Thursday, March 26, 2015

Saints memorials during Lent

  I was travelling yesterday and so unable to mark the Solemnity of the Annunciation with a post, but I hope this lovely psalms and prayers of this feast were in your heart and on your lips yesterday.  I was able to do all the hours in my car, thanks to my ipod and the the podcasts from DivineOffice.org, a real godsend for commuters.

It's funny--and a tad embarrassing--that after all these years of praying the LOTH, and having read through the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours numerous times, and having written a book that  purports to show lay people how to pray it in accordance with the instructions--I just learned that I'd been doing something wrong all this time.

Worse yet, if I'd only paid attention to the helpful notes at the beginning of the day's prayers at ibreviary.com, instead of skipping to the psalmody in the smug confidence that I knew what I was doing, I could have learned about this a while ago.

Saints memorials during weekdays of lent are always optional memorials(also known as commemorations) This I knew. And indeed, unless it was a saint I was especially interested in, I often made the use of the option to pay them no heed and just go on with the office of the lenten weekday. So far so good.

But should I have wanted to commemorate ,a saint on a lenten weekday, I'd do what I always did for saints during ordinary time: said the office of the day, but substituting whatever saint-specific elements appear for that saint in the Common of Saints. This is often no more than the antiphon for the gospel canticle and the concluding prayer.

But during lent, that's wrong! No saintly substitutions allowed!

Here's what you are supposed to do. 1. Pray the entire office of the lenten weekday, using the psalter and the proper of seasons, right up to the first half of the concluding prayer. 2. STOP the concluding prayer just before "We ask this through Our Lord....etc." 3. Proceed to the common of saints. Read the gospel canticle antiphon (which is NOT used for the gospel canticle during lent) and then read the entire concluding prayer for the saint, right through to the end.

I know. That sounds strange if you haven't been doing it. But there is it. Here's the relevant part from the general instruction:

237. On Sundays, solemnities, and feasts, on Ash Wednesday, during Holy Week, and during the octave of Easter, memorials that happen to fall on these days are disregarded.
238. On the weekdays from 17 to 24 December, during the octave of Christmas, and on the weekdays of Lent, no obligatory memorials are celebrated, even in particular calendars. When any happen to fall during Lent in a given year, they are treated as optional memorials.
239. During privileged seasons, if it is desired to celebrate the office of a saint on a day assigned to his or her memorial:
a. in the office of readings, after the patristic reading (with its responsory) from the Proper of Seasons, a proper reading about the saint (with its responsory) may follow, with the concluding prayer of the saint;
b. at morning prayer and evening prayer, the ending of the concluding prayer may be omitted and the saint's antiphon (from the proper or common) and prayer may be added.

Now, there are exceptions to this. If a saint is the patron of your church, your diocese, the religious order or organization you belong to, or I think, by logical extension, a personal patron for you, you may on a lenten weekday celebrate his or her day as a feast, using the proper of saints and even the relevant common for the office. 

So there we are. 






20 comments:

  1. The ending of the Concluding Prayer of the Day is omitted, the Proper Antiphon for the Gospel Canticle is read, and the Collect for the Saint used as the Concluding Prayer. In those places where this day is kept as a Solemnity or Feast, the texts can be found in the Common of Saints. [iBreviary].

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  2. So that's what the St. Joseph's Guide means by something like "prayers of the saints may be added."
    What about Masses for a saint's day? Magnificat includes the collect, but after the other prayers.

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    1. I can't recall a recent weekday mass where the priest did anything other than just the mass of the weekday. Maybe the same thing would be done with the concluding collect at mass as is done with the LOTH.

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  3. Isn't a patron saint a solemnity, not a feast?

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    1. I've never fully understood that part of the LotH; it's not really explained anywhere. The rank table at the beginning of every volume mentions solemnities of patrons of places or churches. Does this mean that *if* your local calendar has such a solemnity, it takes that rank? Or does it mean that if you go to a church called St. Ignasius, that Ignasius' memorial automatically becomes a solemnity?

      For the US, it seems that the patronal feast is the Immaculate Conception, but I don't know if more local areas like states or cities have their own feasts or solemnities.

      I've always just ignored this and followed the USCCB calendar, but I don't know what you're really supposed to do.

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    2. I had always thought that it was automatically the case, but I just discovered that I was incorrect.

      That Table of Liturgical Days is drawn from the General Norms for the Liturgical Year. In No. 49 of that document, we find that "Particular calendars, drawn up by the competent authority, must be approved by the Apostolic See." This tells us that it is not automatic and that any place or order or particular church which does not have a particular calendar uses the General Calendar.

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    3. FYI, every diocese usually has its own Ordo that is published each year. There usualllyi are not a lot of variations from the general calendar, but there are some. Here in the USA, for example, American saints that either don't appear in th in the general calendar, or appear as optional memorials, will be obligatory memorials or even in some cases, feasts.For example, Our Lady of Guadalupe has the rank of feast in the USA. If you are interested in obtaining the ordo for your own diocese each year, then go to Paulist Press. New ones are usually available in the fall. They also have an Ordo app for phones and tablets.

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  4. Wait, you didn't have room in your car for one breviary volume?

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    1. Plenty of room, but you shouldn't read a breviary while driving!

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    2. You don't read your phone while driving either. Take a few short breaks.

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  5. Do you have any news on the new translation of the Breviary for the US?

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    1. Haven't heard anything new for quite a while.

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    2. I was thinking of purchasing a paper breviary since it is difficult to access electronics where I work (specifically for Evening Prayer) but I'm not satisfied with any of the current editions in print. I'd like to have a good morning/evening/night prayer single edition, but all those editions seem so old that they don't include recent revisions to the calendar. Or they don't include all the seasons. Guess I'll just stick to iBreviary and get to the electrons whenever I can.

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    3. The "Christian Prayer" single volume is only $27 at Barnes and Noble.com Then you can go to the Catholic Book Publishing company website and order the supplement that has all the more recent saint's feasts for a reasonable price.

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    4. My understanding is that it's supposed to be in use by 2018 or 2019.

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    5. I discovered on our bookshelf a copy of Christian Prayer which my wife used in her early 20s and is in very good shape. So maybe there is a solution after all!

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  6. I know that this is a late question, but now that we're into the Triduum, the prayer schedule is modified for the next few days, is that correct? I know that there's no Night Prayer on Holy Saturday, for those who take part in the Easter Vigil. Are there other modifications as well?

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    1. This is also true for Holy Thursday and Good Friday. If you take part in the evening or afternoon liturgies on those days, you would not do Evening Prayer. Also of note: on all three days use Night Prayer of Sunday night. (Sunday II)

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    2. Oops! What I wrote a above was a bit confusing. It's not Night Prayer you skip on Thursday and Friday, but Evening Prayer. And tonight if you go to Easter Vigil, this takes the place of the Office of Readings for Easter. As far as I know, you would still pray Night prayer before bedtime, but use that of Sunday night, rather than Saturday night.

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    3. No, you omit night prayer as well

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