Members and fellow-travelers of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (OCSP), which has jurisdiction over parishes in the United States and Canada, have been waiting for some years on official information about the status of the Daily Office in the Ordinariate’s Divine Worship form, said to be sitting in Rome awaiting approval.
Thankfully, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, based in Australia, has now published their own draft version of the Office, available in hard copy on Lulu.com, and I am happy to say it is fully usable for those of us in the U.S. or Canada (or for those in the UK for that matter).
I just received my rather affordable copy (less than $20), and thought I’d publish a few photos along with some comments and first impressions for those who might be interested.
The Ordo 2019 is a handy and functional volume. At 6″ x 9″ and 434 pp., and a hardcover, it is perhaps not as comfortable to hold as most breviaries, but it is not unwieldy either. If my previous experiences with Lulu’s hardcover binding are any indication, this will put up with plenty of abuse.
It is printed in black and white (no red for rubrics), except for the coat of arms of the OLSC on the front.
The ribbons in the picture above and in those that follow are my own set; it does not come with ribbons, and you will definitely need them to effectively use this book for the Daily Office! (Note that the standard removable ribbon sets for the Liturgy of the Hours are too short for the purpose.) Unless you really have a thing for Post-it notes or holy cards, I recommend getting a set of 5 or 6 ribbons long enough to fit.
The biggest selling point of this Ordo is the sheer amount of functional content it contains that enables one to pray the Office in the Ordinariate use without requiring 4+ books. The title page speaks for itself:
Here is the complete Table of Contents:
The volume opens with a very nice prefatory letter by the Australian ordinary, Msgr. Harry Entwistle, on the importance of the Office in the patrimony of the Ordinariates:
The Ordo & Calendar section, which takes up the bulk of the volume, contains complete rubrics for each day, indicating the Scripture lessons (two in the morning, two in the evening, following a revision of the 1961 English Lectionary that is also used by the other two Ordinariates) appointed in the Office, but also any special seasonal/festal invitatories, whether the Te Deum or the Athanasian Creed (Quicumque vult) is to be said.
Best of all, each day includes the reproduction of the appropriate Collect, as well as proper antiphons for the Benedictus and/or Magnificat at morning and evening prayer, respectively, for Feasts, Solemnities and Sundays. (Memorials and ferias continue to follow the Anglican tradition of no antiphons for the Gospel Canticles. The appointed Psalms of the day never have antiphons and are always in directum, also keeping with Anglican tradition.)
Here is are a couple of sample pages of the Ordo & Calendar:
The above showcases the incredibly useful way this Ordo was put together, with the psalms (for those following the 7-week instead of the traditional Cranmerian 30-day Psalter), lessons, special rubrics (in this case, Christmas Invitatory and Te Deum at Mattins), Collect, and proper Gospel Canticle antiphons all included in one convenient spot.
Here are some photos of the Office proper:
Note that unlike the rubrics given in John Covert’s dynamic online Daily Office site, this Ordo calls either for the responsorial V. Praise ye the Lord. R. The Lord’s Name be praised, as in most Anglican forms, or Alleluia (the officiant and people together), but not both.
I was very pleased to see that Terce, Sext and None (the third, sixth and ninth hours of prayer, also known as midmorning, noon and midafternoon prayer, respectively, in the ordinary form of the Liturgy of the Hours) were included in full.
In the Ordinariate use, these minor daytime hours follow the 1,500-year Benedictine monastic tradition in assigning unchanging psalmody: Pss 120-122 for Terce, 123-125 for Sext, and 126-128 for None (in directum, no antiphons).
Together, they constitute the majority of the so-called Gradual Psalms, also known as the Songs of Ascent, that the Old Testament People of God were said to have customarily sung while going up to worship at the Jerusalem Temple on the major annual feasts of Israel.
I was even more pleased that, unlike last year’s digital Ordo, which merely indicated that “here an appropriate hymn may be sung” at the beginning of the minor hours, Ordo 2019 actually reproduces excellent English translations in Long Meter of the proper ancient Office hymns for these hours (Nunc sancte nobis Spiritus for Terce, Rector potens, verax Deus for Sext, and Rerum Deus tenax vigor for None).
After the introduction, hymn, and three psalms, follows a little chapter of Scripture (following a weekly cycle), a corresponding versicle and response, the Collect of the Day (or alternatively, a fixed Collect for the time of day), and the closing versicles (V. Let us bless the Lord. R. Thanks be to God).
Interestingly, the officiant may also optionally add the customary prayer for the departed, “May ✠ the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.”
(As an aside, this prayer has an interesting history in the Roman Office. Briefly: prior to 1568, there was a general obligation to recite the Office of the Dead each day, in addition to the regular Office. Pope Pius V abolished this onerous obligation, and instead inserted the brief verse to close all hours of the regular Office, except for Compline. The reforming Consilium after the Second Vatican Council removed it, on account of the reintroduction of intercessory prayers at Vespers in the Liturgy of the Hours. The last of these intercessions is always for the dead, so ending each hour by praying for the dead was deemed to be unnecessarily repetitive.)
In addition to the daytime hours, the Ordo also includes an order for Compline, another supplementary hour that is something of a duplication in the Anglican tradition, given that Evensong is a combination of the hours of Vespers and Compline. The psalms of Compline are also unchanging, and follow the pre-1911 Roman tradition (Pss 4, 31:1-6, 91, 134), although the rubrics state that “one or more” of these psalms may be said.
Also in continuity with older western tradition, Compline does open with the blessing (“The LORD Almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end”) and the invariable verse from 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Brethren: Be sober, be vigilant…,” “✠ Our help is in the name of the Lord,” and one of two options for a confession of sins (both of them must be of Anglican provenance, or at least I do not recognize them from either older or newer Roman tradition).
The invariable hymn (Te lucis ante terminum in English translation) follows the Psalmody, as in the older Roman tradition (and not at the beginning of the hour, as in the reformed Liturgy of the Hours).
This usage is also followed in Mattins and Evensong, where the proper Office Hymn may be sung before the Gospel Canticle (Benedictus or Magnificat). Although the Ordo does not include hymnody except for the daytime hours and Compline, I strongly recommend Fr. Samuel Weber OSB’s Hymnal for the Hours, containing about 500 proper Office hymns (including some with two different translations) from the Liturgia Horarum in fine English translation and set to their proper Gregorian chant tones.
Conforming to the English tradition of the Book of Common Prayer (and unlike the American tradition), the Ordo includes the Quicumque vult, that magnificent statement of trinitarian faith once ascribed to St. Athanasius and still colloquially called the “Athanasian Creed.” It is to replace the Apostles’ Creed at Mattins or Evensong on Trinity Sunday and certain other solemn feasts.
Lastly, here is the “secret sauce” that makes this Ordo a true — and truly usable — Office book for those wishing to pray according to the Ordinariate’s use: it includes the complete Coverdale psalter, divided according to Thomas Cranmer’s traditional 30-day cursus.
My only (very minor) complaint about it is that, unlike all editions of the BCP I have seen, it does not have a handy header or footer note to more quickly see which day/time of day (e.g. Evening, Day 29) one is turned to, so you have to rely on the body of the text, or (ideally, if the Daily Office does its job!) your intimate knowledge of how the psalms are divided.
Hearty congratulations to the Australian Ordinariate! They have managed to produce the first affordable, simple, and eminently usable true Ordinariate Daily Office book, even if it is ad experimentum, and even if it won’t line up 100 percent with what is expected to be in the American usage.
Msgr. Entwistle’s Preface is exactly right: with this Ordo 2019 and a copy of the Bible (the official Ordinariate Scripture lectionary is the Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition), you can now have a full Daily Office cycle in the Ordinariate Use. Add in the optional and equally affordable Hymnal for the Hours, and you will be set until January 1, 2020.
If you have any questions or comments about the Australian Ordo 2019 that I didn’t cover here, feel free to comment below, or email me directly at email@example.com.