Divine Office Forum: Laity and Gospel at Vigils
Laity and Gospel at Vigils QUESTION from Paul R. on January 11, 2003 My question concerns the option of extending the Office of Readings on certain days by adding a canticle and Gospel reading when prayed as a vigil the night before. Given that liturgical reading of the Gospel is ordinarily reserved to the ordained, may laypeople do this when praying the office alone, or in a small group?
Also: What introduction and response is used for the Gospel in the extended vigil?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on January 15, 2003 Dear Paul:
When the congregation gather to do the Office normally a priest leads. Whenever a priest or deacon is present, then those clerics should read the Gospel, give the blessing and final prayer.
Anytime you are alone or praying in a group without clergy present, then the one leading may read the Gospel. The blessing is modified however.
The Extended parts of the Office of Vigils is found in the Appendix. The Office of Readings is celebrated first, and BEFORE the Te Deum the Antiphon and Canicles and Gospels are read according to the form found in the Appendix. Then a homily may be given on the Gospel. Finally the Te Deum is sung, the prayer is said, and the hour is concluded per normal.
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