- Duplex feasts
- Simplex feasts
A Semi-Double is celebrated in much the same manner as a Double, but with a lesser ranking and some additional prayers. A day within an octave is similar, although without additional prayers. The psalms at Vespers and Mattins are from the common and the Lauds and Prime are sung using the Dominical psalms. The Little Hours never change.
A feria simply observed the Office of the day with no note of any feasts, unless they warrant a commemoration of a superseded Lenten or Advent Simplex feast. Simple feasts use the psalter of the day for Vespers and Mattins, but follow the Dominical psalms for Lauds and an abbreviation of Prime. At first this seems a strange and arbitrary shift away from the purpose of the Office, the recitation of 150 psalms of David every week spread through the day for its sanctification. In fact, Lauds and Prime before S Pius X had very little daily variation. The first psalm of Lauds would be either 50 (Miserere mei Deus) or 92 (Dominus regnavit), the second psalm varied every non-festive day of the week, and the canticle could be one of seven possibilities unless a feast occurred, in which case the Benedicite would be sung. Two psalms varied daily, one conditionally, and five remained constant.
At Prime, the psalter was as follows:
- Sunday: 53, 117, 118i (1-16), 118ii (17-32)
- Monday: 53, 23, 118i, 118ii
- Tuesday: 53, 24, 118i, 118ii
- Wednesday: 53, 25, 118i, 118ii
- Thursday: 53, 22, 118i, 118ii
- Friday: 53, 21, 118i, 118ii
- Saturday: 53, 118i, 118ii
The entirety of the psalmody would be wrapped under one antiphon, either from the Office of the day or the first Lauds antiphon of the occurring feast. Like the other Horae Minores, the antiphon on Prime is semi-doubled, that is, read as far as the asterisk before the psalms and read in full after. On a feast, the psalms were always the three of Saturday not not the longer Prime of Sunday. Sunday Prime, before the full antiphon, also includes the Athanasian Creed. On feriae of Paschaltide, the psalms are always festive just as the Lauds are always Dominical.
If the Office is of Sunday, any feast, within an octave, or a weekday of Paschaltide, the chapter is from Timothy; otherwise, it is from Zachariah. Then follows the responsory Christe Fili Dei vivi. On festive days, the collect Domine Deus omnipotens immediately follows. Under any other circumstance the responsory and collect are separated by a series of versicle preces and the Confiteor said as at Mass and Compline. During penitential seasons the preces are expanded, although they do not include an additional psalm as they do at Vespers and Lauds during those seasons.
Should the Martyrology be read it comes after the collect. The Roman Martyrology for the current day is always that of tomorrow's saints, usually with a word or two about them. At the end, thanksgiving is made and Our Lady and the rest of the saints are invoked for protection. Another comes another responsory, Deus in adiutorium, Gloria Patri, Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison, the Lord's Prayer, another set of versicles, and the collect Dirigere:
O Lord, Almighty God, King of heaven and earth, Savior of the world, bless, lead, rule and govern our hearts and bodies, our senses, words and deeds today, following thy law and commandments, that here and for eternity with thy help we shall be saved in freedom. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.If the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary is to be sung this day, it begins at once. Otherwise, as with the beginning of Compline, a lector asks the celebrant for a blessing and reads a short lesson varying with the season. On feasts, however, the lesson is the same as the chapter sung at None.
After Adiutorium nostrum the dismissal is sung: Benedicite / Deus followed by the blessing:
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. And may the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Again, Prime resembles Compline in how it contrasts the other Hours, this time with its own dismissal (not the usual Benedicamus Domino) and blessing (not the usual Fidelium animae).
Divino Afflatu reordered the entire psalter to revive the de facto recitation of the 150 psalms daily. The better solution would either have been to reduce the number of Duplex feasts or lessen clerical obligations, but instead Papa Sarto initiated a radical overhaul of the Office. To the layman, the only arrant changes may have been more green vestments on Sundays and a strange new antiphon at Sunday Vespers for no apparent reason. In fact, most of the old antiphons of the Roman Office had to be discarded and replaced due to the fragmented psalter introduced in place of the full psalms of the Roman rite. Between its psalms and antiphons, the Little Hours are nigh unrecognizable. Some of the psalter remains unchanged for the great feasts of Our Lord and Our Lady, aside from the reduction of Lauds and the loss of ps. 53 at Prime on Sundays. The rest of it differs greatly every single day. The psalter became as follows:
- Sunday: 117, 118i, 118ii
- Monday: 23, 18 (in halves)
- Tuesday: 24 (in thirds)
- Wednesday: 25, 51, 52
- Thursday: 22, 71 (in halves)
- Friday: 21 (in thirds)
- Saturday: 93 (in halves), 107
If these psalms look familiar it is because most of them belong to Mattins, not Prime, in the classical forms of the Roman Office. Additionally, the Pian Lauds and Prime represent the first time psalms in the Roman rite would be said out of order. The Byzantine rite Vespers sings some psalms out of order, but following a theme of persecution, deliverance, and thanksgiving. The Pian rite, by contrast, was formed with uniformity and a side glance to Tradition in mind. Its intentions were rational and yet, unlike the preceding Gregorian/medieval and Tridentine iterations, the psalms are printed on the page out of order because they must present the remaining psalm from S Pius V's Office first.
The rules for how to recite Prime are otherwise the same under Pius X as they were under Pius V with the caveat that, again, Prime's variability tracks Lauds. Divino Afflatu limited the potential for proper psalms and texts on feasts below Duplex of the II Class to a handful of ancient Roman feasts, meaning festive Prime (still 53, 118i, and 118ii) would now be said rarely. This system would continue until 1964.