The Holy Week Challenge


Holy Week in the Anglican Breviary is different. In fact it is very different from business as usual. Daniel Lula – the lawyer who has single-handedly revived the Anglican Breviary – gives a very useful and indispensable guide to the Great Triduuum on his website: GREAT TRIDUUM.

For the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Holy Week the Office is said as in the Proper of the Season. No Feasts are celebrated on any of the days of Holy Week. The feria’s of Holy Week are Greater and Priviliged Feria’s and do not allow the Office any other to be said on them. Feasts of Ist and IInd Class must be transferred to the next available date (available means the next day that no Feast hinders the saying of the Office of these transferred Feasts). A very important NOTE to this effect, and providing more detail, is printed in the Anglican Breviary on p. C282 under the title “During Holy Week.”

Matins is said as for Passiontide according to the Psalter & Ordinary and the Proper of the Season. At Lauds proper Antiphons are given with the Psalms according to the Psalter (scheme 2). During all Hours the Preces are said (unless a Double Feast is commemorated in the Office, for even the commemoration of a Double Feast prevents the Preces from being said). A Double Feast occuring – if not of Ist or II Class – is commemorated. Prime has a fourth Psalm as given in the Psalter for each day. Vespers follows the same rules as does Lauds. Compline is of the feria. This way of saying the Office is continued until the Matins of Maundy Thursday – the first Tenebrae Office.

The Matins for Tenebrae begins the Great Triduum and at this time the Office differs significantly from its usual structure. An important description of the changes is given on p. C288 and must be read closely in order to understand the Office for the days ahead. A bullet-point and clear schematic of this not on p. C288 is given by Daniel Lula (just follow the link I gave above). I recommend printing out this page and keeping it at hand when you begin saying the Office of the Great Triduum.

The  most important thing to remember to correctly recite the Office during the Great Triduum is to follow exactly the directions given in the Proper of the Season. The Great Triduum does not allow any feast of any sort to have Office or even to be commemorated. All of one’s attention should be on the Proper of the Season. feasts of I and II Class that cannot be transferred are ignored for that year. To enhance one’s experience of the Tenebrae Services, and for lack of their public celebration, this link could be of help to make your own Tenebrae Hearse: MAKING A TENEBRAE HEARSE (pdf). Fear not to invite others to celebrate these special services with you, in your Church, home, or wherever you may find place and time to say this Office. The prayers of the Anglican Breviary are public prayers or Common Prayer! Special seasons of the Church Year could provide an opportunity to re-connect back-slidden parishioners, or even unbelieving friends to Christ via the celebrations of His Church.

Holy Week is a challenging time for Breviary users, but precisely because it is a challenge it provides opportunity!

Fr. Gregory +

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About Father Gregory

I am an Anglican Catholic Priest, currently residing in Orvelte, the Netherlands.
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