Thursday, April 1, 2021

Ordo 21: Easter and its Octave

This week in the 1962 Benedictine office we celebrate the Easter Octave, which brings us back to the recurring issue of what psalms, exactly, do the rubrics intend us to use, those of the Sunday only (Matins aside), or those of the day of the week?

Use of the Sunday psalms?

In the Roman Office, those of the Sunday are used throughout the week, except at Matins (where a special three psalm Matins is used) effectively reverting the week to the pre-1911 version of the Office.
Up until 1962, however, the Benedictine office (a few days of Matins aside) reverted to the normal ferial psalter during this period for Prime to None, with the rubrics explicitly stating that the only time of the year when the ferial or festal psalms of a feast are used was during the Triduum.
The 1962 rubrics, however, removed this provision and instead inserted a new rubric (166 in the General Rubrics) saying that within the octaves of Pentecost and Easter, all is done as noted in the breviary.
And in the temporale section of the breviary on Easter Monday (after the texts for Matins) it instructs: Ad Laudes et per Horas usque ad Nonam sabbati in albis omnia dicuntur ut supra in Dominica Resurrectionis praeter ant. ad Benedictus et ad Magnificat, et orationem (at Lauds and the hours up until None of White Saturday, all is said as above on Easter Sunday, except for the antiphons for the Benedictus and Magnificat and the collect.'
The rubric is ambiguous I think, but I was long ago told by an authoritative source that it did indeed mean using the Sunday psalms throughout the week, Matins aside. Certainly the rubric itself makes no distinction between Lauds and Vespers (which previously did continue to use the Sunday psalms throughout the week) and the other hours.
I assume the intention was to bring the Benedictine Office into line with the Roman practice (notwithstanding that in the Roman, the whole of Psalm 118 is said on Sundays, whereas in the Benedictine only part of it is), perhaps to reflect what is known of early practice in Roman (Benedictine) monasteries. Quite why, if this is the case, the change did not also apply to Matins is unclear, particularly as Benedictines in Rome were early on ordered to conform to the Roman practice for this period, with the Liber Pontificalis noting that Honorius I (625-638) ordered that 'the monks' should recite three lessons and three psalms like the Roman church, and should perform their office in the Roman manner during all of those two weeks at Easter and Pentecost', as 'the people were displeased'. And, as with a number of other '1962isms', though, not all monasteries still follow this revised rubric.

The Ordo

Sunday 4 April –– Easter Sunday, Class I with a Class I Octave Note: Matins and Lauds are included in the Vigil, so do not need to be said by those who attended it. 

Matins (if said): Three Nocturns, all of the feast, for the chants, LR 82 ff. 

Lauds (if said): Festal psalms with antiphons, chapter, responsory, hymn, versicle, Benedictus antiphon and collect of the feast, MD 328*/AM 453 ff. 

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds, MD 328*/AM 453. 

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter, versicle and collect of the feast, MD 331*/AM 457 ff. 

Vespers: Antiphons of Lauds (omitting the fourth) with chapter, responsory, hymn, versicle, Magnificat antiphon and collect of the feast, MD 331*/AM 458 ff. 

Compline: Marian Antiphon, Regina Caeli, MD 267-8/AM 176 or 179-80, henceforward. 

Monday 5 April – Monday in the Octave of Easter, Class I 

Matins: Two nocturns with Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday; either psalms and antiphons for Nocturns I&II of the feast, or one antiphon for each Nocturn (Iesum qui crucifixus est/Venite et videte) with psalms of the day of the week; versicles, three readings and responsories of the day; chapter 2 Cor 5:14-15 with versicle Surrexit Dominus; collect of the day. 

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday using Sunday psalms at all hours, except for the canticle antiphons and collect, MD 335*/AM 460-1. 

Tuesday 6 April – Tuesday in Octave of Easter, Class I 

Matins: Two nocturns with Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday; either psalms and antiphons for Nocturns I&II of the feast, or one antiphon for each Nocturn (Iesum qui crucifixus est/Venite et videte) with psalms of the day of the week; versicles, three readings and responsories of the day; chapter 2 Cor 5: 14-15 with versicle Surrexit Dominus; collect of the day. 

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday, except for the canticle antiphons and collect, MD 336*/AM 462. 

Wednesday 7 April – Wednesday in the Octave of Easter, Class I 

Matins: Two nocturns with Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday; one antiphon for each Nocturn (Iesum qui crucifixus est/Venite et videte) with psalms of the day of the week; versicles, three readings and responsories of the day; chapter 2 Cor 5: 14-15 with versicle Surrexit Dominus; collect of the day. 

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for the canticle antiphons, and collect, MD 336-7*/AM 462-3. 

Thursday 8 April – Thursday in the Octave of Easter, Class I riday 9 Aril – Friday in the Octave of Easter, Class I 

Saturday 10 April – White Saturday in the Octave of Easter, Class I 

Matins: Two nocturns with Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday; one antiphon for each Nocturn (Iesum qui crucifixus est/Venite et videte) with psalms of the day of the week; versicles, three readings and responsories of the day; chapter 2 Cor 5: 14-15 with versicle Surrexit Dominus; collect of the day. 

Lauds to None: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for the Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 338*/AM 465. 

1 Vespers of Low Sunday: Psalms of Saturday under one antiphon (Alleluia); chapter, responsory, hymn, versicle, Magnificat antiphon and collect, MD 339*/AM 473 ff.

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