Learning the Office Part XC - Lauds during the week

I'm finally up to Lauds during the week, the last part of this series covering the hours of the day Office. In fact, if you are comfortable with Sunday Lauds, the weekday version becomes pretty straightforward.

If you are just starting off, however, start reading this series at Part I.

The structure of Lauds during the week

St Benedict prescribes the structure of Lauds on weekdays as follows (RB13):

"On weekdays Lauds shall be celebrated as follows.

Let Psalm 66 be said without an antiphon somewhat slowly without an antiphon, as on Sunday, in order that all may be in time for Psalm 50, which has an antiphon.

After that let two other Psalms be said according to custom, namely: on Monday Psalms 5 and 35, on Tuesday Psalms 42 and 56, on Wednesday Psalms 63 and 64, on Thursday Psalms 87 and 89, on Friday Psalms 75 and 91, and on Saturday Psalm 142 and the canticle from Deuteronomy, which is to be divided into two sections each terminated by a "Glory be to the Father."

But on the other days let there be a canticle from the Prophets, each on its own day as chanted by the Roman Church.

Next follow the Psalms of praise [148-50], then a lesson of the Apostle to be recited from memory, the responsory, the hymn, the versicle, the canticle from the Gospel book, the Kyrie, and the conclusion."

The structure, in other words, is pretty much the same as for a Sunday, but with different psalms and canticles in the middle.

The opening of Lauds

So, looking at Monday, the opening section goes as follows:

Deus in adjutorium...MD 58 (as per the standard opening for the hours)

Ps 66: Deus misereatur....MD 59

Note that on subsequent days, the Diurnal doesn't bother writing this all out again, so you need to remember that the abbreviations on page 75 (for Tuesday) and subsequent days are reminding you go use the Monday opening and first psalm.

Antiphons of the season, day or feast

The Diurnal then notes the antiphon for the Miserere (Ps 50) for 'Throughout the year' and for Eastertide. The 'throughout the year' antiphons differ for each day (ie there is a set for Monday, pg 59ff, another set for Tuesday and so forth. These normal day antiphons however can be displaced - for example by ones set for a season (ie Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia for Eastertide).

Normally, a saint's feast which has proper antiphons (or is second class or higher) bumps the feast up to using the 'festal' psalms (set out in the Sunday section of the psalter), whereas third class feasts just uses the antiphons of the day.

But there are exceptions. On Vigils such as Ascension and Pentecost, for example, the day can be a first or second class feast - but the normal daily psalms and antiphons of the season are still used. Similarly, there are one or two cases where antiphons for a feast are used with the psalms of Lauds of the day - so watch what the rubrics tell you in terms of which psalms and antiphons to use!

As on Sunday, there can either be three antiphons or five. On a three antiphon day, the pattern is:

antiphon 1
Psalm 50
Psalm of the day
Psalm of the day
antiphon 1

antiphon 2
canticle
antiphon 2

antiphon 3
Psalm 148, 149, 150
antiphon 3

On a five antiphon day (which is more typical), the antiphons go before and after each psalm or canticle up until the Laudate psalms (148, 149, 150), which have one antiphon for the three of them.

The canticle

A key decision you have to make about Lauds during the week concerns which of the two canticles, the first of which is labelled 'ferial', the second 'festal' (see MD 65, 66) offered you should say. There are basically two alternative systems in operation.

The first option is to say the ferial canticle on ferias (class IV), the festal on third class feasts or above (such as Vigils). This is the simplest approach and I recommend it!

The alternative practice alluded to in a rubrical note in the Diurnal (pg 65) is to say the festal canticle most of the year, and the ferial on penitential days - so the ferial is only used during Lent, Advent, Septuagesima, Ember Days, Rogation Days, etc.

It is entirely up to you, the rubrics permit either approach.

Saturday psalms and canticles

This is by way of a footnote in case you ever visit a monastery and attend Saturday Lauds and wonder why it is slightly different to what is laid out in the Diurnal - but can be ignored if you don't care! There is a curious discrepancy between Lauds in the Diurnal, and Lauds as it appears in the 1963 Monastic Breviary and earlier editions of the Office. If you look at the extract from the Rule above, St Benedict specifies that there be only one psalm on Saturday (142), followed by the canticle divided into two sections. For reasons one can only speculate on (someone at some point decided the Rule had been mistranslated for centuries?), the Diurnal splits the psalm, rather than the Canticle.

If you want to follow the Breviary (which is the more authoritative text I think), ignore the 'divisio' in the psalm marked in the Diurnal (pg 136) and sing it right through. Then in the canticle, make a split (ie add the Gloria patri) after the verse 'Numquid dierum antiquorum...creavit te' in the ferial canticle, or after 'Ut cognoscant te...Domine' in the festal canticle.

Chapter, responsory etc

The rest of the hour follows the same structure as Sunday Lauds (and pretty much mirrors Vespers as well):

Chapter
Short responsory (for a refresher on the structure of responsories, go here.)
Hymn
Versicle
Antiphon; Benedictus; Antiphon for the Benedictus
Kyrie, etc and standard conclusion of the Office, MD 75 - for a refresher on the conclusion of the hours, go here.

The Diurnal provides the 'throughout the year' options for each of chapter and so forth, including an antiphon for the Benedictus, but note that these can be displaced by texts for the season or day. Note also that the Diurnal doesn't bother writing out the Benedictus each day - this is where that handy card that comes with the book is used!

Cheat sheet: Lauds throughout the week
  • Morning prayer said at first light;
  • For Lauds on higher level feasts with the festal psalms, see notes on Sunday Lauds;
  • Monday Lauds starts page 58 - select either the ferial (p65) or the festal (p66) canticle depending on season or class of day; collect of the previous Sunday or feast, see Ordo; if there is a commemoration (memorial), the relevants texts are said immediately after the collect of the day;
  • Tuesday Lauds  - opening prayers and Psalm 66 as for Monday, pages 58-59; then go to page 76 ff; select either the ferial (p80) or the festal (p82) canticle depending on season or class of day; Benedictus from the card, or page 73; Concluding prayers as for Monday, page 75; Collect of the previous Sunday or feast, see Ordo; if there is a commemoration (memorial), the relevants texts are said immediately after the collect of the day.
  • Wednesday Lauds - Opening prayers and Psalm 66 as for Monday, pages 58-59; then go to page 89ff; Select either the ferial (p94) or the festal (p96) canticle depending on season or class of day; Benedictus from the card, or page 73; Concluding prayers as for Monday, page 75; Collect of the previous Sunday or feast, see Ordo; if there is a commemoration (memorial), the relevants texts are said immediately after the collect of the day.
  • Thursday Lauds  - Opening prayers and Psalm 66 as for Monday, pages 58-59; then go to page 102; select either the ferial (p108) or the festal (p109) canticle depending on season or class of day; Benedictus from the card, or page 73; Concluding prayers as for Monday, page 75; Collect of the previous Sunday or feast, see Ordo; if there is a commemoration (memorial), the relevants texts are said immediately after the collect of the day.
  • Friday Lauds - Opening prayers and Psalm 66 as for Monday, pages 58-59; Then go to page 118; Select either the ferial (p123) or the festal (p126) canticle depending on season or class of day; Benedictus from the card, or page 73; Concluding prayers as for Monday, page 75; Collect of the previous Sunday or feast, see Ordo; if there is a commemoration (memorial), the relevants texts are said immediately after the collect of the day.
  • Saturday Lauds - opening prayers and Psalm 66 as for Monday, pages 58-59; then go to page 133; Select either the ferial (p137) or the festal (p138) canticle depending on season or class of day; Benedictus from the card, or page 73; Concluding prayers as for Monday, page 75; Collect of the previous Sunday or feast, see Ordo; if there is a commemoration (memorial), the relevant texts are said immediately after the collect of the day.
For the next part in this series go here.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Quick question for you. When would we, following your recommended method for choosing canticles, ever use the festal? Am I wrong in thinking that the "cum reliquis ut in psalterio p.44" means that we use the "Benedicite" and all other psalms for Sunday on third class feasts? Should we only use psalms 92 and 99 and then the remaining psalms from the feria on third class feasts, thus using the festal canticle?

Kate Edwards said...

Yes, I would use the festal canticle on major feasts, as the rubrics indicate.

And yes on the meaning of the Latin - but the Sunday festal psalms are not normally used on most third class feasts, but are occasionally specified.

The normal pattern is for Sunday festal psalms for class I&II feasts, daily psalms (with choice of canticle, ie the festal) for Class III but with proper antiphons.

The occasional rubric prescribing the Sunday festal psalms for third class feasts is a result of compressing a larger number of levels of feasts down to three in the 1962 rubrics!

Mark said...

About the Canticle, it is interesting to compare with the Roman Breviary, where the second system appears to be adopted, in that the 'festal' canticle is used for 'Lauds I' (i.e. most of the year), with the 'ferial' canticle reserved to 'Lauds II' (i.e. penitential seasons like Lent, and the 'kneeling days' like Vigils).

MM said...

hi kate. hope all is well with you! Laud question: are Ant. Lauds said/sung/chanted in place of all the Ant. for the assigned day? for example, today is the Memorial of St Blaise [52]. thank you!

Kate Edwards said...

MM - It depends on the level of the feast.

Memorials are reflected only in the concluding prayers - after the prayer of the week (or day), you say the material provided under St Blaise.

For higher level freasts though, the antiphons and texts replace those normally said each day.

kanraku said...

Hi Terra, Thank you for the site. It's very helpful!

Can I just clarify the thing about Memorials, because I'm slow. For example, today has been St. Peter Damian O.S.B. Is the procedure to say Lauds for Thursday fully as in the Psalter with no changes, then after that the Benedictus, Our Father, etc. also with the antiphons for Thursday, then the Collect for Sunday of Sexagesima as normal, and /only then/ turn to [73] and say the Antiphon, Versicle and Collect all as one bunch? If that's the case, does the Antiphon get repeated afterwards again?

Thanks if you can help!

Kate Edwards said...

Dear Kanraku,

Yes you have it - the antiphon etc are said after the collect of the Sunday (or feast of the day), so in this case Sexagesima. And no, the antiphon is said once only.