Saying the Office for the Dead (ii)

In my previous post about the Office for the Dead I laid out three ways the Anglcan Breviary seems to make it possible to perform this devotion for the poor souls in purgatory. Some questions of a practical nature (concerning options 1 and 2) came up in the comments and I will try to answer them here:

Option 1

If today is Sunday and the next day, Monday, allows the Office for the Dead to be said then the Office for the Dead begins as soon as Sunday Vespers has reached the “Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God” the Office for the Dead begins (p. H1). The Office of the Day which is supposed to be said on Monday is not said. It is replaced by the entire Office for the Dead. The first office is therefore that of Matins and all the rest of the Hours are said including None. Monday Vespers will of the day because the Office for the Dead has ended with None. So that if the Monday was a feria and the Tuesday following day is also a feria Monday Vespers will as in the Breviary for Monday according to the Season. If a feast is celebrated on the Tuesday the Monday Vespers will be of that feast (either in part or as a whole depending upon the rank of the feast).

Option 2

In this option the Office for the Dead follows on the Office of the day. So that after Vespers of the Day has been concluded, the Office for the Dead begins with Vespers for the Dead. The Matins & Lauds for the Dead will begin immediately following the Lauds of the Day. Here the Office for the Dead is said in addition to the Office of the Day.

In and out of Choir

The Office for the Dead can be said out of Choir at any time. It is only in Choir that we are bound by certain rules. The main rule is that on any day that a Requim Mass is allowed the Office for the Dead may also be used. The place to look for extended rubrical help is “Matters Liturgical” by the Rev. Joseph Wuest, C.S.S.R. (I own a sixth edition, 1942 copy). So if I want to privately say the Office for the Dead for a certain occasion I am perfectly free to do so. When – as a Priest – I need to perform this office in Choir I will need to abide by the rules for saying it in public or in Choir.

Fr. Gregory Wassen

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