The Divine Office eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 261 pages of information about The Divine Office.

“From these rules it will be seen that in cases of concurrence, occurrence, perpetual transfer or translation, precedence between two feasts will first be decided by gradation of rite, a double of the first class being preferred to one of the second, and so on.  If the feasts are of equal rank recourse must be had to the second test, the distinction between primary and secondary feasts.  If both happen to be primary, or both are secondary, then precedence will be granted to the feast which has the greater personal dignity.  And if both feasts should have the same dignity, then the fact of external solemnity would confer precedence” (The New Psalter and its Uses, p. 79).  For practical help, a look at the first of the Duae Tabellae is a guide to find out which office is to be said, if more than one feast occur on the same day.

Before discussing new offices it may be well to remember that votive offices of all kinds, including the votive offices conceded by the decree of July, 1883, are abolished.  These offices were drastic innovations, introduced to get rid of the very long psalm arrangement of the ferial office.  The new distribution of the psalms got rid of the onus, and votive offices are no longer given in the Breviary.


Concurrence is the conjunction of two offices which succeed each other, so that the question arises to which of the two are the Vespers of the day to be assigned.  The origin of this conjunction of feasts was by some old writers traced to the Mosaic law in which the festivals, began in the evening, and they quote “from evening until evening you shall celebrate your sabbaths” (Leviticus, xxii. 32).  The effect of concurrence may be that the whole vespers may belong to the feast of the day or may be said entirely from, the feast of the following day; or it may be that the psalms and antiphons belong to the preceding festival and the rest of the office be from the succeeding feast.  The General Rubrics, Title XI, must be read now in conjunction with Titles IV., V., and VI. of the Additiones et Variationes ad norman Bullae “Divino Afflatu".  The rules for concurrence are given in Table III. of the Tres Tabellae inserted in the new Breviary (S.C.R., 23 January, 1912).  These tables supersede the tables given in the old editions of the Breviary.  The first of these two tables shows which office is to be said, if more than one feast occur on the same day, whether perpetually or accidentally.  The second table is a guide to concurrence—­i.e., whether the first vespers of the following feast is to be said entirely without reference to the preceding feast, or if second vespers of the preceding feast is to be said entire, without reference to the following; or, again, first vespers of the following with commemoration of the preceding, or second vespers of the preceding with commemoration of the following, or vespers of the more noble feast with commemoration of the other—­any of these may be the liturgical order to follow, and the Tabella makes things clear.

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The Divine Office from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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