Notes on the traditional Benedictine Ordo for the second week (8-15) of August

Herewith notes on this week's Benedictine Ordo, to be read in association with the Ordo provided elsewhere on this site.

Monday 9 August – Vigil of St Lawrence, martyr, Class III/Tuesday 10 August – St. Lawrence, Martyr, Class II

St Lawrence of Rome (c. 225 – 258) was one of the seven deacons of ancient Rome who were martyred during the persecution of Valerian in 258.  He is famous for his cry during his torture, "This side’s done, turn me over and have a bite."  You can read more on his life in The Golden Legend.

Wednesday 11 August – St. Tiburtius, Martyr, Memorial

St Tibertius was an early christian martyr - reputedly a sub-deacon, betrayed by apostate christians.

Thursday 12 August – St. Clare, Virgin, Memorial

Today is the feast day of the great disciple of St Francis, and foundress of the Poor Clares, St Clare of Assissi (1194-1253).  Do say a prayer for those in Order, particularly the Australians scattered around the world in more observant convents!

Fri 13 – SS Pontianus, Pope and Hippolytus, Martyrs, Memorial

St Pontianus was pope from 21 July 230 to 29 September 235; St Hippolytus, his schismatic rival, is the only anti-pope to be celebrated in the calendar as a saint.  St Hippolytus opposed a series of pope, claiming that they favoured the Monarchist christologicla heresy, and were unduly lax in allowing apostates to be reconciled with the Church.  However, under the persecution by Emperor Maximinus Thrax, Hippolytus and Pope Pontian were exiled together in 235 to the Sardinian mines, and Hippolytus was reconciled to the Church during this time, and they both died there as a result of ill-treatment, as martyrs.

These days St Hippolytus is most often associated with the Eucharistic Prayer II, which is allegedly based on the form of the liturgy preserved under his name.  The fact that he was a schismatic for most of his life aside, anyone who has actually translated the text concerned will quickly realise that the connection is tenuous indeed.  And modern scholarship (alas to late to stop the Bugninisation of the liturgy) has now largely rejected the argument that the relevant prayers actually represented the liturgy of early Christian Rome.

Saturday August 14 – Vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Class II/ Sunday August 15 - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Class I

The Assumption is perhaps the most important of the Marian feast of the year, and a Holy Day of Obligation (even in countries that have largely abandoned the concept such as Australia).  The Diurnal offers a choice of two versions of the Office for this feast - the first is the ‘new approved Office’ was written after the official proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption.   Youtube contains a number of recordings of Monteverdi's splendid Vespers for this feast day.  Do go an listen to some of them if you don't have your own recording.  To get you started, here is an extract to enjoy:

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