The extended Sunday of the Octave of Easter

This week we continue to celebrate Easter, in this extended 'Sunday' of the Octave.

Eastertide is so important a liturgical season that in the fifty days after it, no fasting was traditionally permitted.  The Office is festooned with alleluias, and the festal texts are generally used on Sundays.

But Easter itself is such a crucial feast that the Church extends its celebration through the octave. 

At Mass, the 'stations' continue, so there are propers and readings set for each day of the Octave (the eight days including the feast itself). 

In the Office, the psalms and antiphons of the day hours, together with most of the texts of the Office (the exceptions are the canticle antiphons and collect set for each day) are those of the Sunday (Prime uses the first antiphon of Lauds).

The pattern is only broken at Matins, where, for reasons best known to themselves the 1962 reformers have the hour gradually reverting to the ferial psalms as the week progresses, albeit under one antiphon for each Nocturn.

So maintain your joy!  And to help you along, here is the Lauds hymn, Aurora lucis rutilat.


Martin said...

Hello again, and Happy Easter!

So, this rule about using the Sunday psalms does apply to Prime and the little hours as well? That was the one thing I wasn't absolutely sure about.

Kate said...

Yes, I believe so!

I'd have to say the actual written rubrics are extremely vague on this subject, but I'm told this is the practice in the Benedictine rite, and it makes sense given that is how it is done in the trad Roman Rite.

Apologies for not making this clearer in the Ordo.

Martin said...

Brilliant, thanks!

I suppose what confused me was the comparrison between these octave days and I or II class feasts. On those, you pretty much get the Sunday psalms and, very often, proper Vespers (or so it seems to me, based on my limited experience), so it's only the Psalms of the little hours that are ferial (I suppose I don't know about Matins).

It's fascinating but kind of appropriate how repetitive the office is this week. It's almost like 'the Little Office of Easter' or something (I just recently moved up from Our Lady's Little Office, so I'm noticing the similarities).

Well, I keep on learning. Thanks again for the help!