St Andrew (Nov 30)


St Andrew was the first-called of the apostles and the brother of St Peter.

Here is Pope Benedict XVI's catechesis on the saint from a General Audience given in 2006:

"...today we shall speak of Simon Peter's brother, St Andrew, who was also one of the Twelve.

The first striking characteristic of Andrew is his name:  it is not Hebrew, as might have been expected, but Greek, indicative of a certain cultural openness in his family that cannot be ignored. We are in Galilee, where the Greek language and culture are quite present. Andrew comes second in the list of the Twelve, as in Matthew (10: 1-4) and in Luke (6: 13-16); or fourth, as in Mark (3: 13-18) and in the Acts (1: 13-14). In any case, he certainly enjoyed great prestige within the early Christian communities.

The kinship between Peter and Andrew, as well as the joint call that Jesus addressed to them, are explicitly mentioned in the Gospels. We read:  "As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men'" (Mt 4: 18-19; Mk 1: 16-17).

From the Fourth Gospel we know another important detail:  Andrew had previously been a disciple of John the Baptist:  and this shows us that he was a man who was searching, who shared in Israel's hope, who wanted to know better the word of the Lord, the presence of the Lord.

He was truly a man of faith and hope; and one day he heard John the Baptist proclaiming Jesus as:  "the Lamb of God" (Jn 1: 36); so he was stirred, and with another unnamed disciple followed Jesus, the one whom John had called "the Lamb of God". The Evangelist says that "they saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day..." (Jn 1: 37-39).

Thus, Andrew enjoyed precious moments of intimacy with Jesus. The account continues with one important annotation:  "One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah' (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus" (Jn 1: 40-43), straightaway showing an unusual apostolic spirit.

Andrew, then, was the first of the Apostles to be called to follow Jesus. Exactly for this reason the liturgy of the Byzantine Church honours him with the nickname:  "Protokletos", [protoclete] which means, precisely, "the first called".

And it is certain that it is partly because of the family tie between Peter and Andrew that the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople feel one another in a special way to be Sister Churches. To emphasize this relationship, my Predecessor Pope Paul VI, in 1964, returned the important relic of St Andrew, which until then had been kept in the Vatican Basilica, to the Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop of the city of Patras in Greece, where tradition has it that the Apostle was crucified.

The Gospel traditions mention Andrew's name in particular on another three occasions that tell us something more about this man. The first is that of the multiplication of the loaves in Galilee. On that occasion, it was Andrew who pointed out to Jesus the presence of a young boy who had with him five barley loaves and two fish:  not much, he remarked, for the multitudes who had gathered in that place (cf. Jn 6: 8-9).

In this case, it is worth highlighting Andrew's realism. He noticed the boy, that is, he had already asked the question:  "but what good is that for so many?" (ibid.), and recognized the insufficiency of his minimal resources. Jesus, however, knew how to make them sufficient for the multitude of people who had come to hear him.

The second occasion was at Jerusalem. As he left the city, a disciple drew Jesus' attention to the sight of the massive walls that supported the Temple. The Teacher's response was surprising:  he said that of those walls not one stone would be left upon another. Then Andrew, together with Peter, James and John, questioned him:  "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?" (Mk 13: 1-4).

In answer to this question Jesus gave an important discourse on the destruction of Jerusalem and on the end of the world, in which he asked his disciples to be wise in interpreting the signs of the times and to be constantly on their guard.

From this event we can deduce that we should not be afraid to ask Jesus questions but at the same time that we must be ready to accept even the surprising and difficult teachings that he offers us.

Lastly, a third initiative of Andrew is recorded in the Gospels:  the scene is still Jerusalem, shortly before the Passion. For the Feast of the Passover, John recounts, some Greeks had come to the city, probably proselytes or God-fearing men who had come up to worship the God of Israel at the Passover Feast. Andrew and Philip, the two Apostles with Greek names, served as interpreters and mediators of this small group of Greeks with Jesus.

The Lord's answer to their question - as so often in John's Gospel - appears enigmatic, but precisely in this way proves full of meaning. Jesus said to the two disciples and, through them, to the Greek world:  "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. I solemnly assure you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit" (12: 23-24).

Jesus wants to say:  Yes, my meeting with the Greeks will take place, but not as a simple, brief conversation between myself and a few others, motivated above all by curiosity. The hour of my glorification will come with my death, which can be compared with the falling into the earth of a grain of wheat. My death on the Cross will bring forth great fruitfulness:  in the Resurrection the "dead grain of wheat" - a symbol of myself crucified - will become the bread of life for the world; it will be a light for the peoples and cultures.

Yes, the encounter with the Greek soul, with the Greek world, will be achieved in that profundity to which the grain of wheat refers, which attracts to itself the forces of heaven and earth and becomes bread.

In other words, Jesus was prophesying about the Church of the Greeks, the Church of the pagans, the Church of the world, as a fruit of his Pasch.

Some very ancient traditions not only see Andrew, who communicated these words to the Greeks, as the interpreter of some Greeks at the meeting with Jesus recalled here, but consider him the Apostle to the Greeks in the years subsequent to Pentecost. They enable us to know that for the rest of his life he was the preacher and interpreter of Jesus for the Greek world.

Peter, his brother, travelled from Jerusalem through Antioch and reached Rome to exercise his universal mission; Andrew, instead, was the Apostle of the Greek world. So it is that in life and in death they appear as true brothers - a brotherhood that is symbolically expressed in the special reciprocal relations of the See of Rome and of Constantinople, which are truly Sister Churches.

A later tradition, as has been mentioned, tells of Andrew's death at Patras, where he too suffered the torture of crucifixion. At that supreme moment, however, like his brother Peter, he asked to be nailed to a cross different from the Cross of Jesus. In his case it was a diagonal or X-shaped cross, which has thus come to be known as "St Andrew's cross".

This is what the Apostle is claimed to have said on that occasion, according to an ancient story (which dates back to the beginning of the sixth century), entitled The Passion of Andrew:

"Hail, O Cross, inaugurated by the Body of Christ and adorned with his limbs as though they were precious pearls. Before the Lord mounted you, you inspired an earthly fear. Now, instead, endowed with heavenly love, you are accepted as a gift.

"Believers know of the great joy that you possess, and of the multitude of gifts you have prepared. I come to you, therefore, confident and joyful, so that you too may receive me exultant as a disciple of the One who was hung upon you.... O blessed Cross, clothed in the majesty and beauty of the Lord's limbs!... Take me, carry me far from men, and restore me to my Teacher, so that, through you, the one who redeemed me by you, may receive me. Hail, O Cross; yes, hail indeed!".

Here, as can be seen, is a very profound Christian spirituality. It does not view the Cross as an instrument of torture but rather as the incomparable means for perfect configuration to the Redeemer, to the grain of wheat that fell into the earth.

Here we have a very important lesson to learn:  our own crosses acquire value if we consider them and accept them as a part of the Cross of Christ, if a reflection of his light illuminates them.

It is by that Cross alone that our sufferings too are ennobled and acquire their true meaning.

The Apostle Andrew, therefore, teaches us to follow Jesus with promptness (cf. Mt 4: 20; Mk 1: 18), to speak enthusiastically about him to those we meet, and especially, to cultivate a relationship of true familiarity with him, acutely aware that in him alone can we find the ultimate meaning of our life and death."

Blessed Richard Whiting OSB and Companions (Nov 29)

The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey

In some places today is the feast of Blessed Richard Whiting and companions, martyred under Henry VIII of England.

Blessed Richard was abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, and one of the few churchman to stand up against Henry VIII's destruction of the English Church.

Blessed Richard Whiting was appointed abbot in 1525, and the first ten years of Whiting's rule were prosperous and peaceful. He was a sober and caring spiritual leader and a good manager of the abbey's day-to-day life. Contemporary accounts show that Whiting was held in very high esteem.

Attempts to find excuses to close the abbey failed, and the abbot stood in the way of its dissolution.  He was hung, drawn and quartered without proper trial along with two of his monks in 1539.

St Saturninus (November 29)



Saint Saturninus of Toulouse was, according to the early Acts of his life used by Gregory of Tours, one of the 72 disciples of Christ, and was consecrated bishop by St Peter.

According to his legend, in order to reach his church Saturninus had to pass before the capitol where there was a pagan altar.  The pagan priests ascribed the silence of their oracles to the frequent presence of Saturninus, and one day they seized him and on his unshakeable refusal to sacrifice to the images they condemned him to be tied by the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke.

The site, said to be "where the bull stopped" is on the rue du Taur ("Street of the Bull"). The street with the Mithraic name is one of the original Roman cross streets running straight from the Capitole now to the Romanesque basilica honoring St. Saturnin ("St Sernin").

Ordo for the first week of Advent

LOS TRES REYES MAGOS A CABALLO 1140 CANTERBURY:


Below are notes to help you say the Office during the first week of Advent.  Please be aware that these assume you are already familiar with the structure and rubrics for these hours - if you are just starting out on saying the Office, I'd suggest starting here.

Advent

This is the first week of Advent, and the traditional Benedictine Office becomes much more elaborate than usual during this period.

For a general introduction to the Office during Advent, please go and take a look at this post: the Office during Advent.

I have also put out a recent series of rubrics notes on the individual hours:

Matins in Advent
Lauds in Advent
Prime and Compline in Advent
Terce, Sext and None in Advent
Vespers in Advent; Lauds pt II

Order of recitation for the first week of Advent 


Note: all page references (indicated by MD) refer to the Monastic Diurnal (published by St Michael's Abbey).


Saturday 26 November – Saturday of Our Lady; St Sylvester, memorial [EF: Class III]

Matins to None: At Matins, Saturday 4&5 of November; Lauds to None, MD (129) ff; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [384]

END OF TIME AFTER PENTECOST – START OF ADVENT

I Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent, MD 1* (psalms of Saturday with antiphon, chapter etc of I Vespers)

Compline: Marian antiphon Alma Redemptoris Mater, MD 265 henceforward


Sunday 27 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: Antiphon, MD 6*

Terce to None: Antiphons and proper texts, MD 7* ff

Vespers: Proper texts as for I Vespers, MD 1* except for Magnificat antiphon, MD 8*; with psalms of Sunday, MD 203

Monday 28 November – Monday in the first week of Advent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings of the Advent day (Monday in first week of Advent)

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of Monday; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 9* ff; Benedictus antiphon, MD 17*; collect, MD 11*; 

Prime: Antiphon for week I, MD 13*

Terce to None: Antiphon for Advent wk I, MD 13* ff; chapter and versicle for Advent; collect, MD 11*

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of Monday; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for Advent, MD 15* ff; Magnificat antiphon, MD 17*; collect, MD 11*

Tuesday 29 November – Tuesday in the first week of Advent, Class III; St Saturinus, memorial

Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings of the day 

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Advent, MD 9* (Prime to None antiphons of wk I, MD 13* ff); collect (Sunday I), MD 11*; canticle antiphons at Lauds and Vespers, MD 18*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [385]

Wednesday 30 November - St Andrew, Class II

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

Lauds: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast, MD [3] ff with festal psalms; commemoration of the feria, MD 18*/11*

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

Vespers: Antiphons, chapter and hymn of Lauds; psalms from the Common, MD (13); responsory etc, MD [7-8]; commemoration of the feria, MD 18*/17*/11*


Thursday 1 December – Thursday in the first week of Advent, Class III [In some places: Blessed Richard, Hugo, John and Companions]

For Blessed Richard…MD 1**

Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings of the Advent day 

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Advent, MD 9* ff (Prime to None antiphons of wk I, MD 13* ff); collect (Sunday I), MD 11*; canticle antiphons at Lauds and Vespers, MD 18*

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

Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings of the Advent day 

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Advent, MD 9* ff (Prime to None antiphons of wk I, MD 13* ff); collect (Sunday I), MD 11*; canticle antiphons at Lauds and Vespers, MD 19*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [8-9]

Saturday 3 December - Saturday in the first week of Advent; St Francis Xavier, memorial [EF: Class III; Class I in some places]

Matins: Ordinary of Advent (Invitatory, hymn, versicles and chapter) with three readings of the Advent day 

Lauds to VespersPsalms of Saturday with Ordinary of Advent, MD 9* (Prime to None antiphons of wk I, MD 13* ff); collect (Sunday I), MD 11*; canticle antiphons at Lauds, MD 19*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [9]

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

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

St Sylvester OSB (Nov 26)




Saint Sylvester Gozzolini (1177 - 1267) is the founder of the Sylvestrine Congregation:

"Born of the noble family of the Gozzolini at Osimo, Marche, he was sent to study jurisprudence at Bologna and Padua, but, feeling within himself a call to the ecclesiastical state, abandoned the study of law for that of theology and Holy Scripture, giving long hours daily to prayer. On his return home we are told that his father, angered at his change of purpose, refused to speak to him for ten years. Sylvester then accepted a canonry at Osimo and devoted himself to pastoral work with such zeal as to arouse the hostility of his bishop, whom he had respectfully rebuked for the scandals caused by the prelate's irregular life.

The saint was threatened with the loss of his canonry, but decided to leave the world on seeing the decaying corpse of one who had formerly been noted for great beauty. In 1227 he retired to a desert place about thirty miles from Osimo and lived there in the utmost poverty until he was recognized by the owner of the land, a certain nobleman named Conrad, who offered him a better site for his hermitage. From this spot he was driven by damp and next established himself at Grotta Fucile, where he eventually built a monastery of his order.

In this place his penances were most severe, for he lived on raw herbs and water and slept on the bare ground. Disciples flocked to him seeking his direction, and it became necessary to choose a rule. According to the legend the various founders appeared to him in a vision, each begging him to adopt his rule. St. Sylvester chose for his followers that of St. Benedict and built his first monastery on Montefano, where, like another St. Benedict, he had first to destroy the remains of a pagan temple.

In 1247 he obtained from Innocent IV, at Lyon, a papal bull confirming his order, and before his death founded a number of monasteries."

Today the congregation has nineteen houses, eleven of them in Asia, on in Australia, one in the US, and the rest in Italy.

Ordo for 2016-2017 liturgical year

As some people seem to have noticed, the Ordo for the upcoming liturgical year is now available on the blog by month.

A big thank you to all who looked at the drafts (even if you couldn't find anything to comment on),  I appreciate the thought and the effort.

Accessing the Ordo

As usual, I have scheduled it to appear in weekly chunks each Saturday afternoon (Australian time), and you can use the subscribe option in the right-hand side bar to receive these and other material posted on the blogs in your email box.

For some reason I have been unable to upload it to yahoo groups as yet, so pending resolution of the problem, if you would like a copy of the PDF version for the whole year, please email me.

Can I please asks you to...

As usual, can you please alert me to any possible errors, so I can catch them for next time at the very least!

In addition, can I ask for your prayers:

  • for the intentions of those who kindly proofread parts or all of it;
  • for me by way of reparation for any remaining errors or omissions (including in past Ordos); and 
  • if you would, for my intentions more generally.

November 25: St Catherine of Alexandria


Saint Catherine of Alexandria (born c282), is a martyr who was a noted scholar.

The daughter of a pagan governor of Alexandria, she converted to Christianity in her teens, she visited the Roman Emperor Maxentius, and attempted to convince him to stop persecuting Christians. She succeeded in converting his wife and many pagan philosophers whom the Emperor sent to dispute with her, all of whom were subsequently martyred.  The Emperor ordered her to be imprisoned;  when the people who visited her were also converted, she was condemned to death on the breaking wheel (subsequently known as the Katherine wheel in her honour), an instrument of torture. According to legend, the wheel itself broke when she touched it, so she was beheaded.

She is one of the fourteen holy helper saints, most often invoked for protection against a sudden and unprovided-for death.  She is also patroness of philosphers and preachers.

November 24: St Chrysogonus, Martyr, Memorial


As well as St John of the Cross, today is also the memorial of St Chrysogonus, who was martyred under Diocletian at Aquileia.  A titular church in Rome, probably dating originally from the fourth century, at Trastevere, bears his name.

According to his legend (from the Catholic Encyclopedia), Chrysogonus was a functionary of the vicarius Urbis, and was the Christian teacher of Anastasia, the daughter of the noble Roman Praetextatus. Being thrown into prison during the persecution of Diocletian, he comforted by his letters the severely afflicted Anastasia. By order of Diocletian, Chrysogonus was brought before the emperor at Aquileia, condemned to death, and beheaded. His corpse, thrown into the sea, was washed ashore and buried by the aged priest, Zoilus.

November 24: SS John of the Cross Memorial


Saint John of the Cross (1542 – 1591) was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered, along with Saint Teresa of Ávila, as a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. He is best known for his mystical works.

He (and St Teresa) are witnesses to the potential and difficulties of reforming an existing order from within:
On the night of 2 December 1577, John was taken prisoner by his superiors in the calced Carmelites, who had launched a counter-program against John and Teresa's reforms. John had refused an order to return to his original house, on the basis that his reform work had been approved by the Spanish Nuncio, a higher authority than John's direct superiors in the calced Carmlites. John was jailed in Toledo, where he was kept under a brutal regimen that included public lashing before the community at least weekly, and severe isolation in a tiny stifling cell barely large enough for his body. He managed to escape nine months later, on 15 August 1578, through a small window in a room adjoining his cell. (He had managed to pry the cell door off its hinges earlier that day). In the meantime, he had composed a great part of his most famous poem Spiritual Canticle during this imprisonment; his harsh sufferings and spiritual endeavours are then reflected in all of his subsequent writings. The paper was passed to him by one of the friars guarding his cell.
After returning to a normal life, he went on with the reformation and the founding of monasteries for the new Discalced Carmelite order, which he had helped found along with his fellow St. Teresa de Ávila.
He died on 14 December 1591, of erysipelas (cellulitis).

St Clement I, Pope and Martyr, Class III; St Felicity memorial (23 November)


St Clement (c96 AD) was St Peter's successor as Bishop of Rome.  His only surviving writing, a letter to the community at Corinth (which deals with a dispute over priests that had been removed from office for assorted offences) is important evidence for the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in the early Church.  It also provides an early assertion for the authority of priests in relation to the laity, a useful counter to 'congregationalism' (while also demonstrating that there are no new heresies, no new disputes in the Church; only old ones reborn...).

Reading 3 of Matins on the saint:
Clement, a Roman and disciple of blessed Peter, assigned each of the seven districts of the City to a notary who was to investigate carefully the sufferings of the Martyrs and their deeds and to write them down. He himself wrote a great deal to explain the Christian religion rightly for the salvation of others, Because he was converting many to the faith of Christ by his teaching, and the holiness of his life, he was exiled by the emperor Trajan to the wilderness near the city of Cherson across the Black Sea. There, he found two thousand Christians who had been similarly condemned by the emperor. When he had converted many nonbelievers in that region to the faith of Christ, at the command of the same emperor he was cast into the sea with an anchor tied to his neck, and won the crown of martyrdom. His body was later brought to Rome by Pope Nicholas I and honorably buried in the Church which had already been dedicated to him.


St Felicitas of Rome (c. 101 - 165) is an early martyr who was buried in the Cemetery of Maximus, on the Via Salaria on a 23 November.  She was the mother of the seven martyrs whose feast is celebrated on 10 July.

Feast of St Caecilia

Domenico Zampieri (or Domenichino; 1581 – 1641) 
Reading 3 for Matins on the saint:
Cecilia, a Roman virgin of noble birth, vowed her virginity to God at a very early age. Given in marriage against her will to Valerian, she persuaded him to leave her untouched and go to blessed Urban, the Pope, that when he had been baptized he might be worthy to see Cecilia's angelic protector. When Valerian had obtained this favour, he converted his brother Tiburtius to Christ, and a little later both were martyred under the prefect Almachius. But Cecilia was seized by the same prefect because she had distributed the two brothers' wealth to the poor, and orders were given to have her suffocated in a bath. When the heat dared not harm her, she was struck three times with an axe, and left half dead. After three days she received the palm of virginity and of martyrdom, and was buried in the cemetery of Callistus. Her body and those of Popes Urban and Lucius, and of Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus were transferred by Pope Paschal I to the church in the City dedicated to St. Cecilia.

November 21: Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, Class III; St Columbanus, Memorial

c1460-5
The basis for the feast of the Presentation lies in the infancy narrative contained in the Protoevangelium of James, which was possibly written around 145 AD, though the feast itself dates from 543.

Some modern historians claim the Protoevangelium is a fraud, as it does not reflect an awareness of the Judaism of the time, claiming, for example, that the idea of temple virgins is a conflation of Roman practice.

In reality, however, there are explicit Old Testament references to vows of celibacy. In addition, there were several contemporary Jewish groups with close connections to Jesus and his family, such as the Essenes, that did practice celibacy. And we also have from Scripture the story of the Prophetess Anna (Lk 2:25-35), who lived constantly in the Temple.

Accordingly, though not inspired Scripture, the early date of the Protoevangelium of James suggests that it should be taken seriously as relating a genuine early historical tradition regarding to Our Lady.

According to the text, Mary's parents, Joachim and Anne, who had been childless, received a heavenly message that they would bear a child. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter, they brought her, when still a child, to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God, and she was educated for her future role there.

St Columbanus


Picture of Saint Columbanus

St Columbanus (540-615) was an Irish monk missionary responsible for founding many monasteries on the continent.  His brand of monasticism was much stricter and more penitential in orientation than St Benedict's, and the two rules were often used in combination.

St Columbanus suffered early temptations, and sought out advice from a holy woman who advised him to retire from the world; his decision was, however, strongly opposed by his parents.

His first master was Sinell, Abbot of Cluaninis in Lough Erne. Under his tuition he composed a commentary on the Psalms. He then went to the monastery of Bangor under St Comgall. There he embraced the monastic state, and for many years led a life conspicuous for fervour, regularity, and learning.

At about the age of forty he seemed to hear incessantly the voice of God bidding him preach the Gospel in foreign lands. At first his abbot declined to let him go, but at length he gave consent.
Columbanus set sail with twelve companions.  They eventually arrived in France around 585.

He and his followers soon made their way to the court of Gontram, King of Burgundy, who invited him to establish a monastery at Annegray in the solitudes of the Vosges Mountains.  After a few years the ever-increasing number of his disciples oblige him to build another monastery, which he established at Luxeuil, in 590.  A third followed at Fontaines.

His efforts ran into opposition from the local bishops, however, in part because he insisted on the Irish rather than Roman date for the celebration of Easter, but after assorted appeals to Rome, appears to have given way on this.

He also ran into trouble with the local king: the young King Thierry, to whose kingdom Luxeuil belonged, was living a life of debauchery, and was encouraged in this by his grandmother (his regent) who wanted no rivals for power.  Thierry, however, continued to visit the saint, who admonished and rebuked him, but in vain.

St Columbanus was taken prisoner but escaped, whereupon the King attempted to deport him to Ireland.   The ship, however, was driven ashore and the captain freed him, and he made his way to Metz, Mainz and Switzerland and Italy to evangelize, ending up at Bobbio.

The Rule of Saint Columbanus embodied the customs of Bangor Abbey and other Celtic monasteries. Much shorter than the Rule of Saint Benedict, the Rule of Saint Columbanus consists of ten chapters, on the subjects of obedience, silence, food, poverty, humility, chastity, choir offices, discretion, mortification, and perfection.

In the seventh chapter, Columbanus instituted a service of perpetual prayer, the laus perennis, by which choir succeeded choir, both day and night.

The Rule of Saint Columbanus was approved of by the Synod of Mâcon in 627, but it was superseded at the close of the century by the Rule of Saint Benedict. For several centuries in some of the greater monasteries the two rules were observed conjointly.

Presentation of the BVM (Class III)


The origins of this feast life in the events recorded in the (non-canonical but historically authentic) Protoevangelium of James.

Readings 1&2 are of the day of the week; reading 3 is from John Damascene:

Joachim married Anna a most excellent and praiseworthy woman. Once there had lived another Anna who overcame physical sterility through prayer and a promise to God, and then gave birth to Samuel. In a similar way, our Anne received from God the Mother of God through a vow and heartfelt petition; for she would not yield in any way to the illustrious women of previous ages. Accordingly grace (for the word Anne means grace) gave birth to the Lady (this is signified by the name Mary). Truly Mary became the Lady above all creation in her role as the Mother of the Creator. She was born in Joachim's house near the Probatica, and was presented in the temple. Thereupon "planted in the house of God" had nurtured by His Spirit; like a fruitful olive tree she flowered forth in every virtue. From her mind she drove every worldly or sensual desire; she preserved virginity of soul as well as of body, as was becoming to one destined to carry God in her very bosom.



Last Sunday after Pentecost

And so we reach the last Sunday of the liturgical year!

At Matins this Sunday, the Scripture readings are from the prophet Micah (who prophesied around 740-701 BC).  Micah and Isaiah were contemporaries, and the Chapter of his book set for Sunday Matins (Ch 1) tells of the coming punishment for Israel's sins.  The antiphon for I Vespers though, actually comes from Isaiah 62, and perhaps anticipates the promises contained in later chapters of Micah for the preservation of a remnant, and the coming of the new David in glory.



Isaiah 62 up to and including the antiphon reads as follows:

"For Sion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for the sake of Jerusalem, I will not rest till her just one come forth as brightness, and her saviour be lighted as a lamp.

And the Gentiles shall see your just one, and all kings your glorious one: and you shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. And you shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be called Forsaken: and your land shall no more be called Desolate: but you shall be called My pleasure in her, and your land inhabited.

Because the Lord has been well pleased with you: and your land shall be inhabited. For the young man shall dwell with the virgin, and your children shall dwell in you. And the bridegroom shall rejoice over the bride, and your God shall rejoice over you.

Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen all the day, and all the night, they shall never hold their peace...."



The Gospel this Sunday, referred to in the two canticle antiphons, is Matthew 24:15-35, which is a prophecy of the end times:

"When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that reads let him understand. Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains: And he that is on the housetop, let him not come down to take anything out of his house: And he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat. And woe to them that are with child and that give suck in those days.  But pray that your flight be not in the winter or on the sabbath. For there shall be then great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be....And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven. And then shall all tribes of the earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty. And he shall send his angels with a trumpet and a great voice: and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them... Amen I say to you that this generation shall not pass till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass: but my words shall not pass."

November 20: St Mechtilde OSB (in some places)


The feast of St Mechtilde is not celebrated in all places, but I thought I'd put put a piece in her honour anyway!

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, she was:
 
"Benedictine; born in 1240 or 1241 at the ancestral castle of Helfta, near Eisleben, Saxony; died in the monastery of Helfta, 19 November, 1298.
 
She belonged to one of the noblest and most powerful Thuringian families, while here sister was the saintly and illustrious Abbess Gertrude von Hackeborn....So fragile was she at birth, that the attendants, fearing she might die unbaptized, hurried her off to the priest who was just then preparing to say Mass. He was a man of great sanctity, and after baptizing the child, uttered these prophetic words: "What do you fear? This child most certainly will not die, but she will become a saintly religious in whom God will work many wonders, and she will end her days in a good old age." When she was seven years old, having been taken by her mother on a visit to her elder sister Gertrude, then a nun in the monastery of Rodardsdorf, she became so enamoured of the cloister that her pious parents yielded to her entreaties and, acknowledging the workings of grace, allowed her to enter the alumnate. Here, being highly gifted in mind as well as in body, she made remarkable progress in virtue and learning.

Ten years later (1258) she followed her sister, who, now abbess, had transferred the monastery to an estate at Helfta given her by her brothers Louis and Albert. As a nun, Mechtilde was soon distinguished for her humility, her fervour, and that extreme amiability which had characterized her from childhood and which, like piety, seemed hereditary in her race.

While still very young, she became a valuable helpmate to Abbess Gertrude, who entrusted to her direction the alumnate and the choir. Mechtilde was fully equipped for her task when, in 1261, God committed to her prudent care a child of five who was destined to shed lustre upon the monastery of Helfta. This was that Gertrude who in later generations became known as St. Gertrude the Great.

Gifted with a beautiful voice, Mechtilde also possessed a special talent for rendering the solemn and sacred music over which she presided as domna cantrix. All her life she held this office and trained the choir with indefatigable zeal. Indeed, Divine praise was the keynote of her life as it is of her book; in this she never tired, despite her continual and severe physical sufferings, so that in His revelations Christ was wont to call her His "nightingale". Richly endowed, naturally and supernaturally, ever gracious, beloved of all who came within the radius of her saintly and charming personality, there is little wonder that this cloistered virgin should strive to keep hidden her wondrous life. Souls thirsting for consolation or groping for light sought her advice; learned Dominicans consulted her on spiritual matters. At the beginning of her own mystic life it was from St. Mechtilde that St. Gertrude the Great learnt that the marvellous gifts lavished upon her were from God.

Only in her fiftieth year did St. Mechtilde learn that the two nuns in whom she had especially confided had noted down the favours granted her, and, moreover, that St. Gertrude had nearly finished a book on the subject. Much troubled at this, she, as usual, first had recourse to prayer. She had a vision of Christ holding in His hand the book of her revelations, and saying: "All this has been committed to writing by my will and inspiration; and, therefore you have no cause to be troubled about it." He also told her that, as He had been so generous towards her, she must make Him a like return, and that the diffusion of the revelations would cause many to increase in His love; moreover, He wished this book to be called "The Book of Special Grace", because it would prove such to many. When the saint understood that the book would tend to God's glory, she ceased to be troubled, and even corrected the manuscript herself.

Immediately after her death it was made public, and copies were rapidly multiplied, owing chiefly to the widespread influence of the Friars Preachers. Boccaccio tells how, a few years after the death of Mechtilde, the book of her revelations was brought to Florence and popularized under the title of "La Laude di donna Matelda". It is related that the Florentines were accustomed to repeat daily before their sacred images the praises learned from St. Mechtilde's book.

St. Gertrude, to whose devotedness we owe the "Liber Specialis Gratiae" exclaims: "Never has there arisen one like to her in our monastery; nor, alas! I fear, will there ever arise another such!" — little dreaming that her own name would be inseparably linked with that of Mechtilde. With that of St. Gertrude, the body of St. Mechtilde most probably still reposes at Old Helfta thought the exact spot is unknown...."

Ordo for 2017 - Last call for corrections!

Just a call out to anyone who has started looking at the Ordo, or was thinking of doing so - please send in any comments you have asap.

As previously noted, I';m interested in:

  • any errors you can find;
  • anything that is unclear and needs more explanation; and
  • anything you think is missing that might be helpful.

I'm hoping I'll get time later in this coming week to do a final proofread, so I can put it up in time for the new liturgical year.

As usual I plan to:

  • post it in monthly chunks (accessible from a page or sidebar);
  • post it in weekly sections that will appear on the blog each Saturday afternoon (Australian time) - you can subscribe on the blog in order to receive these by email; and 
  • produce a PDF version that can be downloaded.

You can find the current drafts here:

Advent to Christmas
January 14-Septuagesimatide
Lent to Pentecost
Trinity Sunday to the end of Sundays after Pentecost


Ordo for the last week after Pentecost

And herewith the Ordo for the last week of the liturgical year.

Don't forget that the Marian antiphon at Compline changes from Saturday night...

Sunday 20 November – Twenty-Seventh and last Sunday after Pentecost, Class II

Matins: Fifth Sunday

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*

For St Edmund see MD 58**

Monday 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 the day; 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 the day; collect, MD [371]

Tuesday 22 November – St Caecilia, Class III

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

Lauds: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast, MD [373] ff with festal psalms

Prime to None: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast as appropriate, MD [373] ff with psalms of the day

Vespers: Antiphons, chapter and hymn from Lauds, MD [373] ff; psalms from Common of Virgins MD (84); responsory and Magnificat antiphon, MD [377]

Wednesday 23 November - St Clement, Class III; St Felicitas, 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 the day

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

Thursday 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]

Friday 25 November – Class IV; St Catherine of Alexandria, memorial [EF: Class III]

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

Saturday 26 November – Saturday of Our Lady; St Sylvester, memorial [EF: Class III]

Matins to None: At Matins, Saturday 4&5 of November; Lauds to None, MD (129) ff; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [384]

I Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent, MD 1* (psalms of Saturday with antiphon, chapter etc of I Vespers)

Compline: Marian antiphon Alma Redemptoris Mater, MD 265 henceforward

November 18: Dedication of the Basilica of SS Peter and Paul, Class III


This day actually commemorates the dedication of two famous Roman Churches - St Peter's on Vatican Hill, and St Paul without the Walls.  The picture below depicts the cloister of the Benedictine monastery attached to St Paul's.


November 17: St Gertrude the Great OSB, Class II/III


St Gertrude the Great (1256 - 1301) was one of a group of women mystics in this period, a student of St Matilda of Hackleborn.  She has become popular in recent years because her liturgically based piety fits well with modern preoccupations, and for her role in the origins of devotion to the sacred heart.

Pope Benedict XVI recently devoted a General Audience to her:

"St Gertrude the Great, of whom I would like to talk to you today, brings us once again this week to the Monastery of Helfta, where several of the Latin-German masterpieces of religious literature were written by women. Gertrude belonged to this world. She is one of the most famous mystics, the only German woman to be called "Great", because of her cultural and evangelical stature: her life and her thought had a unique impact on Christian spirituality. She was an exceptional woman, endowed with special natural talents and extraordinary gifts of grace, the most profound humility and ardent zeal for her neighbour's salvation. She was in close communion with God both in contemplation and in her readiness to go to the help of those in need.


At Helfta, she measured herself systematically, so to speak, with her teacher, Matilda of Hackeborn, of whom I spoke at last Wednesday's Audience. Gertrude came into contact with Matilda of Magdeburg, another medieval mystic and grew up under the wing of Abbess Gertrude, motherly, gentle and demanding. From these three sisters she drew precious experience and wisdom; she worked them into a synthesis of her own, continuing on her religious journey with boundless trust in the Lord. Gertrude expressed the riches of her spirituality not only in her monastic world, but also and above all in the biblical, liturgical, Patristic and Benedictine contexts, with a highly personal hallmark and great skill in communicating.

Gertrude was born on 6 January 1256, on the Feast of the Epiphany, but nothing is known of her parents nor of the place of her birth. Gertrude wrote that the Lord himself revealed to her the meaning of this first uprooting: "I have chosen you for my abode because I am pleased that all that is lovable in you is my work.... For this very reason I have distanced you from all your relatives, so that no one may love you for reasons of kinship and that I may be the sole cause of the affection you receive" (The Revelations, I, 16, Siena 1994, pp. 76-77).

When she was five years old, in 1261, she entered the monastery for formation and education, a common practice in that period. Here she spent her whole life, the most important stages of which she herself points out. In her memoirs she recalls that the Lord equipped her in advance with forbearing patience and infinite mercy, forgetting the years of her childhood, adolescence and youth, which she spent, she wrote, "in such mental blindness that I would have been capable... of thinking, saying or doing without remorse everything I liked and wherever I could, had you not armed me in advance, with an inherent horror of evil and a natural inclination for good and with the external vigilance of others. "I would have behaved like a pagan... in spite of desiring you since childhood, that is since my fifth year of age, when I went to live in the Benedictine shrine of religion to be educated among your most devout friends" (ibid., II, 23, p. 140f.).

Gertrude was an extraordinary student, she learned everything that can be learned of the sciences of the trivium and quadrivium, the education of that time; she was fascinated by knowledge and threw herself into profane studies with zeal and tenacity, achieving scholastic successes beyond every expectation. If we know nothing of her origins, she herself tells us about her youthful passions: literature, music and song and the art of miniature painting captivated her. She had a strong, determined, ready and impulsive temperament. She often says that she was negligent; she recognizes her shortcomings and humbly asks forgiveness for them. She also humbly asks for advice and prayers for her conversion. Some features of her temperament and faults were to accompany her to the end of her life, so as to amaze certain people who wondered why the Lord had favoured her with such a special love.

From being a student she moved on to dedicate herself totally to God in monastic life, and for 20 years nothing exceptional occurred: study and prayer were her main activities. Because of her gifts she shone out among the sisters; she was tenacious in consolidating her culture in various fields.

Nevertheless during Advent of 1280 she began to feel disgusted with all this and realized the vanity of it all. On 27 January 1281, a few days before the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, towards the hour of Compline in the evening, the Lord with his illumination dispelled her deep anxiety. With gentle sweetness he calmed the distress that anguished her, a torment that Gertrude saw even as a gift of God, "to pull down that tower of vanity and curiosity which, although I had both the name and habit of a nun alas I had continued to build with my pride, so that at least in this manner I might find the way for you to show me your salvation" (ibid., II, p. 87). She had a vision of a young man who, in order to guide her through the tangle of thorns that surrounded her soul, took her by the hand. In that hand Gertrude recognized "the precious traces of the wounds that abrogated all the acts of accusation of our enemies" (ibid., II, 1, p. 89), and thus recognized the One who saved us with his Blood on the Cross: Jesus.

From that moment her life of intimate communion with the Lord was intensified, especially in the most important liturgical seasons Advent-Christmas, Lent-Easter, the feasts of Our Lady even when illness prevented her from going to the choir. This was the same liturgical humus as that of Matilda, her teacher; but Gertrude describes it with simpler, more linear images, symbols and terms that are more realistic and her references to the Bible, to the Fathers and to the Benedictine world are more direct.

Her biographer points out two directions of what we might describe as her own particular "conversion": in study, with the radical passage from profane, humanistic studies to the study of theology, and in monastic observance, with the passage from a life that she describes as negligent, to the life of intense, mystical prayer, with exceptional missionary zeal. The Lord who had chosen her from her mother's womb and who since her childhood had made her partake of the banquet of monastic life, called her again with his grace "from external things to inner life and from earthly occupations to love for spiritual things". Gertrude understood that she was remote from him, in the region of unlikeness, as she said with Augustine; that she had dedicated herself with excessive greed to liberal studies, to human wisdom, overlooking spiritual knowledge, depriving herself of the taste for true wisdom; she was then led to the mountain of contemplation where she cast off her former self to be reclothed in the new. "From a grammarian she became a theologian, with the unflagging and attentive reading of all the sacred books that she could lay her hands on or contrive to obtain. She filled her heart with the most useful and sweet sayings of Sacred Scripture. Thus she was always ready with some inspired and edifying word to satisfy those who came to consult her while having at her fingertips the most suitable scriptural texts to refute any erroneous opinion and silence her opponents" (ibid., I, 1, p. 25).

Gertrude transformed all this into an apostolate: she devoted herself to writing and popularizing the truth of faith with clarity and simplicity, with grace and persuasion, serving the Church faithfully and lovingly so as to be helpful to and appreciated by theologians and devout people.

Little of her intense activity has come down to us, partly because of the events that led to the destruction of the Monastery of Helfta. In addition to The Herald of Divine Love and The Revelations, we still have her Spiritual Exercises, a rare jewel of mystical spiritual literature.

In religious observance our Saint was "a firm pillar... a very powerful champion of justice and truth" (ibid., I, 1, p. 26), her biographer says. By her words and example she kindled great fervour in other people. She added to the prayers and penances of the monastic rule others with such devotion and such trusting abandonment in God that she inspired in those who met her an awareness of being in the Lord's presence. In fact, God made her understand that he had called her to be an instrument of his grace. Gertrude herself felt unworthy of this immense divine treasure, and confesses that she had not safeguarded it or made enough of it. She exclaimed: "Alas! If you had given me to remember you, unworthy as I am, by even only a straw, I would have viewed it with greater respect and reverence that I have had for all your gifts!" (ibid., II, 5, p. 100). Yet, in recognizing her poverty and worthlessness she adhered to God's will, "because", she said, "I have so little profited from your graces that I cannot resolve to believe that they were lavished upon me solely for my own use, since no one can thwart your eternal wisdom. Therefore, O Giver of every good thing who has freely lavished upon me gifts so undeserved, in order that, in reading this, the heart of at least one of your friends may be moved at the thought that zeal for souls has induced you to leave such a priceless gem for so long in the abominable mud of my heart" (ibid., II, 5, p. 100f.).

Two favours in particular were dearer to her than any other, as Gertrude herself writes: "The stigmata of your salvation-bearing wounds which you impressed upon me, as it were, like a valuable necklaces, in my heart, and the profound and salutary wound of love with which you marked it.

"You flooded me with your gifts, of such beatitude that even were I to live for 1,000 years with no consolation neither interior nor exterior the memory of them would suffice to comfort me, to enlighten me, to fill me with gratitude. Further, you wished to introduce me into the inestimable intimacy of your friendship by opening to me in various ways that most noble sacrarium of your Divine Being which is your Divine Heart.... To this accumulation of benefits you added that of giving me as Advocate the Most Holy Virgin Mary, your Mother, and often recommended me to her affection, just as the most faithful of bridegrooms would recommend his beloved bride to his own mother" (ibid., II, 23, p. 145).

Looking forward to never-ending communion, she ended her earthly life on 17 November 1301 or 1302, at the age of about 46. In the seventh Exercise, that of preparation for death, St Gertrude wrote: "O Jesus, you who are immensely dear to me, be with me always, so that my heart may stay with you and that your love may endure with me with no possibility of division; and bless my passing, so that my spirit, freed from the bonds of the flesh, may immediately find rest in you. Amen" (Spiritual Exercises, Milan 2006, p. 148).

It seems obvious to me that these are not only things of the past, of history; rather St Gertrude's life lives on as a lesson of Christian life, of an upright path, and shows us that the heart of a happy life, of a true life, is friendship with the Lord Jesus. And this friendship is learned in love for Sacred Scripture, in love for the Liturgy, in profound faith, in love for Mary, so as to be ever more truly acquainted with God himself and hence with true happiness, which is the goal of our life. Many thanks. "

Brush up your rubrics - Getting ready for Advent - Vespers Part I; Lauds Pt 2

Yesterday I looked at Lauds in the first half of Advent, today a very brief look at Vespers.

Vespers for the first half of Advent

And in fact, Vespers (up to and including December 16) follows exactly the same pattern as Lauds, that is to say:
  • the psalms and antiphons are as set out in the psalter for the day of the week;
  • the chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle are from the 'Ordinary of Advent', MD 15* and onwards in the Diurnal; 
  • the Magnificat antiphon is of the Advent day; and 
  • the collect is of the Advent week or day (for the three Ember Days of week 3).
The hymn to learn is Conditor alme siderum.


Lauds and Vespers between December 17 and December 23

Lauds and Vespers in the final lead up to Christmas is not for beginners!

It has an elaborate mix of  texts for Advent, texts for the Advent day, psalms of the day of the week, antiphons for the day of the week between December 17 and 23, and texts for the particular date.

In particular:

  • at both Lauds and Vespers, the psalms are of the day of the week throughout the year, while the antiphons are of the day of week between December 17-23 (MD 37*);
  • the chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle are from the Ordinary of Advent;
  • the Benedictus antiphon is of the Advent day, except for December 21 and December 23 which have fixed texts (Nolite timere and Ecce completa sunt respectively); and
  • the Magnificat antiphons (the famous O antiphons) are all of the date (MD 35-6*) .

Ordo for March 2017



MARCH 2017

Wednesday 1 March – Ash Wednesday, Class I

Matins: All as throughout the year except for Nocturn II, antiphons of Septuagesima; three readings of the day

Lauds: All as in the psalter for Wednesday throughout the year, except for the collect and Benedictus antiphon, MD 180*

Prime: Antiphon for throughout the year

Terce to None: As for throughout the week and throughout the year, with collect, MD 180*

Vespers: Vespers of Wednesday throughout the year with Magnificat antiphon and collect, MD 180-1*

Thursday 2 March – Thursday after Ash Wednesday, Class III

All as in the psalter for throughout the year, except for three readings and responsories of the day at Matins; canticle antiphons and collect, MD 181-2*

Friday 3 March – Friday after Ash Wednesday, Class III

All as in the psalter for throughout the year, except for the readings, collect and canticle antiphons, MD 182-3*

Saturday 4 March -– Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Class III

All as in the psalter for throughout the year, except for the readings, collect and Benedictus antiphon, MD 183*

I Vespers of the First Sunday of Lent: antiphons and psalms of Saturday, rest from MD 184* ff

Sunday 5 March – First Sunday of Lent, Class I

Matins: Invitatory (Non sit vobis), hymn (Ex more), readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons and proper texts from MD 186* ff, with psalms of Sunday (Ps 50, 117, 62)

Prime to None: Antiphons etc, MD 188* ff

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; rest from I Vespers, Magnificat antiphon, MD 190* ff                       

Monday 6 March - Monday in the first week of Lent, Class III; SS Perpetua and Felicitas, memorial

Matins: Ordinary of Lent: Invitatory as for throughout the year; hymn of the season (Ex more); chapter verse Is 1:16-18; three readings of the Lent day

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter etc from the Ordinary of Lent, MD 190* ff; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 195*; for the commemoration, MD [74]

Prime: Antiphon for the season (Vivo ego) as noted in the psalter

Terce to None: Ordinary of Lent as noted in the psalter section; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn from the Ordinary of Lent, MD 193*ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 195-6*

Tuesday 7 March – Tuesday in the first week of Lent, Class III; St Thomas Aquinas, memorial

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190* ff; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 196*; for the commemoration, MD [75]

Prime to None: Ordinary of Lent

Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 193*ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 196*

Wednesday 8 March   – Ember Wednesday of Lent, Class II

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 197*

Prime to None: Ordinary of Lent 

Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 193*ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 197*

Thursday 9 March – Thursday in the first week of Lent, Class III; St Frances of Rome, memorial

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects of the day, MD 197-8*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [75-6]

Friday 10 March – Ember Friday of Lent, Class IIThe Forty Martyrs, memorial

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 198-9*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [76]

Saturday 11 March – Ember Saturday of Lent, Class II

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to None: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 199*

Vespers: I Vespers of the Second Sunday of Lent.  Psalms and antiphons of Saturday, rest from MD 199* ff

Sunday 12 March –– Second Sunday of Lent, Class I 

(Note: nothing of the feast of St Gregory appears in the Office this year)

Matins: Invitatory (Non sit vobis), hymn (Ex more), readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons, MD 201* ff with psalm scheme 1 (Ps 50, 117, 62); chapter etc, MD 201* ff

Prime to None: Antiphons and chapter verses, MD 204-5* 

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; chapter etc as per I Vespers; versicle and Magnificat antiphon, MD 205*

Monday 13 March – Monday in the second week of Lent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn from the Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 206*

Prime: Antiphon for the season (Vivo ego)

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn from the Ordinary of Lent, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 206*

Tuesday 14 March – Tuesday in the second week of Lent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 206-7*

Wednesday 15 March – Wednesday in the second week of Lent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 207-8*

Thursday 16 March – Thursday in the second week of Lent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 208-9*

[in some places: I Vespers of St Patrick with a commemoration of the feria, MD 22**]

Friday 17 March - Friday in the second week of Lent, Class III [***in some places, St Patrick, Class I]

For St Patrick, see MD 22** (for Matins, common of a confessor bishop)

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 209-10*

Saturday 18 March – Saturday in the second week of Lent, Class III; St Cyril, Memorial

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to None: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 210*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [83]

I Vespers of the Third Sunday of Lent, Antiphons and psalms of Saturday, rest from MD 210* ff

Sunday 19 March – Third Sunday of Lent, Class I

Matins: Invitatory (Non sit vobis), hymn (Ex more), readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons, etc from MD 212* ff with psalm scheme 1 (Ps 50, 117, 62)

Prime to None: Antiphons etc, MD 215*

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; chapter etc as per I Vespers; versicle and Magnificat antiphon, MD 216* with a commemoration of St Joseph, MD [86]

Monday 20 March – St Joseph, Class I (transferred)

Matins: All of the feast with twelve readings and responsories

Lauds: Festal psalms with antiphons etc of the feast, MD [87] ff, with a commemoration of the feria, MD 217*

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter etc of the feast

Vespers: Antiphons of Lauds; psalms from I Vespers of Apostles, MD (2); chapter etc from I Vespers of the feast, MD [84]; Magnificat antiphon, MD [91]; commemoration of St Benedict, MD  [93-4]

Tuesday 21 March – St Benedict, Class I

Matins: All of the feast with twelve readings and responsories

Lauds: Festal psalms of Sunday with antiphons and texts of the feast; MD [94] ff; commemoration of the feria, MD 217-8*

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds

Terce to None: Antiphons, chapters etc of the feast

Vespers: As for I Vespers, MD [91]; Magnificat antiphon, MD [99]; commemoration of the feria, MD 218*

Wednesday 22 March - Wednesday in the third week of Lent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 218-9*

Thursday 23 March – Thursday in the third week of Lent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 219-20*

Friday March 24 – Friday in the third week of Lent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to None: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 220*

Vespers: I Vespers of the Annunciation, MD [100] ff with a commemoration of the feria, MD 220*

Saturday 25 March – Annunciation of the BVM, Class I

Matins: Invitatory, hymn, psalms and antiphons from the Common of the BVM; readings and responsories of the feast

Lauds: Festal psalms of Sunday with antiphons and rest of the feast, MD [102] ff; commemoration of the feria, MD 220-1*

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds

Terce to None: Antiphons from Lauds, proper texts MD [104] ff

Vespers: As for I Vespers, MD [100], Magnificat antiphon, MD [106]; commemoration of the Sunday, MD 221*

Sunday 26 March – Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday), Class I

Matins: Invitatory (Non sit vobis), hymn (Ex more), readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons etc, MD 223* ff with psalm scheme 1 (Ps 50, 117, 62)

Prime to None: Antiphons (and chapter verses etc), MD 226-7*

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; chapter, hymn as per I Vespers; versicle and Magnificat antiphon MD 227*

Monday 27 March - Monday in the fourth week of Lent, Class III; St John Damascene, Memorial

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 227-8*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [106-7]

Tuesday 28 March –- Tuesday in the fourth week of Lent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 228-9*

Wednesday 29 March –- Wednesday in the fourth week of Lent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 229-30*

Thursday 30 March –- Thursday in the fourth week of Lent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 230*

Friday 31 March - Friday in the fourth week of Lent, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Lent; three readings

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Lent, MD 190*; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 230-1*