The Little Office of the B.V.M. with the Anglican Breviary


The Little Office of Our Lady could/should be said before the Office of the Day on any day that is not a ix Lesson Feast. Sadly the Anglican Breviary does not contain the Little Office as such. However, with some creative flipping of pages (the Anglican Breviary will make OurLadyyou quite an expert at page-flipping!), the Office can be said from the Anglican Breviary alone. I will not give the entire Office here but only the Vespers, Matins and Lauds (the minor hours may follow as a separate post). Here’s how:

Vespers:

The Vespers of the Little Office begins as usual (Prayer before the Office, Dual Prayer). The Office is said as a Semi Double from the Common I of the B.V.M. Chapter from the Feast of the Visitation (p. 281) “I am the Mother of fair love” and the Hymn from Common I. V & R from the Saturday Office (p. G1) “Full of grace” & “Because God.” Antiphon on Magnificat: “We take refuge* under thy protection, O holy Mother of God! Despise not our supplications in our need, but deliver us always from all dangers, O Virgin, glorious and blessed!” Collect from the Feast of the Motherhood as for Lauds below. In the pre-Pius X Breviary of the Roman Catholic Church there follows a commemoration of the Saints at this the text of which is not in the Anglican Breviary. The Pius X Breviary does not order a commemoration at this point either. If desired, however, the Commemoration of the Saints could be said as in the Common Forms (p. A7 ! ).

Matins:

The Little Office of the B.V.M. begins like any other Office (Prayer before the Office, Triple Prayer, Opening Versicles for Matins). The Invitatory is taken from the Saturday Office of Our Lady (p. G2). The Hymn is taken from Common I of the B.V.M. (p. F181). On Mondays and Thursdays only the first Nocturn is said, on Tuesdays and Fridays the Second, and on Wednesdays and Saturdays the Third Nocturn. The V & R are taken from Vespers the Saturday Office “Full of grace” and “Because God.” The Lessons are always from Series 2 (p. F192). Blessings are taken from the Saturday Office. The Responsories are as follows for Lesson i: “O blessed Maiden” (p. F183), for Lesson ii: “Blessed art thou” NOTE: the response ends before the “Glory be” and this is not the same Responsory as the one used for the third lesson following (p. F184), for Lesson iii: “Blessed art thou” (p. F189). No Te Deum.

Lauds:

Lauds begins as usual. The Psalms are taken from Sunday of Lauds I but the Antiphons are taken from the Lauds of the Assumption (p. E367-8). The Chapter can be used from the third lesson of the Fifth Day in Octaves of the B.V.M. (p. F207) from “The daughters” to “praised her.” The Hymn is taken from Common I. V & R are taken from Lauds of the Saturday Office (p. G2). The Antiphon for the Magnificat is from the Saturday Office Lauds (p. G4) “O ever-blessed Mother of God.” The Collect is from the Feast of the Motherood of the B.V.M. “O God, who didst vouchafe (p. E471).” The Commemoration of the Saints (as on p. A7 ! ) may or may not (depending on whether it seems desirable) follow and the Office is concluded.

To use the Little Office correctly the Vespers of the Little Office precedes the Vespers of the Day, and the Matins-Lauds precede the Matins-Lauds of the Day so that:

Vespers of the Little Office > Vespers of the Day

Matins & Lauds of the Little Office > Matins & Lauds of the Day.

Which is the opposite from how the Office of the Dead is attached to the Daily Office. But like the Office of the Dead and the Saturday Office of Our Lady the Little Office only has a first and not a second Vespers!

Fr. Gregory Wassen

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About Father Gregory

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