Lauds is a divine office that takes place in the early morning hours. In the ordinary form of the Roman Rite Liturgy of the Hours, as celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church, it is one of the two major hours.


The name is derived from the three last psalms of the psalter (148, 149, 150), the Laudate psalms, which in former versions of the Lauds of the Roman Rite occurred every day, and in all of which the word laudate is repeated frequently. At first, the word "Lauds" designated only the end, that is to say, these three psalms. Little by little the title Lauds was applied to the whole office, and supplanted the name of Matins,[1] which in turn was reserved to the night office and replaced the name "Vigil".


Lauds, or the Morning Office or Office of Aurora, is one of the most ancient Offices and can be traced back to Apostolic times. The earliest evidence of Lauds appears in the second and third centuries in the Canons of Hippolytus and in writings by St. Cyprian, and the Apostolic Fathers. Descriptions during the fourth and fifth centuries appear in writings by John Cassian, St. Melania the Younger, St. Hilary, Eusebius, and in the Peregrinatio Ætheriae by St. John Chrysostom. During the 6th century St. Benedict gave a detailed description of them in his Rule. Gregory of Tours also made several allusions to this office, which he calls Matutini hymni.[1]

According to John T. Hedrick, in Introduction to the Roman Breviary, Lauds were not originally a distinct canonical hour but Matins and Lauds formed a single office, the Night Office terminating only at dawn.[1] The monks prayed Matins during the night and said Lauds in the early dawn.[2] In the 5th and 6th century the Lauds were called Matutinum. By the Middle Ages, the midnight office was referred to as "Nocturns", and the morning office as "Matins". The lengthy midnight office became "Matins" and was divided into two or three "nocturns"; the morning office became "Lauds".[3]

After St. Pius X’s reform, Lauds was reduced to four psalms or portions of psalms and an Old Testament canticle, putting an end to the custom of adding the last three psalms of the Psalter (148-150) at the end of Lauds every day. With the reforms of Vatican II, Lauds is now called "Morning Prayer".

Symbolism and significance

This is the Office of daybreak and hence its symbolism is of Christ's resurrection. According to Dom Cabrol, "Lauds remains the true morning prayer, which hails in the rising sun, the image of Christ triumphant—consecrates to Him the opening day."[4] The Office of Lauds reminds the Christian that the first act of the day should be praise, and that one's thoughts should be of God before facing the cares of the day.

Liturgia horarum (1970)

In the edition of the Roman breviary of 1970 which was revised according to the mandate of the Second Vatican Council, Lauds (Latin Laudes matutinae, pl.) has the following structure:

  • A short introductory verse (unless it is being prayed immediately after the Invitatory or Office of Readings)
  • A hymn, which is optional when combining with the Office of Readings
  • A morning psalm, an Old Testament canticle, and a psalm of praise. These are opened and closed by antiphons.
  • A short reading with a responsorial verse
  • The Benedictus, with its antiphon
  • Intercessions
  • The Lord's Prayer
  • Concluding prayer
  • Blessing and dismissal (if prayed in community)

All psalms and canticles are concluded with the doxology, "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen." (The current translation of the U.S. Bishops' Conference, given here, differs from the traditional English translation used in other countries.) The psalms and readings are distributed in a four-week cycle, which forms the heart of the prayer.[5]


On feast days, the various parts of the hour may be taken from the office of the saint being celebrated or from common texts for the saints. If the feast has the rank of "memorial", any parts specifically provided for the saint (the "proper" parts) are used, while the other parts come from the weekday, with exception of the hymn (which may be optionally taken from the common texts), the antiphon for the Benedictus (which must be taken from the proper or the common), the intercession (which may be optionally taken from the common texts), and the closing prayer (which should be proper, or if missing, common).

For a "feast" or solemnity, all texts are taken from the proper, or if some part is missing, from the common. On these days, the morning psalm is always Psalm 63, verses 2-9, the canticle is the "Song of the Three Holy Children" (Daniel 3:57-88 and 56), and the psalm of praise is Psalm 149. On Corpus Christi, the hymn O Salutaris Hostia is sung.

In the important seasons of the Church year, such as Lent or Easter, many of the prayers are proper for each day of the season. In Lent, Christmas, Holy Week, Easter Week, and the last eight days of Advent, celebration of feast days is somewhat restricted. On some of these days, a memorial may be celebrated as a "commemoration", adding an extra prayer at the end of the hour, while on others the memorial is completely removed from the calendar.

Other rites of the Western Church

In the Ambrosian Office, and also in the Mozarabic, Lauds retained a few of the principal elements of the Roman Lauds: the Benedictus, canticles from the Old Testament, and the laudate psalms, arranged, however, in a different order (cf. Germain Morin, op. cit. in bibliography). In the Benedictine Liturgy, the Office of Lauds resembles the Roman Lauds very closely, not only in its use of the canticles but also in its general construction.[1]

Armenian liturgy

The Armenian Morning (or Early) Hour (Armenian: Առաւաւտեան Ժամ aṛawotean zham) corresponds to the office of Lauds in the Roman Liturgy, both in its position in the daily cycle and in its importance. This is the most complex of all Armenian church services in terms of the variations in the order and text of the service depending on the day of the week, liturgical tone, commemoration of the day, and liturgical season.

Many manuscripts and printed editions of the Armenian Book of Hours (Armenian: Ժամագիրք Zhamagirk`) state that the Morning Hour commemorates the Son of God, with some manuscripts adding, "at the time he was seized by the Jews." This is in reference to the story of the arrest and interrogation of Jesus found in the New Testament Gospels.

Outline of the Morning Service

In the Morning Hour for Sundays and Festal Days there are seven slots into which hymnody may be inserted which reflects the theme of the day. Each of these seven slots is associated with a Psalm or Canticle from the Old or New Testaments.

The following outline is a general overview. Many of the alternate texts to be read on certain days of the year have been omitted.

Introduction: "Blessed is our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Our Father...Amen."

Preface: Psalm 90:14-17: "We have been filled at dawn..."; Glory to the Father...Now and always...Amen." Proclamation: "Again and again in peace..."; Prayer: "Blessing and Glory to the Father...Now and always...Amen."

First Section: Blessing of the Three Youths (Daniel 3:26-45, 3:52-90); "Glory to the Father...Now and always...Amen." Acclamation: "Bless, all creatures..."; First Hymn: "Fathers Hymn" (for Sundays, feasts, and commemorations; varies); Proclamation after the Fathers Hymn: "Having come, all of us,..."; Prayer: proper to the liturgical tone or feast.

Second Section: Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55); Blessing of Zacharias (Luke 1:68-79); Prayer of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32); Second Hymn: "Magnificat Hymn" (for Sundays, feasts, and commemorations; varies); Proclamation after the Magnificat Hymn (varies); Prayer after the Magnificat Hymn (varies).

Third Section: Hymn of the Myrrhbearers; Pre-Gospel sequence: "Peace be with you all...God speaks." Myrrhbearers Gospel; Third Hymn: "Myrrhbearers Gospel Hymn" (varies; not to be confused with the Hymn of the Myrrhbearers); Proclamation after the Myrrhbearers Gospel; Prayer after the Myrrhbearers Gospel.

Fourth Section: Psalm 51 "Have mercy on me..."; "Glory...Now and always...Amen." Fourth Hymn: "Mercy Hymn" (varies); Proclamation after the Mercy Hymn; Prayer after the Mercy Hymn (varies).

Fifth Section: "Alleluia, alleluia"; Psalms 148-150 (some manuscripts also require Psalm 151); "Glory...Now and always...Amen." Fifth Hymn: "Lord-of-Heaven Hymn" (varies).

Sixth Section: The Blessing of Morning (The Great Doxology, "Glory to God in the Highest...", attributed to the 150 holy teachers of the Council of Constantinople [381], with a section added at the Council of Ephesus [435]); Acclamation: "Glory, honor, and adoration...Now and always...Amen." Sixth Hymn: "Glory-to-God Hymn" (varies); Proclamation for Sundays and Feasts attributed to St. Gregory the Illuminator (varies); Prayer (varies).

Seventh Section: Trisagion ("Holy God...", varies); Acclamation: "Save us from temptation..."; Proclamation; Psalm of Healing (on days when a Gospel of Healing is appointed); Pre-Gospel sequence; Gospel of Healing; Hymn: "The Word, having created from nothing,..." (Norasteghtseal); Proclamation; Prayer; "Blessed is our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Our Father..."

If there is a procession with a blessing of the four directions: Acclamation before the procession; Blessing of the four directions; Acclamation after the blessing or of the cross; Prayer

Otherwise continue here:

Psalm 112; Seventh Hymn: "Hymn of the Children" (varies); Acclamation after the Hymn of the Children; Prayer.

On fasts: Psalm 5; Psalm 90:14-17; Psalm 130:1-8; Psalm 143:8-12; Psalm 54; Hymn of Saint Nerses for each day of the week (Monday through Saturday, varies); Acclamation: "May your cross..."; Proclamation; Prayer; Proclamation of Sarkawag Vardapet; Prayer.

But on commemorations of saints:

Psalm 116:1-9; Psalm 116:10-19; Psalm 117; Psalm 54; Psalm 86:16-17; Proclamation (varies); Prayer (varies); Proclamation of Sarkawag Vardapet; Prayer' Conclusion: "Blessed is our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Our Father...."

There are other minor variations in this service during fasting seasons, which have not been noted here. Also, the adaptation of this long and complex service in parish practice varies considerably.

Eastern Christianity

Among the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite, the office comparable to the Lauds of the Roman Rite is the Orthros. It also contains the three Laudate psalms (148-150), with which it traditionally closes.

Lutheran and Anglican traditions

Like the other canonical hours, Lauds is observed by Christians in other denominations, notably those of the Lutheran Churches.[6] In the Anglican Communion, elements of the office have been folded into the service of Morning Prayer as celebrated according to the Book of Common Prayer, and the hour itself is observed by many Anglican religious orders.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCabrol, Fernand (1910). "Lauds" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 9. New York: Robert Appleton.
  2. ^ Parsch, Pius. "The Canonical Hours", Commentaries on the Breviary
  3. ^ Billett, Jesse D., The Divine Office in Anglo-Saxon England, 597-C.1000, Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2014 ISBN 9781907497285
  4. ^ Cabrol, Fernand. The Day Hours of the Church, London, 1910
  5. ^ "Universalis: Morning Prayer (Lauds)". Retrieved 2017-05-01.
  6. ^ Giewald, Arne (2011). The Lutheran High Church Movement in Germany and its liturgical work: an introduction. p. 36. ISBN 9781470973780. |access-date= requires |url= (help)

External links

Alexander's Feast (Dryden poem)

Alexander's Feast, or the Power of Music (1697) is an ode by John Dryden. It was written to celebrate Saint Cecilia's Day. Jeremiah Clarke set the original ode to music, however the score is now lost.

The main body of the poem describes the feast given by Alexander the Great at the Persian capital Persepolis, after his defeat of Darius. Alexander's bard Timotheus sings praises of him. Alexander's emotions are manipulated by the singer's poetry and music. Timotheus glorifies him as a god, puffing up Alexander's pride. He then sings of the pleasures of wine, encouraging Alexander to drink. Seeing Alexander becoming too boisterous, he sings of the sad death of Darius; the king becomes quiet. He then lauds the beauty of Thaïs, Alexander's lover, making the king's heart melt. Finally, he encourages feelings of anger and vengeance, causing Thaïs and Alexander to burn down the Persian palace in revenge for Persia's previous outrages against Greece.

The poem then moves ahead in time to describe Saint Cecilia, "inventress of the vocal frame", who is traditionally supposed to have created the first organ and to have instituted Christian sacred music. The poem concludes that while Timotheus "Raised a mortal to the skies, / She drew an angel down".

George Frideric Handel composed a choral work, also called Alexander's Feast, set to a libretto by Newburgh Hamilton which was closely based on the ode by Dryden.


An antiphon (Greek ἀντίφωνον, ἀντί "opposite" and φωνή "voice") is a short chant in Christian ritual, sung as a refrain. The texts of antiphons are the Psalms. Their form was favored by St Ambrose and they feature prominently in Ambrosian chant, but they are used widely in Gregorian chant as well. They may be used during Mass, for the Introit, the Offertory or the Communion. They may also be used in the Liturgy of the Hours, typically for Lauds or Vespers.

They should not be confused with Marian antiphons or processional antiphons.

When a chant consists of alternating verses (usually sung by a cantor) and responds (usually sung by the congregation), a refrain is needed.

The looser term antiphony is generally used for any call and response style of singing, such as the kirtan or the sea shanty and other work songs, and songs and worship in African and African-American culture. Antiphonal music is that performed by two choirs in interaction, often singing alternate musical phrases. Antiphonal psalmody is the singing or musical playing of psalms by alternating groups of performers. The term “antiphony” can also refer to a choir-book containing antiphons.

Aurora lucis rutilat

Aurora lucis rutilat (Latin for "Dawn reddens with light") is the incipit of an Easter Hymn

of the Latin rite, first recorded in the Frankish Hymnal tradition (8th/9th century, one of the Murbach hymns) and preserved in the Benedictine "New Hymnal" (9th/10th century).

In the numbering introduced by Gneuss (1968), it is no. 41 of the Old Hymnal, and no. 72 of the New Hymnal.

The hymn has 12 strophes of 4 verses each as originally recorded;in modern translations it is often reduced to 11 or fewer strophes.

The Old High German interlinear version in Bodleian Junius 25 begins Tagarod leohtes lohazit.

Orlande de Lassus composed an adaptation as a motet for ten voices in c. 1592.

The portion Tristes erant apostoli (strophes 5 to 11) was adapted by Francisco Guerrero (1528–1599).Pope Urban VIII substantially altered the hymn for his edition of the Roman Breviary (1629), in the incipit replacing rutilat by purpurat, the first strophe being altered from:

Aurora lucis rutilat, caelum laudibus intonat, mundus exultans iubilat, gemens infernus ululat.

("Dawn reddens with light, the heavens resound with praise, exulting the world jubilates, groaning hell shrieks.")to:

Aurora coelum purpurat, aether resultat laudibus, mundus triumphans jubilat, horrens Avernus intremit.

("Dawn purples the heavens, the aether rebounds with praise, triumphantly the world jubilates, frightful Avernus trembles.")The original text was restored in the reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X (1908/13).

In the 1908 Roman Breviary, the hymn has been revised and separated into three hymns, consisting of strophes 1–4, 5–8 and 9–11.

The first part forms the hymn for Lauds from Low Sunday to the Ascension, and begin in the revised form, Aurora caelum purpurat.

The second part (Tristes erant apostoli) is incorporated into the Common of Apostles and Evangelists for paschal time at the first and second Vespers and Matins. It is sung in the Phrygian mode, in a melody found in the Vesperale Romanum.

The third part (Claro paschali gaudio) was incorporated into Lauds in the Common of Apostles in paschal time.There are a number of English translations in use, both of the hymn as a whole and the three split hymns.

Singable English translations variously begin:

"The dawn was redd'ning [purpling] o'er the sky" (Edward Caswall 1849),

"With sparkling rays morn decks the sky" (J.A. Johnston 1852),

"Light's very morn its beams displays" (J.D. Chambers 1857),

"Dawn purples all the east with light" (c. 1872),

"Light's glittering morn bedecks the sky" (Horatio Parker 1894).


A canticle (from the Latin canticulum, a diminutive of canticum, "song") is a hymn, psalm or other Christian song of praise with lyrics taken from biblical or holy texts other than the Psalms.

Cappella Giulia

The Cappella Giulia, officially the Reverend Musical Chapel Julia of the Sacrosanct Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, is the choir of St. Peter's Basilica that sings for all solemn functions of the Vatican Chapter, such as Holy Mass, Lauds, and Vespers, when these are not celebrated by the Pope (for functions celebrated by the Pope, the Sistine Chapel Choir sings instead). The choir has played an important role as an interpreter and a proponent of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony.

Commemoration (liturgy)

In the Latin liturgical rites, a commemoration is the recital, within the Liturgy of the Hours or the Mass of one celebration, of part of another celebration, generally of lower rank, that is impeded because of a coincidence of date.

Horae Canonicae

Horae Canonicae is a series of poems by W. H. Auden written between 1949 and 1955. The title is a reference to the canonical hours of the Christian Church, as are the titles of the seven poems constituting the series: "Prime", "Terce", "Sext", "Nones", "Vespers", "Compline", and "Lauds". Each refers to a fixed time of the day for prayer.

The canonical hours create a framework for the dramatization of Auden's religious position, which he described in a letter as "very much the same as Reinhold [Neibuhr]'s, i.e. Augustinian, not Thomist (I would

allow a little more place, perhaps, for the Via Negativa.) Liturgically, I am

Anglo-Catholic..."."Prime" and "Nones" were first published in Auden's collection Nones (1951). Horae Canonicae was published as a unity in Auden's The Shield of Achilles (1955).

Latin Psalters

The Latin Psalters are the translations of the Book of Psalms into the Latin language. They are the premier liturgical resource used in the Liturgy of the Hours of the Latin Rites of the Roman Catholic Church. These translations are typically placed in a separate volume or a section of the breviary called the psalter, in which the psalms are arranged to be prayed at the canonical hours of the day. In the Middle Ages, psalters were often lavish illuminated manuscripts, and in the Romanesque and early Gothic period were the type of book most often chosen to be richly illuminated.

Little Hours

The Little Hours or minor hours are the canonical hours other than the three major hours.

The major hours are those whose traditional names are matins, lauds and vespers. Since the reform of the Liturgy of the Hours mandated by the Second Vatican Council, they are called the office of readings, morning prayer and evening prayer. The minor hours, so called because their structure is shorter and simpler than that of the major hours, are those celebrated between lauds and vespers (morning and evening prayer) together with compline (night prayer).


Matins is a canonical hour of Christian liturgy.

The earliest use of the name was in reference to the canonical hour, also called the vigil, which was originally celebrated by monks from about two hours after midnight to, at latest, the dawn, the time for the canonical hour of lauds. It was divided into two or (on Sundays) three nocturns. Outside of monasteries, it was generally recited at other times of the day, often in conjunction with lauds.

In the Byzantine Rite these vigils correspond to the aggregate comprising the midnight office, orthros, and the first hour.In a later use, especially in Anglican tradition, the hour of matins (also spelled mattins) is morning prayer. Lutherans preserve recognizably traditional matins distinct from morning prayer, but "matins" is sometimes used in other Protestant denominations to describe any morning service.

Music of the Canary Islands

The music of the Canary Islands reflects its cultural heritage. The islands used to be inhabited by the Guanches which are related to Berbers; they mixed with Spaniards, who live on the islands now. A variant of Jota is popular, as is Latin music, which has left its mark in the form of the timple guitar.

There has been a strong connection with Cuban music, Venezuelan, Puerto Rican, and other Caribbean countries both through commerce and migration.

Popular dances from the Canary Islands include:



Baile del Candil

Baile de Cintas

Danza de Enanos

El Santo Domingo



MalagueñaOf these, the Isas, a local variation of Jota, are the best-known and most characteristic of the Canary Islands. They are graceful music, with a lot of variation among islands. In some places, a captain leads the dance and organizes others in a chain as the dance grows more and more complex.

Rondalla arrangements are very common. Instruments include charangas, timples (similar to a cavaquinho / ukulele), castanets, panderetas, lauds and guitars. A peculiar ensemble in El Hierro island is made of pito herreño players (a wooden transverse flute) and drums. Some ritual dances in Tenerife island are led by a tabor pipe player. Joyful music for carnival lies to a big extent on brass bands and Latin American patterns.

O salutaris hostia

O salutaris hostia (Latin, "O Saving Victim" or "O Saving Sacrifice"), is a section of one of the Eucharistic hymns written by St Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi. He wrote it for the Hour of Lauds in the Divine Office. It is actually the last two stanzas of the hymn Verbum supernum prodiens, and is used for the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The other two hymns written by Aquinas for the Feast contain the famous sections Panis angelicus and Tantum ergo.

Office of the Dead

The Office of the Dead or Office for the Dead is a prayer cycle of the Canonical Hours in the Catholic Church, Anglican Church and Lutheran Church, said for the repose of the soul of a decedent. It is the proper reading on All Souls' Day (normally November 2) for all souls in Purgatory, and can be a votive office on other days when said for a particular decedent. The work is composed of different psalms, scripture, prayers and other parts, divided into The Office of Readings, Lauds, Daytime Prayer, and Vespers (with Compline taken from the Sunday hour of Compline).

Prime (liturgy)

Prime, or the First Hour, is one of the canonical hours of the Divine Office, said at the first hour of daylight (6:00 a.m. at the equinoxes but earlier in summer, later in winter), between the dawn hour of Lauds and the 9 a.m. hour of Terce. It remains part of the Christian liturgies of Eastern Christianity, but in the Latin Rite it was suppressed by the Second Vatican Council. However, clergy under obligation to celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours may still fulfil their obligation by using the edition of the Roman Breviary promulgated by Pope John XXIII in 1962, which contains Prime. Like all the liturgical hours, except the Office of Readings, it consists mainly of Psalms. It is one of the Little Hours.

Psalm 148

Psalm 148 is the 148th psalm of the biblical Book of Psalms. New King James Version provides a header "Praise to the Lord from Creation" to this psalm.

Psalm 43

Psalm 43 is the 43rd psalm from the Book of Psalms. As a continuation of Psalm 42, which was written by the sons of Korah, it too is also commonly attributed to them. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 42 in a slightly different numbering system.


Tenebrae (—Latin for "darkness") is a religious service of Western Christianity held during the three days preceding Easter, and characterized by gradual extinguishing of candles, and by a "strepitus" or "loud noise" taking place in total darkness near the end of the service.

Tenebrae originally was a celebration of matins and lauds of the last three days of Holy Week (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) in the evening of the previous day (Spy Wednesday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday) to the accompaniment of special ceremonies that included the display of lighted candles on a special triangular candelabra.Today, celebrations of Tenebrae usually are adaptations that include holding, only once during the three days, especially on Spy Wednesday (Holy Wednesday), a service other than matins and lauds, such as the Seven Last Words or readings of the Passion of Jesus, and varying the number of candles, or holding it in concert form with extracts from the original form of Tenebrae.

Tenebrae liturgical celebrations of this kind now exist in the Latin Catholic Church, Lutheran Churches, Anglican Churches, Methodist Churches, Reformed Churches and Western Rite Orthodoxy.

The People, Yes

The People, Yes is a book-length poem written by Carl Sandburg and published in 1936. The 300 page work is thoroughly interspersed with references to American culture, phrases, and stories (such as the legend of Paul Bunyan). Published at the height of the Great Depression, the work lauds the perseverance of the American people in notably plain-spoken language. It was written over an eight-year period and Sandburg’s last major book of poetry.

Vow of silence

A vow of silence is a vow to maintain silence. Although it is commonly associated with monasticism, no major monastic order takes a vow of silence. Even the most fervently silent orders such as the Carthusians have time in their schedule for talking. Recently, the vow of silence has been embraced by some in secular society as means of protest or of deepening their spirituality. Silence is often seen as essential to deepening a relationship with God. It is also considered a virtue in some religions.In Western Christian traditions such as Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism, the Great Silence is the period of time beginning at the canonical hour of Compline, in which votarists are silent until the first office of the next day, Lauds.

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