Ordo for the First week of Advent

The liturgical year commences anew!

Notes on the rubrics for Advent (which require a little extra care) can be found here.  The key is to remember that Lauds and Vespers have their own special chapters, hymns and so forth for the season, as well as antiphons for the canticles for each day of the week.  Note that Prime to None also have antiphons for the week (the antiphons of Sunday).

Sunday 29 November – First Sunday of Advent, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon, hymn, antiphons and readings of Sunday I in Advent

Lauds: Proper antiphons, chapter, responsory, hymn etc, MD 4* ff with Psalm schema 1 (50, 117, 62)

Prime to None: Antiphons and proper texts, MD 6* ff

Vespers: Proper texts as for I Vespers, MD 1* except for Magnificat antiphon, MD 8*; with psalms of Sunday

Monday 30 November - St Andrew, Class II

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn from Common of Apostles; antiphons and readings of the feast, psalms from Common of Apostles

Lauds: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast, MD [2] ff with festal psalms; commemoration of the feria, MD 17*

Prime to None: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast with psalms of Monday

Vespers: Antiphons, chapter and hymn of Lauds; psalms from the Common, MD (13); responsory etc, MD [7-8]; commemoration of the feria, MD 17*

Tuesday 1 December – Tuesday in the first week of Advent, Class III

Lauds: Chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 9* ff; Benedictus antiphon, MD 18*; collect, MD 11*

Prime to None: Antiphon for week I, MD 13*; chapter and versicle for Advent; collect, MD 11*

Vespers: Chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 15* ff; Magnificat antiphon, MD 18*; collect, MD 11*

Wednesday 2 December – Wednesday in the first week of Advent, Class III; St Peter Chrysologus, memorial [EF: St Bibiana]

Lauds and Vespers: Psalms of the day, proper texts of the season (Chapter, hymn etc), MD 9* ff; canticle antiphons, MD 18*; collect, MD 11*; for the commemoration, MD [8-9]

Prime to None: Antiphons for week 1, proper texts of Advent

Thursday 3 December – Thursday in the first week of Advent, Class III; St Francis Xavier, memorial  [EF: St Peter Chrysologus; St Barbara]

Lauds and Vespers: Psalms of the day, proper texts of the season, MD 9* ff; canticle antiphons, MD 18*; collect, MD 11*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [9]

Prime to None: Antiphons for week 1, proper texts of Advent

For St Francis Xavier as a Class I feast, see MD 1**

Friday 4 December – Friday in the first week of Advent, Class III [EF: St Peter Chrysologus; St Barbara] [Some monasteries: Illation of the relics of St Benedict]

Lauds and Vespers: Psalms of the day, proper texts of the season, MD 9*ff; canticle antiphons, MD 19*; collect, MD 11*

Prime to None: Antiphons for week 1, proper texts of Advent

Saturday 5 December  - Saturday in the first week of Advent [EF: Commemoration of St Sabbas]

Lauds: Psalms of the day, proper texts of the season, MD 9* ff; canticle antiphon, MD 19*; collect, MD 11*

Prime to None: Antiphons for week 1, proper texts of Advent

I Vespers of the Second Sunday of Advent, MD 19* ff

Apologies for the Ordo...

A couple of apologies...

Some will have noticed the Ordo for next year gradually appearing on the blog or in your reader/email.

Apologies on the lateness of getting out next year's Ordo.  Illness, work pressures and other things have delayed me getting to the final proofread, but I will get the task completed before the new liturgical year commences.

Secondly, apologies to subscribers to the blog who are currently being besieged by emails of random Ordos for months of 2016.  Feel free to delete the emails unread (unless of course you'd care to do a proofread and help catch any mistakes that I may have missed...)!  I'm afraid I haven't been able to think of a sensible way of posting the individual months without it being emailed out, sorry.

Finally, in terms of making the Ordo readily accessible, as with this year, once it is complete you will be able to access the Ordo either:

  • for each month, from the blog;
  • posts coming out each week, available either from the blog or by subscribing to it (you can sign up on the blog for posts to be emailed out);
  • in PDF for the whole year posted to the Benedictine office help yahoo group. 
If there are any other options you'd like me to consider, or suggestions/comments on the Ordo itself, now is a good time to email me.

Twenty-sixth and last Sunday after Pentecost


Sunday 22 November – Twenty-sixth and last Sunday after Pentecost

Matins:  Fifth Sunday of November for Nocturns I&II readings

Lauds: Psalm schema 1 (50, 117, 62); hymn Aeterne Reum Conditor; canticle antiphon MD 487*

Prime to None: All as for Sunday in the psalter, with collect MD 487*

Vespers: Canticle antiphon and collect, MD 487*

Monday 23 November - St Clement, Class III; St Felicas, memorial

Matins: responsories and reading three of the feast

Lauds: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast, MD [377] ff with festal psalms

Prime to None: Antiphons of Lauds, proper texts of the feast, psalms of Monday

Vespers: Antiphons from Lauds; proper texts and psalms from Common of a martyr, MD (36); Magnificat antiphon, MD [382]

Tuesday 24 November - Class IV;  SS John of the Cross and Chrysogonus, memorials [EF: St John of the Cross]

All as in the psalter; collect MD 487*; for the commemorations, MD [382-3]

Wednesday 25 November – Class IV; St Catherine, memorial [EF: Class III]

All as in the psalter; collect MD 487*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [383-4]

Thursday 26 November – Class IV; St Sylvester, memorial [EF: Class III]

All as in the psalter; collect, MD 487*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [384]

Friday 27 November – Class IV

All as in the psalter; collect, MD 487*

Saturday 28 November – Saturday of Our Lady

Matins to None: At Matins, reading of Saturday 4&5 of November; Lauds to None, MD (129) ff;

ADVENT

Vespers: I Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent, MD 1*

Compline: Marian antiphon Alma Redemptoris Mater henceforward

Ordo for the twenty-fifth week after Pentecost (6th remaining after Epiphany)


Sunday 15 November – Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost (Sixth remaining after Epiphany), Class II; St Albert the Great, memorial

Matins: Fourth Sunday of November

Lauds: Psalm schema 1 (50, 117, 62); hymn Aeterne Reum Conditor; canticle antiphon and collect, MD 486*; for the commemoration, MD [362-3]

Prime to None: All as for Sunday in the psalter, with collect MD 486*

Vespers: Canticle antiphon and collect, MD 486*

Monday 16 November – Class IV [EF: St Gertrude]

All as in the psalter; collect, MD 486*

Tuesday 17 November - St Gertrude, Class II/III [EF: St Gregory Thaumaturgis]

Matins: Invitatory antiphon, hymn and three readings and responsories of the feast (if Class II, antiphons, readings and responsories of the feast, psalms from the Common of Virgins)

Lauds: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast, MD [363] ff; festal psalms

Prime to None: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast, psalms of Tuesday

Vespers: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast, psalms from the Common of Virgins

Wednesday 18 November - Dedication of the Basilicas of SS Peter and Paul, Class III

Lauds to Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of Wednesday with the rest from the Common for the Dedication of a Church, MD (114); collect, MD [371]

Thursday 19 November - Class IV [EF: St Elizabeth]

All as in the psalter; collect, MD 486*

Friday 20 November – Class IV [**In some places: St Edmund; EF: St Felix of Valois]

All as in the psalter; collect, MD 486*

For St Edmund see MD 58**

Saturday 21 November – Presentation of the BVM, Class III; Commemoration of St Columba

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn from the Common of feasts of the BVM; reading three of the feast

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of Saturday; rest from the Common of feasts of the BVM except for the canticle antiphons, collect, and commemoration at Lauds, MD [371] ff

Prime to None: Antiphons and rest as appropriate from the Common of feasts of the BVM with psalms of Saturday; collect, MD [371]



I Vespers of the Fifth Sunday of November, MD 461*; collect of the last Sunday after Pentecost, MD 487*

Interested in saying the Benedictine Office?

If you've just bought a book to say the traditional Benedictine Office with, such as the (Farnborough edition) Monastic Diurnal, or are considering doing so, let me welcome you to a wonderful source of spiritual nourishment!

There are, though, some things you need to consider before embarking on this journey.

(1) The traditional Benedictine Office is said in Latin.

The Monastic Diurnal provides the text of the Office in both Latin and English, however the English is not approved for liturgical use, it is there for study purposes only.  Pope Benedict XVI confirmed in Universae Ecclesiae that permission to use the 1962 books is for the Latin text only.  While that clarification was made specifically in relation to the Roman Office, it almost certainly applies to the Benedictine as well.

That doesn't mean you have to have studied Latin formally though - you just need to learn to pronounce the words adequately (for example by listening to monastic podcasts of the Office, or working with sound files or videos of the psalms), and get a general sense of what it is that you are saying.

(2) The traditional Benedictine Office is properly sung

While monks and nuns away from their monasteries can and do just say the Office quietly to themselves, the Benedictine Office is properly sung.  This reflects the instruction of numerous of the Fathers who attested to the benefits of singing the psalms, which are the core of the Benedictine Office.

You don't have to be an expert singer  though, or know Gregorian chant - most monasteries sing at least some of their Office each day on one note.  But if you are interested in Benedictine spirituality, you should at least try and make the effort to listen to the Office being sung, and/or sing it yourself, as a  regular part of your regime.

 (3) The Monastic Diurnal is keyed to the 1962 Extraordinary Form calendar

The Office and the Mass are linked, and the calendar used in the Diurnal is that of the 1962 Extraordinary Form, with some small differences in saints and a few feast days to reflect its use by Benedictines.  In particular:

  • the collect used each day at most of the hours (except Prime and Compline) is normally the same as at Sunday or the weekday Mass;
  • the 'antiphons'  used on feast days and Sundays normally reflect the feasts celebrated at Mass.
It is possible to use the traditional calendar for the Office and the modern one for Mass, but this is obviously not ideal.  And it is possible to adapt the Office as set out in the Diurnal to reflect the modern calendar, but most people find that this requires too much effort.

(4)  The Monastic Diurnal only covers the day hours of the Office

The Diurnal contains the 'hours' of Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline, those parts of the Office that are said during the day (prayers said at first light to those said before bed).

It is not compulsory (for laypeople) to say any or all of these hours, and for most people one or two hours (Prime and Compline are good choices for morning and evening prayer for example) will be enough.

If you really want to say all of the psalms, however, be aware that the Diurnal does not include the Night Office, Matins, and there is no equivalent semi-official Latin-English book for Matins.

(5) The Benedictine Office contains a lot of repetition

If you said all of the day hours (ie those contained in the Diurnal), you would be saying 26 psalms each day.  That adds up to 182 in total each week.

But although this form of the Office spreads all of the psalms over the course of a week, St Benedict wanted a lot of the psalms to be repeated each day, presumably because he thought those particular psalms were important for the formation of his particular spirituality.  

In fact overall, ten psalms are said every day in the Benedictine office (Ps 3, 4, 50(51), 90 (91), 94 (95), 133 (134), and 148-150).  An additional nine psalms (the first of the Gradual Psalms, 119(120)-127(8)) are said five days a week.

The hours repeated psalms - Compline is the same each night, five of the psalms at Lauds each day, Terce to None are the same five times a week - give the individual hours a particular flavour, and contain key messages worth memorising.  

But if you are looking for lots of variety, you either need to pick your hours (Prime doesn't have any repeated psalms, and Vespers is normally different each day, aside from special sets of psalms used on feasts) or consider whether this is really the Office for you.  In fact Matins is the workhorse of the Benedictine Office with twelve different psalms each day.

(6) The Monastic Diurnal uses the Vulgate 

It is also worth noting that the Diurnal uses the traditional Vulgate translation of the Psalms into Latin (attributed to St Jerome), not the 1979 'neo-Vulgate' Latin on the Vatican site and used by some monasteries (ie monasteries using the Ordinary Form of the Mass but retaining Latin for the Office).

There are key advantages to using the traditional Vulgate.  First, it is closer or identical to the Latin used by the Fathers, so lines up better with the Patristic readings used in the Office.  It also aligns with the antiphons and other texts used in the chants of the Office.  Moreover, as it turns out, the 1979 neo-Vulgate is rapidly proving to be a product of its time, with more recent scholarship (reflecting research based on the Dead Seas Scrolls in particular) casting down on the desirability of many of the translation decisions taken.

It does mean, however, that the numbering of the psalms mostly does not line up with modern Bibles.

I should also note that there is a version of the Benedictine Office available using the neo-Vulgate published by Solesmes, however there is no official English version of it.

(7) Learning the Office requires effort

Finally, in part because of the factors listed above the Office takes some effort to learn how to say correctly.

The traditional Benedictine Office is quite different to the modern Liturgy of the Hours in many respects, and the Diurnal is not a very user friendly book.  The Diurnal does include most of the instructions necessary to say the Office (albeit with a bit of work), but it does not contain a translation of the full 1962 rubrics.

The Diurnal basically assumes you already know the rubrics and are familiar with this form of the Office.  Accordingly, you will almost certainly need some help to learn to say it.

And given that this is liturgy, the formal, official prayer of the Church, and not just a devotion, being prepared to make that effort is important.

(8) How to get started

If the above hasn't put you off, and you are interested in doing a comprehensive course on the Benedictine Office, contact me, Kate Edwards.  The course is free, self-paced, and uses a mix of text, videos and podcasts, and can be accessed through a private blog.

In the meantime, you should check out my post on finding your way around the Diurnal.

The best place to start in terms of actually saying the Office is Compline.  

Ordo for twenty-fourth week after Pentecost (5th after Epiphany)


Sunday 8 November – Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost (Fifth Sunday remaining after Epiphany, Class II ; The Four Crowned, Martyrs, memorial

Matins: Third Sunday of November

Lauds: Psalm schema 1 (50, 117, 62); hymn Aeterne Reum Conditor; canticle antiphon MD 485*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [345]

Prime to None: All as for Sunday in the psalter, with collect MD 485*

Vespers: Canticle antiphon and collect, MD 485*

Monday 9 November- Dedication of the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour (St John Lateran)

All from the Common for the Dedication of a Church, MD [345]

Tuesday 10 November – Class IV; St Theodore, memorial [EF: St Andrew Avellino]

All as in the psalter; collect, MD 485*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [346]

Wednesday 11 November - St Martin of Tours, Class II

Matins: Invitatory antiphon, hymn, antiphons, readings etc of the feast; psalms from the Common of a Confessor Bishop

Lauds: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast, MD [346] ff with festal psalms of Sunday

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds

Terce to None: Antiphon, etc of the feast

Vespers: Antiphons of Lauds with psalms from Common of a Confessor Bishop, MD (68); proper texts of the feast, MD [350] ff

Thursday 12 November – Class IV; St Mennes, memorial [EF: St Martin I]

All as in the psalter; collect, MD 485*; for the commemoration, MD [352-3]

Friday 13 November – All Saints of the Benedictine Order, Class II [EF: St Didacus]

Lauds: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast, MD [353] ff with festal psalms of Sunday

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds

Terce to None: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast

Vespers: Antiphons and other texts, MD [358], psalms from the Common of Martyrs, MD (47)

Saturday 14 November – All Souls of the Benedictine Order, Class II [EF: St Josaphat]

All as for All Souls Day, MD [337] ff except for the collects, MD [360] ff (note the separate collect for Prime)

I Vespers of the Fourth Sunday of November, MD 460*/Sixth remaining Sunday after Epiphany, MD 486* with a commemoration of All Souls