First Sunday of Advent

The Prophet Isaiah
The liturgical year starts afresh today from I Vespers, with the start of Advent, a season which the Catholic Encyclopedia tells us is a time for the faithful to:

  • prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
  • thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and
  • thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world.

At Matins over the next few weeks, the Book of Isaiah is read.

Advent in the Benedictine Office

The rubrics for Advent are quite complex, so do have a read of this post on them in order to refresh your memory or get up to speed on them for the first time.  The bottom line is that you will need to use ribbons or place-markers in your breviary or Diurnal to make sure you use the right antiphons and so forth.

In summary, for the period up to December 17, the Ordinary for the Office in Advent is set out in the Monastic Diurnal at 8-17*.

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.

This week in the traditional Benedictine Office

Sun 1 Dec First Sunday of Advent, Class I 

Matins readings: I: Isaiah 1:1-11  II: Sermon of St Leo III: Homily of St Gregory Gospel: Luke 21: 25-33

Mon 2 Dec Monday in the first week of Advent, Class III; St Peter Chrysologus, memorial

Matins readings: Is 1:16-28

Tues 3 Dec Tuesday in the first week of Advent, Class III; St Francis Xavier, memorial 

Matins readings: Is 2: 1-9

Wed 4 Dec Wednesday in the first week of Advent, Class III

Matins readings: Is 3:1-11

Thurs Dec 5 Thursday in the first week of Advent, Class III

Matins readings: Is 4:1-3; 5: 1-7

Friday in the first week of Advent, Class III; St Nicolas, Memorial

Matins readings: Is 6: 1-10


Sat 7 Dec St Ambrose, Class III

Matins readings: Is 7: 1-6; reading 3 on the saint's life



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