Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for the seventh week after Pentecost (July 23-29)

As usual, the notes below provide a guide to the variable texts of the Benedictine Office, with page references to the most recent editions of the Monastic Diurnal.

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

This Sunday is the Seventh after Pentecost, and the Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons as usual reflect the (EF) Mass Gospel (which is also said at Matins), St Matthew 7: 15-21.

At I Vespers of Sunday (ie Saturday night) the Magnificat antiphon refers to the first Nocturn readings at Matins, from 1 Kings 1.

Accordingly, even if you don't include Matins in your schedule (and most people don't, for very good reasons) it is worth, I think, taking a look at the readings for it, which include Scriptural readings based on the annual cycle, and Patristic commentaries on them.  You can find them over at my Lectio Divina Notes Blog.

This week's feasts

There are two key feasts this week.

On Tuesday we celebrate the feast of St James, whose legendary moorslaying associations (he was claimed to have appeared in battle to aid Spanish Catholics in driving out the Muslim invaders in the ninth century) seem particularly pertinent at the moment.  The texts for the feast are from the Common of Apostles, apart from the second and third nocturn readings at Matins.

On Wednesday, the Benedictine Office celebrates the feast of both SS Joachim and Anne.  For those saying Matins, the hymn (Gaude mater Anna) can be found in the Antiphonale Monasticum, pg 985, and a translation of the one reading and responsory will appear on Lectio Divina notes.

New to the Office?

Those new to the Benedictine Office are strongly advised to start by working your way through Learn the Office notes.

And for those interested, I plan to run a new 'learn to say the Office' series shortly, focusing on Vespers - if you are interested, keep an eye on the 'Learn the Benedictine Office Blog' (where I previously ran a series on Matins).  You can find a general introductory post here.

THE ORDO

Sunday 23 July – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Class II

Matins: All as in the psalter with readings and responsories of the Sunday.

Lauds: Psalm schema 1 (50, 117, 62); hymn, Ecce iam lucis; collect and canticle antiphon, MD 466-7*

Prime to None: All as for Sunday in the psalter; collect, MD 467*

Vespers: Canticle antiphon and collect, MD 467*

Monday 24 July - Class IV [EF: Commemoration of St Christina]

Collect MD 467*

Tuesday 25 July – St James, Class II

Matins: All from the Common of Apostles except for the readings and responsories for Nocturn II &III (of the feast) and collect

Lauds to Vespers: All from the Common of Apostles, MD (9) except for the collect, MD [201]

Wednesday 26 July – SS Joachim and Anne, Class III [EF: St Anne]

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn of the feast; one reading of the feast; chapter verse Is 56:7

Lauds: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast, MD [202] ff with festal psalms

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds

Terce to None: Antiphons of Lauds, chapter and versicle of the feast, MD [205] ff

Vespers: Antiphons of Lauds with psalms of Sunday; proper texts of the feast, MD [206-7]

Thursday 27 July – Class IV [EF: Commemoration of St Pantaleon]
   
Collect, MD 467*
         
Friday 28 July – Class IV [EF: SS Nazarius and Celsus, Victor I, Innocent I]

Collect, MD 467*

Saturday 29 July  Saturday of Our Lady; SS Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice, memorial [EF: St Martha]

Matins: As for Office of Our Lady with reading for Saturday 4 in July

Lauds to None: Office of Our Lady, MD (129) ff; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [207-8]

I Vespers of Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, MD 448*

Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for the sixth week after Pentecost (July 16 - 22)

As usual, the notes below provide a guide to the variable texts of the Benedictine Office, with page references to the most recent editions of the Monastic Diurnal.

Those new to the Benedictine Office are strongly advised to start by working your way through Learn the Office notes.


Readings

Even if you don't include Matins in your schedule (and most people don't!) it is worth, I think, taking a look at the readings for it, which include Scriptural readings based on an annual cycle, and Patristic commentaries on them as well as this week's Gospel at Mass.  You can find them over at my Lectio Divina Notes Blog.

For those who do say Matins, the only feast that affects that hour this week is St Mary Magdalen next Saturday, and the reading and responsory for the feast will appear on the Lectio Divina Notes blog the day before.

THE ORDO

Sunday 16 July – Sixth Sunday after Pentecost Class II [**in some places, Our Lady of Einsiedeln; EF: Commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel]

Matins: All as in the psalter with readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: Psalm schema 1 (50, 117, 62); hymn Ecce iam lucis; canticle antiphon and collect MD 465-6*

Prime to None: All as for Sunday in the psalter; collect, MD 466*

Vespers: Canticle antiphon and collect, MD 466*

**For Our Lady of Einsiedeln, Common of BVM

Monday 17 July – Class IV; St Leo IV, memorial [**in some places, SS Andrew Svoradi and Benedict; EF: Commemoration of St Alexius]

Collect, MD 466*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [194]

For SS Andrew Svoradi and Benedict, common of martyrs

Tuesday 18 July  Class IV [EF: St Camillus de Lellis]

Collect, MD 466*

Wednesday 19 July – Class IV; St Vincent de Paul, memorial [EF: Class III]

Collect, MD 466*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [195]

If St Vincent Class I, Common of confessors

Thursday 20 July – SS Jerome Aemiliani, Joseph Calanctius and John Baptist de la Salle, memorial

All as in the psalter, collect MD 466*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [195-6]

Friday 21 July  Class IV [EF: St Lawrence Brindisi; Commemoration of St Praxedes]

Collect MD 466*

Saturday 22 July – St Mary Magdalen, Class III

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn from Common of a holy woman; antiphons and psalms of the day; one reading of the feast; chapter of a holy woman not a virgin or martyr

Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of the day; chapter, responsory from Common of Holy Women, MD (100); hymn, canticle antiphon and collect, MD [196] ff

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds from the Common

Terce to None: Chapter and versicle from Common of Holy Women, MD (103); collect, MD [198]
I Vespers of the Seventh Sunday, MD 447-8*

Feast of the translation of the relics of St Benedict (July 11)

St. Benedict hands over the Rule of the New Order to the Monks of Monte Cassino - Turino Vanni

An account of the translation of the relics to Fleury:
IN the name of Christ. There was in France, by God's gracious providence, a learned Priest who set about to journey towards Italy, that he might discover where were the bones of our father St Benedict, no longer worshipped by men. 
At length he came into a desert country some 70 or 80 miles from Rome, where St Benedict of old had built a cell whose indwellers had been bound together in perfect charity. Yet, even then, this Priest and his companions were disquieted by-the uncertainties of the place, since they could find neither vestiges of the monastery nor any burial-place, until at last a swineherd showed them exactly where the monastery had stood; yet he was utterly unable to find the sepulcher' until he and his companions had hallowed themselves by a two or three days' fast. 
Then it was revealed to their cook in a dream, and the matter became plain unto them; for in the morning it was shown unto them by him who seemed lowest in degree, that St Paul's words might be true, that God despises that which is held in great esteem among men; or again, as the Lord Himself foretold, "Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister." 
Then, searching the spot with greater diligence, they found a marble slab which they had to cut through. At last, having broken through the slab, they found the bones of St Benedict, and his sister's bones beneath, with another marble slab between; since (as we believe) the almighty and merciful God would that those should be united in their sepulcher who, in life, had been joined together in brotherly and sisterly love, and in Christian charity.
Having collected and washed these bones they laid them upon fine clean linen, each by itself, to be carried home to their own country. 
They gave no sign to the Romans lest, if these had learnt the truth, they would doubtless never have suffered such holy relics to be withdrawn from their country without conflict or war - relics which God made manifest, in order that men might see how great was their need of religion and holiness, by the following miracle. For, within a while, the linen that wrapped these bones was found red with the saint's blood, as though from open wounds on living whereby Jesus Christ intended to show that those whose bones are here so glorious would truly live with Him in the world to come. 
Then they were laid upon a horse which bore them over all that long journey as lightly as though he had felt no burden. Again, when they journeyed through forest ways and on narrow roads, neither did the trees impede them nor did any ruggedness of the path obstruct their journey; so that the travelers saw clearly how this was through the merits of St Benedict and his sister St Scholastica, in order that their journey might be safe and prosperous even into the realm of France and the monastery of Fleury. 
In which monastery they are now buried in peace, until they arise in glory at the Last Day; and here they confer benefits upon all who pray unto the Father through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who lives and reigns in the unity die Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.
(From C.G. Coulton, ed, Life in the Middle Ages, (New York: Macmillan, c.1910), Vol IV, 29-31)

The authenticity of the relics

Monte Cassino, however, it should be noted, has always maintained that Fleury's relics are not those of the saint.  Their website currently states:
Having been dutifully cared for, the earthly remains of St. Benedict and his twin sister St. Scholastica rest today at the celebrated hilltop monastery of Montecassino. Both Saints passed away in the mid 6th century, St. Scholastica at her nearby convent and St. Benedict at Montecassino. 
A black marble scroll on their tomb says: St. Benedict and St. Scholastica were never separated in spirit during their life nor are their bodies separated in their death. 
The original urn was made of alabaster, and held a lead container big enough for two people's remains. It was initially located underneath the primitive oratory of St. John the Baptist, built above the ancient acropolis' pagan altar to Apollo. The tomb of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica, having survived so many centuries, destructions, and more recently the bombardment of WWII, can be found today at the High Altar of the reconstructed cathedral of Montecassino, surrounded by ornate and beautiful decorations.
Following WWII a methodical survey and excavation of the ancient sepulcher and bones inside the tomb was carried out. The experts conducted a thoroughly documented study at Montecassino and agreed on the authenticity of the remains, reaffirming like other have in the past, that they indeed belong to St. Benedict and his sister St. Scholastica.
It should be noted, however, that Fleury's relics have similarly been identified as originating in the sixth century, and surviving correspondence (though of questionable authenticity) suggests that the relic thieves were all excommunicated by the Pope of the time.

The leader of the tomb raiders, Aygulf, later became abbot of Lerins, and attempted to introduce the Rule there.  A rebellion led by two monks, allegedly aided and abetted by the local bishop, however, led to Aygulf and a group of his companions being marooned on a neighbouring island, where they were, it was claimed, killed by pirates...

Traditional Benedictine Office - Ordo for the fifth week after Pentecost (July 9 - 15)

As usual, the notes below provide page references for the parts of the Office that vary from the psalter this week, with page references to the Farnborough edition of the Monastic Diurnal.

The notes assume you understand the basic structure of each hour, and the quirks of the Diurnal.  Accordingly, if you are new to the Office, you should first read through the notes on the Diurnal in general, and the particular hour or hours you are planning to say here.  The absolutely crucial posts are finding your away around the DiurnalDiurnal traps and shortcuts and notes on the hymns, chapters, responsories and versicles.

Feast of St Benedict

This week marks the second of the two feasts of St Benedict.

The feast was originally one celebrated in French monasteries, celebrating the (claimed) theft of the relics of SS Benedict and Scholastica by monks of Fleury around 670 AD (for which all concerned were excommunicated by the Pope of the time).

Monte Cassino, however, have always denied that the relics claimed by Fleury were genuine, and in the twentieth century the feast received a makeover, focusing it more on St Benedict's legacy.  In that light, St Benedict was proclaimed patron of Europe by Blessed Paul VI in 1964, and so this date is a solemnity there (even though several other saints have subsequently been added as co-patrons).

The net result from a practical point of view is that for those saying Matins, the responsories and other texts for the feast provided in the Liber Responsorialis are not those used in the modern version of the feast, so you need a twentieth century breviary to find the correct ones.  Lectio Divina Notes blog will, however, provide those readings and responsories I have had time to transcribe and/or translate.  I haven't been able to identify a source for the chants however (if anyone has them, please do let me  know!).

Our Lady on Saturday

The reading for the Office of Our Lady on Saturday this coming Saturday is from a homily of St Bede, and will appear on the Lectio Divina Notes Blog

St Henry, co-patron of Oblates

St Henry, for some inexplicable reason, doesn't rate even a memorial in the Benedictine 1962 calendar, but do keep him in mind next Saturday!


Odo for the week



Sunday 9 July  Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Class II

Matins: All as in the psalter with readings and responsories of the Sunday

Lauds: Psalm schema 1 (50, 117, 62); hymn, Ecce iam lucis; canticle antiphon and collect, MD 464-5*

Prime to None: All as for Sunday in the psalter, with collect MD 464-5*

Vespers: All as in the psalter; Magnificat antiphon, MD 465*

Monday 10 July - Class IV [EF: Seven Holy Brothers and SS Rufina and Secunda]

Collect, MD 464-5*
*I Vespers of St Benedict (if feast is Class I)

Tuesday 11 July – (Translation of the Relics of) St Benedict [OF: St Benedict; EF: Commemoration of Pius I]

Matins: (Three nocturns), Invitatory antiphon, hymn, antiphons etc for the feast with psalms of a confessor not a bishop

Lauds: Antiphons and other texts of the feast, MD [185] ff; festal psalms

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds

Terce to None: Antiphons from Lauds, chapter etc of the feast

Vespers of St Benedict

Wednesday 12 July – Class IV, St John Gualbert, memorial

Collect, MD 464-5*; for the commemoration, MD [193]

Thursday 13 July  Class IV

Collect, MD 464-5*

Friday 14 July – St Bonaventure, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor, Class III

Matins: Invitatory antiphon and hymn from Common of a Confessor bishop; antiphons and psalms of the day; one reading of the feast; chapter of a confessor bishop

Lauds to Vespers: MD [193] ff: Antiphons and psalms of the day, other texts from common of a confessor bishop.  At Vespers, Magnificat antiphon for a doctor; collect MD [194-5]

Prime: Antiphon 1 of Lauds from the Common

Terce to None: collect MD [193-4]

Saturday 15 July – Saturday of Our Lady [EF: St Henry, Patron Saint of Benedictine Oblates]

Matins: As for Office of Our Lady with reading for Saturday 3 in July

Lauds to None: Office of Our Lady, MD (129) ff

I Vespers of the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, MD 446-7*


Brush up your rubrics: Vespers for feasts and seasons

Image result for vespers

Yesterday in this refresher series on the rubrics I talked mainly about Vespers on ordinary days.  But I thought I'd finish up the series (unless anyone has any requests for particular topics I haven't yet covered) with the issue of variations of Vespers during particular seasons and for feasts.

Fixed and variable elements of Vespers


As I noted yesterday, pretty much all of the elements of Vespers can change on feasts, as the table below illustrates.


 VESPERS
 Fixed vs variable

Opening prayers
fixed (except for Alleluia, replaced during Septuagesima and Lent)

Antiphons
and psalms 

variable 
Chapter
variable

Short Responsory
variable

Hymn
variable

Versicle
variable

Antiphon for the Magnificat

variable
Magnificat
fixed

Antiphon for the Magnificat

variable
Closing prayers, including collect

 fixed
Collect
variable

Accordingly, you need to read the instructions in the Diurnal (or an Ordo) to know which texts to change.  This post provides some summary information on how the Office can change, so you have some idea what to expect.

Feasts 


On Class III, II or I feasts or days, the texts can come from the Proper of Seasons, Proper of Saints or the 'Commons of Saints'.

The basic principle is that depending on the level of the feast, the normal weekday texts will be pushed out by those for the feast.

If there isn't a special set of texts just for that feast, then you generally use some or all of the 'Commons' of the relevant type of saint (martyr, confessor, etc) instead.

The normal rule (though there are some exceptions) is that if a feast has its own antiphons, the psalms will be of the feast, not the day.

On feasts of saints, the Diurnal (and/or an Ordo) normally tells you where to find the texts you need.  The table below, though, summarises the main impacts.


LEVEL OF FEAST

EFFECT ON VESPERS
Memorial

none
Class III without
proper antiphons

Psalms and antiphons of the day; 

chapter, responsory, hymn etc from the Common
Class III with proper antiphons

Psalms of Sunday or the Common; antiphons of the feast; chapter etc for the feast (from the proper of the feast or the Common)
Class II
All for the feast (or from the Common of Saints or season), including psalms of feast, Sunday or Common

Class I
All for the feast (or from the Common of saints or season) with I Vespers the night before


Seasons


During some times of the year such as Advent and Lent, the psalms of the day of the week continue to be used, but all of the other elements have different texts, found in the Proper of Seasons.

The texts you have to use can come from several different places and the Office becomes quite complex to manage.

The key thing to keep in mind at these special times of the year is that the texts can be 'of the season' (for example the hymn, chapter, responsory and versicle), 'of the week(s) of the season' (antiphons during Advent for example), of the day of the season (canticle antiphons for example), and of the date.

Sundays in the major seasons are effectively like feasts of saints, with a complete set of texts for the particular Sunday.  Which texts are used on weekdays though, varies with the season, as the table below summarises for the first four seasons of the liturgical year:


 VESPERS
Advent
up to Dec 16
Advent
Dec 17-23
Nativitytide (Jan 2-5)

Epiphanytide
(Jan 7-12)
Opening prayers
Fixed
Fixed
Fixed

Fixed
Antiphons
Of the Advent week
Of the day (MD 39*)

As throughout the year in the psalter

As throughout the year in the psalter

Psalms
Fixed (ie of the day of the week in the psalter)

Fixed
Fixed
Fixed
Chapter, short responsory, hymn and versicle
Of Advent 
(MD  15*)

Of Advent
Of Nativitytide
( MD 123*)
Of Epiphanytide
 (MD 137*)

Antiphon for the Magnificat
Of the day
Of the date (O antiphons)
Of Nativitytide

Of the number of the day counting from Jan 6 (MD 139*)
Magnificat
Fixed
Fixed
Fixed

Fixed
Closing prayers
Fixed
Fixed

Fixed
Fixed
Collect
Of the (previous) Sunday
Of the Sunday
Of the Sunday
Before and after the Sunday collects

(PS: Do let me know if you find this table helpful, and would like to compile a similar one for the other seasons of the liturgical year).

Feasts of saints

On Class III, II or I feasts or days, the texts can come from the Proper of Seasons, Proper of Saints or the 'Commons of Saints'.

The basic principle is that depending on the level of the feast, the normal weekday texts will be pushed out by those for the feast.

If there isn't a special set of texts just for that feast, then you generally use some or all of the 'Commons' of the relevant type of saint (martyr, confessor, etc) instead.

The normal rule (though there are some exceptions) is that if a feast has its own antiphons, the psalms will be of the feast, not the day.

On feasts of saints, the Diurnal (and/or an Ordo) normally tells you where to find the texts you need.  The table below, though, summarises the main impacts.


LEVEL OF FEAST

EFFECT ON VESPERS
Memorial

none
Class III without
proper antiphons

Psalms and antiphons of the day; 
 chapter, responsory, hymn etc from the Common
Class III with proper antiphons

Psalms of Sunday or the Common; antiphons of the feast; chapter etc for the feast (from the proper of the feast or the Common)
Class II
All for the feast (or from the Common of Saints or season), including psalms of feast, Sunday or Common

Class I
All for the feast (or from the Common of saints or season) with I Vespers the night before



Brush up your rubrics: Vespers


Plaque with Censing Angels
Plaque with Censing Angels, ca. 1170–1180
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Cloisters Collection, 2001 (2001.634)

Today in this refresher series on the rubrics I want to look briefly at Vespers.

Vespers is intended to be said in the twilight hours, as the sun is setting, but St Benedict does indicate some flexibility around this in his discussion of the seasonal timetable and mealtimes for a monastery.

The theology of Vespers

I've mentioned in some of my previous posts in this series that each of the hours has key associations that I think St Benedict has built on in his selection of the psalms for those hours.

Most commentators will note the most obvious of those associations, for Lauds, said with the rising of the sun/Son, and the multiple references to light in the variable psalms of the hour.    But in my view, all of the hours in the Benedictine office reflect symbolism related to the time of the day.

The traditional associations of the hour

In the case of Vespers, the hour was traditionally associated with the evening sacrifice instituted by Moses (referred to in Psalm 140), as well as the lighting of the lamps in the temple, which was presumably the origin of the lucernarium ceremony that is often mentioned as a domestic ritual in St Benedict's time.

The symbolism of the hour is probably best captured, though by St Cyprian who commented:
Also at the sunsetting and at the decline of day, of necessity we must pray again. For since Christ is the true sun and the true day, as the worldly sun and worldly day depart, when we pray and ask that light may return to us again, we pray for the advent of Christ, which shall give us the grace of everlasting light. 
The structure of Vespers

The table below summarises the overall structure of Vespers.

Structurally, Vespers is essentially a shorter version of Lauds.  Vespers cuts out the invitatory psalm, Old Testament canticle, and reduces the number of psalms overall from seven to four, but the basic elements, and the order in which they are said is essentially the same.

The structure of Vespers 

Opening prayers - Deus in adjutorium etc

Antiphon (Ant) +Psalm+Gloria+Ant

Ant +Psalm+Gloria+Ant

Ant +Psalm+Gloria+Ant

Ant +Psalm+Gloria+Ant

Chapter+Deo gratias

Responsory

Hymn

Versicle

Antiphon for the Magnificat

Magnificat+Gloria Patri

Antiphon repeated

Closing prayers - Kyrie eleison, etc

-          Collect


The key difference to Lauds though, is that in the current form  of the Benedictine Office on feasts, the text of virtually every element of Vespers can change.  The only fixed elements are the opening and closing prayers (excluding the collect which is variable) and the Magnificat.


Find the right texts for Vespers in your book

The table below summarises the key page numbers for Vespers on normal days.


 VESPERS
‘Default’ texts
Opening prayers
MD 1

Antiphons
and psalms 
Sunday, MD 203
Monday - start MD 212
Tuesday - start MD 220
Wednesday – MD 226
Thursday – MD 235
Friday - MD 243
Saturday - MD 249

Chapter
Of Vespers

Short Responsory
Sunday/rest of the week

Hymn
Of the day of the week,
see page numbers above

Versicle
Of Vespers

Antiphon for the Magnificat
Of the day of the week;
on Sundays, always of the week of the liturgical year

Magnificat
MD 209

Antiphon for the Magnificat
 M-F of the day of the week; Sat&Sun of the week in the calendar

Closing prayers, including collect
 MD 210

Collect
Of the week of the liturgical year