Easter Sunday and the Easter Octave


Happy Easter!

This week is one long joyous Sunday so far as the Office goes.

In essence, the psalms and antiphons of Sunday are said throughout the Octave, the only changes being, so far as the day hours go, to the Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and the collects.

Note, though, that at Mass, there is a Gospel set for each day this week, and at Matins there are patristic readings on it.

This week in the Benedictine Office in summary

Sunday April 20  – Easter Sunday, Class I with a Class I Octave
Monday April 21 - Monday in the Octave of Easter, Class I 
Tuesday April 22 – Tuesday in Octave of Easter, Class I
Wednesday April 23 - Wednesday in the Octave of Easter, Class I 
Thursday April 24 – Thursday in the Octave of Easter, Class I
Friday April 25 – Friday in the Octave of Easter, Class I 
Saturday April 26 – White Saturday in the Octave of Easter, Class I 

You can find the more detailed instructions for the Office this week here.

Holy Saturday

Eastern Rite Matins for Holy Saturday

The instructions for the Office of Holy Saturday are set out at 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*

Vespers is as on Maundy Thursday, except for the first antiphon and Magnificat antiphon, MD 325*.  It can be said any time after noon.

Compline can be found in the Diurnal on at 325*, and should be said before the Easter Vigil.  Note that those attending the vigil don't need to say Sunday Matins or Lauds.



Good Friday


The Monastic Diurnal sets out the Office as it is said today at 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*; and
Compline as for Maundy Thursday, MD 305*

Remember, too, that if you attend the Good Friday afternoon liturgy, you do not need to say Vespers.

Note that outside of monasteries, Tenebrae of Holy Saturday is often anticipated, said after Compline rather than early in the morning.

Maundy Thursday


The Benedictine Office becomes Roman for the next few days, so ignore all the parts of the Diurnal except what is set out at  out at MD 265* ff.   Note that there are no opening prayers, and the Gloria Patri is not said at the end of each psalm.

If you attend the evening Mass, you don't need to say Vespers, as it is included in the ceremonies.  Compline is said according to the rubrics at MD 305* after the denudation of the altar, with extinguished candles and no chant.

Tenebrae of Good Friday (Matins and Lauds) is often said immediately after this.

Wednesday in Holy Week: Spy Wednesday


The Gospel today is the Passion according to St Luke (22:39-71; 23:1-53).  You can find the Matins readings (from Jeremiah) here.

There are specific antiphons for the psalms for the day (MD 263*ff) for Lauds to None, as well as the proper texts for passiontide.  The canticle antiphons and collects for the day can be found in the Monastic Diurnal at 264*ff.

Tenebrae of Maundy Thursday

Technically, under the 1962 rubrics Matins and Lauds of Maundy Thursday (viz Tenebrae) are not allowed to be anticipated.

However, this is one of the most widely ignored of the 1962 rule changes, ignored for entirely practical reasons.

If you happen to be able to attend Tenebrae, do make sure you have said Vespers and Compline of Wednesday first.

Tuesday in Holy Week


At Mass, today's Gospel is the Passion according to St Mark (14:32-72; 15:1-46).

The Office at Matins, however, reverts to Scriptural texts for the next two days, in the form of readings from Jeremiah, and then the special readings for the Triduum, which include the famous Lamentations.

From Lauds to None there are antiphons for the day (MD 262*ff), which are said with the psalms of Tuesday, and the proper texts for Passiontide (MD 240* ff).  The canticle antiphons and collects can be found at MD 263* (Farnborough edition).

Monday in Holy Week



At Mass for Monday in Holy Week, the Gospel is St John 12:1-9, St Mary Magdalene washes Jesus' feet with ointment.  You can find the text and the Matins readings on it over at my Lectio Divina blog.

From Lauds to None today note that there are specific antiphons for the day (you can find them in the Monastic Diurnal at 260-61*) - use them with the psalms of Monday, and the chapter, responsory and hymn of Passiontide (MD 240* ff).  The Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons, together with the collects, can be found at MD 261*.