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TREASURES OF TRADITION
Friday, April 26, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 116

Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Part Four: LAUDS

by

Karl D. Keller

    There are many devotions we can practice throughout the day, but one of the most efficacious of these, besides the holy Rosary, is the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are various versions - long ones and short ones - dedicated to Our Lady and it is the intention here to share the approved devotion with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from over a century ago with readers. Here is presented the second hour of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Lauds, which means "Praise." It is much shorter than Matins and can be said at the appointed hour of 3 a.m. but if one needs sleep it can be added after Matins or at dawn before Prime or, if one so desires, to say it continually with the other hours in succession.

LAUDS    (3 a.m.)

   After introducing you to the importance of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary in my first installment Our Lady of the Great Event, and providing the First Nocturn and Second and Third Hours of Matins, today I will share with you the beauty of this office with Lauds, considered the Second Hour of the day

    It is my intention to console Our Lady by helping to make the recitation of Her Little Office more accessible and consoling to others in the hope that more people will pray it and realize how comforting it is to know that the Mother of God Herself, hundreds of years ago, provided this means of grace to Her children. In order to do that, I have put together the following that I will present each week so that all will eventually have access to the Little Office.

    All of the prayers of the Little Office each time will be listed here with a link to the Psalms or other passages of Scripture at drbo.org for the most exact translation of the Douay-Rheims version. Each psalm will be prefaced by some thoughts from Explanation of the Psalms & Canticles in the Divine Office by none other than St. Alphonsus Liguori, translated by the Rev. T. Livius, C.SS.R., with a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from 1887. To these are added some of my thoughts on how the same psalms relate to the situation through which we are living, an age of Apostasy, which many, myself included, believe to be the Apostasy foretold by St. Paul. I have tried to organize it in such a way as to keep a smooth flow as I will treat a different nocturn each time.

The Hours

    Once all these installments are published, you'll see where one can pray the Little Office from Matins to Compline straight through in about 90 minutes. Nearly half of that is needed for Matins and Lauds. The "little hours" of Prime, Tierce, Sext, and None require only about 7 or 8 minutes each, so all four can be said in around a half hour. These are the hours and psalms for the soldiers of the Church Militant, encouragement for the soldiers of Christ. If your schedule is very crowded and your days very busy, as mine are, and you cannot pray all of the hours, my suggestion is to pray the little hours, either all together in the morning, at noon, or any time really, or at three a.m. (Lauds), six a.m. (Prime), nine a.m. (Tierce), noon (Sext), three p.m. (None), six p.m. (Vespers) and compline just before going to bed or nine p.m.

Lauds

    Hail Mary, secretly, which is said always at the beginning of all the Hours.

    V. Come + unto my help, O God.
    R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
    V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
    R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

(Thus is said Alleluia at all the Hours throughout the year, except from Septuagesima to Holy Saturday; for then is said: Praise be to Thee, O Lord, King of everlasting glory.)

Psalm 92
Dominus Regnavit.
The Glory and Stability of the Church of Christ.

    In the hours of matins and lauds, is recalled the joy of paradise, the joy and peace of our first parents before the fall. The psalms call upon us to rejoice, and upon all of nature to rejoice. The joy of these psalms should stay with us even during times of trial and tribulation. The little hours that form the middle part of each day's office turn to the good fight that the Church Militant is fighting. They represent the great struggle against Satan and his angels who want to destroy the Church and the tone of those psalms reflect that struggle. But they also remind us of the ultimate victory Christ has won for us. The antiphons used in the little hours are the same as those used during lauds. In lauds, there is one antiphon for each psalm, but in the little hours, there is one antiphon for the entire hour. In the hour of vespers, the same psalms are used again, once for each psalm so that the antiphons are repeated three times daily. In vespers, which comes in the evening of the day, we will be reminded by the tone of the psalms that the victory is won and that we should rejoice in it, and in its anticipation. This structure is summed up in the mystery of Our Lady's perpetual virginity: Before and after childbirth, thou hast remained a virgin. The Church and all creation were good and pure at their creation. Then came the fall. Finally will come the restoration of all things when all shall once again be good and pure. Hence in the office, matins and lauds are filled with praise and rejoicing; the little hours said during the working hours of the day reflect the struggles of the Church Militant, and vespers and compline show forth the ultimate triumph and restoration She shall enjoy at the time of the Great Event.

    We see these truths reflected in many of the mysteries of the life of Our Lord and His Holy Mother recalled in the Holy Rosary. Our Lord's Body was lifeless in the sepulchre and was suddenly resurrected in a glorious form, King of Kings and Lord of Lords; Our Lady's body lay lifeless in her tomb and was suddenly raised body and soul into heaven where she was crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth; the Church lay lifeless in the upper room, with Our Lady in the midst when the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, descended with the sound of a strong wind and with fire and quickened the Church so that she was born anew on Pentecost Sunday. So now, though the Church seems to be dead and buried, she will be resurrected and Her glory restored even greater than it was before. This is the fundamental reason that Our Lady encouraged Mother Mariana to be faithful to the recitation of the Little Office and why she was equally insistent on the daily recitation of the Holy Rosary. We must keep these truths alive in our hearts in order to persevere.

    Ant. Mary was taken up.
    Ant. Advent: The Angel Gabriel was sent.
    Ant. After Advent: O marvelous intercourse.

    Then go to Psalm 92.
    Complete the Psalm with Glory Be... and then:

    Ant. Mary was taken up into Heaven, the angels rejoice and with praises bless the Lord.
    Ant. Advent: The Angel Gabriel was sent to Mary, a virgin espoused to Joseph. Ant. After Advent: O marvellous intercourse! the Creator of mankind, taking a body with a living soul, vouchsafed to be born of a virgin, and becoming man without man’s concurrence, bestowed upon us His Godhead.

Psalm 99
Jubilate
All are invited to praise Jehovah.

    The Antiphons of Lauds during Advent and Christmastide are the same as those of Vespers and are discussed later on in this series. The antiphons of Lauds during the time before Advent, from the Purification until Advent are distinct and remind us of the Triumph of the Church and Her rising to meet Her Bridegroom:

    1. Mary was taken up into Heaven; the angels rejoice and with praises bless the Lord. Our Lady's Assumption is a type or prefiguring of the Triumph of the Church!

    2. The Virgin Mary was taken up to the heavenly chamber where the King of kings sitteth on His starry throne. Again, Our Lady's being taken up, body and soul, into Heaven reminds us that Holy Mother Church will also be rejoined to Her King.

    3. We run to the odor of thy ointments, the young maidens have loved thee exceedingly. As all Catholics have sought the aid, the healing ointments of Our Lady's intercession, we run to Her and to Holy Mother Church for protection and to lead us to Christ our King, that is, to salvation.

    4. Thou, O daughter, are blessed of the Lord, for through Thee we have been made partakers of the Fruit of life. Through Our Lady and through Holy Mother Church, we are able to come to Jesus Christ, the Fruit of life, the Bread of Life.

    5. Thou art fair and comely, O daughter of Jerusalem, terrible as an army set in array. There is no creature more fair and comely than the Blessed Virgin Mary and she is the type of our Holy Mother the Church which, to Her enemies, is terrible as an army ready for battle, but to Her children, she is fair and comely, and we run to Her sweet-smelling ointments.

    Ant. The Virgin Mary.
    Ant. Advent: Hail Mary.
    Ant. After Advent: When Thou wast born.

    Then go to Psalm 99.
    Complete the Psalm with Glory Be... and then:

    Ant. The Virgin Mary was taken up to the heavenly chamber, where the King of kings sitteth on His starry throne.
    Ant. Advent: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women. Alleluia.
    Ant. After Advent: When thou wast born of a Virgin, after an ineffable manner, then were the scriptures fulfilled. Thou didst come down like rain upon the fleece, that Thou mightiest save mankind, we praise Thee, O, our God.

Psalm 62
Deus, Deus meus
A prayer in desolation and distress.

    Ant. We run.
    Ant. Advent: Fear not, Mary.
    Ant. After Advent: In the bush which Moses saw.

    Then go to Psalm 62.
    Complete the Psalm with Glory Be... and then:

    Ant. We run to the odor of thy ointments: the young maidens have loved thee exceedingly.
    Ant. Advent: Fear not, Mary; thou hast found grace with the Lord, behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a Son. Alleluia. Ant. After Advent: In the bush which Moses saw, unconsumed, we acknowledge thy admirable virginity preserved; intercede for us, O Mother of God.

Canticle of the Three Children
Daniel 3: 57-88, 56
Scroll down for exact verses at drbo.org

   Here we veer from the Psalms to bring the praises of the three children Ananias, Azarias, and Misael (also known by their Chaldean names of respectively Sidrach, Abdenago, and Mishach) for saving them from the fires prepared by King Nabuchodonosor and literally the fires of hell as Daniel chronicles midway through his third chapter.

    Ant. Thou, O daughter.
    Ant. Advent: The Lord shall give unto Him.
    Ant. After Advent: The root of Jesse hath budded.

    Then go to Psalm 62.
    At the end there is no Gloria said here, but followed immediately with:

    Ant. Thou, O daughter, art blessed of the Lord, for through thee have we been made partakers of the Fruit of life.
    Ant. Advent: The Lord shall give unto Him the seat of David His father, and He shall reign forever. Ant. After Advent: The root of Jesse hath budded, a star hath arisen out of Jacob; a virgin hath borne the Saviour, we praise Thee O, our God.

Psalm 148
Laudate Dominum
All creatures invited to praise God.

    We return to the Psalms for the final psalm of Lauds before embarking another canticle, a hymn, and special prayers to Our Lady and St. Joseph

    Ant. Thou art fair.
    Ant. Advent: Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
    Ant. After Advent: Behold, Mary.
    Then go to Psalm 148.
    Complete the Psalm with Glory Be... and then:
    Ant. Thou art fair and comely, O daughter of Jerusalem: terrible as an army set in array.
    Ant. Advent: Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.
    Ant. After Advent: Behold, Mary hath borne us the Savior, whom John beholding, exclaimed: Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who taketh away the sins of the world. Alleluia.

    Following are two short Canticles - the Little Chapter - said before and after Advent, and a short passage from Isaias during Advent.

The Little Chapter
Canticle 6: 8
Before and After Advent
The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: and the queens and concubines, and they praised her.
R. Thanks be to God.

The Little Chapter
Isaias 11: 1-2
During Advent
And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him.
R. Thanks be to God.

        Hymn

        O Queen of all the virgin choir!
        Enthroned above the starry sky!
        Who with thy bosom's milk didst feed
        Thy own Creator, Lord most high.

        What man had lost in hapless Eve,
        Thy sacred womb to man restores,
        Thou to the wretched here beneath
        Hast open'd Heaven's eternal doors.

        Hail, O refulgent Hall of light! Hail,
        Gate august of Heaven's high King!
        Through thee redeem'd to endless life,
        Thy praise let all the nations sing.

        O Jesu! born of Virgin bright,
        Immortal glory be to Thee;
        Praise to the Father Infinite,
        And Holy Ghost eternally. Amen.

        V. Blessed art thou among women.
        R. And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb.

    We now near the completion of Lauds with a Canticle of Zachary contained in the first chapter of St. Luke's gospel on the father of John the Baptist's praise for the babe and in grateful thanksgiving for the power to speak again after being dumb.

St. Luke 1: 68-79
Canticle of Zachary
Scroll down midway through Luke's first chapter

    Ant. In Paschal time: O Queen of Heaven.
    Ant. Before Advent: O blessed Mother of God.
    Ant. Advent: The Holy Ghost.
    Ant. After Advent: A wonderful mystery.
    Then go to St. Luke 1: 68-79.
    Complete the Canticle of Zachary with Glory Be... and then:

    Ant. In Paschal Time Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. For He whom thou wast meet to bear, alleluia. Hath arisen as He said, alleluia. Pray to God for us, alleluia.
    Ant. Before Advent: O blessed Mother of God, Mary ever Virgin, temple of the Lord, sanctuary of the Holy Ghost; thou, alone, without example, wast well-pleasing to our Lord Jesus Christ: pray for the people, supplicate for the clergy; intercede for the devoted female sex.
    Ant. Advent: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, Mary, fear not, thou shalt bear in thy womb the Son of God. Alleluia.
    Ant. After Advent: A wonderful mystery is declared today: new things are wrought in nature: God is made man. What He was He hath remained, and what He was not He hath assumed, suffering neither confusion nor division.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Before and During Advent:
Let us pray. O God, who wast pleased that Thy Word, at the message of an Angel, should take flesh in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary; grant to us, Thy suppliants, that, as we believe her to be truly the Mother of God, so we believe her to be truly the Mother of God, so we may be assisted by her intercessions with Thee. Through the same Christ our Lord.

After Advent:
Let us pray. O God, who, by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary, hast bestowed upon mankind the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may feel her intercession for us, through whom we have been made worthy to receive the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

   Before finishing up with the anthems to Our Lady, we honor chronologically St. Joseph and then the saints with a commemoration prayer and the Antiphon before and after Advent.

Commemoration of St. Joseph
    Ant: And Jesus Himself was beginning about the age of thirty years, being (as it was supposed), the son of Joseph (St. Luke 3:23).

    V. The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom.
    R. And his tongue shall speak judgment (Psalm 36:30).

    Let us pray. O God, who, in Thy wonderful providence, didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant, we beseech Thee, to us who venerate him as our protector on earth, to be found worthy of having him for our advocate in Heaven.

Commemoration of the Saints
    Ant. O all ye Saints of God, vouchsafe to intercede for our salvation, and that of all mankind.
    V. Rejoice in the Lord, and be glad, ye just.
    R. And glory, all ye that are right of heart.

    Let us pray. Protect Thy people, O Lord, and preserve them by They continual defence, who trust in the Patronage of Peter and Paul, and all Thy other Apostles. Let all Thy Saints, we beseech Thee, O Lord, assist us everywhere; that, while we venerate their merits, we may experience their patronage; grant us Thy peace in our times, and drive away all wickedness from Thy Church; dispose our way, our acts, and wills, and those of all Thy servants, in the good success of Thy salvation; render to our benefactors everlasting blessings, and grant to all the faithful departed eternal rest. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

    V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
    R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
    V. Let us bless the Lord.
    R. Thanks be to God.
    V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
    R. Amen.

      Our Father... secretly.

    V. May the Lord give us His peace.
    R. And life everlasting. Amen.

    Alternate Prayer During Advent

    Ant. Behold the Lord shall come, and all His Saints with Him; and in that day, there shall be a great light. Alleluia.
    V. Behold, the Lord shall appear upon a shining cloud.
    R. And with Him thousands of Saints.

    Let us pray. Purify our consciences, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by Thy visitation; that when Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord shall come with all his Saints, He may find a mansion prepared in us for Himself Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

    V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
    R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
    V.Let us bless the Lord.
    R. Thanks be to God.
    V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
    R. Amen.

Anthems of Our Lady
    Our Father... secretly.
V. May the Lord give us His peace.
R. And life everlasting. Amen.

    Then is said one of the following Anthems to Our Lady according to the season, unless one or more of the little hours is said immediately, in which case, the anthem is said after the last hour recited. If the entire Office is said at once, say the anthem only after Compline:

Alma Redemptoris Mater
From the Vespers before the first Sunday of Advent until the Purification, inclusive.
    Sweet Mother of our Redeemer,
    Gate whereby we enter Heaven, and Star of the sea!
    Help us, we fall; yet do we long to rise.
    Nature looked upon thee with admiration,
    When thou didst give birth to thy Divine Creator,
    Thyself remaining, before and after it, a pure Virgin.
    Gabriel spoke his Hail, to thee;
    We sinners crave thy pity.
    R. Amen.

    V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
    R. And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.

(Before Christmas Eve, the following Responsory and prayer is said:)
    Let us pray. Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts: that as we have known the incarnation of Thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an Angel, so too by His Cross and passion may we be brought to the glory of His resurrection.
    R. Amen.
    V. May the divine assistance remain always with us.
    R. Amen.
From Christmas Eve until the Purification, the following Responsory and prayer is said:
    V. After childbirth thou didst remain a virgin.
    R. Intercede for us, O Mother of God.

    Let us pray. O God, who, by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary, hast bestowed upon mankind the reward of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may experience her intercession, through whom we have been made worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son.
    R. Amen.
    V. May the divine assistance remain always with us.
    R. Amen.

Ave Regina Coelorum
From Compline of the Purification until Easter:
    Hail, O Queen of Heaven enthron'd!
    Hail, by angels Mistress own'd
    Root of Jesse! Gate of morn'!
    Whence the world's true Light was born!

    Glorious Virgin, joy to thee,
    Loveliest whom in heaven they see
    Fairest thou where all are fair!
    Plead with Christ our sins to spare.

    V. Vouchsasfe that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin.
    R. Give me strength against thine enemies.

    Let us pray. Vouchsafe to our weakness, O merciful God, the help of Thy protection; that we who commemorate the holy Mother of God, may, by the help of her intercession, arise from our iniquities, through the same Christ our Lord.
    R. Amen.
    V. May the Divine assistance remain always with us.
    R. Amen.

Regina Coeli
From Compline of Holy Saturday until None of the Saturday before Trinity Sunday:
    Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven, Alleluia.
    He whom thou wast meet to bear, Alleluia.
    As He promis'd hath arisen, Alleluia.
    Send for us to God, thy prayer, Alleluia.

    V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia.
    R. For the Lord hath risen indeed, Alleluia.

    Let us pray. O GOD, who hast vouchsafed to rejoice the world by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; grant, we beseech Thee, that through His Virgin Mother Mary, we may obtain the joys of life eternal. Through the same Christ our Lord.
    R. Amen.
    V. May the Divine assistance remain always with us.
    R. Amen.

Salve Regina
From Compline of the Saturday before Trinity Sunday until Advent:
    Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy;
    Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
    To Thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
    To Thee do we send up our sighs,
    mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
    Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us;
    and after this, our exile, show unto us
    The blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
    O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

    V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
    R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

    Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, who, by the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, didst prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin Mother Mary, to become a habitation meet for Thy Son; grant that as we rejoice in her commemoration, we may, by her loving intercession, be delivered from present evils and from everlasting death. Through the same Christ our Lord.
    R. Amen.
    V. May the Divine assistance remain always with us.
    R. Amen.

    In the next installment we will treat the Third Office of the Day - Prime, which is said at dawn or 6 a.m.. Again, I encourage you to allot time in the future to include this meaningful practice in your life for saying the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I know She'll greatly appreciate it and respond with many graces.

Karl D. Keller


      Karl D. Keller is a Catholic trying to live and die as a loyal son of Holy Mother Church. A father of nine, grandfather of five (so far!), he believes all things revealed by God through His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. He rejects anything else, even if it comes from men who do not keep the Catholic Faith and pretend that they can change it. Only Catholics can hold office in the Church. His goal is to encourage others who are trying to keep the Faith not to despair, but to persevere, with the help of The Mother of God, by promoting the recitation of Her Little Office, and the apparitions in Quito, Ecuador in the 1600s, where she described herself as, Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso, which does not mean Our Lady of Good Success, but rather, Our Lady of the Good/Great Event, referring to the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart and the Reign of Christ the King. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!



Treasures of Tradition
Friday, April 26, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 116