Vespers this Saturday marks the start of Passiontide, a sub-season of Lent that has its own special rubrics.
And with it comes that run of Solemnities that give us some time off of Lent - this week three, for Benedictines (depending where you live), namely St Patrick, St Joseph and St Benedict.
The Office this week
Sun 17 Mar First Passion Sunday, Class I
Mon18 Mar Monday in First Passion Week, Class III; St Cyril, Memorial
[in some places, St Patrick, Class I]
Tues 19 Mar St Joseph, Class I
Wed 20 Mar Wednesday in First Passion Week, Class III
Thur 21 Mar St Benedict, Class I
Fri 22 Mar Friday in First Passion Week, Class III
Sat 23 Mar Saturday in First Passion Week, Class III
The Ordinary of the Passiontide ferial Office, used from the Monday after First Passion Sunday, is set out in the Farnborough edition of the Monastic Diurnal at MD 240* ff.
For those saying Matins (not in the Diurnal): the invitatory antiphon is for the season (Hodie si vocem Domini audieritis); the hymn is for the season of Lent and is the same each day (Pange lingua); the readings during the week are usually patristic sermons, relating to the Gospel of the Mass set for that day; and the chapter verse for Nocturn II is for the season (Jer 11:18-19).
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.
It is also important to be aware that when a feast displaces the Lent texts, a commemoration of the day is made at both Lauds and Vespers using the respective collects, canticle antiphon and versicle that occurs before the relevant canticle at that hour.
Pray for our Pope!
And of course it is also the inauguration of Pope Francis on Tuesday, so do keep him in your prayers.