In my last post I suggested starting to get ready for Advent now, as it is a particularly intensive time in the Office.
In this post, I want to continue on that theme, and highlight some of the key things you need to be aware of or remind yourself of.
The two parts of Advent
First, Advent essentially falls into two parts - the days up to and including December 16, which are Class III days; and the days between December 17 and 23, which are Class II.
First, throughout both parts of Advent, the 'Ordinary of Advent' is used, so make sure you are familiar with what is in it!
Aside from the Ordinary, it is important to keep in mind that unlike Lent and some other special seasons, the default collect throughout Advent is that of the Sunday of the relevant week of Advent, not of the day. The exceptions are for feasts, the Ember Days of Advent, and the Vigil of the Nativity.
Thirdly, unlike Lent, Class III feasts are not reduced to commemorations. Instead, when a feast occurs, the Advent day is 'commemorated' at both Lauds and Vespers, by using the canticle antiphon for the relevant hour and day of Advent, the versicle for Lauds or Vespers which is of the season, and the collect (of the Advent week). You can find more detailed notes on this here: how to make commemorations of the Advent day
Fourthly, there are canticle antiphons for each day of Advent. During the first part of Advent, these are of the day of the Advent week. This pattern continues for Lauds during the second part of Advent, with the exception of two antiphons that are specific to the date (21 and 23 December), but at Vespers, the (O) antiphons are of the date for December 17 to 23.
Finally, when it comes to the antiphons for the psalms, during the first part of Advent, Prime to None use the antiphons of the relevant Advent Sunday. When the days are Class II, there are specific special antiphons for each day of the week. If you want to know more about antiphons, and particularly singing them, try these two posts: Antiphons in Advent Pt 1 and Antiphons Pt 2.
Want to know more?
For those wanting to know more, or needing more help, you can either get a full Ordo from Lulu, use the shorter notes on the Ordo page on this blog, and/or refer to the notes I've previously written on this topic.
For notes on the individual hours in advent, follow these links:
And for quick reference guides with page numbers to the Diurnal try these links: