A Missing Feria and a Mising Office
The Anglican Breviary (AB) has a full ferial Saturday Office. The AB also has the Office of Saint Mary on the Sabbath. Practically this means that whenever the ferial Office for Saturday should occur it is suppressed by the Office of Our Lady on the Sabbath. To some, like me, this might seem somewhat bothersome. The ferial Psalms are used, as are the ferial Antiphons, but the Hymn, readings, versicles, and other elements are for the Feast rather than for the Saturday as a Feria. The other days in the week have their ferial Offices celebrated regularly (depending upon the Kalendar one is using) but the Saturday Office is structurally excluded from being said.
I have been wondering – for some time now – if there is a way to “fix” (a very bad word in most liturgical contexts) this. I have come up with the idea to add the Office of Our Lady on the Sabbath to the Office of Saturday whenever there does not occur a ix lesson feast. This would require the user of the AB to treat the Office of Our Lady on the Sabbath as if it were the Little of Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The latter Office was party of the regularly recited Offices since the 8th century or so and this “fix” would in a sense restore the ferial Saturday from oblivion to actually being said regularly, and it would at the same time restore – at least partially – the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
From Sabbath Office of Our Lady to the Little Office of the BVM
The Rubrics found on p. G1 specify how the Sabbath Office of Our Lady is to be said. I will re-write those Rubrics here to fit the idea described above:
This Office is to be added to every Saturday of the year whereon a Feast of simple rite may be celebrated except when the Saturday is occupied by a Simple Octave Day. In occurrence with a Feast of simple rite other than an Octave Day, the Saturday Office [of Our Lady] is preferred and the Feast is commemorated; but in concurrence with II Vespers of a Feast, the Saturday Office [of Our Lady] has a commemoration when the Rubrics permit.
For Vespers that means that after Friday Vespers the Vespers of Our Lady is said immediately following. The Psalms used for the Saturday Office of Our lady will be the Vespers given in Common I of the BVM. The same is true for the Lauds and the Hours the next day. For Matins the Psalms of Nocturn I of Common I of the BVM will be used and the rest is as given in the AB for the Mattins of the Sabbath Office of Our Lady. If adding the Hours of Our Lady is too burdensome, the Saturday Psalms can be used and the Chapter will of the Sabbath Office of Our Lady. There will be no II Vespers and Compline will remain as it is for Fridays.
The thoughts of the readers of this blog are sought and you are encouraged to share them!