Fourth Sunday after Easter/Fifth Sunday 'of' Easter


This Sunday, the Gospel in the Extraordinary Form, reflected in the canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers in the Monastic Diurnal, is St John 16:5-14.  In the Ordinary Form the Gospel is John 13:1-35.

In the traditional Benedictine calendar this week, the days run as follows:

Sun 28 April Fourth Sunday in Eastertide, Class II
Mon 29 April SS Odo, Majolus, Odilo and Hugh, Class III
Tues 30 April Class IV; St Catherine of Siena, Memorial
Wed 1 May St Joseph the Worker, Class I
Thurs 2 May St Athanasius, Class III
Fri 3 May   Class IV; SS Alexander, Eventius And Theodolus, Memorial
Sat 4 May Saturday of Our Lady; St Monica, Memorial

Third Sunday after Easter




This week in the Office 

Sun 21 April     Third Sunday after Easter, Class II
Mon 22 April    Class IV
Tues 23 April    Class IV; St George, Memorial
Wed 24 April    Class IV
Thurs 25 April   Greater Litanies; St Mark, Class II; ANZAC Day
Fri 26 April       Class IV; St Cletus, Memorial (Australia and NZ: St Mark, transferred)
Sat 27 April      Saturday of Our Lady; St Peter Canisius, Memorial

So which Sunday in Eastertide is it? Take your pick!



One of the more bizarre changes to the calendar in 1970, surely designed only to confuse, was the change in the numbering system of Sundays in certain seasons of the year.  The net result is that while in the Extraordinary Form, this Sunday is the Second Sunday after Easter, in the Ordinary Form it is the Third Sunday of Easter.  Go figure!

Naturally, the Gospels no longer align either - in the EF it is Good Shepherd Sunday (John 10: 11-16); in the OF, the text is John 21:1-19.

That's a shame it seems to me.  Whatever the merits of new lectionary's use of more of Scripture, there are certain texts, reflected in the Churches ancient Sunday Gospel cycle, that every Catholic ought to know more or less by heart, and repeating them every year helps ensure that.  But alas, in the Novus Ordo lectionary, this beautiful and important text comes around only once every three years, and you had your chance last year!

This week's Ordo in the 1962 Benedictine calendar


Sun 14 April   Second Sunday after Easter, Class II; SS Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus,
          Memorial
Tues 16 April   Class IV
Wed 17 April   Class IV
Thurs 18 April  Class IV
Fri 19 April   Class IV
Sat 20 April   Saturday of Our Lady

Quasimodo Sunday and the season of Eastertide...


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 feasts

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