Learning the Office: Part XI, The Office of Our Lady on Saturday

Now that we've looked at each of the Day Hours, there are just a few other things to cover, really by way of appendices. The first of these is the Office of Our Lady on Saturday, which can be found in the Diurnal on page (129).

Honouring Our Lady

The Office of Our Lady on Saturday, as the name suggests, honours Our Lady. The antiphons and hymn are all used in the Common of Feasts of Our Lady, and also in the Little Office of Our Lady, and I suspect that the Little Office actually evolved from this (the Little Office originated at Monte Cassino, so has strong Benedictine connections!). The Saturday Office came into wide use in the tenth century when St Hugh of Cluny ordered it to be said in all the houses of the Cluniac Congregation, and was later mandated for the Roman Office as well.

The Office of Our Lady on Saturday is basically said on any Saturday that is Class IV.  So any Saturday that is not a third class feast or higher.

The Office starts with Matins and ends at None.

It comes with three main variants:
  • throughout the year, page (130) ff in the Farnborough edition of the Monastic Diurnal;
  • from Christmas to the Purification MD (133)ff; and
  • Eastertide (including the Saturday after the Ascension), MD (135).
Office of Our Lady on Saturday throughout the year
  • At Lauds, use the normal Saturday antiphons and psalms, then the rest from MD (130);
  • each of the minor hours has its own antiphon, set out on MD (131) ff, as well as a chapter and versicle;
  • the collect from Lauds to None is set out on MD (131)
The Office after Christmas

The Office after Christmas has its own collect and antiphons, set out on MD (133).

Office of Our Lady on Saturday during Eastertide

The starting point is the normal Saturday Office in the psalter.
At Lauds:
  • The Psalms and antiphons are as in the psalter for Saturday during Eastertide;
  • The chapter is as throughout the year, MD (130);
  • the responsory has alleluias added to it, MD (135);
  • the hymn is as throughout the year, O Gloriosa Domina, MD (130);
  • the versicle has alleluias added, MD (135);
  • the Benedictus antiphon is Regina caeli, MD (135)
  • the collect is as throughout the year, Concede nos...,MD (131).
At Prime:
  • Everything as in the psalter for Saturday, except for the antiphon, which is the antiphon from the Office of Our Lady on Saturday throughout the year, MD (131) with an alleluia added to the end, thus 'Dum esset Rex...suavitatis, Alleluia'
At Terce, Sext and None:
  • Use the antiphons, chapters, versicles and collect for the Office of Our Lady throughout the year, but add an alleluia to the antiphons and each line of the versicles (not noted in the Diurnal).
The next part of this series, with more on calendars and Ordos, can be found here.

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