Showing posts with label lent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lent. Show all posts

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Getting ready for Lent 2018

This week marks the start of Lent, with Ash Wednesday, so it is time to start preparing if you haven't already.

The Office from Ash Wednesday to the Saturday before the first Sunday of Lent


Although Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, this period was something of a later add-on to Lent to make up the correct number of days (given that Sundays are not counted for fasting and other purposes).

The liturgy does intensify, with special canticle antiphons each day at both Lauds and Vespers, and two collects each day (the one listed as for Lauds is also used at Matins and Terce to None; the other is for Vespers) but the rest of the Office at Lauds to Vespers remains that of  'throughout the year'.

This is, though, a good time to start practicing the Office hymns for Lent, and read through the rubrics for Lent.

The Rule on the observance of Lent


This is a good time, I think, to reread Chapter 49 of the Rule of St Benedict, on the observance of Lent.  Take a look also at chapters 41 and 48.

I've also written a couple of posts drawing out its application which you can find here:



Suggestions for something extra by way of prayer...


If you are looking for something extra by way of prayer for Lent, consider these suggestions:

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The hymns for Lent

Today being the first Sunday of Lent, the hymns of the Office all change.

At Matins, Lauds and Vespers there are hymns for the season. And at the other hours, a Lenten psalm tone is used, the same one for Prime to None, with a separate one for Te Lucis at Compline.

Accordingly, I thought I'd try and point you to sources (written and audio) for these various chants in case you want to try learning them.

Matins: Ex more docti mystico (the fast as taught by holy lore)

The modern Liber Hymnarius (Solesmes) provides a version of this hymn which you can hear sung at the online Liber Hymnarius.  The Nocturnale Romanum provides a slightly different version of this chant that I suspect is the older version, but I'm not absolutely certain of that.  And there are recordings of a quite different chant tone around, but I haven't been able to locate a hard copy version of it.

Lauds: Iam Christe sol iustitiae

You can hear the hymn sung here.

Prime to None

I haven't been able to locate a recording of the hymn alone (if you know of one please let me know), but go to one of the Le Barroux Office websites and you should be able to find the current tone (or an archived recording).

Vespers: Audi Benigne Conditor



Compline: Lenten tone for Te Lucis

You can hear it here (last in the list).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Office in Lent - Ash Wednesday to the Saturday before the first Sunday of Lent

During Lent the liturgy becomes much more elaborate, and the Office reflects that.

Forty days?

However these first few days of Lent not all that much changes in the Office.

That is because this period was something of a later (albeit now ancient!) add-on to Lent to make up the correct number of days, given that Sundays are not counted for fasting and penitential purposes.

Of course, under the modern rubrics we still don't quite make it to forty days, due to the several first class feasts (this year, SS Patrick, Joseph, Benedict, and the feast of the Annunciation) that normally intervene.

The rubrics

Ash Wednesday marks the official start of Lent, so far as the Office is concerned, but most of the Office stays as if it were still Septuagesimatide.  The liturgy does intensify:

  • there are canticle antiphons for both Lauds and Vespers; and 
  • there are two collects used each day, the first for Matins to None (excluding Prime), the second for Vespers.
But the rest of the Office at Lauds to Vespers remains that of  'throughout the year'.

During Lent the concluding prayers of the hour (from the Kyrie eleison) are normally said while kneeling in choir.  The gestures and body postures for the Office are not essential in private recitation, but still a good way of helping you pray I think, so worth considering.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Getting ready for Lent Pt 2 - Suggestions for reading and prayer

Yesterday I posted the relevant sections of the Rule of St Benedict on Lent.

Today I thought I'd post a few concrete suggestions for implementing St Benedict's regime for those who haven't already settled on a Lenten regime.

1.  Reading a book right through.

As I noted yesterday, in a monastery each monk or nun is traditionally assigned a book to read from beginning to end during Lent.  Some have argued that St Benedict probably meant a book of the Bible in chapter 48, but I don't see any reason to take that view - monastic libraries then as now contained a lot more than just Scripture!  The ideal is to have your spiritual director assign a book to you.  But failing that, you could ask for help from your guardian angel by way of making a choice.

Personally I tend to alternate my Lent's between rereading one of the great spiritual classics, and reading something new.

So if you have a personal library you can draw on including both books you've kept to reread, and maybe some you've been meaning to get around to, now is a good time to take a look at it again!  If not though, there are many fantastic options available on the net, and an excellent starting place in my view is New Advent Fathers, where you can find a dizzying array of suitable classics, such as St Augustine's Confessions, St Athanasius' Life of St Antony or Sulpicius Severus' Life of St Martin.

My own (highly selective and eclectic) list of classics to revisit each year:

  • in the Eastern Church, monks traditionally reread one of St Benedict's near contemporaries, St John Climacus' (579-606) Ladder of Divine Ascent, and its a great work for all of us;   
  • Walter Hilton (d c1395), The Scale of Perfection, a classic of the English mystical tradition that includes other works well worth rereading such as the Ancrene Riwle, Cloud of Unknowing and the works of Julian of Norwich and Richard Rolle
  • the Devotions of Dame Gertrude More (descendant of St Thomas, 1604-1633), an extremely hard to obtain gem, meditations of a nun who helped re-establish the English Benedictines on the continent;
  • Dom Columba Marmion, Christ the Ideal of the Monk; and
  • St John Cassian's Conferences and Institutes.
This year however I personally plan to read Volume 1 of St Gregory the Great's commentary on Job (Moralia in Job), since a kind reader gifted the set to me, and I'm currently extremely interested in the debate on St Gregory the Great's contribution of the Benedictine charism, and the saints' own spirituality.

2.  Applying ourselves to prayer

St Benedict also suggests, in chapter 49, that we offer something more by way of private prayer.

Good options for this, in my view, include:
 3.  Fasting and abstinence

I've previously written on the Rule's provisions here.  What you can do in this area will obviously depend on your own circumstances, however, I thought that you might find a few comments by one of St Benedict's contemporaries, St Fulgentius of Ruspe useful, as they seem to me to be entirely in line with St Benedict's own approach.  In a letter to a Roman consecrated virgin named Proba (probably the sister-in-law of St Boethius) he said:
....moderation must be used in the matter of fasts in such a way that neither satiety stirs up our body nor immoderate lack of food weakens it.  Let a meal of such a kind follow a virgin's fast that it neither entices the body with its pleasantness nor inflames it with satiety.  Alms for the poor are diminished by pleasantness; the body is made bellicose by satiety.  Then what is owed to brothers is devoured; here assistance is furnished to the enemy.  For us who wish to seduce the lust of glutony with a variety of flavors, pleasure consumes what the poor man ought to receive.  Accordingly let neither weakness usurp nor satiety do away with fasting.  Each one is at the service of our adversaries because one removes the usefulness of the fast that precedes, the other obstructs the possibility of the subsequent fast.  Satiety brings it about that we fast to no purpose; weakness brings it about that we are unable to fast. (Trans Robert B Eno, in Fulgentius Selected Works, The Fathers of the Church vol 95)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Getting ready for Lent...

As Lent starts this Wednesday I thought now might be a good time to remind you of the provisions relating to Lent in the Rule of St Benedict.  There are two key ones, relating to reading a book right through (chapter 48) and offering something by way of extra asceticism.

St Benedict, of course, wants whatever is offered to be approved by the Abbot, who also traditionally assigns the book to be read during the season.

The approval of a superior or spiritual director, though, isn't always possible these days, so you may need to be guided by general principles, such as Benedictine moderation, and the importance of picking something that you can persevere with, rather than attempting to be over-ambitious.

I will post some suggestions on books and prayers tomorrow.

CHAPTER XLIX OF THE OBSERVANCE OF LENT

THE life of a monk ought at all times to be Lenten in its character; but since few have the strength for that, we therefore urge that in these days of Lent the brethren should lead lives of great purity, and should also in this sacred season expiate the negligences of other times.

This will be worthily done if we refrain from all sin and apply ourselves to prayer with tears, to reading, to compunction of heart and to abstinence.

In these days, therefore, let us add something to the wonted measure of our service, such as private prayers and abstinence in food and drink.

Let each one, over and above the measure prescribed for him, offer to God something of his own free will in the joy of the Holy Spirit. That is to say, let him stint himself of food, drink, sleep, talk and jesting, and look forward with the joy of spiritual longing to the holy feast of Easter.

Let each one, however, tell his abbot what he is offering, and let it be done with his consent and
blessing; because what is done without the permission of the spiritual father shall be reckoned as presumption and vainglory and not as merit. Everything, therefore, is to be done with the approval of the abbot.

SACRED READING (ch 48)

...In the days of Lent let them apply themselves to their reading from the morning until the end of the third hour, and from then until the end of the tenth hour let them perform the work that is assigned to
them. In these days of Lent let them each receive a book from the library, which they shall read right through from the beginning; let these books be given out at the beginning of Lent.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ordo for the Fourth Week of Lent

Sunday 6 March  – Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday), Class I

Lauds: Antiphons etc, MD 223* ff with psalm scheme 1 (Ps 50, 117, 62)

Prime to None: Antiphons (and chapter verses etc), MD 226-7*

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; chapter, hymn as per I Vespers; versicle and Magnificat antiphon MD 227*

Monday 7 March - Monday in the fourth week of Lent, Class III; St Thomas Aquinas, Memorial

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 227-8*; for the commemoration, MD [75]

Prime: Antiphon for the season

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season, noted in the psalter and MD 192-3*; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 228*

Tuesday 8 March  - Tuesday in the fourth week of Lent, Class III ; [EF: St John of God]

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 190* ff; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 228*

Prime: Antiphon for the season

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 193* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 228-9*

Wednesday 9 March - Wednesday in the fourth week of Lent, Class III; St Frances of Rome, memorial

Lauds: chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle, MD 190* ff; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 229*; for St Frances, MD [75-6]

Prime: Antiphon for the season

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 193* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 229-30*

Thursday 10 March  - Thursday in the fourth week of Lent, Class III; The Forty Martyrs, memorial

Lauds: chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle, MD 190* ff; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 230*; for the Forty Martyrs, MD [76]

Prime: Antiphon for the season

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 193* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 230*

Friday 11 March - Friday in the fourth week of Lent, Class III

Lauds: chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle, MD 190* ff; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 230-1*

Prime: Antiphon for the season

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 193* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 231*

Saturday 12 March – St Gregory the Great OSB, Class II

Lauds: Festal psalms with antiphons and texts of the feast, MD [77] ff; for the commemoration of the feria, MD MD 231-2*

Prime to None: Antiphons etc of the feast, MD [77] ff

PASSIONTIDE

Vespers: I Vespers of First Passion Sunday, MD 232*ff

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Third week in Lent

Sunday 28 February – Third Sunday of Lent, Class I

Lauds: Antiphons, etc from MD 212* ff with psalm scheme 1 (Ps 50, 117, 62)

Prime to None: Antiphons etc, MD 215*

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; chapter etc as per I Vespers; versicle and Magnificat antiphon, MD 216*

Monday 29 February – Monday in the third week of Lent, Class III

Lauds: Chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 217-8*

Prime: Antiphon for the season

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 217*

Tuesday 1 March – Tuesday in the third week of Lent, Class III

Lauds: Chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 217-8*

Prime: Antiphon for the season

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 218*

Wednesday 2 March – Wednesday in the third week of Lent, Class III

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 218*

Prime: Antiphon for the season

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 218-9*

Thursday 3 March – Thursday in the third week of Lent, Class III

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 219*

Prime: Antiphon for the season

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 219-20*

Friday 4 March – Friday in the third week of Lent, Class III  [EF: Commemoration of St Casimir; OF (Australia): Ember Day]

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 220*

Prime: Antiphon for the season

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season, noted in the psalter; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 220*

Saturday 5 March  – Saturday in the third week of Lent, Class III

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 220-1*

Prime: Antiphon for the season (Vivo ego), noted in the psalter and MD 192*

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapters and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: I Vespers of the Fourth Sunday of Lent: Antiphons and psalms of Saturday, rest from MD 221* ff

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ordo for the Second week in Lent

The Ordo for the Second week of Lent is set out below.

Don't forget that you can find notes on saying the Office during Lent here and notes on the saints whose feasts occur at this time here.

I'm also reposting the Matins readings for each day (which usually relate to the Gospel of the EF Mass) over at Lectio divina notes.

Sunday 21 February – Second Sunday of Lent, Class I

Lauds: Antiphons, MD 201* ff with psalm scheme 1 (Ps 50, 117, 62); chapter etc, MD 201* ff

Prime to None: Antiphons and chapter verses, MD 204-5*

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; chapter etc as per I Vespers; versicle and Magnificat antiphon, MD 205*

Monday 22 February – Monday in the second week of Lent, Class III; Chair of St Peter, memorial [OF: Solemnity]

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 206*; for the commemoration, MD [69]

Prime: Antiphon for the season (Vivo ego)

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 206*

Tuesday 23 February  – Tuesday in the second week of Lent, Class III; St Peter Damian, memorial

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 206-7*; for the commemoration, MD [73]

Prime: Antiphon for the season (Vivo ego)

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 207*

Wednesday 24 February  – Wednesday in the second week of Lent, Class III

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 207-8*

Prime: Antiphon for the season (Vivo ego)

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 208*

Thursday 25 February - St Matthias, Class II (in some places St Walburga, Class I)

Lauds to Vespers: All as in the common of Apostles, MD (9), with collect, MD [73]; at Lauds and Vespers commemoration of the feria (versicle from the ordinary of the season; canticle antiphon and collect, MD 207*)

For St Walburga, MD 21**

Friday 26 February - Friday in the second week of Lent, Class III

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 190* ff; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 209*

Prime: Antiphon for the season

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 209-10*

Saturday 27 February – Saturday in the second week of Lent, Class III

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory, hymn and versicle for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 210*

Prime: Antiphon for the season

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

I Vespers of the Third Sunday of Lent, Antiphons and psalms of Saturday, rest from MD 210* ff

Saturday, February 13, 2016

First week of Lent

Sunday 14 February – First Sunday of Lent, Class I

Lauds: Antiphons and proper texts from MD 186* ff, with psalms of Sunday (Ps 50, 117, 62)

Prime to None: Antiphons etc, MD 188* ff

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; rest from I Vespers, Magnificat antiphon, MD 190* ff                                           

Monday 15 February - Monday in the first week of Lent, Class III

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 190* ff; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 195*

Prime: Antiphon for the season (Vivo ego) as noted in the psalter

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season as noted in the psalter; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 193*ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 195-6*

Tuesday 16 February  - Tuesday in the first week of Lent, Class III

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 190* ff; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 196*

Prime: Antiphon for the season (Vivo ego) as noted in the psalter

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season as noted in the psalter; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 193*ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 196*

Wednesday 17 February  Ember Wednesday of Lent, Class II

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 197*

Prime: Antiphon for the season (Vivo ego)

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 193*ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 197*

Thursday 18 February – Thursday in the first week of Lent, Class III

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 197-8*

Prime: Antiphon for the season (Vivo ego)

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 198*

Friday 19 February  – Ember Friday of Lent, Class II

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 198-9*

Prime: Antiphon for the season (Vivo ego), noted in the psalter and MD 192*

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season, noted in the psalter and MD 192-3*; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 193-5*; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 199*

Saturday 20 February  – Ember Saturday of Lent, Class II

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 190*; Benedictus antiphon and collect of the day, MD 199*

Prime: Antiphon for the season (Vivo ego)

Terce to None: Antiphon, chapter and versicle for the season; collect of Lauds


Vespers: I Vespers of the Second Sunday of Lent.  Psalms and antiphons of Saturday, rest from MD 199* ff

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ordo for the week of Quinquagesima

This week marks the start of Lent, however, the impact on the Office doesn't really start until next week.  Still, this is a good time to reread the notes on the Office for the first part of Lent.

This is also a good point to decide (if you haven't already) what you are going to do by way of penance during Lent.  I've previously written a mini-series on St Benedict's suggestions for the period, viz:


Sunday 7 February – Quinquagesima Sunday, Class II

Lauds to None: Antiphons and proper texts of Quinquagesima, MD 173* ff

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of Sunday, the rest for the day, from MD 177* ff

Monday 8 February  – Class IV [EF: St John of Matha, Class III]

Collect, MD 176*

Vespers: Magnificat antiphon MD 179*

Tuesday 9 February – Shrove Tuesday, Class IV [EF: ST Cyril of Alexandria, Class III]

Collect, MD 176*

Vespers: Magnificat antiphon MD 179*

Wednesday 10 February  – Ash Wednesday, Class I

Lauds: All as in the psalter for Wednesday throughout the year, except for the collect and Benedictus antiphon, MD 180*

Terce to None: As for throughout the week and throughout the year, with collect, MD 180*

Vespers: Vespers of Wednesday throughout the year with Magnificat antiphon and collect, MD 180-1*

Thursday 11 February – Thursday after Ash Wednesday, Class III/St Scholastica, sister of St Benedict, Class I (Monasteries of nuns)

Lauds: All as in the psalter for Thursday throughout the year, except for the collect and Benedictus antiphon, MD 181*

Terce to None: As for throughout the week and throughout the year, with collect from Lauds

Vespers: Vespers of Thursday throughout the year with Magnificat antiphon and collect, MD 181-2*

For St Scholastica:

Lauds: Festal psalms with antiphons etc from MD [62] ff; commemoration of the feria

Prime to None: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast, MD [65] ff

Vespers: Psalms from Common of Virgins, MD (84 ; proper texts, MD [59] ff; versicle and Magnificat antiphon, MD [66]; commemoration of the feria

Friday 12 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday, Class III

Lauds: All as in the psalter for Friday throughout the year, except for the collect and Benedictus antiphon, MD 182*

Terce to None: As for throughout the week and throughout the year, with collect from Lauds

Vespers: Vespers of Friday throughout the year with Magnificat antiphon and collect, MD 182-3*

Saturday 13 February  – Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Class III

Lauds: All as in the psalter for Saturday throughout the year, except for the collect and Benedictus antiphon, MD 183*

Terce to None: As for throughout the week and throughout the year, with collect from Lauds

I Vespers of the First Sunday of Lent: antiphons and psalms of Saturday, rest from MD 184* ff

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Second Sunday of Lent (March 4)


c1550
The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent is Matthew 17: 1-17, the Transfiguration of Our Lord:

"And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Eli'jah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah." He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and have no fear." And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

First Sunday of Lent (Feb 26)


Monreale Cathedral
The Office for the first Sunday of Lent

The Magnificat antiphon for I Vespers is from Isaiah 58:9. 

Here are the verses leading up to it:

"Cry, cease not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their wicked doings, and the house of Jacob their sins.  For they seek me from day to day, and desire to know my ways, as a nation that has done justice, and has not forsaken the judgment of their God: they ask of me the judgments of justice: they are willing to approach to God. Why have we fasted, and you have not regarded: have we humbled our souls, and you have not taken notice? Behold in the day of your fast your own will is found, and you exact of all your debtors. Behold you fast for debates and strife, and strike with the fist wickedly. Do not fast as you have done until this day, to make your cry to be heard on high. Is this such a fast as I have chosen: for a man to afflict his soul for a day? Is this it, to wind his head about like a circle, and to spread sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this rather the fast that I have chosen? Loose the bands of wickedness, undo the bundles that oppress, let them that are broken go free, and break asunder every burden.  Deal your bread to the hungry, and bring the needy and the harbourless into your house: when you shall see one naked, cover him, and despise not your own flesh. Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your health shall speedily arise, and your justice shall go before your face, and the glory of the Lord shall gather you up. Then shall you call, and the Lord shall hear: you shall cry, and he shall say, Here I am....

Our Lord's Temptation in the desert

The Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent is Matthew 4:1-11, which tells the story of Our Lord's temptation in the desert.

The highlight of the Mass of the day, though, is the singing of Psalm 90, Qui Habitat, which prophesies that temptation, particularly in the section used in the very long!) Tract.

The Office in Lent

The Office in Lent is quite complex, so it is worth taking some time to work it out in advance. In particular, there are specific readings set for each day of the week at (EF) Mass. So at Matins the readings are general patristic commentaries on the Gospel for the day, and the canticle antiphons also generally pick up the key messages from the Gospel.

The Ordinary of the ferial Office in Lent is set out in the Farnborough edition of the Monastic Diurnal at MD 190*ff.

For those saying Matins (not in the Diurnal): 
  • the invitatory antiphon on weekdays is the same as throughout the year;
  • the hymn is for the season of Lent and is the same each day (Ex more);
  • the readings during the week are usually patristic, relating to the Gospel of the Mass set for that day;
  • the chapter verse for Nocturn II is for the season (Is 1:16-18).
At Lauds and Vespers:

  •  chapters, hymns, etc of the season replace those in the psalter section;
  •  the canticle antiphons are proper for each day.
 Each day there are two sets of collects: the first for use from Matins to None; the second for Vespers.

It is also important to be aware that when a feast displaces the Lent texts, a commemoration of the day is made at both Lauds and Vespers using the respective collects, canticle antiphon and versicle that occurs before the relevant canticle at that hour.

There are no saints feasts celebrated in the Office this week, but note that Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are Ember Days.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ash Wednesday (Feb 22)

Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence.


As the ashes are imposed, the priest says "Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return." (Genesis 3:19)

For Ash Wednesday, the Gospel is Matthew 6:15-21:

"And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lent in the Benedictine Rule....

Lent is rapidly approaching, so I thought I'd up some links to posts I've previously written on St Benedict's prescriptions for Lent in the Rule, and how we can incorporate them in our own Lenten observance.  There are three parts to the series:

Part I: Sacred Reading;
Part II: Refrain from sin and apply ourselves to prayer;
Part III: Fasting and abstinence.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 20: Wednesday in Holy Week, Class I


Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337),
Cappella Scrovegni a Padova,
Judas Receiving Payment for his Betrayal

The Gospel today is the Passion according to St Luke, 22:39-71; 23:1-53.

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 19: Tuesday in Holy Week, Class I



The Gospel  today is Mark 14:32-72; 15:1-46 – The Passion according to St Mark.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 18: Monday in Holy Week

Heures d'√Čtienne Chevalier by Jean Fouquet
1452-1460
The Gospel today is John 12:1-9, Mary Magdalene anoints the feet of Our Lord at a meal in the house of Mary, Martha and Lazarus:

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Laz'arus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Laz'arus was one of those at table with him.

Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.

But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said,  "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, "Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."

When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Laz'arus, whom he had raised from the dead."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 17: Palm Sunday in Holy Week, Class I



The Gospel today is the Passion according to St Matthew.



The Office in Holy Week

The Office in Holy Week, or more particularly the Triduum, is quite different in form to the rest of the year, so it is important to pay close attention to the rubrics as set out in your Diurnal or Breviary, and follow the Ordo closely.

This post provides something of an overview, but should be read in conjunction with the Ordo.

Psalm Sunday to Holy Week Wednesday

The first days of Holy Week are all first class days:
  • For those who say it, Matins each day has two nocturns/three readings, with the invitatory antiphon and hymn of passiontide;
  • Lauds to None have proper antiphons for each day, with other texts from the ordinary of passiontide;
  • Vespers uses the antiphons from the psalter, with a proper canticle and collect each for the Magnificat.
The Sacred Triduum

From Holy Thursday, follow the Office as set out in the Diurnal, ignoring the psalter section of the book. There are a number of special features of the Triduum that are worth taking note of.

It is worth noting that the Benedictine Office is, for all purposes and intents, identical to the traditional Roman Office during this period. So if you have the opportunity to attend Tenebrae or other Offices sung publicly, take them! You may also wish to listen to the monks of Norcia, who broadcast many of these Offices each year.

The other key point to note is that some of the Holy Week ceremonies include parts of the Office - so those who attend them do not need to sing or say those particular hours separately (see the Ordo).

Tenebrae (Matins and Lauds)

The Office of Tenebrae, or Matins and Lauds, is a special feature of the Triduum. It is said in darkness, and a candle is extinguished as each of the psalms is said.

The 1962 rubrics specify that Tenebrae not be anticipated, or said the night before. As this generally makes public recitation of the Office impractical outside a monastery, it is generally ignored. Thus the normal practice is to perform Tenebrae for Maundy Thursday on Wednesday night, and so forth. Note that the Diurnal does not contain the Matins psalms for Tenebrae, so you will need to obtain these from elsewhere should you wish to say it in full.

Prime to None from Maundy Thursday to None on Holy Saturday

The psalms for Prime, Terce, Sext and None during the Triduum are set out on MD 279*ff. No introductory prayer or hymns are said, and the Gloria Patri is not said at the end of each psalm.

Each hour closes the antiphon ‘Christus factus est’ – each day of the Triduum, an additional phrase of the antiphon is added, as set out on MD 282*.

Vespers

Vespers (if said) is often said quite early, in order to make room for Tenebrae/the Easter Vigil.

The antiphons and psalms for Vespers can be found on MD 296*ff.

Note that:
  • There are no introductory prayers;
  • As for the other hours, the Gloria Patri is not said at the end of each psalm;
  • The first psalm on Holy Saturday is on MD 298*;
  • Antiphons for the Magnificat each day are on MD 303*;
  • On Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, the antiphon Christus factus est is said;
  • On the concluding prayers for Holy Saturday, see MD 305*.
Compline

The rubrics for Compline from Maundy Thursday to Holy Saturday are set out on MD 305*ff. Note the addition of the Nunc Dimittis.

Friday, April 15, 2011

April 16: Saturday in Passion Week

Giotto, 1266-1337

Today's Gospel is John 12: 10-36, the entry into Jerusalem:

"So the chief priests planned to put Laz'arus also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!"

And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it; as it is written, "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on an ass's colt!"

His disciples did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him.

The crowd that had been with him when he called Laz'arus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness.The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.

The Pharisees then said to one another, "You see that you can do nothing; look, the world has gone after him."

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.

So these came to Philip, who was from Beth-sa'ida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."

Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.

"Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? `Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify thy name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."

The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."

Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.

Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

He said this to show by what death he was to die.

The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Christ remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?"

Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light."

When Jesus had said this, he departed and hid himself from them."