For the last week we have been experiencing, in the Divine Office, the extended Sunday of the Resurrection that is the Easter Octave. From I Vespers of 'Low', 'White' or 'Quasimodo' (from the EF Introit) Sunday though, the rejoicing tones down a little at least, as move into the still very relaxed and joyful season of Easter-tide.
This Sunday, the Octave Day of Easter, has acquired numerous nicknames because of its rich liturgical history.
The name White Sunday is probably the oldest, since it comes from the association with the day the newly baptised put aside their white garments.
The term Low Sunday is to contrast it with Easter, or 'High' Sunday.
And of course in the Novus Ordo it has acquired yet another, as Divine Mercy Sunday (a Pope John Paul II innovation).
I have to admit that I always find the brief reversion in the psalter to the psalms of Saturday tonight for I Vespers a liturgical oddity (albeit seemingly a longstanding one).
Saturday Vespers aside though, don't be in too much of a hurry to move the ribbons in your Diurnal away from Sunday Lauds and Vespers, because apart from Low Sunday, on Monday we also get to enjoy the Feast of the Annunciation, transferred because of the clash of the normal feast date with Holy Week.
The rubrics for Easter-tide
The Ordinary for Eastertide in the Divine Office is set out at in the Farnborough editions of the Monastic Dirunal at MD 346* ff.
Note especially that at Lauds and Vespers, chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle are of the season, from the temporale and are not included in the psalter section. In addition, the Lauds and Vespers canticles have proper antiphons for each day of the week.
This week's traditional Benedictine calendar:
Sun 7 April Low Sunday, Class I
Mon 8 April Feast of the Annunciation, Class I (transferred from March 25)
Tues 9 April Class IV
Wed 10 April Class IV
Thurs 11 April St Leo I, Class III
Fri 12 April Class IV
Sat 13 April Saturday of Our Lady; St Justin, Memorial