Liturgy of the Hours and Pre-Lent


This past year I began attending Mass at a parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, a diocesan-like structure created by the Vatican in 2012 for former Anglican communities and clergy seeking to become Catholic (I was Catholic before then, baptized 2 months after birth). The Pastor there is extremely conservative and serious about the Catholic faith. Of what I’ve witnessed so far, it seems that wherever he is allowed to keep old traditions in the Mass he does keep them, such as in November on All Souls’ Day, the Dies Irae sequence was sung by the choir. This past Sunday was Septuagesima Sunday, which began Pre-Lent, a season observed prior to Vatican II. This parish is observing the Pre-Lent season, which involves wearing violet vestments, not singing (or saying) the Gloria (other than solemnities and feasts), and not singing the Alleluia at all until Easter. I immediately started liking this Pre-Lent tradition, and I found out that refraining from Alleluia even goes for the Liturgy of the Hours. Not everything is like Lent; we still have flowers on the altar, and organ preludes and postludes.

My question, though, has to do with the Te Deum during the Office of Readings. I’ve read that it is supposed to be done on Sundays, except during Lent. Are any of you familiar with the Pre-Lenten season, and if so, do you pray the Te Deum on Sundays during Pre-Lent, or does it start during Lent?

If the Gloria is already suppressed at Mass during this time, and the Gloria Patris in the Divine Office as well, I would think that the Te Deum is too.

If no one here can tell you for sure and certain, write to the FSSP and ask them. Or, if you have an FSSP parish in your diocese, give them a call.

I didn’t say the Gloria Patri was omitted, the occurrences of alleluia are.

I didn’t say that is what you said.

Just trying to be helpful. :tiphat:

The “Te Deum” is said at Matins, after the last lesson, in place of a ninth or third responsory.

According to the 1961 General rubrics for the Divine Office the “Te Deum” is omitted:

a. In Offices of the Season from the first Sunday of Advent to the vigil of Christmas inclusive, and from Setuagesima Sunday [pre-Lent] to Holy Saturday inclusive;
b. on vigils of the 2nd and 3rd class, except the vigil of the Ascension of the Lord;
c. on all ferias of the season called “throughout the year”;
d. In the Office of the dead.

When the hymn “Te Deum” is omitted, a ninth or third resposory is said in its place.

The rubrics of the LOTH specify the Te Deum on all Sundays outside of Lent, and all feasts and solemnities, plus the octaves (Christmas and Easter).

Prior to the reforms, the Te Deum was not said when the Gloria was not sung/said at Mass so that would, I believe, include Advent, Septuagesima, Lent and Passiontide.

There is no pre-Lenten season any longer, unless you are following the Extraordinary Form calendar in which case you wouldn’t be using the LOTH but the 1960 Roman Breviary or the pre-Vatican II Monastic Breviary.

Dropping the Te Deum (when it is called for) at any time before Lent is outside the rubrics of the LOTH and thus not licit; the LOTH does not recognize a pre-Lenten season of any kind as it follows the modern calendar.

The Liturgy of the Hours as you know it did not exist before Vatican II. Presuming that you are not clergy nor religious and bound to pray the Office, in private devotion you may do as you wish.

If you like refraining from the *Te Deum *in this “pre Lent”, you may do so.
If you wish to pray this edition of the Liturgy of the Hours “as traditionally as possible”, stick to its instruction.


While one can do as one wishes in a private devotion, I can’t understand why one would go through all the trouble of praying a pseudo-LOTH without making it the real thing and attach one’s self to the Body of Christ in the public prayer of the Church?

Besides learning the rubrics and structure of the office the only obstacle to overcome is the realization tha liturgy “isn’t all about me!”

The Liturgy of the Hours is attached to the calendar of the Ordinary Form. If you’re not an actual member of the Ordinariate, then you are under the authority of the Diocese, and therefore, the rubrics and Calendar of the Diocese apply.

There is no Septuagesima in the Ordinary Form. Therefore, even if you still attend the Ordinariate Use (or the Extraordinary Form, as I do), but pray the Liturgy of the Hours, then you still keep the Alleluias and the Te Deum.

Um, if the OP is in an
Anglican Ordinariate, I would think they should ask the pastor…


Well, the question I would ask is this: does the Anglican Ordinariate have the equivalent to the LOTH, and if so, their own rubrics?

As I read it, he is a cradle Catholic but attends Mass at an Ordinariate parish. He therefore cannot be a member of the Ordinariate unless he never received confirmation in the Latin Church and does so in the Ordinariate, or if he has a family member in the Ordinariate. Of course can fulfill his Mass obligation there as it is a valid and licit Mass.

So therefore the Divine Office he should be celebrating is the LOTH. He could of course attend an Ordinariate Divine Office if one is held at his parish, and simply follow those rubrics, though I don’t think he’d be doing anything “wrong” if he prayed the Ordinariate version in private as well. It would certainly be more consistent, calendar-wise with where he attends Mass.

The Ordinariate uses the “Book of Divine Worship”, an adaptation of the Anglican “Book of Common Prayer”. It contains Morning, mid-day, and Evening Prayer and Compline; the structure is somewhat different than the LOTH (source: wikipedia) but like the LOTH is based on antiphons and psalms.

Right now, the Ordinariates use one of two books: the Book of Divine Worship (developed for the Pastoral Provision and predates the Ordinariate) and the Customary of our Lady of Walsingham (developed by the Personal Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham in the UK). If I recall right, both books are legitimate options for all Ordinariates, although the former would be in more wide use in the U.S. Ordinariate, and the latter in the UK Ordinariate.

Approval for both of these books are interim, as the committee Anglicanae traditiones is still developing the definitive edition for the Ordinariate Divine Office, likely going to be based on both the Liturgy of the Hours and the Book of Common Prayer. It has been neither released nor approve for use yet so we do not know what it is going to look like. I’m guessing it’s probably going to be awesome. I wish Rome would not only release it to the Ordinariate but allow all English-speaking diocesan clergy to fulfill their obligation, and allow all English-speaking laity to offer it as their participation in the official Prayer of the Church.

The Ordinariate parish I recently attended celebrates public Matins and Evensong (Vespers) every Sunday…the public recitation of the office seems to be more common in the Ordinariate tradition.

I wish that were the case in the wider Latin Church. In our parish we do get Lauds on days when there’s no daily Mass but that’s about it. Fortunately there’s a local Benedictine abbey that prays a Monastic LOTH daily, 7 times a day (if you include the Mass).

If you are not bound to pray the LOTH you are free to use any daily prayers you wish, however, it is a joy to feel and know that when using the LOTH you are praying with the whole church.

As previously mentioned, the LOTH is post Vatican II and so you should follow the rubrics as set out if that is what you are using.

The Customary of OLW is for the Ordinariate, however, there is nothing to stop anyone using it (presuming they are not under obligation to use a specific rite).

The Customary has been designed so that one can use it with the LOTH, for example, I may say Morning Prayer from the LOTH and Evening Prayer and compline from the Customary.

A great resource is the Universalis website and app for phone and tablet. For a small cost you have access to the full LOTH, mass readings and calendars. Each office shows only what you should be saying/praying.

The cathedral in Vancouver has morning lauds during the week and Vespers on Sunday nights. Outside of the cathedral though, it is rare to find in parishes. I would like to see Saturday vespers in more parishes right before the anticipation mass. It would be easy to tack on.

True in parishes but in Vancouver you’re fortunate to have Westminster Abbey nearby where the Divine Office is celebrated daily.

I sometimes wonder if we, as laity, should take matters into our own hands and get a group together to celebrate at least a part of the LOTH. The LOTH doesn’t in fact require ordained clergy to celebrate, even in a group. It may not necessarily be possible to do in the church itself though one can ask for permission. It would be a churlish priest indeed who would refuse such permission provided arrangements can be made to lock up afterwards, know the alarm code, etc.

There are also rubrics for combining Lauds, the minor hours or Vespers with the Mass and First Vespers on Saturday evening followed by the Mass would be such an opportunity indeed, but I fear there would be pushback from parishioners that it would push the Mass beyond the maximum 45 minutes they “expect” on a Saturday evening. At least doing it separately as a group would ensure that those who are there are there because they want to be there.

I think you’re right. In many of our parishes we as laity could indeed do more to organize this. Eastern Catholic parishes, like the Ordinariate, consistently celebrate the hours.
In my home town, which is actually in another diocese outside of Vancouver, the parish secretary, who I know very well, tried to organize morning Lauds before daily mass but was firmly told “no” by the priest. She already had a key, etc so it was nothing to do with that… the reason for the priest’s “no” is beyond my comprehension but I don’t know the full story.

I’d be curious to know why the priest said no myself. I guess there’s always someone’s kitchen…coffee and donuts after!

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