4358Holy Rule for Oct. 24
- Oct 23, 2013+PAXPlease pray that our individual and collective faith in the real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist may grow ever stronger.Prayers for the eternal rest of Rosa, 82, and for all her family and all who mourn her.Prayers for the eternal rest of Msgr. John Scully, near his death anniversary.
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. JL
February 23, June 24, October 24
Chapter 18: In What Order the Psalms Are to Be Said
Vespers are to be sung with four Psalms every day. These shall
begin with Psalm 109 and go on to Psalm 147, omitting those which
are set apart for other Hours; that is to say that
with the exception of Psalms 117 to 127 and Psalms 133 and 142, all
the rest of these are to be said at Vespers. And since there are
three Psalms too few, let the longer ones of the above number be
divided, namely Psalms 138, 143 and 144. But let Psalm 116 because
of its brevity be joined to Psalm 115.
The order of the Vesper Psalms being thus settled, let the rest of
the Hour -- lesson, responsory, hymn, verse and canticle -- be
carried out as we prescribed above.
At Compline the same Psalms are to be repeated every day, namely
Psalms 4, 90 and 133.
Vespers and Compline are very different
and refreshing. They are evening hours, not followed by work,
except for the light clean up after supper, which is not a main
meal here anyway. Vespers makes one think of finally getting home
and shutting the door after a long day and a tough commute. It ends the
workday, leaving the evening for family. Not shabby! A rite of passage from
the job to the home hearth!
A brief glance at the Psalms for Vespers will show that they are
yet another example of consecutive, running psalmody. One right
after another, except for a few which get bumped elsewhere or
thoughtfully divided because of their length. Apparently by
numerical happenstance, Psalm 140 winds us in the Vespers grouping,
and it is most appropriate: "Let my prayer ascend to You like
incense and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice."
Historically, Psalm 140 has appeared in the Vespers or services of
light (Lucenaria) of many, many rites.
For active monasteries, or for busy Oblates in the world, evening
and early morning are often the only times we get of relative
cloister and focus. The morning hours are largely available to
anyone willing or able to get up while the rest of the world
(including the kids!)
sleeps, the evening hours perhaps less so. Those evenings are
family times par excellence and our first vocations must always be
If, as a working parent or spouse, getting home means just getting
started with dinner, don't despair! There is (or can be, if you
provide for it,) a lot of undistracted solitude in cooking, even if
it is rather harried cooking. If you can GENTLY establish a quiet
space for yourself while cooking, go for it. The solitude of a
kitchen at work feeding loved ones is a rich one, indeed. Be careful
not to make your family crazy, though. That's why I stress GENTLY!
The family comes first!
If you are into CDs, get one of somebody else singing Vespers and
play it. Heaven knows, if you can put up with the kids' music, they
can put up with yours for half an hour a day. Even if you do not
listen to every word, the soothing chant will settle into your bones,
become a backdrop of peace on which you can position the rest of
your evening. Give it a shot for two weeks and I'll bet you find
your evening meals and later times very different, because YOU are
A further plus is that the memory of you listening to Gregorian
chant while cooking, admittedly a rather unusual practice, will
stay in your children's minds long, long after you are gone. Who
knows what a snippet of chant memory might do for a faith life years
after you have died?
Love and prayers,
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