St Mellitus (April 24)


A page divided into 12 sections, each section displaying a scene from the bible
St Augustine Gospels

In the English Congregation, today is traditionally the feast of St Mellitus, the first Bishop of London in the Saxon period and the third Archbishop of Canterbury.

St Mellitus was a member of the Gregorian mission sent to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons from their native paganism to Christianity, arriving around 601 AD with a group of clergy sent by St Gregory the Great to augment S Augustine's group.

St Mellitus was the recipient of a letter from Pope Gregory I known as the Epistola ad Mellitum, preserved by St Bede, which suggested the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons be undertaken gradually, integrating pagan rituals and customs. In 610, Mellitus returned to Italy to attend a council of bishops, and returned to England bearing papal letters to some of the missionaries.

St Mellitus was exiled from London by the pagan successors to his patron, King Sæberht of Essex, following the latter's death around 616. King Æthelberht of Kent, Mellitus' other patron, died at about the same time, forcing him to take refuge in Gaul. Mellitus returned to England the following year, after Æthelberht's successor had been converted to Christianity, but he was unable to return to London, whose inhabitants remained pagan. Mellitus was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 619. During his tenure, he miraculously saved the cathedral, and much of the town of Canterbury, from a fire. After his death in 624, Mellitus was revered as a saint.

Two books are associated with St Mellitus and may have been bought with him to England: the St Augustine Gospels (pictured above), and a copy of the Rule of St Benedict (MS Oxford Bodleian Hatton 48), though of course the latter claim is disputed by many modern historians, who assign the manuscript a later date.

Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for first week after Easter Octave (April 23-29)

This week we move into the season of Eastertide, which has special rubrics - in particular a lot fewer antiphons!

It also marks the start of the 'summer' timetable in the Office, so that ordinary days only have one short reading each day (which is the same each day during Eastertide) at Matins (you can find the reading and responsory over at my Lectio Divina blog).


Sunday 23 April – Low Sunday, Class I 

Matins: Invitatory, hymn, antiphons, Gospel, readings and responsories for the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons, MD 341* ff with festal psalms 

Prime to None: Antiphons etc MD 344* ff

Vespers: II Vespers of Low Sunday – psalms of Sunday under one antiphon; chapter etc from I Vespers; Magnificat antiphon, MD 345*

Monday 24 April  Class IV [EF: St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Class III]

Matins: Ordinary of Eastertide: Invitatory, Alleluia...; hymn, Rex sempiterne; one antiphon per Nocturn (alleluia...); versicles, short lesson (Os 6:1-3); chapter (Rom 6:4) with psalms of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 352*; collect, MD 344*

Tuesday 25 April  The Greater Litanies and St Mark [Australia: ANZAC Day]


Matins: All from the Common of Apostles in Eastertide except for the readings and responsories, of the feast)

Lauds to None: All from the Common of Apostles in Paschaltide, MD (23)ff, except for the collect, MD [113]

Vespers: Common of Apostles in Paschaltide MD (20), except for the versicle and Magnificat antiphon, MD (26) and collect, MD [113]

Wednesday 26 April  St Cletus, memorial [EF: SS Cletus and Marcellinus, Class III]

Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 352-3*; collect, MD 344*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [113-4]

Thursday 27 April  Class IV; St Peter Canisius, memorial [EF: Class III]


Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 353*; collect, MD 344*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [114-5]

Friday 28 April – Class IV [EF: St Paul of the Cross]

Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 353*; collect, MD 344*

Saturday 29 April – SS Odo, Majolus, Odilo and Hugh, Class III [EF: St Peter of Verona]

Matins: Invitatory, hymn and one reading of the feast; psalms of the day with antiphons of Eastertide; chapter, Eccles 17:7-8

Lauds: Antiphons for the feast with festal psalms, MD [115] ff

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds with psalms of Saturday

Terce to None: Antiphons and texts of the feast, MD [117] ff

I Vespers of Second Sunday after Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday), MD 354* ff

Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for Octave of Easter (April 16-22)

For the next week the Office is essentially the same each day, a seven day Sunday....

Sunday 16 April – Easter Sunday, Class I with a Class I Octave

Matins and Lauds are included in the Vigil, so do not need to be said by those who attend it. 

Matins: If said, all of the feast, with twelve readings and responsories

Lauds: If said, Psalm scheme 2 (92, etc), MD 328*

Prime to Vespers: Antiphons of Lauds with proper texts of the feast, MD 328* ff

Compline: Marian Antiphon, Regina Caeli henceforward

Monday 17 April – Monday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and collect, MD 335*

Tuesday 18 April – Tuesday in Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and collect, MD 336*

Wednesday 19 April – Wednesday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for the Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons, and collect, MD 336-7*

Thursday 20 April – Thursday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and collect, MD 337*

Friday 21 April – Friday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and collect, MD 337-8*

Saturday 22 April – White Saturday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to None: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus antiphon and the collect, MD 338*

SEASON OF EASTERTIDE

I Vespers of Low Sunday, MD 339* ff

Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for Holy Week (9-15 April)

This week marks the start of Holy Week, and you can find the readings and responsories, as well as notes on where to find the chants for Matins of Palm Sunday here.

For notes on the rubrics of Holy Week more generally, follow the link here.

In essence, this is a week when you particularly need to keep your wits about you, since which hours of the Office you should say depends on which of the other Holy Week ceremonies you attend.

In addition, the Benedictine Office is abandoned for the Triduum in favour of the Roman. and with special rubrics for these three days.  The highlight of the week is always, in my view, the celebration of Tenebrae (Matins and Lauds, generally anticipated) each night (or very early morning).


Sunday 9 April – Second Passion Sunday or Palm Sunday, Class I

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; twelve readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons for the day, MD 255* with psalm scheme 1 (Ps 50, 117, 62); chapter etc for the day

Prime to None: Antiphons and chapter verses, MD 258* ff

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; chapter etc as per I Vespers; Magnificat antiphon, MD 260*

Monday 10 April – Monday in Holy Week, Class I

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds: Antiphons MD 260-1* with psalms of Monday; chapter, responsory and hymn of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 261*

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds (MD 260*) with psalms etc of Monday

Terce to None: Antiphons 2, 3 and 5 of Lauds respectively, MD 260-1*; chapter and versicle of Passiontide; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 244* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect, MD 261-2*

Tuesday 11 April - Tuesday in Holy Week, Class I

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to None: Antiphons MD 262* with psalms of Tuesday; Ordinary of Passiontide; Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 263*

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 244* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 263*

Wednesday 12 April – Wednesday in Holy Week, Class I

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to None: Antiphons MD 263-4* with psalms of Wednesday; Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240*; Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 264*

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 244* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect, MD 265*

Thursday 13 April - Maundy Thursday, Class I

Note: No introductory prayer or hymns are said, and the Gloria Patri is not said at the end of each psalm. 

Matins: (Tenebrae)  - as for the Roman Office, nine psalms and readings

Lauds: MD 265*ff  [Note: Outside a monastery, normally sung in combination with Matins the night before as Tenebrae]

Prime to None: MD 279* ff

Vespers: MD 296* ff, Magnificat antiphon of Maundy Thursday, MD 308* [Note: Not said by those who attend the evening Mass]

Compline: MD 305* 

Friday 14 – Good Friday, Class I

See MD 309*ff.  Note that:
  • There are no opening prayers
  • The Gloria Patri is not said at the end of each psalm
  • The psalms etc for Prime to None are set out at MD 279* ff
  • ‘Mortem autem crucis’ is added to the antiphon Christus factus est, MD 282* at the end of each hour
Matins: (Tenebrae)  - as for the Roman Office, nine psalms and readings

Lauds: MD 309*ff [Note: Normally sung the night before in combination with Matins as Tenebrae]

Prime to None: MD 279* ff

Vespers: MD 296* ff, Magnificat antiphon of Good Friday, MD 308* [Not said by those who attend the afternoon liturgy]

Compline: MD 305*

Saturday 15 April   – Holy Saturday

See MD 318* ff.  Note that:
  • There are no opening prayers 
  • The Gloria Patri is not said at the end of each psalm
  • The psalms and antiphons to be used are set out at MD 279* ff
  • Propter quod…’ is added to the antiphon Christus factus est, MD 282* at the end of each hour
Matins: (Tenebrae)  - as for the Roman Office, nine psalms and readings

Lauds: MD 318*ff [Note: Normally sung the night before in combination with Matins as Tenebrae]

Prime to None: MD 279* ff

Vespers: MD 296* ff, Magnificat antiphon of Holy Saturday, MD 308*

Compline: MD 305*  [Not said by those who attend the Vigil]

Benedictine Office - Ordo for first week of Passiontide (April 2-8)

This Sunday marks the start of the mini-season of Passiontide, which has its own proper texts.  You can find notes on the rubrics for this period here.

And if you are looking for notes and readings on Matins for Passion Sunday, look here.


Sunday 2 April – (First) Passion Sunday, Class I

Matins: Invitatory (Hodie si vocem), hymn (Pange lingua), readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons and texts for the day, MD 234* ff with psalm scheme 1 (Ps 50, 117, 62)

Prime to None: Antiphons etc, MD 238-9*

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; chapter etc as per I Vespers, MD 234* ff; versicle and Magnificat antiphon MD 239* 

PASSIONTIDE

Monday 3 April – Monday in (First) Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide: Invitatory (Hodie si vocem), omit Gloria; hymn (Pange lingua); psalms and antiphons of the psalter; three readings of the day; chapter Jer 11:18-19

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 246-7*

Tuesday 4 April – Tuesday in Passion Week, Class III; St Isidore, memorial

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to VespersOrdinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 247-8*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [107]

Wednesday 5 April – Wednesday in Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 248-9*

Thursday 6 April - Thursday in Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 249-50*

Friday 7 April – Friday in Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 250-2*

Saturday 8 April – Saturday in Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 252*

HOLY WEEK

I Vespers of Palm Sunday: Antiphons and psalms of Saturday with chapter and rest from MD 252* ff

Getting ready for Passiontide


StMartin43-53.JPG

The season of Passiontide, a sub-set of Lent, starts with I Vespers of Saturday, and marks an intensification of our preparations for the Triduum.

In the Office, there is an Ordinary of Passiontide with its own hymns and chants.

At Matins:
  • there is a daily invitatory verse (If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart);
  • the Gloria Patri is not said in Psalm 94 or in the responsories; and
  • the hymn is Lustris sex qui iam peractis.
At Prime to None:
  • the antiphons, chapters and versicles are of the season of Passiontide, and can be found in the psalter section;
  • the collect for Terce to None is the same as for Lauds of that day;
At Lauds and Vespers:
  • chapters, hymns, etc of the season replace those in the psalter section;
  • the responsories omit the Gloria Patri, instead repeating the opening verse;
  • the canticle antiphons are proper for each day. They generally reflect the (EF) Gospel for the day; and
  • there is a specific collect for both Lauds and Vespers each day.

Fr Hunwicke has posted some nice background on the hymns of Passiontide, which are all by the sixth century bishop Venantius Fortunatus, prompted, according to Fr H, by the formidable Abbess Radegund of Poitiers.  Vexilla Regis is used at Vespers; the first five verses of Pange lingua gloriosi Proelium certaminis at Matins, and the remainder of the latter hymn at Lauds (as Lustra sex qui iam peregit).

PS I have added a sidebar on the blog linking to monastic (and related) products being sold for fundraising purposes, such as St Benedict medalsBirra Nursia and so forth.  If monasteries would like me to highlight any particular products, just let me know.

The traditionally oriented monasteries pretty much all have donation pages as well, and many of them are in the midst of major building projects, so do give them consideration as part of your Lenten almsgiving!