Brush up your rubrics - getting ready for Advent 3 - Terce to None

So far in this series I've posted some notes, videos and links to chants for Prime and Compline and Matins.  Today, Terce to None.

The Ordinary of Advent

The key changes to the 'little hours' during Advent are:

  • if you are singing it, the hymn has a proper tone for the season;
  • there is an antiphon to be used for each hour every day for each week up to December 16, and then each day; 
  • the chapter and versicle is of the season; and
  • the closing prayers are said kneeling.

The hymn

The text of the hymns at each of the hours is unchanged  - so Nunc Sancte Nobis for Terce, Rector Potens for Sext, and Rerum Deus for None.

The hymn tune though - which is the same for Prime, Terce, Sext and None - is of the season (except on major feasts such as the Immaculate Conception).  Note that it is not the same as the one used in Roman Office.

I haven't been able to locate a video or nice recording of it, so the best approach to learning it is probably to listen to one of the archived Le Barroux recordings of Sext.


The antiphons used at the little hours are from Sunday Lauds.

For the first three weeks, as well as Sunday Lauds, the antiphons are also set out in the Ordinary of Advent section at the front of the Diurnal', on pages 13*-15*.  Between December 17 and December 23 there is a set of antiphons to be used for the day of the week (pages 37* and following in the Diurnal).

The default rule (for all purposes) is to use:

  • the first antiphon of Lauds for Prime;
  • the second antiphon of Lauds for Terce;
  • the third antiphon of Lauds for Sext; and
  • the fifth antiphon for None.

There are exceptions, though, and if you look at Saturday in this period, the Diurnal only has four antiphons for Lauds (because of the divided canticle), and so supplies an additional one for Sext.

Chapter and versicle

The chapter and versicle for each of these hours is of Advent, and is the same throughout the season on weekdays, and so can be found in the psalter section of the Diurnal, as well in the 'Ordinary of Advent' section.  There are separate texts for each Sunday.


As usual, the collect is of Sunday of the week, except for the Ember Days in the third week of Advent (and of course on feasts).

The closing prayers are said kneeling during Advent.


On feasts, the variable texts of these hours (ie antiphon, chapter, versicle and collect) are replaced by those of the feast.

Summary: Terce, Sext and None during Advent days that are not feasts


Opening prayers (Deus in adjutorium/Gloria patri/Alleluia)

Same as for all of the day hours (MD 1); stand, make sign of cross
As for throughout the year, same each day for that hour; Advent psalm tone.

Of the Advent week or day (from Dec 17)

Psalm+Gloria Patri
Psalm+Gloria Patri
Psalm+Gloria+Gloria Patri

As for throughout the year, psalms for Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday to Saturday.
Repeat earlier antiphon

Of Advent

Of Advent

Closing Prayers (Kyrie/Pater noster/…Benedicamus Domino…Fidelium animae)

As throughout the year but said kneeling.
-          Collect
Of the week or day.

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