<i>Divine Worship : Daily Office</i> (Commonwealth Edition), pub CTS 2021

The Catholic Truth Society has published the eagerly-awaited Divine Worship : Daily Office (Commonwealth Edition).

Divine Worship: Daily Office (Commonwealth Edition) contains Morning and Evening Prayer from the Anglican prayer book tradition, now approved for use in the Catholic Church through the Personal Ordinariates. The Commonwealth Edition is principally for use in the Ordinariates of Our Lady of Walsingham (UK) and Our Lady of the Southern Cross (Australia), although there are prayers which can be used in the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter (USA and Canada)

This post doesn’t go into the history of what was included, or why; that can come later or can be found elsewhere. Rather, this post is a potted précis of how to pray the Offices, either in a short form or in the Prayer Book tradition. It’s for laypeople: clergy know what to do!

If you’re new to the Daily Office

Use Prime in the morning (ideally before 11am) and Compline in the evening (ideally just before retiring). Use the green ribbon: start Prime at p397 and simply follow through the Office to the end of page 402. For Compline start at p421 and follow through the Office to p434, and then use the Anthem to Our Lady for the season.

As you finish an Office, put the green ribbon ready at the start of the next one you will say.

Once you have become used to the simple Offices, you may feel ready for a little variety (see below).

The descriptions below can sound complicated. However, the ribbons are designed to make things easier as they guide you through the year. And it doesn’t actually matter if you make a mistake: you’ve still prayed and read Scripture! If you do find you’ve got something wrong, just put the ribbons in the right place for next time.

Where to put ribbons

Divine Worship: Divine Office (Commonwealth Edition) has six ribbons, coloured red, green, yellow, maroon, violet and pink. The suggestions on this page will allow you to use the ribbons in the right order through the book, especially for Mattins and Evensong.

Note: this page has been updated to follow the scheme published by the Ordinariate in their series of video introductions which you can find at the bottom of this page. If you’re already set up using the earlier scheme, or another which works for you, feel free to carry on using that.

Red
The Collect:
Either Sunday Collects through the Year (eg p103 for the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity)
or Collects for Saints and Holy Days (eg p170 for St Charles Borromeo)
Violet
Readings through the Year (eg p1765 for the Thursday after Trinity XX)
Pink
Readings for Saints and Holy Days (eg p1963 for St Luke)

These ribbons stay in these sections and move naturally through the year. When you get to the end of each section (just before Advent Sunday), they need to move back to the beginning of their respective section to go through the year again.

The green, yellow and maroon ribbons can vary depending on what you want to do.

The Calendar

If you’re looking at this on the full-size website, then the calendar for the week is in a sidebar on the right. On the mobile version, it’s at the bottom of the page. It’s in the book starting on page 33.

Sundays always have their own collect. Occasionally a Sunday may be superseded by a different celebration. Where the calendar has the name of a saint, on a Sunday or a weekday, there will be a proper collect. For names which appear in italics, you can choose whether to read that one or the Sunday collect which applies for the week. Put the red ribbon at the collect you’re going to use. Note: so you don’t forget which is the current Sunday, you might want to keep a folded weekly pewsheet in the front of the book, with the Sunday name on it.

Where a day in the calendar is a feast in bold or a solemnity in bold capitals, then as well as the proper collect there will be proper lessons too (pink ribbon).

The readings for Sundays appear in the normal course (purple ribbon), but there is a choice between “Year I” and “Year II”. If most of the year (up to Advent Sunday) is in an odd-numbered year, it’s Year I. After Advent Sunday 2021 up to Advent Sunday 2022, use Year II, as most of that year is even-numbered; after Advent Sunday 2022 up to Advent Sunday 2023, use Year I as most of that year is odd-numbered.

The Offices for those whose time is limited

The offices of Prime and Compline don’t change a great deal from day to day. That means that there isn’t a great deal of navigation to do within the book. If you wish, you can include the Collect for the Day and even the readings from Morning or Evening Prayer; but the Order of Service as set out doesn’t need them. If you use the Office as set, it will soon become familiar.

Ribbons

Green
Prime (p397) or Compline (p427)
Maroon
Not needed! If you like, you can use it to vary the Office Hymn: other hymns are given in the Supplementary Texts (for example, Morning Prayer for Thurssdays after Trinity on p204).

Prime

  • Start with the green ribbon on p397, and just follow through the office.
    • If you want to vary the office hymn, use the maroon ribbon to find the right one in the Supplementary Texts.
    • On page 400, the readings are very short! If you want longer readings, use the purple ribbon or pink ribbon to use the texts for Mattins.
    • On page 402, you must use the third collect if you have not actually said Mattins. If you wish, you could precede it with the Sunday Collect (red ribbon) or, where the calendar shows there is one, the Collect of the Day.
  • At the end of the Office, move the green ribbon to the next Office you will say: if it’s Compline, that’s on page 427.

Compline

One of the beauties of Compline is that it doesn’t change at all, and after a while might become familiar enough that you hardly need the book.

  • Start with the green ribbon on p427, and just follow through the office.
    • If you want to vary the office hymn, use the maroon ribbon to find the right one in the Supplementary Texts.
  • At the end of the Office, carry on to the Anthem to Our Lady for the time of year.
  • After the prayer following the Anthem, move the green ribbon to the next Office: if it’s Prime, that’s on page 397.

The Offices in the Prayer Book tradition

Ribbons

Green
Morning Prayer (p375) or Evening Prayer (p421)
Yellow
Psalms for the morning or evening of the day of the month (eg p523 for Morning Prayer on the twelfth day)

Mattins

  • You can use the Introduction starting on page 371, and it’s mandatory for public worship. For private prayer, you can choose to omit it, although it contains the Confession so it’s good practice to use it and convenient at Morning Prayer. When you get to p373, don’t use the priestly absolution at the top of the page, but the prayer underneath it.
  • Morning Prayer starts on page 375. Use the green ribbon to keep your place in the service.
  • The Venite is usually said, but it can be replaced by (eg) the Easter Anthems during Eastertide.
    • On the nineteenth day of the month, Psalm 95 appears in the ordinary course of the psalms, so the Venite is replaced by Psalm 100. There’s a card available with the text, and also a version of the Venite with antiphons.
  • After the Venite, use the yellow ribbon to find the psalms for the morning of the day of the month. Keep the yellow ribbon where you’ve got to in the psalter.
    • On the 31st day of the month, repeat the psalms for the 30th.
  • After the psalms, use the violet ribbon to find the readings for the day. If it’s a feast or solemnity, there will be proper readings at the pink ribbon.
  • After the first reading, use the green ribbon to continue Morning Prayer with the Te Deum. During Advent and the nine weeks before Easter, the Benedicite is said instead.
  • After the canticle, use the violet ribbon (or the pink ribbon) to go to the next reading.
    • After the reading, if you wish, you can use an Office Hymn from the Supplementary Texts starting on p200 (maroon ribbon).
  • After the second reading or the Office Hymn, use the green ribbon to continue Morning Prayer with the Benedictus.
    • On some days in the year, the Athanasian Creed on page 339 is used instead of the Apostles’ Creed.
  • For the Collect on p382, use the the the red ribbon which you will have placed either on the Sunday collect, or on the proper collect for a saint’s day.
    • There is an additional collect during Advent, Christmastide and Lent, which is shown on the card.
  • Back to the green ribbon for the two fixed collects and the rest of the prayers.
  • Once you have finished the office, move the green ribbon to p421 to be ready for Evening Prayer.

Evensong

  • You can use the Introduction starting on page 371, and it’s mandatory for public worship. For private prayer, you can choose to omit it especially if you’ve already used it at Morning Prayer.
  • Evening Prayer starts on page 421. Use the green ribbon to keep your place in the service.
  • After the opening responses, use the yellow ribbon to find the psalms for the evening of the day of the month. Keep the yellow ribbon where you’ve got to in the psalter.
    • On the 31st day of the month, repeat the psalms for the 30th.
  • After the psalms, use the violet ribbon to find the readings for the day. If it’s a feast or solemnity, there will be proper readings at the pink ribbon.
    • After the first reading, if you wish, you can use an Office Hymn from the Supplementary Texts starting on p200 (maroon ribbon).
  • After the first reading or the hymn, use the green ribbon to continue Evening Prayer with the Magnificat.
  • After the canticle, use the violet ribbon (or the pink ribbon) to go to the next reading.
  • After the second reading, use the green ribbon to continue Evening Prayer with the Nunc Dimittis.
  • For the Collect on p424, use the the the red ribbon which you will have placed either on the Sunday collect, or on the proper collect for a saint’s day.
    • There is an additional collect during Advent, Christmastide and Lent, which is shown on the card.
  • Back to the green ribbon for the two fixed collects and the rest of the prayers.
  • Once you have finished the office, move the green ribbon to p375 or p371 to be ready for Morning Prayer.

Variations

  • Occasional Prayers (starting on p351) may be used after the prayers towards the end of each Office.
  • There are optional antiphons for the Venite and Benedictus at Morning Prayer, and for the Magnificat at Evening Prayer; these are given in the Supplementary Texts starting on p200.
  • The Supplementary Texts also contain Office Hymns, which can be followed by a versicle and response.
  • There are alternative canticles which can replace the Te Deum: these start on p384.
  • Saints and Holy Days can have proper hymns and antiphons from the Commons, starting on p305, for which you might use the maroon ribbon.

All of these are optional, but may provide even more richness in praying for the Church and the world. As well as using prayer cards to mark the relevant places, additional ribbons can be slotted into the spine.

  • Where an office is celebrated publicly and led by a layperson, the greeting “The Lord be with you / And with your spirit” is not used, wherever it might occur. Instead, the invocation “O Lord, hear our prayer / And let our cry come unto thee” is used in its place.

Video introductions from the Ordinariate

  1. Introduction to Divine Worship: Daily Office (Commonwealth Edition) — Rt Revd Mgr Keith Newton, Ordinary
  2. How to pray the Daily Office — Fr David Lashbrooke
  3. How to mark up a normal day — Fr Andrew Starkie
  4. How to mark up a major feast — Fr Paul Burch
  5. How to pray the Lesser Hours — Fr Simon Ellis
  6. The Supplementary Texts — Fr Christopher Lindlar
  7. Recitation of Evening Prayer (Thursday after Trinity XXIII; Day 10)

Previous scheme

The previous scheme for ribbons which was suggested on this page was:

Red
Sunday collect
Green
Proper collect for saints’ days
Yellow
Office
Maroon
Psalms
Purple
Lessons through the year
Pink
Proper lessons for saints’ days