Lord, help us all as You know and will.
God's will is best. All is mercy
and grace. God is never absent, praise Him!
Thanks so much.
February 13, June 14, October 14
Chapter 11: How the Night Office
Is to Be Said on Sundays
the hour of rising for the Night
Office should be earlier.
In that Office let the measure already prescribed
namely the singing of six Psalms and a verse.
Then let all be
seated on the benches in their proper order
while the lessons and their
responsories are read from the book,
as we said above.
These shall be four
with the chanter saying the "Glory be to the Father"
fourth responsory only,
and all rising reverently as soon as he begins
After these lessons
let six more Psalms with antiphons follow
in order, as before,
and a verse;
and then let four more lessons be read
with their responsories
in the same way as the former.
let there be three canticles
from the book of the Prophets,
as the Abbot
and let these canticles be chanted with "Alleluia."
when the verse has been said
and the Abbot has given the blessing,
four more lessons be read,
from the New Testament,
in the manner
After the fourth responsory
let the Abbot begin
the hymn "We praise You, O God."
When this is finished
the Abbot shall
read the lesson from the book of the Gospels,
while all stand in reverence
At the end let all answer "Amen,"
and let the Abbot proceed at
to the hymn "To You be praise."
After the blessing has been
let them begin the Morning Office.
This order for the Night
Office on Sunday
shall be observed the year around,
both summer and
unless it should happen (which God forbid)
that the brethren be
late in rising,
in which case the lessons or the responsories
will have to
be shortened somewhat.
Let every precaution be taken, however,
such an occurrence;
but if it does happen,
then the one through whose
neglect it has come about
should make due satisfaction to God in the
The idea of Vigils has very ancient Christian
roots: watching all
night in prayer, particularly before Sunday, in
anticipation of the
Second Coming (that they be found waiting, with lamps
from the tradition that Jesus rose from the dead at dawn.
connections of light/darkness and Son/sun are rich. Anyone who
ever done an all-night Vigil can tell you it is a
experience. They are frequently done, even in our own day, on
Athos, lasting literally all night and including the chanting of
With all this, it's no surprise that St. Benedict
adds some extra
high church length to Vigils of Sunday. He still, however,
lot of allowances for the monastics, even those who (God
oversleep!! His Vigils are long, but they are quite pointedly NOT
night! Doing an all night vigil for Sunday and every big feast
do in a community of farmers in short order.
We are a mitigated
lot, we started out that way and have continued on
that middle road. St.
Benedict designed his Rule as an adaptation and
yes, mitigation, of Egyptian
monastic life, suitable for European
Why not bask a
the fact that we were born mitigated monastics and are meant to be
Nothing wrong with that, so long as we don't carry it too far. In the
century, Russian Orthodox Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov said that the
of the latter days would NOT be doing many of the great works of old,
that the peculiar conditions of the world in which they had to live
balance things out. The modern and post-modern monastic faces many new
of which the Fathers and Mothers of old could have at best only
Love and prayers,