Another Example ~ with Responsories

Same Example, with Responsories

To continue the example and ideas developed in the previous post I will give the same example again, but add in the Responsories from the AB for the reading of St. Paul’s Epistles as given on page C143-C145:

Invitatory & Hymn ~ of the feria (no change)

I Nocturn, ferial Antiphons & Psalms from the Psalter (no change)


Readings 1, 2, 3 from Genesis are replaced by 3 Readings the first from 1 Cor 11: 17-34, the second and third from Bd. Columba Marmion. Which could have be done something like this:

Our Father …

Absolution for Tuesday: Succour us …

Blessing for Tuesday: May God the Father …

From the Former Epistle to the Corinthians

Lesson I

17Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 20When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. 21For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 27Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of thatcup. 29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30For this cause many areweak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.33Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. 34And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us. Thanks be to God.

R. With thin ears, O God, consider my calling, and hold not thy peace at my tears; * O spare me a little, for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner. V. Let it be thy pleasure to deliver me, make haste, O Lord, to help me. O spare me a little, for I am stranger with thee, and a sojourner.

Blessing for Tuesday: May Christ bestow …

From Christ in His Mysteries by Bl. Columba Marmion

Lesson 2

No Mass is celebrated, no communion made without our being enabled to remember that Jesus delivered himself up to death for the redemption of the world. For, says St Paul, as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until He come. Thus is perpetuated, living and fruitful, until the end of time, the remembrance of Christ among those whom he came to redeem by his immolation.

The Eucharist is then truly the memorial that Christ has left to us of his Passion and his Death: it is the testament of his love. Wherever the bread and wine are offered, wherever the consecrated Host is found, there appears the remembrance of Christ’s immolation: do this for a commemoration of me. The Eucharist recalls to us above all the memory of the Passion of Jesus. It was on the eve of his death that he instituted it; he left it to us as the testament of his love.

But it does not exclude the other mysteries. See what the Church does. She is the Bride of Christ, none knows better than she the intentions of her Divine Head; in the or­ganisation of the public worship which she renders to him, she is guided by the Holy Spirit. Now what does she say? Directly after the Consecration, she first of all recalls the words of Jesus: As often as you do these things, you shall do them in remembrance of me. And at once she adds, to show how closely she enters into the sentiments of her Spouse: ‘Wherefore, O Lord, we your servants together with your holy people, in memory of the blessed Passion of the same Christ Our Lord, and of his Resurrection from hell, also of his glorious Ascension into Heaven offer unto your most excellent Majesty … the holy bread of eternal life, and the chalice of everlasting salvation.’ After the mention of ‘the Ascension to the right hand of the Father’, the Greeks likewise add, ‘that of the second and glorious coming of Christ’.

But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us. Thanks be to God.

R. The Lord doth set my feet upon the rock, and God doth order my goings; * And he doth put a new song in my mouth. V. He hath heard my calling, and brought me also out of the horrible pit. And he doth put a new song in my mouth.

Blessing for Tuesday: May the King of Angels …

Lesson 3

So then, although the Eucharist recalls the Passion of Jesus, it does not exclude the remembrance of the glorious mysteries which are linked so closely to the Passion of which they are, in a sense, the crown. Since it is the Body and Blood of Christ that we receive, the Eucharist supposes the In­carnation and the mysteries which are founded upon or flow from it. Christ is upon the altar with the divine life which never ceases, with his mortal life of which the his­torical form has doubtless ceased, but of which the substance and merits remain, with his glorious life which shall have no end.

All this, as you know, is really contained in the Sacred Host and given in Communion to our souls. In communicating himself to us, Christ Jesus gives himself in the sub­stantial totality of his works and mysteries, as in the oneness of his Person. Yes, let us say, with the Psalmist who sings in prophecy the glory of the Eucharist, the Lord has made a remembrance of His wonderful works, being a merciful and gracious Lord, he has given food to them that fear him. The Eucharist is like the synthesis of the marvels of the love of the Incarnate Word towards us.

But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us. Thanks be to God.

R. I said Lord, be merciful unto me: * heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee. V. Deliver me from all mine offences, O Lord. Heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee. Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. Heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.

And here would follow the Collect if Lauds is not said immediately.

The appropriate Responsories for the Scriptural Books read could be thus integrated. This makes the Office a bit longer still, but perhaps it is a small price to pay. It does not make the Office that much longer either. What it does do, is it interrupts the reading of Scripture and/or the reading of the commentary. This is why perhaps a silence is also quite fitting after each reading instead of Responsories. A silence allows for some interiorizing of the passages just read whereas the chanting of Responsories does not.

These suggestions – I would like to suggest – are not so radical and outlandish as it may perhaps seem. After all the ancient tradition read much of Scripture in “Vigils” (the Office of Matins) – if not indeed all of the Scriptures – and, following St. Benedict, there is also an explanation of an orthodox and catholic author. The direction I would see this moving into is deliberately modeled on the precedent of the Book of Common Prayer and the Rule of Saint Benedict. A connection between the Benedictine “spirit” and Anglicanism has been suggested before in an article on the Full Homely Divinity website, and I believe a good one at that. So in adapting the AB – ever so slightly – it seems good to follow an established trail rather than blaze our own. Creativity, as we have seen in the Bugnini reforms in the Roman Catholic Church, in the 1552 reforms of the BCP, the reforms in the 1979 BCP, etc. should not be unlimited if we are not to essentially destroy our liturgy and the faith it teaches us. The principle to be kept in mind is that “The law of prayer, is the law of faith.” Once we start reversing this order all kinds of liturgies can be (and have been) devised of the most deviant and destructive sort.

Fr. Gregory Wassen +


About Father Gregory

I am an Anglican Catholic Priest, currently residing in Orvelte, the Netherlands.
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3 Responses to Another Example ~ with Responsories

  1. Jim Hicks says:


    I am having trouble understanding the change from Gen. to 1 Cor. in your example. This week, the lesson in the AB and BCP are both from Gen. The second is from Mark.

    Now what I am looking at is the first and second lessons for Morning Prayer, 1928 BCP. Sunday, the first lesson in Matins was long, so the AB actually moved ahead of the BCP, if I am reading this correctly.

    What am I doing wrong?

    Jim Hicks

  2. Jim Hicks says:

    Obviously, I missed that point, although you clearly stated it!

    I am really reviewing this situation. I like the idea of including more Scripture, i.e. from the BCP (1928). And including the Responsories when possible. Keeping as much of the beauty of the AB is important, so it does not get reduced to the modern LOTH. My wife bought the set for me as a birthday present several years ago. I tried using it one summer, but gave up when I found myself using the St. Augustine Prayer Book to add prayers and Canticles. I figured I may as well just go back to the AB!

    I will enjoy reading your blogs as your thoughts progress on this issue.

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