First Week of Advent



Advent starts this Saturday tonight, at first Vespers, and the Office during this period is at its most complex, so do take the time to prepare yourself in advance.

The Office up to December 16

There are basically two distinct periods in Advent so far as the Office is concerned, and here are some notes on the Office up to and including December 16.

If you are using the Farnborough Monastic Diurnal, the 'Ordinary' of the period is set out at pages at 8*-17*.

In general, Sundays in Advent are all first class, with their own proper antiphons and proper texts (chapter etc).  The Lauds antiphons are used from I Vespers of Saturday until II Vespers, using the normal principles (that is, the fourth antiphon is omitted at Vespers; the first antiphon is used at Prime, the second at Terce, etc, skipping the fourth as usual). These antiphons are then used for the minor hours throughout that week (MD 13* ff puts them together to make it easier to find the right antiphon for the relevant hour).

The ordinary days of Advent are of the third class. As usual, the collects are from the previous Sunday (with the exception of the Ember days in week three of Advent, which have their own particular collects).

On days when a feast is celebrated (such as the Immaculate Conception) a commemoration of Advent (canticle antiphon, versicle and collect, said after the collect of the feast) is always made at both Lauds and Vespers. 

Lauds and Vespers have canticle antiphons set for each day.  Note also that the chapter, hymn, responsory etc are from the Ordinary of Advent (MD 9*; 15*).

Prime to None have antiphons for each week of Advent, set out at MD 13* ff.  At Terce to None, the chapter and versicle are for the season, also set out in the psalter section of the Diurnal.

Compline: The Marian antiphon is Alma Redemptoris Mater.

File downloads

You can find a full Ordo with page references to the Farnborough Diurnal in the right sidebar (or download the PDF from the Ben Office Help yahoo group (which does not require any approval process to join) or tradben group (which is aimed at traditionalist Catholics in union with Rome).

There are also quick reference cards with page numbers for Advent in the files section of both those groups.

This week in the calendar...

Sat 1 Dec – Our Lady on Saturday

Sun 2 Dec – First Sunday of Advent, Class I

Mon 3 Dec – Monday in the first week of Advent, Class III; St Francis Xavier, memorial

[St Francis Xavier SJ, 1506-1552, was a missionary.  You can read more about him here.]

Tues 4 Dec – Tuesday in the first week of Advent, Class III

Wed 5 Dec – Wednesday in the first week of Advent, Class III

Thurs 6 Dec – Thursday in the first week of Advent, Class III; St Nicholas, memorial 

[St Nicolas (270–346) was Bishop of Myra (part of modern-day Turkey). He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus.]

Fri 7 December – St Ambrose, Class III

[Saint Ambrose (340-397), was bishop of Milan, and is a doctor of the Church.  You can read more about him here.]

Sat 8 Dec– The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Class I

(Note that Vespers are of the feast with a commemoration of the Sunday)


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