Friday, 3 April 2009

Divine Office for Holy Week, Part V: Easter Sunday and the Octave

This is the last of my series of articles intended to guide those using the Benedictine Monastic Office through the intricacies of Holy Week and Easter!

Alleluia! The Easter Office is festooned with Alleluias, so remember to revert to it at the end of the Deus in adjutorium, and elsewhere as noted!

Lauds: I mentioned yesterday that those who attend the Easter Vigil don't say Lauds - it is tagged on to the end of the Vigil. But as you'll get to say it on Monday (and the rest of the week), so let's go through it anyway. You can find instructions on page 328* of the Farnborough edition of the Monastic Diurnal.

The first (and very important) thing to note is that the festal psalms are used (Psalms 92, 99 and 62), p44 in the MD - so don't forget to skip over Psalms 50&117 after you've said the invitory!

The chapter, responsory, hymn and so forth are all on pg 328*ff. The only thing that changes each day during the octave (ie the rest of the week) is the antiphon for the Benedictus and the collect (pages 335*ff).

The little hours: The antiphons etc for these are set out on page 331*ff. Don't forget to use the Sunday psalm (118) throughout the octave.

Vespers: Vespers uses the Sunday psalms (again throughout the week), but the antiphons from Lauds (dropping the fourth one). The chapter and so forth are set out on page 332*ff. The only thing that changes each day is the antiphon for the Magnificat (and the collect).

Compline: Reverts to its normal form, as in the psalter p256. The only thing to remember is that the Marian antiphon is now Regina Caeli, p267.

Queries: I do hope that this series proves helpful in getting you through the Holy Week and Easter Octave Office well! Do take the time to look through in advance and send me any queries if you can't work anything will be too late on the day!


expat said...


I've been looking over the Office as you suggested.

I have a question about Vespers on Easter Sunday.
The rubrics say omit the 4th antiphon of Lauds -- does this mean that Psalm 112 has no antiphon at all?

I have a feeling I'm missing something really obvious here, but I don't know what it may be!

Thanks for any help.

Terra said...

This is definitely one of those things that are obvious - only once you know them!

Lauds has five antiphons/psalms. Vespers has only four. So you have to drop one of the lauds antiphons to make it work. So for vespers:

1. Antiphon: Angelus autem - Psalm: Dixit Dominus

2. Et ecce - Confitebor

3. Erat autem - Beatus vir

4. Respondit autem - Laudate pueri (112).

expat said...

Thanks, Terra!

I somehow miscounted the number of psalms -- menopause fog strikes again!

Thanks again for the step-by-step rubrics; it's such a great help to me. I also appreciate your suggestion to get prepared. It definitely will help to make Holy Week more meaningful.

Blessings to you!