Prayers, please, for the peace and health of S. Thanks! God's will
be done! NRN JL
February 20, June 21, October 21
Chapter 17: How Many Psalms Are to Be Said at These Hours
We have already arranged the order of the psalmody
for the Night and Morning Offices;
let us now provide for the remaining Hours.
At Prime let three Psalms be said,
separately and not under one "Glory be to the Father."
The hymn of that Hour
is to follow the verse "Incline unto my aid, O God,"
before the Psalms begin.
Upon completion of the three Psalms
let one lesson be recited,
then a verse,
the "Lord, have mercy on us" and the concluding prayers.
The Offices of Terce, Sext and None
are to be celebrated in the same order,
the "Incline unto my aid, O God," the hymn proper to each Hour,
three Psalms, lesson and verse,
"Lord, have mercy on us" and concluding prayers.
If the community is a large one,
let the Psalms be sung with antiphons;
but if small,
let them be sung straight through.
Let the Psalms of the Vesper Office be limited to four,
After these Psalms the lesson is to be recited,
then the responsory, the Ambrosian hymn, the verse,
the canticle from the Gospel book,
the litany, the Lord's Prayer and the concluding prayers.
Let Compline be limited to the saying of three Psalms,
which are to be said straight through without antiphon,
and after them the hymn of that Hour,
one lesson, a verse, the "Lord, have mercy on us,"
the blessing and the concluding prayers.
A real short one here. People often ask me about the Benedictine
Office and want to include it in their prayer lives. Unless you can
read Latin AND find an old Breviarium Monasticum, or, also hard to
find, buy an old Monastic Diurnal in English and Latin, that can be
hard to do! This chapter offers a great solution: Benedictine Psalms
They are the same ones every day. You can use them with whatever
format you have for Compline. Many houses, even today, still use the
Psalms mentioned here, and all of them did for most of our history.
The Psalms are 4, When I call...,90(91) He who dwells in the shelter
of the Most High..., and 133(134) O come, bless the Lord..., the
first number being the Septuagint numbering usually found in older
Catholic Bibles and the parenthetical numbering the Hebrew one found
in Protestant Bibles.
Used daily, these Psalms sink quickly into memory. Pretty soon you'll
be able to say Compline with no book. Now that is a great joy! We
sometimes say it in the car when a couple of us have picked someone
up at the airport in Boston. We can be together, singing Compline in
a pitch dark car on the road home. No books needed. Warm and
Love and prayers,
St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA