This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Saturday, 30 October 2010

Office of a Vigil - the Ferial Preces

The Preces

On certain penitential days, which are called the Greater Ferias, there are certain changes to the Divine Office that give it a more penitential character. This includes Vigils, where the office is that of the vigil (i.e. it hasn't been overtaken by another higher-ranking feast).

These Prayers - called in Latin, Preces - are said at Lauds (the main morning office) after the Benedictus and before the Collect of the day. At the minor hours - Prime, Terce, Sext and None - they are said before the Collect. Where the office is chanted in choir, all kneel for these Preces, which is a sign of penitence.

These Ferial prayers are ancient in institution. By the time of Amalarius in year 830, they were already well established.

At Lauds and vespers they commence with the Kyrie eleison and the Pater noster, and then consist of versicles and responses, which are always an exhortation to praise God, or intercession for various causes - Pope, Bishop, King, Benefactors, etc.

The Preces were revised in a minor way by the reform of Pope Pius X in 1911. The days on which they were recited were reduced in the 1950s.

At Lauds, the Preces go as follows:

V.  Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord have mercy upon us.
Our Father (the whole to be said aloud by the celebrant).
V.  And lead us not into temptation.
R.  But deliver us from evil.

V.  I said : Lord, be merciful unto me.
R.  Heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.

V.  Turn thee again, O Lord, at the last.
R.  And be gracious unto thy servants.
V.  Let thy merciful kindness, O Lord, be upon us.
R.  Like as we do put our trust in thee.
V.  Endue thy ministers with righteousness.
R.  And make thy chosen people joyful.
V.  Let us pray for our most blessed Pope [Benedict].
R.  The Lord preserve him and keep him alive, that he may be blessed upon earth; and deliver not thou him into the will of his enemies.

V.  Let us pray for our Bishop [Bernard].
R.  May he stand firm, and feed his flock ; in thy strength, O Lord, and in the majesty of thy Name.

V.  O Lord, save the king.
R.  And mercifully hear us, when we call upon thee.
V.  O Lord, save thy people, and bless thine inheritance.
R.  Govern them, and lift them up for ever.

V.  O think upon thy congregation.
R.  Whom thou hast purchased, and redeemed of old.

V.  Peace be within thy walls.
R.  And plenteousness within thy palaces.
V.  Let us pray for our benefactors.
R.  Vouchsafe, O Lord, for thy Name's sake, to reward with eternal life all them that do us good.  Amen.
V.  Let us pray for the faithful departed.
R.  Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord ; and let perpetual light shine upon them.
V.  May they rest in peace.
R.  Amen.
V.  Let us pray for our absent brethren.
R.  Save thy servants, O my God, that put their trust in thee.
V.  Let us pray for the afflicted and captives.
R.  Deliver them, O God of Israel, out of all their tribulations.
V.  Send them help, O Lord, from thy sanctuary.
R.  And strengthen them out of Sion.
V.  Turn us again, O Lord God of Hosts.
R.  Shew the light of thy countenance, and we shall be whole.
V.  O Christ, arise, and help us.
R.  And deliver us for thy Name's sake.
V.  O Lord, hear my prayer.
R.  And let my cry come unto thee.

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