope, who wanted to know better the word of the Lord, the presence of the Lord.

He was truly a man of faith and hope; and one day he heard John the Baptist proclaiming Jesus as:  "the Lamb of God" (Jn 1: 36); so he was stirred, and with another unnamed disciple followed Jesus, the one whom John had called "the Lamb of God". The Evangelist says that "they saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day..." (Jn 1: 37-39).

Thus, Andrew enjoyed precious moments of intimacy with Jesus. The account continues with one important annotation:  "One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah' (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus" (Jn 1: 40-43), straightaway showing an unusual apostolic spirit.

Andrew, then, was the first of the Apostles to be called to follow Jesus. Exactly for this reason the liturgy of the Byzantine Church honours him with the nickname:  "Protokletos", [protoclete] which means, precisely, "the first called".

And it is certain that it is partly because of the family tie between Peter and Andrew that the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople feel one another in a special way to be Sister Churches. To emphasize this relationship, my Predecessor Pope Paul VI, in 1964, returned the important relic of St Andrew, which until then had been kept in the Vatican Basilica, to the Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop of the city of Patras in Greece, where tradition has it that the Apostle was crucified.

The Gospel traditions mention Andrew's name in particular on another three occasions that tell us something more about this man. The first is that of the multiplication of the loaves in Galilee. On that occasion, it was Andrew who pointed out to Jesus the presence of a young boy who had with him five barley loaves and two fish:  not much, he remarked, for the multitudes who had gathered in that place (cf. Jn 6: 8-9).

In this case, it is worth highlighting Andrew's realism. He noticed the boy, that is, he had already asked the question:  "but what good is that for so many?" (ibid.), and recognized the insufficiency of his minimal resources. Jesus, however, knew how to make them sufficient for the multitude of people who had come to hear him.

The second occasion was at Jerusalem. As he left the city, a disciple drew Jesus' attention to the sight of the massive walls that supported the Temple. The Teacher's response was surprising:  he said that of those walls not one stone would be left upon another. Then Andrew, together with Peter, James and John, questioned him:  "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?" (Mk 13: 1-4).

In answer to this question Jesus gave an important discourse on the destruction of Jerusalem and on the end of the world, in which he asked his disciples to be wise in interpreting the signs of the times and to be constantly on their guard.

From this event we can deduce that we should not be afraid to ask Jesus questions but at the same time that we must be ready to accept even the surprising and difficult teachings that he offers us.

Lastly, a third initiative of Andrew is recorded in the Gospels:  the scene is still Jerusalem, shortly before the Passion. For the Feast of the Passover, John recounts, some Greeks had come to the city, probably proselytes or God-fearing men who had come up to worship the God of Israel at the Passover Feast. Andrew and Philip, the two Apostles with Greek names, served as interpreters and mediators of this small group of Greeks with Jesus.

The Lord's answer to their question - as so often in John's Gospel - appears enigmatic, but precisely in this way proves full of meaning. Jesus said to the two disciples and, through them, to the Greek world:  "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. I solemnly assure you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit" (12: 23-24).

Jesus wants to say:  Yes, my meeting with the Greeks will take place, but not as a simple, brief conversation between myself and a few others, motivated above all by curiosity. The hour of my glorification will come with my death, which can be compared with the falling into the earth of a grain of wheat. My death on the Cross will bring forth great fruitfulness:  in the Resurrection the "dead grain of wheat" - a symbol of myself crucified - will become the bread of life for the world; it will be a light for the peoples and cultures.

Yes, the encounter with the Greek soul, with the Greek world, will be achieved in that profundity to which the grain of wheat refers, which attracts to itself the forces of heaven and earth and becomes bread.

In other words, Jesus was prophesying about the Church of the Greeks, the Church of the pagans, the Church of the world, as a fruit of his Pasch.

Some very ancient traditions not only see Andrew, who communicated these words to the Greeks, as the interpreter of some Greeks at the meeting with Jesus recalled here, but consider him the Apostle to the Greeks in the years subsequent to Pentecost. They enable us to know that for the rest of his life he was the preacher and interpreter of Jesus for the Greek world.

Peter, his brother, travelled from Jerusalem through Antioch and reached Rome to exercise his universal mission; Andrew, instead, was the Apostle of the Greek world. So it is that in life and in death they appear as true brothers - a brotherhood that is symbolically expressed in the special reciprocal relations of the See of Rome and of Constantinople, which are truly Sister Churches.

A later tradition, as has been mentioned, tells of Andrew's death at Patras, where he too suffered the torture of crucifixion. At that supreme moment, however, like his brother Peter, he asked to be nailed to a cross different from the Cross of Jesus. In his case it was a diagonal or X-shaped cross, which has thus come to be known as "St Andrew's cross".

This is what the Apostle is claimed to have said on that occasion, according to an ancient story (which dates back to the beginning of the sixth century), entitled The Passion of Andrew:

"Hail, O Cross, inaugurated by the Body of Christ and adorned with his limbs as though they were precious pearls. Before the Lord mounted you, you inspired an earthly fear. Now, instead, endowed with heavenly love, you are accepted as a gift.

"Believers know of the great joy that you possess, and of the multitude of gifts you have prepared. I come to you, therefore, confident and joyful, so that you too may receive me exultant as a disciple of the One who was hung upon you.... O blessed Cross, clothed in the majesty and beauty of the Lord's limbs!... Take me, carry me far from men, and restore me to my Teacher, so that, through you, the one who redeemed me by you, may receive me. Hail, O Cross; yes, hail indeed!".

Here, as can be seen, is a very profound Christian spirituality. It does not view the Cross as an instrument of torture but rather as the incomparable means for perfect configuration to the Redeemer, to the grain of wheat that fell into the earth.

Here we have a very important lesson to learn:  our own crosses acquire value if we consider them and accept them as a part of the Cross of Christ, if a reflection of his light illuminates them.

It is by that Cross alone that our sufferings too are ennobled and acquire their true meaning.

The Apostle Andrew, therefore, teaches us to follow Jesus with promptness (cf. Mt 4: 20; Mk 1: 18), to speak enthusiastically about him to those we meet, and especially, to cultivate a relationship of true familiarity with him, acutely aware that in him alone can we find the ultimate meaning of our life and death."

Blessed Richard Whiting OSB and Companions (Nov 29)

The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey

In some places today is the feast of Blessed Richard Whiting and companions, martyred under Henry VIII of England.

Blessed Richard was abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, and one of the few churchman to stand up against Henry VIII's destruction of the English Church.

Blessed Richard Whiting was appointed abbot in 1525, and the first ten years of Whiting's rule were prosperous and peaceful. He was a sober and caring spiritual leader and a good manager of the abbey's day-to-day life. Contemporary accounts show that Whiting was held in very high esteem.

Attempts to find excuses to close the abbey failed, and the abbot stood in the way of its dissolution.  He was hung, drawn and quartered without proper trial along with two of his monks in 1539.

St Saturninus (November 29)



Saint Saturninus of Toulouse was, according to the early Acts of his life used by Gregory of Tours, one of the 72 disciples of Christ, and was consecrated bishop by St Peter.

According to his legend, in order to reach his church Saturninus had to pass before the capitol where there was a pagan altar.  The pagan priests ascribed the silence of their oracles to the frequent presence of Saturninus, and one day they seized him and on his unshakeable refusal to sacrifice to the images they condemned him to be tied by the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke.

The site, said to be "where the bull stopped" is on the rue du Taur ("Street of the Bull"). The street with the Mithraic name is one of the original Roman cross streets running straight from the Capitole now to the Romanesque basilica honoring St. Saturnin ("St Sernin").

Ordo for the first week of Advent

LOS TRES REYES MAGOS A CABALLO 1140 CANTERBURY:


Below are notes to help you say the Office during the first week of Advent.  Please be aware that these assume you are already familiar with the structure and rubrics for these hours - if you are just starting out on saying the Office, I'd suggest starting here.

Advent

This is the first week of Advent, and the traditional Benedictine Office becomes much more elaborate than usual during this period.

For a general introduction to the Office during Advent, please go and take a look at this post: the Office during Advent.

I have also put out a recent series of rubrics notes on the individual hours:

Matins in Advent
Lauds in Advent
Prime and Compline in Advent
Terce, Sext and None in Advent
Vespers in Advent; Lauds pt II

Order of recitation for the first week of Advent 


Note: all page references (indicated by MD) refer to the Monastic Diurnal (published by St Michael's Abbey).


Saturday 26 November – Saturday of Our Lady; St Sylvester, memorial [EF: Class III]

Matins to None: At Matins, Saturday 4&5 of November; Lauds to None, MD (129) ff; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [384]

END OF TIME AFTER PENTECOST – START OF ADVENT

I Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent, MD 1* (psalms of Saturday with antiphon, chapter etc of I Vespers)

Compline: Marian antiphon Alma Redemptoris Mater, MD 265 henceforward


Sunday 27 November – First Sunday of Advent, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon, hymn, antiphons and readings of Sunday I in Advent

Lauds: Proper antiphons, chapter, responsory, hymn etc, MD 4* ff with Psalm schema 1 (50, 117, 62)

Prime: Antiphon, MD 6*

Terce to None: Antiphons and proper texts, MD 7* ff

Vespers: Proper texts as for I Vespers, MD 1* except for Magnificat antiphon, MD 8*; with psalms of Sunday, MD 203

Monday 28 November – Monday in the first week of Advent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings of the Advent day (Monday in first week of Advent)

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of Monday; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 9* ff; Benedictus antiphon, MD 17*; collect, MD 11*; 

Prime: Antiphon for week I, MD 13*

Terce to None: Antiphon for Advent wk I, MD 13* ff; chapter and versicle for Advent; collect, MD 11*

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of Monday; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for Advent, MD 15* ff; Magnificat antiphon, MD 17*; collect, MD 11*

Tuesday 29 November – Tuesday in the first week of Advent, Class III; St Saturinus, memorial

Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings of the day 

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Advent, MD 9* (Prime to None antiphons of wk I, MD 13* ff); collect (Sunday I), MD 11*; canticle antiphons at Lauds and Vespers, MD 18*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [385]

Wednesday 30 November - St Andrew, Class II

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn from Common of Apostles; antiphons and twelve readings of the feast, psalms from Common of Apostles

Lauds: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast, MD [3] ff with festal psalms; commemoration of the feria, MD 18*/11*

Prime to None: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast with psalms of the day

Vespers: Antiphons, chapter and hymn of Lauds; psalms from the Common, MD (13); responsory etc, MD [7-8]; commemoration of the feria, MD 18*/17*/11*


Thursday 1 December – Thursday in the first week of Advent, Class III [In some places: Blessed Richard, Hugo, John and Companions]

For Blessed Richard…MD 1**

Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings of the Advent day 

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Advent, MD 9* ff (Prime to None antiphons of wk I, MD 13* ff); collect (Sunday I), MD 11*; canticle antiphons at Lauds and Vespers, MD 18*

Friday 2 December – Friday in the first week of Advent, Class III; St Peter Chrysologus, memorial [EF: St Bibiana]

Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings of the Advent day 

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Advent, MD 9* ff (Prime to None antiphons of wk I, MD 13* ff); collect (Sunday I), MD 11*; canticle antiphons at Lauds and Vespers, MD 19*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [8-9]

Saturday 3 December - Saturday in the first week of Advent; St Francis Xavier, memorial [EF: Class III; Class I in some places]

Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings of the Advent day 

Lauds to VespersPsalms of Saturday with Ordinary of Advent, MD 9* (Prime to None antiphons of wk I, MD 13* ff); collect (Sunday I), MD 11*; canticle antiphons at Lauds, MD 19*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [9]

For St Francis Xavier as a Class I feast, see MD 1**

I Vespers of the Second Sunday of Advent, MD 19* ff