QUAERITUR: Martyrology and the Liturgy of the Hours

From a reader:

Can you talk a bit about how to integrate the Martyrology into Lauds in the Ordinary Form?  As I understand it, it can be inserted after the Collect and before the dismissal.  Connected to this, why does the Martyrology of the next day get read, and not the current day?

Well.. no.  I can’t today, at least not at length.

But I bet some WDTPRSers can!

In a nutshell, the Roman Martyrology was used in conjunction with the old office of Prime. 

Prime was suppressed.

But with the newer form of the Office, the Liturgy of the Hours, those who are bound to the Office can refer also to the Martyrology to determine what formulary for the office to say.  For example, if there is an open day on the general or local calendar, or an optional memorial, you can pick a saint from the day in the Martyrology for Mass and the Office.

Also, in the Introduction or Praenotanda of the new edition of Martyrology, there is a section called "On the Uses of the Martyrology".  This has an overview of the liturgical use of the Martyrology with also an "Order for Reading the Martyrology Within the Liturgy of the Hours".  The basic structure is described and some additional texts are provided as well so that the Martyrology can be used apart from the Liturgy of the Hours.

Keep in mind that Liturgiam authenticam says that all our liturgical books have to be properly translated.  Since the Martyrology is a liturgical book, it too will have to be translated.

When that will happen is anyone’s guess.

Perhaps some readers can chime in, especially religious who use the Martyrology in communal recitation of the Office.

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7 Responses to QUAERITUR: Martyrology and the Liturgy of the Hours

  1. Tom in NY says:

    See http://www.breviary.net. It’s easy to find. And if you don’t know whether the translation is approved, precibus latinis orare semper docet.

    Salutationes omnibus.

  2. Geoffrey says:

    ICEL told me a while back that the translating of the Missal is top priority, then will come the 2004 Martyrology. However I am thinking the Liturgy of the Hours and the Sacraments would be next, so… it seems it would be faster to become fluent in Latin!

    I do not have the Praenotanda, but I do have a copy of the Order for Reading the Martyrology within the Liturgy of the Hours. It says:

    “In choro lectio fit de more ad Laudes matutinas, post orationem conclusivam Horæ. Lector absolute incipit a diei insequentis mentione.”

    “Si autem hoc minime oportere videtur, nihil obstat quominus Martyrologii lectio ad quamlibet Horam minorem simili modo peragatur.”

    “Ad Horam minorem lectio fit statim post orationem conclusivam, ut supra proponitur.”


    “In choir the reading is given according to custom at Morning Prayer, after the concluding prayer of the Hour. The lector always begins from the mention of the following day.”

    “If, however, this does not seem to be at all fitting, nothing prevents the reading of the Martyrology from being executed at any minor Hour in a similar way.”

    “At a minor Hour the reading is given immediately after the concluding prayer, as set forth above.”

    I thought I read somewhere it could also be read in the Office of Readings.

    There is also an “Order for Reading the Martyrology outside of the Liturgy of the Hours”.

    I have always wondered why the entry is read the day before, but cannot find an answer. Perhaps it is to “prepare” those concerned as to what Mass/Office to say the next day?

  3. Jeff says:

    I
    ORDER FOR READING THE MARTYROLOGY
    WITHIN THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS

    1. In choir the reading is given according to custom at Morning Prayer, after the concluding prayer of the Hour. The lector always begins from the mention of the following day. The reading is concluded with these words:
    V. Precious in the sight of the Lord.
    R. Is the death of his Saints.

    2. Then can follow one of the short readings set forth below, pp. 41-60, which the lector concludes acclaiming:
    V. The Word of the Lord.
    R. Thanks be to God.

    3. After the reading the priest or the deacon, who leads the celebration, says one of the prayers set forth below, pp. 63-68. A layman, who guides the celebration when an ordained minister is absent, does likewise.

    4. Then the blessing and dismissal are given, according to these formulas:
    May the Lord bless us
    and from every evil defend us
    and to eternal life lead us.
    And may the souls of the faithful
    through the mercy of God
    rest in peace.
    R. Amen.
    V. Go in peace.
    R. Thanks be to God.

    5. If, however, this does not seem to be at all fitting, nothing prevents the reading of the Martyrology from being executed at any minor Hour in a similar way.

    6. At a minor Hour the reading is given immediately after the concluding prayer, as set forth above. At the end is added the versicle Precious, and then the acclamation Let us bless the Lord and the response in the customary way or as above, n. 4.

    7. In executing the reading of the eulogies there is announced in the first place, if the case warrants, the moveable celebration, with the employed formulas which are set out below, pp. 35-37.
    Nevertheless on the Day of the Resurrection of the Lord before the eulogies of the following day are read, the memorial of Easter Sunday is prepended.

    8. On Holy Thursday, Friday of the Lord’s Passion, and Holy Saturday, the reading of the Martyrology should be altogether excluded, with the eulogies of the Saints by the same token omitted.

    9. On the vigil of Christmas, after announcing the twenty-fifth day of the month of December, the announcement of the solemn Nativity is sung in a special way, as below, pp. 71-74.

    10. In proclaiming the Martyrology, the indication of the lunar day can be given at will after the announcement of the day, how it is described below, pp. 23-26.

    11. The eulogies of the Saints or of the Blessed as indicated by an asterisk are read only in dioceses or in religious societies to whom the cult of this Saint or Blessed has been granted.

    12. If it happens that a given memorial is transferred or repeated, a mention is added at the end of the corresponding eulogy of the day that was transferred or repeated:
    For acknowledging the day of transference: his memorial, however, (this year) will occur for us on the day . . .
    For acknowledging a repeated day: Of Saint N., whose birthday will be recognized again on the day . . .

  4. Rellis says:

    Anyone know why it’s the next day? The explanation of Geoffrey seems like a decent one, but I’d like to know for sure.

    It’s possible that this indicates that the liturgy is always “looking ahead” to the next day (hence we have anticipatory Matins, first Vespers, vigils, etc.) But these seems like a forced solution.

    There has to be some good reason. It started out in the Chapter Office part of Prime, when the Monks would be getting their daily work assignments. Could that have something to do with it?

  5. Henry Edwards says:

    From the web site of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank (Sparta, WI), which prays the Office and Mass “according to the Cistercian Rite as reformed following the Second Vatican Council.”:

    Each night, Compline is preceded by the reading of the Martyrology for the coming day and is followed by the singing of the Salve Regina and the sprinkling of the community with holy water.

    http://www.monksonline.org/Liturgy.html

  6. I have always wondered why the entry is read the day before, but cannot find an answer. Perhaps it is to “prepare” those concerned as to what Mass/Office to say the next day?

    Previously I’d never even heard of the “Order for Reading the Martyrology Within the LOH”, but this makes perfect sense. Surely I’m not the only one who, rather than starting the day by thumbing through to see what’s on tap, looks ahead each night to set the ribbons for the following day.

  7. Josh Hood says:

    The Martyrology was read on the day before because Prime, the hour at which it was read, was the last hour said in choir before going to the day’s work – Terce, Sext and None being said, often by memory, as the monks worked. Every feast began at Vespers of the preceding day (this only changed in 1960 with Bl. John XXIII’s Rubricarum Instructum). Thus, it was necessary to know the next day’s celebration in the morning, so when the monks returned to choir for Vespers, they were prepared for the proper feast.