Thursday, July 12, 2018

Liturgy of the Divine Office, Part 3: Lauds

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Previous parts in this series:
Part 1: Introduction to the traditional Divine Office
Part 2: Matins

The second hour of the Divine Office is Lauds, offered in the morning. The word “Lauds” means “praises,” and the purpose of this hour is to offer our morning praises to God. In Psalm 91, designated “A psalm of a canticle on the sabbath day,” King David sings of offering praise to God and adoring his mercy in the morning. For many centuries, Psalms 148, 149, and 150 were sung together at Lauds. These three psalms give high praise to the Lord. Of course, all of our worship should give praise to God, but the hour of Lauds particularly focuses on praising God.

If Lauds does not immediately follow Matins, it may begin with the prayers Aperi Domine, Our Father, and Hail Mary. Lauds then begins with the same verse that begins every hour of the Divine Office. We make the Sign of the Cross as we implore God's help.

Deus ☩ in adjutórium meum inténde.
Dómine, ad adjuvándum me festína.
Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in sǽcula sæculórum. Amen. Allelúia.
O God, ☩ come to my assistance.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Like at every hour of the Divine Office, “Alleluia” is replaced with “Praise to thee, O Lord, King of eternal glory” during Septuagesima and Lent. This leads into the psalms. There are two sets or “schemes” of psalms for Lauds each day of the week. The second scheme or Lauds II is used on penitential occasions, namely the ferias of Advent, the Sundays and ferias of Septuagesima and Lent, the September Ember Days, and vigils of the second or third class outside of Paschaltide. The first scheme or Lauds I is used on all other days. The psalms of the first scheme are joyful and give praise to God. The psalms of the second scheme are more sorrowful and plead for God's mercy. The Liturgical Ordo indicates when the second scheme is used.

Lauds has four psalms or portions of psalms, appointed for the day of the week and the scheme. On first or second class feasts, the psalms are those of Sunday Lauds I. Each psalm has an antiphon proper to the day or the type of feast, sung before and after the psalm. After the first three psalms, a canticle from the Old Testament is sung. A canticle is a song taken from Sacred Scripture other than the Psalms. There are thirteen canticles from the Old Testament sung at Lauds. On Sunday, the Canticle of the Three Children is sung (Daniel 3:52-88). This is the song of praise that the three children in the furnace sing in the Prophecy of Daniel. At Lauds II on Sunday, a shortened Canticle of the Three Children is sung. The other twelve canticles are distributed between Lauds I and Lauds II on the remaining six days of the week. As with the psalms, the canticles of a joyful nature that give praise to God are sung at Lauds I, whereas the canticles of a sorrowful nature that plead for God's mercy are sung at Lauds II.

The canticle is sung in the same manner as the psalms, with an antiphon of its own and the Gloria Patri at the end. After the canticle, the fourth and final psalm of Lauds is sung in the usual manner with an antiphon. This psalm is of a joyful nature, giving praise to God, and is the same at Lauds I and Lauds II. Until 1911, this fourth psalm was always Psalms 148, 149, and 150 combined, sharing one antiphon and Gloria Patri. Lauds is commonly spoken of as having five psalms, counting the canticle as a psalm, since it is sung in exactly the same manner as the psalms.

Following the psalms is the capitulum or chapter, a short reading from scripture that depends on the day, season, or type of feast. At Lauds, it always has the theme of offering our morning praises to God. On many ferias, the capitulum is Romans 13:12-13.

Nox præcéssit, dies autem appropinquávit. Abiciámus ergo ópera tenebrárum, et induámur arma lucis. Sicut in die honéste ambulémus.
Deo grátias.
The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day.
Thanks be to God.

The capitulum at each hour is the only reading from scripture other than the Psalms at most hours of the Divine Office, except for the long readings at Matins. Unlike the readings at Matins, the capitulum does not end with “Tu autem Domine...” but rather only the response “Deo gratias,” like the Epistle at Mass. After the capitulum is a hymn followed by a versicle and response, both of which also depend on the day, season, or type of feast.

In addition to the thirteen canticles of the Old Testament, there are also three canticles of the New Testament. All three of them are found toward the beginning of the Gospel according to St. Luke, surrounding our Lord's birth, and all three of them are sung at the Divine Office every day. The first one, sung at Lauds, is the Benedictus or Canticle of Zechariah. The Benedictus, found in Luke 1:68-79, is the the priest Zechariah's song of praise at the circumcision of his son, St. John the Baptist. We make the Sign of the Cross at the first verse of the Benedictus. (The asterisk marks where to alter the pitch when singing.)

1:68 Benedíctus ☩ Dóminus, Deus Israël: * quia visitávit, et fecit redemptiónem plebis suæ:
1:69 Et eréxit cornu salútis nobis: * in domo David, púeri sui.
1:70 Sicut locútus est per os sanctórum, * qui a sǽculo sunt, prophetárum eius:
1:71 Salútem ex inimícis nostris, * et de manu ómnium, qui odérunt nos.
1:72 Ad faciéndam misericórdiam cum pátribus nostris: * et memorári testaménti sui sancti.
1:73 Iusiurándum, quod iurávit ad Ábraham patrem nostrum, * datúrum se nobis:
1:74 Ut sine timóre, de manu inimicórum nostrórum liberáti, * serviámus illi.
1:75 In sanctitáte, et iustítia coram ipso, * ómnibus diébus nostris.
1:76 Et tu, puer, Prophéta Altíssimi vocáberis: * præíbis enim ante fáciem Dómini, paráre vias eius:
1:77 Ad dandam sciéntiam salútis plebi eius: * in remissiónem peccatórum eórum:
1:78 Per víscera misericórdiæ Dei nostri: * in quibus visitávit nos, óriens ex alto:
1:79 Illumináre his, qui in ténebris, et in umbra mortis sedent: * ad dirigéndos pedes nostros in viam pacis.
Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, * et in sǽcula sæculórum. Amen.
1:68 Blessed be the Lord ☩ God of Israel; * because he hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people:
1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, * in the house of David his servant:
1:70 As he spoke by the mouth of his holy Prophets, * who are from the beginning:
1:71 Salvation from our enemies, * and from the hand of all that hate us:
1:72 To perform mercy to our fathers, * and to remember his holy testament,
1:73 The oath, which he swore to Abraham our father, * that he would grant to us,
1:74 That being delivered from the hand of our enemies, * we may serve him without fear,
1:75 In holiness and justice before him, * all our days.
1:76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: * for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways:
1:77 To give knowledge of salvation to his people, * unto the remission of their sins:
1:78 Through the bowels of the mercy of our God, * in which the Orient from on high hath visited us:
1:79 To enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death: * to direct our feet into the way of peace.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, * and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The Benedictus has an antiphon proper to the day sung before and after. When Lauds is offered solemnly in choir, the altar is incensed during the singing of the Benedictus. This demonstrates the connection between the Divine Office and the Mass. The Divine Office does not use an altar because it does not involve a sacrifice, only our sacrifice of praise. However, we offer it as a supplement to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, just as the Jews offered their synagogue worship as a supplement to the sacrifices of the Temple. Thus, at the Divine Office, we still honor Christ and the altar upon which he is offered.

On certain penitential occasions, there is a special set of prayers called the preces feriales (“weekday intercessions”) or simply preces, sung after the Benedictus. The preces have the form of a litany, or petitions with responses, and begin with a reduced form of the Kyrie from Mass. The overall purpose of the preces is the same as the Kyrie – to see ourselves as the sinners we are, offer our adoration and supplication to God, and plead for his mercy. As with many other parts of the liturgy, many of the petitions of the preces come from psalm verses. They also include prayers for the pope, the local bishop, the souls in purgatory, and others in need.

Kýrie, eléison. Christe, eléison. Kýrie, eléison.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis, sanctificétur nomen tuum: advéniat regnum tuum: fiat volúntas tua, sicut in cælo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidiánum da nobis hódie: et dimítte nobis débita nostra, sicut et nos dimíttimus debitóribus nostris:
Et ne nos indúcas in tentatiónem:
Sed líbera nos a malo.
Ego dixi: Dómine, miserére mei.
Sana ánimam meam quia peccávi tibi.
Convértere, Dómine, úsquequo?
Et deprecábilis esto super servos tuos.
Fiat misericórdia tua, Dómine, super nos.
Quemádmodum sperávimus in te.
Sacerdótes tui induántur iustítiam.
Et sancti tui exsúltent.
Orémus pro beatíssimo Papa nostro Francisco.
Dóminus consérvet eum, et vivíficet eum, et beátum fáciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in ánimam inimicórum eius.
Orémus et pro Antístite nostro __.
Stet et pascat in fortitúdine tua, Dómine, in sublimitáte nóminis tui.
Dómine, salvum fac regem.
Et exáudi nos in die, qua invocavérimus te.
Salvum fac pópulum tuum, Dómine, et bénedic hereditáti tuæ.
Et rege eos, et extólle illos usque in ætérnum.
Meménto Congregatiónis tuæ.
Quam possedísti ab inítio.
Fiat pax in virtúte tua.
Et abundántia in túrribus tuis.
Orémus pro benefactóribus nostris.
Retribúere dignáre, Dómine, ómnibus, nobis bona faciéntibus propter nomen tuum, vitam ætérnam. Amen.
Orémus pro fidélibus defúnctis.
Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine, et lux perpétua lúceat eis.
Requiéscant in pace.
Pro frátribus nostris abséntibus.
Salvos fac servos tuos, Deus meus, sperántes in te.
Pro afflíctis et captívis.
Líbera eos, Deus Israël, ex ómnibus tribulatiónibus suis.
Mitte eis, Dómine, auxílium de sancto.
Et de Sion tuére eos.
Dómine, Deus virtútum, convérte nos.
Et osténde fáciem tuam, et salvi érimus.
Exsúrge, Christe, ádiuva nos.
Et líbera nos propter nomen tuum.
Dómine, exáudi oratiónem meam.
Et clamor meus ad te véniat.
Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation:
But deliver us from evil.
I said: Lord, be merciful unto me:
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.
Turn thee again, O Lord; how long will it be?
And be gracious unto thy servants.
Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
As we have hoped in thee.
Let thy priests be clothed with justice:
And may thy saints rejoice.
Let us pray for our most blessed Pope Francis.
The Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth: and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.
Let us pray for our bishop __.
May he stand firm and care for us in the strength of the Lord, in the might of thy name.
O Lord, save our leaders.
And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
O Lord, save thy people, and bless thine inheritance:
Govern them and lift them up for ever.
Remember thy congregation,
Which thou hast possessed from the beginning.
Let peace be in thy strength.
And abundance in thy towers.
Let us pray for our benefactors.
O Lord, for thy name's sake, deign to reward with eternal life all who do us good. Amen.
Let us pray for the faithful departed.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.
Let us pray for our absent brothers.
Save thy servants, O God, who put their trust in thee.
Let us pray for the afflicted and imprisoned.
Deliver them, God of Israel, from all their tribulations.
O Lord, send them help from thy sanctuary.
And defend them out of Sion.
Turn us again, O Lord, God of Hosts.
Show us thy face, and we shall be whole.
Arise, O Christ, and help us.
And redeem us for thy name's sake.
O Lord, hear my prayer.
And let my cry come unto thee.

After the Benedictus, or the preces if they are included, the collect of the Mass of the Day is sung. Like at Matins, a priest leading the Divine Office in choir introduces the collect with “Dominus vobiscum.” Anyone else introduces it with “Domine, exaudi orationem meam.” The one offering the Office then sings “Oremus,” followed by the collect. If commemorations are made at Mass, then they are also made at Lauds. When a feast is commemorated, after the first collect, we sing that feast's antiphon for the Benedictus, the versicle and response appointed for after the hymn on that feast, and then “Oremus” and the collect for that feast. For many centuries, additional commemorations would be made in the same manner (antiphon, versicle with response, collect) for various occasions, including the Blessed Virgin Mary, other saints, the Holy Cross, or to pray for peace. These extra commemorations were known as “suffrages.” They were significantly reduced in 1911 and removed altogether in 1956.

After the collect and commemorations, Lauds is concluded in a similar manner to Matins. Anyone who is not a priest or deacon replaces “Dominus vobiscum” with “Domine, exaudi orationem meam.”

Dóminus vobíscum.
Et cum spíritu tuo.
Benedicámus Dómino.
Deo grátias.
Fidélium ánimæ per misericórdiam Dei requiéscant in pace.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Most often, the one offering the Divine Office stops here, returning later to offer Prime. Thus, it is traditional (and was prescribed before 1956) to pray the Our Father silently at the end of Lauds before singing the final antiphon of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of four hymns to the Blessed Virgin Mary depending on the season. The final antiphon of the Blessed Virgin Mary is now only prescribed to be sung at the end of Compline, at the conclusion of the day's Divine Office.

New terms
  • first scheme or Lauds I – The set of psalms and canticles sung at Lauds most days of the year, which are joyful and give praise to God.
  • second scheme or Lauds II – The set of psalms and canticles sung at Lauds on penitential occasions, which are sorrowful and ask God for mercy.
  • canticle – A song from scripture outside the Psalms.
  • capitulum or chapter – A short reading from scripture.
  • Benedictus or Canticle of Zechariah – The joyful song of the priest Zechariah on the occasion of the circumcision of his son, St. John the Baptist, taken from Luke 1:68-79, sung at Lauds every day.
  • preces feriales or simply preces – The “weekday intercessions,” a special set of prayers sung at Lauds on Wednesdays at Fridays during Advent and Lent, and on Ember Days except during the Octave of Pentecost.

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