Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for first week after Easter Octave (April 23-29)

This week we move into the season of Eastertide, which has special rubrics - in particular a lot fewer antiphons!

It also marks the start of the 'summer' timetable in the Office, so that ordinary days only have one short reading each day (which is the same each day during Eastertide) at Matins (you can find the reading and responsory over at my Lectio Divina blog).


Sunday 23 April – Low Sunday, Class I 

Matins: Invitatory, hymn, antiphons, Gospel, readings and responsories for the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons, MD 341* ff with festal psalms 

Prime to None: Antiphons etc MD 344* ff

Vespers: II Vespers of Low Sunday – psalms of Sunday under one antiphon; chapter etc from I Vespers; Magnificat antiphon, MD 345*

Monday 24 April  Class IV [EF: St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Class III]

Matins: Ordinary of Eastertide: Invitatory, Alleluia...; hymn, Rex sempiterne; one antiphon per Nocturn (alleluia...); versicles, short lesson (Os 6:1-3); chapter (Rom 6:4) with psalms of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 352*; collect, MD 344*

Tuesday 25 April  The Greater Litanies and St Mark [Australia: ANZAC Day]


Matins: All from the Common of Apostles in Eastertide except for the readings and responsories, of the feast)

Lauds to None: All from the Common of Apostles in Paschaltide, MD (23)ff, except for the collect, MD [113]

Vespers: Common of Apostles in Paschaltide MD (20), except for the versicle and Magnificat antiphon, MD (26) and collect, MD [113]

Wednesday 26 April  St Cletus, memorial [EF: SS Cletus and Marcellinus, Class III]

Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 352-3*; collect, MD 344*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [113-4]

Thursday 27 April  Class IV; St Peter Canisius, memorial [EF: Class III]


Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 353*; collect, MD 344*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [114-5]

Friday 28 April – Class IV [EF: St Paul of the Cross]

Ordinary of Eastertide, MD 346*ff; canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 353*; collect, MD 344*

Saturday 29 April – SS Odo, Majolus, Odilo and Hugh, Class III [EF: St Peter of Verona]

Matins: Invitatory, hymn and one reading of the feast; psalms of the day with antiphons of Eastertide; chapter, Eccles 17:7-8

Lauds: Antiphons for the feast with festal psalms, MD [115] ff

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds with psalms of Saturday

Terce to None: Antiphons and texts of the feast, MD [117] ff

I Vespers of Second Sunday after Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday), MD 354* ff

Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for Octave of Easter (April 16-22)

For the next week the Office is essentially the same each day, a seven day Sunday....

Sunday 16 April – Easter Sunday, Class I with a Class I Octave

Matins and Lauds are included in the Vigil, so do not need to be said by those who attend it. 

Matins: If said, all of the feast, with twelve readings and responsories

Lauds: If said, Psalm scheme 2 (92, etc), MD 328*

Prime to Vespers: Antiphons of Lauds with proper texts of the feast, MD 328* ff

Compline: Marian Antiphon, Regina Caeli henceforward

Monday 17 April – Monday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and collect, MD 335*

Tuesday 18 April – Tuesday in Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and collect, MD 336*

Wednesday 19 April – Wednesday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for the Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons, and collect, MD 336-7*

Thursday 20 April – Thursday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and collect, MD 337*

Friday 21 April – Friday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

Lauds to Compline: All as for Easter Sunday including psalms, except for Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and collect, MD 337-8*

Saturday 22 April – White Saturday in the Octave of Easter, Class I

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of Easter Sunday, antiphon of the day, ferial psalms, three readings

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

SEASON OF EASTERTIDE

I Vespers of Low Sunday, MD 339* ff

Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for Holy Week (9-15 April)

This week marks the start of Holy Week, and you can find the readings and responsories, as well as notes on where to find the chants for Matins of Palm Sunday here.

For notes on the rubrics of Holy Week more generally, follow the link here.

In essence, this is a week when you particularly need to keep your wits about you, since which hours of the Office you should say depends on which of the other Holy Week ceremonies you attend.

In addition, the Benedictine Office is abandoned for the Triduum in favour of the Roman. and with special rubrics for these three days.  The highlight of the week is always, in my view, the celebration of Tenebrae (Matins and Lauds, generally anticipated) each night (or very early morning).


Sunday 9 April – Second Passion Sunday or Palm Sunday, Class I

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; twelve readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons for the day, MD 255* with psalm scheme 1 (Ps 50, 117, 62); chapter etc for the day

Prime to None: Antiphons and chapter verses, MD 258* ff

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; chapter etc as per I Vespers; Magnificat antiphon, MD 260*

Monday 10 April – Monday in Holy Week, Class I

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds: Antiphons MD 260-1* with psalms of Monday; chapter, responsory and hymn of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 261*

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds (MD 260*) with psalms etc of Monday

Terce to None: Antiphons 2, 3 and 5 of Lauds respectively, MD 260-1*; chapter and versicle of Passiontide; collect of Lauds

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 244* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect, MD 261-2*

Tuesday 11 April - Tuesday in Holy Week, Class I

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to None: Antiphons MD 262* with psalms of Tuesday; Ordinary of Passiontide; Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 263*

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; chapter, responsory and hymn for the season, MD 244* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect of the day, MD 263*

Wednesday 12 April – Wednesday in Holy Week, Class I

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to None: Antiphons MD 263-4* with psalms of Wednesday; Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240*; Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 264*

Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the psalter; Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 244* ff; Magnificat antiphon and collect, MD 265*

Thursday 13 April - Maundy Thursday, Class I

Note: No introductory prayer or hymns are said, and the Gloria Patri is not said at the end of each psalm. 

Matins: (Tenebrae)  - as for the Roman Office, nine psalms and readings

Lauds: MD 265*ff  [Note: Outside a monastery, normally sung in combination with Matins the night before as Tenebrae]

Prime to None: MD 279* ff

Vespers: MD 296* ff, Magnificat antiphon of Maundy Thursday, MD 308* [Note: Not said by those who attend the evening Mass]

Compline: MD 305* 

Friday 14 – Good Friday, Class I

See MD 309*ff.  Note that:
  • There are no opening prayers
  • The Gloria Patri is not said at the end of each psalm
  • The psalms etc for Prime to None are set out at MD 279* ff
  • ‘Mortem autem crucis’ is added to the antiphon Christus factus est, MD 282* at the end of each hour
Matins: (Tenebrae)  - as for the Roman Office, nine psalms and readings

Lauds: MD 309*ff [Note: Normally sung the night before in combination with Matins as Tenebrae]

Prime to None: MD 279* ff

Vespers: MD 296* ff, Magnificat antiphon of Good Friday, MD 308* [Not said by those who attend the afternoon liturgy]

Compline: MD 305*

Saturday 15 April   – Holy Saturday

See MD 318* ff.  Note that:
  • There are no opening prayers 
  • The Gloria Patri is not said at the end of each psalm
  • The psalms and antiphons to be used are set out at MD 279* ff
  • Propter quod…’ is added to the antiphon Christus factus est, MD 282* at the end of each hour
Matins: (Tenebrae)  - as for the Roman Office, nine psalms and readings

Lauds: MD 318*ff [Note: Normally sung the night before in combination with Matins as Tenebrae]

Prime to None: MD 279* ff

Vespers: MD 296* ff, Magnificat antiphon of Holy Saturday, MD 308*

Compline: MD 305*  [Not said by those who attend the Vigil]

Benedictine Office - Ordo for first week of Passiontide (April 2-8)

This Sunday marks the start of the mini-season of Passiontide, which has its own proper texts.  You can find notes on the rubrics for this period here.

And if you are looking for notes and readings on Matins for Passion Sunday, look here.


Sunday 2 April – (First) Passion Sunday, Class I

Matins: Invitatory (Hodie si vocem), hymn (Pange lingua), readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: Antiphons and texts for the day, MD 234* ff with psalm scheme 1 (Ps 50, 117, 62)

Prime to None: Antiphons etc, MD 238-9*

Vespers: Psalms and antiphons of Sunday; chapter etc as per I Vespers, MD 234* ff; versicle and Magnificat antiphon MD 239* 

PASSIONTIDE

Monday 3 April – Monday in (First) Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide: Invitatory (Hodie si vocem), omit Gloria; hymn (Pange lingua); psalms and antiphons of the psalter; three readings of the day; chapter Jer 11:18-19

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 246-7*

Tuesday 4 April – Tuesday in Passion Week, Class III; St Isidore, memorial

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to VespersOrdinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 247-8*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [107]

Wednesday 5 April – Wednesday in Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 248-9*

Thursday 6 April - Thursday in Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 249-50*

Friday 7 April – Friday in Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 250-2*

Saturday 8 April – Saturday in Passion Week, Class III

Matins: Ordinary of Passiontide; three readings of the day

Lauds to Vespers: Ordinary of Passiontide, MD 240* ff; canticle antiphons and collects, MD 252*

HOLY WEEK

I Vespers of Palm Sunday: Antiphons and psalms of Saturday with chapter and rest from MD 252* ff

Getting ready for Passiontide


StMartin43-53.JPG

The season of Passiontide, a sub-set of Lent, starts with I Vespers of Saturday, and marks an intensification of our preparations for the Triduum.

In the Office, there is an Ordinary of Passiontide with its own hymns and chants.

At Matins:
  • there is a daily invitatory verse (If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart);
  • the Gloria Patri is not said in Psalm 94 or in the responsories; and
  • the hymn is Lustris sex qui iam peractis.
At Prime to None:
  • the antiphons, chapters and versicles are of the season of Passiontide, and can be found in the psalter section;
  • the collect for Terce to None is the same as for Lauds of that day;
At Lauds and Vespers:
  • chapters, hymns, etc of the season replace those in the psalter section;
  • the responsories omit the Gloria Patri, instead repeating the opening verse;
  • the canticle antiphons are proper for each day. They generally reflect the (EF) Gospel for the day; and
  • there is a specific collect for both Lauds and Vespers each day.

Fr Hunwicke has posted some nice background on the hymns of Passiontide, which are all by the sixth century bishop Venantius Fortunatus, prompted, according to Fr H, by the formidable Abbess Radegund of Poitiers.  Vexilla Regis is used at Vespers; the first five verses of Pange lingua gloriosi Proelium certaminis at Matins, and the remainder of the latter hymn at Lauds (as Lustra sex qui iam peregit).

PS I have added a sidebar on the blog linking to monastic (and related) products being sold for fundraising purposes, such as St Benedict medalsBirra Nursia and so forth.  If monasteries would like me to highlight any particular products, just let me know.

The traditionally oriented monasteries pretty much all have donation pages as well, and many of them are in the midst of major building projects, so do give them consideration as part of your Lenten almsgiving!  

Former Octave day of St Benedict

Lorenzo Monaco, The Death of Saint Benedict. 1409, London NG.jpg
Lorenzo Monaco
UK National Gallery

In the old Octave of St Benedict, the first Nocturn readings were as for the feast.  The third Nocturn readings were a sermon of St John Chrysostom on Romans.  The second Nocturn readings continued the reading of St Gregory's Dialogues book II, and were from chapters 35 and 37.

Reading 5: The man of God, Benedict, being diligent in watching, rose early before the time of matins (his monks being yet at rest) and came to the window of his chamber where he offered up Manuscript illustrationhis prayers to almighty God. Standing there, all of a sudden in the dead of the night, as he looked forth, he saw a light that banished away the darkness of the night and glittered with such brightness that the light which shone in the midst of darkness was far more clear than the light of the day.

During this vision a marvelously strange thing followed, for, as he himself afterward reported, the whole world, gathered together, as it were, under one beam of the sun, was presented before his eyes. While the venerable father stood attentively beholding the brightness of that glittering light, he saw the soul of Germanus, Bishop of Capua, in a fiery globe, carried up by Angels into heaven.

Reading 6: Then, desiring to have some witness of this notable miracle, he called Servandus the Deacon with a very loud voice two or three times by his name. Servandus, troubled at such an unusual crying out by the man of God, went up in all haste.  Looking out the window he saw nothing else but a little remnant of the light, but he wondered at so great a miracle.

The man of God told him all that he had seen in due order. In the the town of Cassino, he commanded the religious man, Theoprobus, to dispatch someone that night to the city of Capua, to learn what had become of Germanus their Bishop. This being done, the messenger learned that the reverent prelate had departed this life. Enquiring curiously the time, the messenger discovered that he died at the very instant in which the man of God beheld him ascending up to heaven.

Reading 7: In the year that was to be his last, the man of God foretold the day of his holy death to a number of his disciples. In mentioning it to some who were with him in the monastery, he bound them to strict secrecy. Some others, however, who were stationed elsewhere he only informed of the special sign they would receive at the time of his death.

Six days before he died, he gave orders for his tomb to be opened. Almost immediately he was seized with a violent fever that rapidly wasted his remaining energy. Each day his condition grew worse until finally, on the sixth day, he had his disciples carry him into the chapel where he received the Body and Blood of our Lord to gain strength for his approaching end. Then, supporting his weakend body on the arms of his brethren, he stood with his hands raised to heaven and, as he prayed, breathed his last.

Reading 8: That day two monks, one of them at the monastery, the other some distance away, received the very same revelation.  They both saw a magnificent road covered with rich carpeting and glittering with thousands of lights. From his monastery it stretched eastward in a straight line until it reached up into heaven. And there in the brightness stood a man of majestic appearance, who asked them, "Do you know who passed this way?"

"No," they replied.

"This, he told them, is the road taken by blessed Benedict, the Lord's beloved, when he went to heaven."

Thus, while the brethren who were with Benedict witnessed his death, those who were absent knew about it through the sign he had promised them. His body was laid to rest in the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, which he had built to replace the altar of Apollo.

That cave in which he first dwelled [at Subiaco], even to this very time, works miracles, if the faith of those that pray there requires the same.