Concerning the Collect of Compline & Marian Antiphons


I received a question in one of the comments on this blog about the Collect at Compline & Marian Antiphons. It seems good to answer the question in a post in case more of the readers of this blog are wondering about the same thing:

I noticed the rubrics mention that the Regina Laetare is to be said standing. What about the other Marian Antiphons when said privately? Also, is the Collect of Compline said standing or kneeling?

The Collect at Compline: The Anglican Breviary directs that – kneeling days excepted – “during the principle Collect of any Office a profound reverence is made (p. A5).” The profound reverence is made in such a way that the Breviary can be held in one hand so that the person holding it, can mentally follow the Officiant who says the words of the Collect out loud. This way the Anglican Breviary emphasizes that it is Common Prayer and not private prayer. On kneeling days, everyone (obviously) kneels the Officiant only rising to say the Collect.

The Marian Antiphons: The Anglican Breviary on p. A8 in a NOTE at the bottom of the page says that the Marian Antiphons are said standing throughout Eastertide and from Saturday Vespers through Sunday Compline. It then specifies:

but at all other times the Choir kneels during this devotion, the Officiant alone rising before the Collect, which he prays standing, through its concluding V.

Nothing is said which would indicate a difference between in Choir and private practice for this devotion. Since the NOTE is given before all the Marian Antiphons, I take the NOTE to apply to all the Antiphons which follow it. This means that the Regina caeli laetare is always said standing during Eastertide – as is emphasized by the rubric immediately following this Antiphon on p. A9.

Other Seasons do not follow this rubric. The remaining Marian Antiphons given for the remaining Seasons of the year are said kneeling, the Officiant only rising to say the Collect. The only exception to this rule is from Saturday Vespers to  and including Sunday Compline. From Saturday Vespers – which, in a way, is the 1st Vespers of Sunday – up to and including Sunday Compline the Marian Antiphon (in whatever Season) is said standing.

In short all Marian Antiphons for the Seasons of the year are said kneeling with two exceptions:

  1. the Antiphon is said standing during the entire Sunday Office
  2. the Regina caeli laetare is always said standing for the entire Eastertide Season

A distinction between private and common prayer is not made and I therefore conclude that this rubric holds true for both. 

Fr. Gregory +

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About Father Gregory

I am an Anglican Catholic Priest, currently residing in Orvelte, the Netherlands.
This entry was posted in Anglican Breviary, Rubrics. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Concerning the Collect of Compline & Marian Antiphons

  1. Jim Hicks says:

    This certainly makes sense.

    • fathergregory says:

      Thanks Jim!
      I looked at the Rubrics given in the Bute translation of the pre-Pius X Roman Breviary just to be sure. I was unable to find any specifics distinguishing private from common (or “in Choir” ) use.

      Fr. G+

  2. Rubricarius says:

    That is exactly the same as what happened in the Roman rite.

    Regina Caeli is always said standing after the Hours and as a final antiphon. The other seasonal antiphons are said kneeling except on a Sunday when they are said standing.

    The rubrics actually prescribe that the antiphon is said but customary praxis is to sing them.

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