Monday, March 13, 2017

Table of Liturgical Precedence, or, Do We Do 1st Vespers of St. Joseph on Sunday night?

Whenever a Solemnity laps up against a Sunday (occurring on a Saturday or a Monday) we who navigate the breviary on our own have to stop and figure out what to do.

Yes, yes, I know about the St. Joseph's yearly guide you can buy. But most of  us want to understand the principle of the thing so that we can figure this out for ourselves, rather than blindly following someone else's instructions of "psalter, page XXX, proper of seasons, page YYY, common of male martyrs with red hair and freckles,  page ZZZ."    And let me tell you, that St. Joseph's guide occasionally gets it wrong, too. And sometimes the online breviaries goof up as well. Not often, but every once in a while.

Anyway, next Monday is the Solemnity of St. Joseph. A big deal. Does that mean we do Evening Prayer I of St Joseph this Sunday night? *


Suppose the Assumption comes on a Saturday. Do we have Evening Prayer II of the Assumption that evening, or Evening Prayer II of whatever August Sunday in ordinary time that happens to be?**

The answers, my friend, are NOT blowin' in the wind. (If you get that reference you are well over 50 years old.) The answers are to be found in the Table of Liturgical Days According to Order of Precedence.

Those of us lucky enough to have a four-volume breviary will find this in the beginning of volume I, just after the General Instruction. But it's a pain to have to go find your volume I (Advent/Christmas) book in the middle of lent when you are using Volume III. And if you only have a single volume breviary,you don't have this wonderfully clarifying resource at your fingertips.

So instead, go to this link, courtesy of Benedictines who understand our problems.  Print it, if you can, and tuck it into your breviary for future reference.