The Anglican Catholic Church’s yearly Ordo Calendar suggests the Requiem Mass on the first free day of the Month. In the Simple Kalendar of the Anglican Breviary there will be much opportunity for such occasions. It is fitting that on the first free day, in addition to the Requiem Mass, the Office of the Dead also be offered for the departed – especially the “poor souls in purgatory.”
The Office of the Dead can be said in three different ways. Since the reforms of St. Pius X in the Roman Breviary (of which the Anglican Breviary is an adaptation to conform to the BCP) there is a complete office given for use to commemorate the dead. Previously there was only Vespers, Matins, and Lauds for the Dead to be added to the Office of the Day. Though a change from previous tradition it seems to me a change well within the scope of “organic growth” of the liturgy.
The Office of the Dead 1
To use the Office of the Dead as provided since St. Pius X one simply replaces the Office of the Day with the Office of the Dead. Keep in mind that this Office starts with Vespers and ends with None.
The Office of the Dead 2
Another way to include the Office of the Dead is to add Vespers, Matins, and Lauds of the Dead to the Office of the Day. In this case Vespers of the Day is said first and is immediately followed by the Vespers of the Dead. Matins and Lauds of the Dead immediately follow the Lauds of the Day.
The Office of the Dead 3
As you may have noticed, in the Office of the Dead the office of Matins can be divided over the weekdays so that one Nocturn is said every day. This is always in addition to the Office of the Day. This way of saying the Office of the Dead can be combined with 1 or 2 above and would be a wonderful offering to be made for our beloved departed. I would not recommend that versions 3 be used as the only way to say this Office since in this version the Venite & Invitatory would never be used at all.
Fr. Gregory Wassen