Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Third Week of Advent: Gaudete!

This Sunday is rejoicing (or Gaudate) Sunday, marking the end of the first part of Advent, and the start of a new, more intensive period for the liturgy.

If you are saying the Office, you will need to keep your wits about you, as this is as complicated as it gets!  In particular, each day from Monday:
  • the psalms have a set of antiphons for the day of the week (ie, Monday in the period December 17-23, Tuesday in the period December 17-23), etc;
  • at Lauds, the Benedictus antiphon is generally for the day of Advent (so this year Monday etc in the third week of Advent), but with specific antiphons to be said on December 21 and the last day of Advent, December 23;
  • at Vespers, the Magnificat antiphons are the great 'O Antiphons' which are set by the date (ie December 17, December 17, etc).
Wednesday and Saturday are the Ember Days of Advent, traditionally days of fasting and abstinence.

The only saint's feast celebrated this week is of the apostle St Thomas, on Friday.

The week in the Benedictine calendar

Sunday 16 December – Third Sunday in Advent, Class I (Gaudete Sunday)

Monday 17 December – Monday in the third week of Advent, Class II

Tuesday 18 December – Tuesday in the third week of Advent, Class II

Wednesday 19 December – Ember Wednesday of Advent, Class II

Thursday 20 December – Thursday in the third week of Advent, Class II

Friday 21 December – St Thomas, Apostle, Class II; commemoration of Ember Friday in Advent

Saturday 22 December – Ember Saturday in Advent, Class II


Flambeaux said...

I'm again reminded why I need to get back in the rhythm of praying the Office during Nativitytide or Paschaltide rather than during the Penitential Seasons.

Still having difficulty moving from reciting the parts of the Office to singing them but your posts are very helpful. I just need to spend a lot more time practicing with the Antiphonal.

Kate Edwards said...

Indeed, this is one of those times of the year when a fair amount of recto tono (singing on one note) becomes very attractive option!

But listening to the monks of Norcia or Le Barroux available online can help you get into the swing of it (and you could always save the sound files ready for next year!).

Flambeaux said...

Definitely on my agenda.

I was surprised at how much of the ferial Office was sung recto tono when I visited Clear Creek a few months ago.

It's reassuring that even "the professionals" strike that balance in the Work of God.