Sunday, July 5, 2015

Launceston Latin Mass Update

Tonight, Fr Rowe – my former parish priest in Perth, W.A., who is visiting again, having been in Hobart for a conference – offered our monthly Missa cantata. The attendance was good, with several new faces present who promised to return, and afterward we shared a cuppa and a chinwag.

I have just learnt from Fr Suresh, who is chaplain to the Latin Mass community in this Archdiocese, that from our next Mass in August onwards, our monthly Latin Mass in Launceston will be held on the second Sunday, which will be more convenient for many.

Our next Missa cantata, therefore, will be held at 6 pm on Sunday the 9th of August, at St Francis Church, Riverside.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June and July EF Masses in Launceston

On Sunday evening the 7th of June, we had our latest Missa cantata in Launceston: it was a beautiful Mass. Fr Suresh preached powerfully on the Real Presence as the touchstone of Catholic faith and devotion; the choir acquitted themselves well, of course; and at least the server (yours truly) noticed during the Epistle that he had put the side altar cards on the wrong sides, and switched them over while moving the missal to the Gospel corner.

Our next EF Mass will be held at 6 pm on Sunday 5th July: Fr Michael Rowe, my former parish priest in Perth, W.A., will offer it, since he is coming to the ACCC Conference in Hobart that finishes on the Friday beforehand. Last night, our choir began learning the new music: we will sing the solemn Salve as the Offertory Motet, and Adoro te after Communion. While we will continue to use psalm-tone  settings of the propers otherwise, we will sing the Gregorian melody of the Communion antiphon.

Many thanks to all who support this new venture!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Cancellation

Owing to the unavailability of choir members, etc., it has been decided to cancel the May Latin Mass in Launceston. The next Mass will be celebrated at 6 pm on the first Sunday of June, at St Francis' Church, thanks to the ongoing kindness of the parish and parish priest, who allow the use of the church by the Archdiocese of Hobart Latin Mass Community.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Launceston Easter Sunday EF Mass


Fr Suresh again came North to celebrate our second monthly Missa cantata. While some were absent (it being Easter, and holiday time; and also I forgot to advertise it in the parish bulletin, though it was mentioned in the diocesan paper), we still had an attendance of about twenty, which bodes well for the future once it becomes better known.

(Next month, by the way, the Mass will be held at 5 pm on the second Sunday, that is, on the 10th of May, owing to various reasons.)

Having rehearsed with the choir, I then got ready to serve Mass (and to sing along, when not otherwise occupied). Mass began at 6:05 pm and concluded at 7:05 pm. As always, Fr Suresh preached a stirring sermon. After the Mass, we all went through to the adjoining parish centre for a light supper, preceded by the blessing of eggs and bread (the texts of which luckily were appended to the main contents of the missal).

As before, we sang the Messe Royale, accompanied on the organ. Since the propers of Easter Sunday are beyond my competence (apart from the Sequence), I set their texts to psalm-tone 1, with alleluias set to the music of the Messe Royale Kyrie. At Offertory, a few verses of O filii et filiæ were sung, and after Mass, the simple Regina cæli, before concluding with the rousing hymn "By your kingly power, O risen Lord," by James McAuley.

Here are the simplified propers as sung; I seem to have left out the second-last letter in alleluja for some reason…




Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter

I was blessed to attend the Easter Vigil at the Launceston Carmel, ably celebrated by Fr Paul, a worthy and learned Dominican, and a long-standing friend of mine since Melbourne days; he was assisted by Brian, the usual server there, who looked after the thurible and incense also. The good nuns there believe in doing the Vigil properly: all the readings are read, and the Mass of the Resurrection begins in the middle of the night.

For the record, the liturgy began at 11:00 pm, with the blessing of the new fire (symbol of the Creation ex nihilo) and the lighting of the Paschal Candle (symbol of Christ, the Light who shineth in the darkness). Fr Paul chanted Lumen Christi thrice; thrice we replied, Deo gratias, and lit our small candles from the one source of light. He then sang the Exsultet, that marvellous homiletic canticle, one of the richest still-used pieces of mystagogical catechesis, fit to be compared with the Easter Sermon of St John Chrysostom, and the Carmen Paschale of Melito of Sardis.

At 11:20 pm, the nuns, from within the screen on their side of the chapel, then began the seven readings of the Vigil, interspersed with psalmody, and Father's chanting of the collects following each; this took 45 minutes all told.

Just after midnight, at 12:05 am, we all joined in singing the Gloria in excelsis (Mass I, Lux et origo, for Eastertide - how appropriate a title), and thus began the Mass, with chanted collect, reading of the Epistle, singing of the triple Alleluia with Psalm 117, and the Gospel of the Resurrection. Father's homily – a reflection on the mystery of Christ's descent to Sheol, and his triumph over death – began at 12:15 am. Aptly he compared the mystery whereby Christ is truly risen, but his triumph is still hidden, to the self-oblation of the Carmelite nuns, who live an enclosed life of prayer and penance, striving to indeed confess their lives hidden with Christ in God.

At 12:25 am, the Easter water was blessed, our baptismal vows were renewed, and then – a ceremony special to Carmel – the nuns all renewed their religious vows, before we were aspersed.

The offertory began at 12:35 am. Father chanted the Prayer over the Oblations and the Preface; after the Sanctus (Mass I), he began the Roman Canon, including all the saints and all the repetitions of "Through Christ our Lord. Amen." – a very important Christological confession, whose unwise omission reveals a basic incomprehension of that great prayer. He even chanted the central part, including the Consecration. Similarly, the doxology, the Lord's Prayer and following prayers were chanted, down to the Agnus Dei (Mass I). After the nuns, we were able to come forward to make our Easter Communion, uniting ourselves to the Lord who has conquered sin, Satan, death and hell. Mass concluded with the usual sung prayer, solemn blessing, and dismissal with double alleluia, before the final hymn at 1:10 am.

After Mass, it was great to wish a happy Easter to Fr Paul before I drove home; I extend the same Easter greeting to all readers.

Christ is risen: He is risen indeed.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Those Not Prayed for on Good Friday

The Solemn Intercessions on Good Friday, both OF and EF, pray for the following:

1. For Holy Church;
2. For the Pope;
3. For all orders and degrees of the faithful;
4. [EF 5.] For catechumens;
5. [EF 7.] For the unity of Christians [Previously, For Heretics and Schismatics];
6. [EF 8.] For the Jewish people [For the Conversion of the Jews];
7. [EF 9.] For those who do not believe in Christ [Previously, For the Conversion of Pagans];
8. For those who do not believe in God*;
9. [EF 4.] For those in public office [Previously, For the Roman Emperor†];
10. [EF 6.] For those in tribulation [For the necessities of the faithful].

* The growth of atheism has necessitated the addition of a prayer for atheists.
† There having been no Holy Roman Emperor since 1806, it was understandable that this prayer – long omitted (though I have seen it prayed for Queen Victoria, in a 19th C. Holy Week book, and I assume it was still used in Austria-Hungary until its collapse) – was replaced by a prayer for all those in civil office.

But who is not prayed for? The faithful departed, those who have died.

Furthermore, while even in the last pre-Conciliar order of service, the Libera nos still asked for the intercession of the Saints, that phrase was deleted in the Novus Ordo.

A petition could well be added, therefore, in private, somewhat after this fashion, using the Collect for the Living and the Dead, plus a modified form of the matching Secret, turned into an introductory petition, thus:

Oremus et pro vivis et defunctis: ut Deus, cui soli cognitus est numerus electorum in superna felicitate locandus, intercedentibus omnibus Sanctis suis, universorum, quos in oratione commendatos suscepimus, et omnium fidelium nomina, in beatæ prædestinationis libro adscripta retineat.
Oremus.
Flectamus genua.
Levate.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui vivorum dominaris simul et mortuorum, omniumque misereris, quos tuos fide et opere futuros esse prænoscis: te supplices exoramus; ut, pro quibus effundere preces decrevimus, quosque vel præsens sæculum adhuc in carne retinet, vel futurum jam exutos corpore suscepit, intercedentibus omnibus Sanctis tuis, pietatis tuæ clementia omnium delictorum suorum veniam consequantur. Per Dominum nostrum, Jesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivat et regnat in unitate Spiritu Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. R. Amen. 
(Let us pray for the living and the dead: that God, to whom alone is known the number of the elect to be placed in supernal happiness, through the intercession of all his Saints, may retain written in the book of blessed predestination the names of all who have been recommended to our prayers, and of all the faithful.
(Let us pray.
(Let us kneel down.
(Arise.
(Almighty and eternal God, who hast dominion over both the living and the dead, and hast mercy on all, whom thou foreknowest shall be thine by faith and good works: we humbly beseech thee, that those, for whom we have resolved to make supplication, whether the present world still holds them in the flesh, or the world to come has already received them out of the body, may, through the intercession of all thy Saints, obtain of the goodness of thy clemency pardon for all their sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, who with thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.)

This is lengthier than the other intercessions, but does sum up them all, and prays, beseeching the prayers of the Saints, for all the dead, as well as all the living. Thus it seems to me we should pray on Good Friday, when Christ died to save all.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Thank you, St Patrick

It struck me on St Patrick's feast day that I really ought thank him, that truly noble Apostle of Ireland and Patron of Tasmania – since the prayers made to the Lord through his intercession (see side bar), that the Traditional Latin Mass, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, be available in Tasmania, at least on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, have been answered: His Grace Archbishop Porteous appointed Fr Suresh as Chaplain to the Archdiocese of Hobart Latin Mass Community earlier this year, and we have had weekly EF Masses ever since the end of January, thanks to him and Fr Quinn.

First Friday EF Masses have begun; this week, those in Hobart can attend a sung 6 pm Mass for the Annunciation; and again this year, we will have Fr Mannes visiting from Sydney in order to celebrate the sacred rites of the Paschal Triduum. As if that were not enough, since March, on the first Sunday of each month, there is a Missa cantata in Launceston – Truly, my cup runneth over!

I discovered an old posting of mine from December 2012: how much has changed in so little time! And to my surprise, the prayer to St Patrick asking for Latin Masses in this State I found I put together back in October 2008, before I moved back to Tasmania from Western Australia (together with some rather verbose additions unused for years). (I also again thank Fr Hunwicke for assisting me with Latinizing part of it – and for suggesting the addition of "at least".) So it took only 6 years and a quarter for this prayer to be answered: Deo gratias et Patricio.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Viva, viva Benedetto

An unremarked milestone was passed on the 16th of February: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI surpassed the lifespan of Pope Clement XII (who died aged 87 years 306 days), to become the second-longest-lived Pope, outranked only by Leo XIII (who died aged 93 years 140 days): since Georg Ratzinger is still alive, aged 91, God willing, Benedict may indeed live on to surpass that span too, come the 5th of September 2020. Benedict XVI would by now have reigned for over nine years, had he not unexpectedly resigned.

(But do note that Pope John XXII's age at death is uncertain: some sources claim he may have been as many as 89 years old.)

Meanwhile, as the joke has it, the priests of Rome pray at Mass "for Benedict our Pope and Francis our Bishop"! – today begins the third year of the pontificate of Papa Bergoglio, our Latin American leader (caudillo?) from the Silver Republic (that being the literal meaning of his homeland's name). I do hope his second Synod on the Family is less embarrassing and more fruitful than the first; at least he has his own right-hand-man in Cardinal Pell, with the skills (less common in southern Europe and similar places) necessary to reform the murky details of Vatican finances.

If, according to the ineluctable designs of Providence, our one-lunged Argentinian Supreme Pontiff should predecease our former German Shepherd (for after all, as St John Paul the Great opined, the Church ought breathe with both lungs), could a future conclave re-elect the Pope Emeritus, that the Church return to the Golden Age from its current Silver Age, so to speak? And, if so, would he be Benedict XVI & XVII? Or could he take an entirely new Papal name – Ignatius, perhaps? That would be most confusing.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tasmanian Pilgrimage

A small group of friends and I spent the weekend on a Lenten pilgrimage: on Saturday, we walked from St Joseph's Church in Hobart to St John's Church in Richmond (25 km); and on Sunday, another 28 km to St Patrick's Church, Colebrook. The three churches mentioned are all historic: St Joseph's, built 1841, was Hobart's original pro-cathedral; St John the Evangelist's, built 1837, is the oldest extant Catholic church in Australia; and St Patrick's, Colebrook, built 1857, is a perfect Pugin design.

Shelstone Saddle (our Saturday lunch stop) with Hobart in the distance

His Grace condescended to join us for the last hour of the walk into Richmond, and proceeded to celebrate Mass for us in the Ordinary Form; Hugh and Tony sang the Gregorian propers, just as they did the next day at Colebrook, where Fr Suresh sang a Missa cantata. En route, from time to time we said the Rosary (ten decades each day), sang hymns, conversed and enjoyed the pleasant weather and  scenery.

Simon and Lyle took turns in driving our support vehicle, which kept us supplied with water, plus food and drink for lunch, morning and afternoon tea. The pilgrimage could not have happened without the kind permission of the local parish priest, nor the support of other friends of mine who assisted us. David, who joined our band on the Sunday, lives locally, and helped plan the route.

A little before lunch on Sunday, with Gravelly Ridge to climb afterwards

It was a pity that a few others were unable to attend in the event, but c'est la vie. I must say that such a generous dose of unaccustomed fresh air, sunshine and exercise all agreed with me, and I cannot wait to strike out cross-country again. Being a Catholic affair, we quenched our hard-earned thirst and enjoyed a pleasant dinner together in a local pub each evening.

Colebrook was originally named Jerusalem, and so our little venture bore a somewhat grandiose title: a Lenten Pilgrimage to Tasmania's Jerusalem. All pilgrimages, large and small, are images of the progress of each Christian, and of the whole Church, through the desert of this world to the supernal City of God. As St Louis IX said as he lay dying, "We will go to Jerusalem".

St Patrick's Church, Colebrook

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Launceston Missa Cantata

For the first time in a long time, I won't be M.C. at the first Sunday of the month Hobart Missa cantata, for the excellent reason that, instead, I will be serving at our new first Sunday of the month Launceston Missa cantata, at 6 pm at St Francis' Church, Riverside.

In Hobart, since January this year, the Traditional Latin Mass is offered every Sunday – the venue and time has recently changed to 11:00 am at Sacred Heart Church, New Town. Fr Quinn continues to say that Mass on the first Sunday of each month, but otherwise Fr Suresh says it. As on the first Sundays, Fr Suresh is free, he will henceforth drive north to offer an Extraordinary Mass in Launceston.

I feel sorry that I won't be M.C. for Fr Quinn henceforth, but it will be good both for me and for those others here in the North who wish to attend the traditional form of the Roman Rite, without having to drive to Hobart.

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Chinese Calendar and the Date of Easter

The Chinese lunisolar calendar – whose New Year occurred adjacent to Ash Wednesday this week – is, as all men know, a Jesuit production. For imperial decrees of 1611 and 1629 commanded those expert mathematicians and astronomers, being missionaries of the Society of Jesus then resident in Beijing, to correct the traditional calendar of the Ming Empire; the work was completed between 1642 and 1644; and, after an invasion and change of dynasty, was promulgated in the first year of the Qing (that is, Manchu) Empire, in 1645.

There was some contretemps back in Rome at the involvement of Fr Johann Adam Schall von Bell, S.J., in the composition of such a calendar, providing as it did for the various feasts and fasts of pagan idolatry, not to mention days of good and bad fortune as prescribed by oriental superstition; but his involvement was all carefully examined and approved by a curial commission, Fr Schall's role being revealed as simply providing the calculations upon which substructure native officials arranged their customary observances, without any acquiescence of that Jesuit in their non-Christian rites; and in the same year of 1664, Pope Alexander VII officially approved the good father's appointment as a mandarin and chief mathematician of the Empire of China.

Being a lunisolar calendar, its lunar months (stretching from new moon to new moon, with the full moon occurring, more or less, on the fifteenth day of each) are carefully disposed to correspond to the solar year, with the intercalation of an extra month from time to time (roughly every three years). Though its solar year is calculated between successive (northern hemisphere) winter solstices, it is interesting to note several convenient properties of the Chinese calendar that relate instead to the vernal equinox, which must always fall within the second lunar month.

I wonder if the Jesuits, who laboured for the Son of Heaven that he be converted and turn to worship the Son of Man, that he, too, and all the peoples of his Empire, become sons of God and co-heirs of heaven, did not spot the eminent suitability of their clever improvement of the Chinese calendar for the determination of the date of Easter, in conformity with the then-recent Gregorian calendrical reform?

For I have been checking if a simple algorithm applied to the Chinese calendar will correctly yield the date of Easter: and it seems it does, if two safeguards be applied.

To begin with, recall what the first Ecumenical Council decreed: that Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first (or "Paschal") full moon after the (northern) vernal equinox. The West (whether non-Chalcedonian, Greek or Latin) has always determined this date by the use of tables. However, in principle astronomical calculations would yield an equal or superior result.

The reformed Chinese calendar of 1645 is based upon observations of the true rather than the mean sun and moon. (Since early last century, it has not been based upon the meridian of Beijing, but upon that of 120 degrees East; this is about the only change made after the Jesuits' codification and improvement of ancient tradition.)

To determine the date of Easter by use of the Chinese calendar, first one finds the date of the vernal equinox in the relevant year (this always falls in the second lunar month), converting if necessary from the Gregorian to the Chinese date (though most Chinese calendars provide the "solar terms", including the relevant equinox). Then one notes if that equinox occurs before or after the fifteenth of the lunar month (when the full moon, in almost all cases*, occurs). If before, then the first Sunday after that fifteenth* day will be Easter Sunday. If after, then the first Sunday after the fifteenth* of the third month will be Easter.

I add an asterisk (*) above to signify that I have made a perhaps unwarranted simplification (though it works well enough in over 93% of cases): for, having downloaded a table of all lunar phases and their timings from 1600 to 2200 inclusive, it appears that the fifteenth day of the Chinese month is not always the date of the full moon: sometimes it is the sixteenth, or even the seventeenth.

For the eighty years from 1974 to 2053, four times (in 1994, 2021, 2025 and 2048) the calculation of the date of Easter requires not merely assuming that the fifteenth of the lunar month is the date of the full moon, but a careful checking of its exact date. Obviously, a truly comprehensive Chinese calendar table will include the exact date of the full moon each lunar month, so providing a wholly accurate method for finding Easter Sunday.

There is a further rule necessary: in 1981, this method would suggest that Easter falls on the 26th of April, but Easter can only fall between the 22nd of March and the 25th of April – so an added rule must prescribe that, in such a case, Easter be observed a week earlier.

If only the good fathers of the Society of Jesus (in those days, not merely great scholars, but staunchly orthodox too) had managed to convert the Emperor of China! If only the Chinese Rites controversy had been correctly resolved in 1704 (when instead those observances were banned, raising the wrath of the Kangxi Emperor, and resulting in the persecution of Chinese Christians), rather than only in 1939! If only Clement XI had been as well-informed and truly irenic as Pius XII – without in any way being syncretistic!

Ah, the might-have-beens of history: if only Matteo Ricci's understanding of Chinese customs had been upheld rather than spurned, then the conversion of China could have been effected centuries earlier, rather than postponed until the Sino-Japanese conflict and the Communist conquest of mainland China; or, to speak of another theatre of conflict, why did Mary, James II, the Old Pretender and the Young Pretender fail, and Elizabeth and the Prince of Orange succeed? We must bow before the inscrutable decrees of Providence.

In any case, once the men of Han are converted in God's good time – and there are many Christians and Catholics among them, despite all persecution – then indeed one providential convenience will be that the Chinese calendar is admirably adapted to the calculation of the date of Easter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Joy of the Psalms

Deo gratias, I have been putting into practice, in some small way – I hope – the advice tendered by this blog's title, Psallite sapienter; for as Chesterton once said, if something's worth doing, it's worth doing badly. In other words, ever since Sunday the 28th of December, I have resumed reciting the Day Hours from the Roman Breviary of 1962.

I find that the nine psalms of Matins "occasions psychological difficulties", but, since the Feast of the Holy Family (EF) I have adopted an expedient, whereby I say a shortened Matins, including but three psalms out of the nine, omitting the other six: it's not the Office as it should be, but it's better than nothing.

UPDATE: For any who may be interested, I have determined to choose three out of the nine Matins psalms according to the following cycle, so that every three weeks I read over all of them.


Selection of Psalms for Shortened Matins

1st Sunday of Advent & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
2nd Sunday of Advent & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
3rd Sunday of Advent & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3
4th Sunday of Advent & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
Christmas      9 Pss as given
Sunday in Christmas Octave & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
H. Name (Sun. aft. Xmas Oct.*) & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3
[* if it occur]
Epiphany 9 Pss as given
1st Sunday after Epiphany & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
2nd Sunday after Epiphany & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
3rd Sunday after Epiphany & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3
4th Sunday after Epiphany & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
5th Sunday after Epiphany & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
6th Sunday after Epiphany & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3
Unused Sundays after Epiphany used before the Last after Pentecost
Septuagesima & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
Sexagesima & week following  3 Pss of Noct. 2
Quinquagesima & week following  3 Pss of Noct. 3
1st Sunday in Lent & week following  3 Pss of Noct. 1
2nd Sunday in Lent & week following  3 Pss of Noct. 2
3rd Sunday in Lent & week following  3 Pss of Noct. 3
4th Sunday in Lent & week following  3 Pss of Noct. 1
1st Sunday of the Passion & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
Palm Sunday & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3
Last 3 Days of Holy Week 9 Pss as given
_________________________________________________
Traditional Dominican Practice:
Easter Octave 3 Pss as given
1st Sunday & Week after the Easter Octave 3 Pss of Noct. 1
2nd Sunday & Week after the Easter Octave 3 Pss of Noct. 2
3rd Sunday & Week after the Easter Octave 3 Pss of Noct. 3
4th Sunday & Week after the Easter Octave 3 Pss of Noct. 1
5th Sunday & Week after the Easter Octave 3 Pss of Noct. 2
Sunday & following Ferias after the Ascension 3 Pss of Noct. 3
Pentecost Octave (Whitsuntide) 3 Pss as given
________________________________________________

Trinity Sunday (1st after Pent.) & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
2nd Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
3rd Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3
4th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
5th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
6th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3
7th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
8th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
9th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3
10th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
11th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
12th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3
13th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
14th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
15th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3
16th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
17th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
18th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3
19th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
20th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
21st Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3
22nd Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 1
23rd Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 2
Any unused weeks after Epiphany inserted here
24th Sunday after Pentecost & week following 3 Pss of Noct. 3


This method is based on that of the Dominican Breviary, which employs only three psalms at Matins for the whole of Eastertide (as indicated above) – in addition to the practice in the Roman Breviary, whereby only three psalms are said at Matins during Easter Week and Whitsuntide.

In addition, it is well-known that Matins of the Little Office of Our Lady contains only three psalms, while in the Office of the Dead one may read either one Nocturn, or all three.

As there are a maximum of 53 Sundays in the year, and Matins during the Octaves of Easter and Pentecost already have their assigned psalmody of three psalms, this scheme spreads the recitation of the psalms at Matins over a three-week cycle that, ideally, repeats 17 times a year. (In reality, of course, this neat pattern is likely to be broken…)

In any case, it has really helped me, this return to prayer, even if not to the full Hours, as I love the psalms and the cycles of the liturgy; so to God be the glory.