Brush up your rubrics - Lauds

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We are coming up to the feast of St Benedict on July 11 so don't forget the Novena to St Benedict!

And by way of a lead in to the feast, I've been getting a few comments on the blog of late that suggest a little reminder on the structure of the hours and key page numbers might be helpful, so herewith the first one on Lauds.

I'm not sure Lauds is really the best place to start, since it is the most complicated of all the hours (if you are a beginner, I strongly recommend starting with Prime and Compline, as these are the most straightforward with the fewest moving parts, make a nice morning and evening prayer, and provide a good way into learning the Office).  Nonetheless, I'll take the hours in order.

Comments on ways to improve these summaries and make them more user friendly, or particular questions you would like to see covered, are welcome.

Fixed vs variable parts of the hour

The first thing you need to be clear on, I think, is which parts of the hour can and cannot change with the seasons or particular feasts.  The table below summarises the various elements of Lauds in its three main versions - Sundays, feasts and weekdays.

For Sundays during the year, the key things to note are that:

  • the canticle antiphon and collect are always of the particular Sunday;
  • the hymn used depends on the season - there is a winter (Aeterne rerum Conditor) and summer (Ecce Iam Noctis) version; and
  • although the Diurnal provides the 'festal' psalms under Sunday, these are only used on a few specified Sundays - the normal psalms of Sunday, as set out below are Psalms 50, 117 and 62.
For weekdays, the reason the table gets a bit messy is that some lower level feasts don't use the 'festal' psalms, but do change other elements of the hour (including, on occasion, the antiphons), and seasonal texts displace those 'of the day of the week' for large chunks of the year.  

But on most days of the week after Pentecost (ie ones that are not feasts) the psalms, antiphons (including for the Benedictus), chapter, responsory etc are fixed for the particular day of the week  - the only thing that changes is the collect, which is of the week.

The psalmody at Lauds 
Sunday
Festal
Weekday
Opening prayers
                                          Fixed
Psalm 66
                                          Fixed
Antiphon:
Variable (normally alleluia)
Psalm 50+ Gloria
Fixed
Psalm 92+variable antiphon
Fixed +variable antiphon (normally of the day)
Psalm+Gloria
Psalm 117
Psalm 99+variable antiphon
Of the day +variable antiphon (normally of the day)
Psalm+Gloria
Psalm 62
Psalm 62+variable antiphon
Of the day +variable antiphon (normally of the day)
Antiphon
Variable (normally alleluia)
Antiphon for the canticle
Variable (normally Tres Pueri)
Variable
Variable - Of the day of the week unless displaced by feast or season
OT Canticle
Benedicite Domino (no Gloria)
[Festal] canticle of the day of the week with Gloria
Ferial or festal canticle of the day of the week  with Gloria
Antiphon
 Variable (normally Alleluia)
Of the feast
Of the day of the week or feast
Ps 148+149+150+Gloria
                                     Fixed
Antiphon
 Variable (normally of the day unless displaced by feast or season)
Chapter
 Variable (normally of the day of the week, unless displaced by feast or season)
Responsory
 Variable (normally of the day of the week, unless displaced by feast or season)          
Hymn
Variable – summer winter and seasons
Of the feast
Of the day of the week or season
versicle
  Variable (normally of the day of the week, unless displaced by feast or season)
Antiphon for the Benedictus
Variable – of the Sunday of the year, day of the week or feast/season
Benedictus
                                      Fixed
Antiphon
                                      Variable
Closing prayers
                                      Fixed
-          Collect
Of the Sunday
Of the feast
Of the Sunday or day
-          Commemoration (if applicable)
Of the feast
Of the feast or day (ie Lent or Advent days)
Of the feast or day


Where to put your ribbons

Before you start the hour, I suggest putting a ribbon on the pages you will need.  The table below summarises the key elements of the hour; you will need to supplement this though with the page numbers provided in the weekly ordo for the collects and texts for any feasts/commemorations, etc.

 LAUDS
‘Default’ texts

Opening prayers – Deus…
MD 1

Psalm 66 – Deus miseratur…
MD 38, 58

Antiphons
of day of the week or feast/season

Antiphon(s), Psalm 50; 2 variable psalms; OT canticle; Laudate psalms Ps 148-150
Sunday, MD 39
Festal (for feasts), MD 44
Monday - MD 59
Tuesday - start MD 76
Wednesday – MD 89
Thursday – MD 102
Friday - MD 118
Saturday - MD 133

Chapter
See in psalter as above or for season/feast

Short Responsory
See in psalter as above or for season/feast

Hymn
Of the day of the week (pg nos above) or feast/season

Versicle
See in psalter as above or for season/feast

Antiphon for the Benedictus
Of the day of the week/feast/season
[on Sundays, of the week of the liturgical year]

Benedictus
MD 56, 73

Antiphon for the Benedictus
 M-S of the day of the week; Sun of the week in the calendar

Closing prayers
 MD 57

-          Collect
Of the week of the liturgical year or day/feast

-          Commemoration of the saint or day
Canticle antiphon, versicle and collect said immediately after the collect of the day



Hope this helps!

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