Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why you gotta love online breviaries--especially if you're getting old.

 Like many in my generation (boomers, that is), I straddle a fence between digital and print media. When it came to the Divine Office, I was initially repelled by the idea of reading lauds off a monitor. Me -with-my-book-in-my-armchair was the only way to go. 

Then I saw the advantage of popping a featherweight mobile device in my purse vs. a 1.5 pound breviary. A real boon to my aging shoulders.

Today, I had new proof that an online breviary is a prop to those of us who are slowly falling apart as we shuffle along towards out golden years.

Now, I was certainly aware this morning that Monday is the solemnity of the Assumption. As I sat  at Sunday mass I made a resolution to get out to mass tomorrow.

But my short term memory switches tend to start shutting off by early evening. So when I turned on my Kindle at 5:30PM to read vespers, I was  shocked when I saw "Evening Prayer I - Assumption of Mary."

Shocked, and pleased to have ibreviary keeping me on the right page, so to speak. If  instead of picking up the Kindle, I had instead grabbed the Christian Prayer book, I would certainly have turned to Evening Prayer II of the 20th Sunday in ordinary time. Just force of habit and, as I said, not being the sharpest tack in the drawer once I've had my dinner.

So the digital breviary turns out to be  a huge help both to aging bones and to aging memories.

In addition, I had the pleasure of seeing on the alternative antiphons that the Dominican order uses for this feast.  I'm really intrigued that different orders have  alternate prayers for many of the feasts. And the Dominican antiphons for the Assumption, Evening Prayer I, have more to them than the regular ones. I'll share them here to give you some extra food for prayer on this beautiful feast:

1.The gates of paradise were opened to us through you: today, all glorious, you rejoice with the angels.

2.You are a garden enclosed,O Mother of God, a locked garden and a sealed fountain. Arise, my beloved, and come away.

3.You are beautiful and lovely, O daughter of Jerusalem, terrible as an army arrayed for battle.

Christ ascended into heaven and prepared an everlasting dwelling place for his most chaste mother: this is the sublime festival, surpassing that of any saint, on which she who is glorious and blessed entered the heavenly nuptial hall, acclaimed by the ranks of the heavenly court. There she dwells, ever loving, never forgetful of those who remember her.

A blessed Assumption to you all. Salve Regina!