- Sorry, my OWN address was "bouncing" with Yahoo yesterday and I
couldn't get it fixed before I went to bed!
Prayers, (and I am ashamed that I forgot to add this yesterday!) For
Ann McP., who had to put her beloved cat to sleep. I read other
requests from her message and forgot to add her own needs. Sorry,
Ann!! God is outside of time. No prayer is ever too late! God's will
be done! Thanks, NRN 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.
Check out the Psalms
for Vespers and Compline given in the Holy Rule. For Vespers, add one
appropriate to each day, or use all four, if you can, with the format
of the Office you are currently using. It may be a little confusing
at first, may require juggling a paperback Psalm book with your LOH
book, but I think you will find it richly rewarding and well worth
the effort. Benedictine Compline, especially, if used daily, becomes
memory in no time and you can say it with the covers up around your
neck and the lights off. And it DOES become like a familiar and
comforting quilt that one pulls over oneself each night!
Many of us now have grown up with diverse Office forms. For the sake
of connection, however, which is especially important for isolated
Oblates, I recommend including whatever you can of the Rule's Psalm
arrangement into your daily routine. Why? Because, for all of our
history (and all of the Cistercians' history,) prior to 1964, all of
our saints and heroes and heroines said exactly those Psalms at
exactly that hour and day. Ss. Benedict and Scholastica themselves,
and everybody else for nearly 1500 years: St. Aelred, St. Anselm, St.
Bede, St. Gertrude, St Hildegard, St. Lioba. Not shabby! Join that
crew and I think you'll find it feels warm and homelike. Not exactly
a visit to your monastery far away, but a big connector with the holy
men or holy women who founded it! At a distance, as many must live,
we have to take whatever we can get.
Don't get hung up on memorization if it is hard for you. However,
remember that moderns tend to have low estimations of the memory
capacity of the human mind, because we have so many media that do the
work for us. Bear in mind that in the Desert, women and men who were
probably far from the SAT scores of today memorized the entire 150
Psalms- had to: many were illiterate.
Love and prayers,