Prayers, please, for Granny Donovan, who died this week, and for all
her family, also for the health of Debbie, having a pacemaker put in
tomorrow, and for Cindy, 32, stage 4 cervical cancer, very bad
prognosis. She miscarried her second child, that's how they found the
cancer. Her son Michael is 5, husband Gary is hoping for a miracle.
Prayers for them all! God's will is best! Thanks. NRN JL
February 15, June 16, October 16
Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays
the Morning Office shall be celebrated as follows.
Let Psalm 66 be said without an antiphon
and somewhat slowly,
as on Sunday,
in order that all may be in time for Psalm 50,
which is to be said with an antiphon.
After that let two other Psalms be said according to custom,
on Monday Psalms 5 and 35,
on Tuesday Psalms 42 and 56,
on Wednesday Psalms 63 and 64,
on Thursday Psalms 87 and 89,
on Friday Psalms 75 and 91,
and on Saturday Psalm 142 and the canticle from Deuteronomy,
which is to be divided into two sections
each terminated by a "Glory be to the Father."
But on the other days let there be a canticle from the Prophets,
each on its own day as chanted by the Roman Church.
Next follow the Psalms of praise,
then a lesson of the Apostle to be recited from memory,
the responsory, the hymn, the verse,
the canticle from the Gospel book,
the litany, and so the end.
Again, we have the gentleness of St. Benedict, insisting on the slow
recitation of Psalm 66, to give all the stragglers and strugglers
time to arrive! But we have it here in other respects, too. Check out
the length of the Canticle from Deuteronomy. Pack a lunch!! St.
Benedict divides it, drops one Psalm and lets one half of the very
long canticle take its place.
Even though St. Benedict went out of his way to shorten the Roman
Office of his day, here he says that the canticles chosen by the
Roman Church for most of the week should be used. When he sees a good
idea, he embraces it. When he sees a need for change, he does that,
too. It is very evident that he did not care for lengthy services,
that he did not want his monastics to become liturgical gymnasts,
spending ALL their time working out! As always, he wanted balance.
We must always be careful NOT to read St. Benedict with purely 21st
century eyes. Liturgy and uniformity were very, very different in his
time. If anything, uniformity was little known. The greatest
ascendancy of the Roman usage before Trent in Europe- and even that
was far from complete- would come hundreds of years later, under the
aegis of Charlemagne. The enforced uniformity of Trent was over a
thousand years away.
(Trivia: We forget that the Roman rite of Trent was not used
everywhere before the 16th century, or even used everywhere AFTER the
Reformation. One of the minor complaints to arise about the priests
of the post-Reformation English mission was that some used the new
Roman Mass of Trent, while others clung to the more ancient and
properly English rite of Sarum. Dominicans, Cistercians and
Carthusians retained their own rites, with Gallican peculiarities,
right up until the late 1960's. Carthusians still use their own rite
for Mass and Office, currently the most ancient and rare rite in the
Hence, when we see St. Benedict setting up his own complete Psalter,
that is not unusual: every monastery would have to do that for
itself, some better than others. It was that "some better than
others" part that St. Benedict wished to avoid: he set a standard for
his monasteries that would protect them from the surrounding extremes
of too much or too little.
Love and prayers,
jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery