Pray Tell continues its series on the liturgical history of Collegeville. The sub-series “From the Archives” reprints some of the Liturgy Committee meeting minutes from 1963 to 1969. This sub-series is a behind-the-scenes look at liturgy in Collegeville during and immediately after the Second Vatican Council.
The next record from the Liturgy Committee:
Minutes of the Liturgy Committee
December 13, 1966
Present: Fathers John, Gerard, Brice, Kieran, Daniel, Godfrey, Emeric, Bruce and Brothers Gerard and Dominic.
The meeting was called to finalize preparations for English office upon Father Abbot’s announcement that we would begin the vernacular Thursday, December 15 with Matins. The following is an outline of the Office as proposed by the committee:
Heb: “God, come to my aid” (N.B.—No prefacing “O” used.)
Choir: “Lord, hasten to help us. Glory be…”
Antiphon begun by acolyte—repeated by all as usual—not repeated again until after the “Glory be…” at end of Psalm 94.
Taken by acolyte.
Antiphons at Matins
One at beginning and end of each nocturn—taken by acolyte. (N.B.—Acolyte takes antiphons at all hours of office.)
Intoned by the choir. Pauses are made according to sense and punctuation. Choirs alternate according to breaks indicated in text.
Taken by both sides antiphonally.
8 – 8 – 8 distribution (without alphabetical title).
Can be done responsorially.
Lauds – Grail version, taken by acolyte.
Matins – (3rd noct) Jerusalem Bible, taken by acolyte.
Could be: 1) recited by all, 2) sung, 3) read by one. (E.g. at Matins read Ps. 2 & 4 or 3 & 5.)
*Experimentation with all three forms suggested.
Versicles and Short Responsories
Taken by acolyte.
Apart from actual structure of the Office several other points were treated. Father Abbot decided before the meeting that for the present the Brothers would be invited to Office but that there would be no integrated station. They will occupy their usual stalls upstairs. Statio will be formed for Sunday Vespers only (or Holy Days—i.e. whenever there is a procession with an officiant). For Matins the hand-bell rings at 7:25 p.m. with office beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Some felt we should begin singing parts of the Office from the beginning, others felt we should begin simply, and experiment with various forms of recitation later on after we are comfortable with the mechanics.
It was also suggested by one that at Matins of 3 Nocturns the whole Gospel be read before the homily and simply have the Te Deum after the 12th responsory. Another pointed out it is more correct liturgically to end the Office with the Word as at present. No change was made.