Thursday, October 27, 2011

Any Questions, Class?

It's your weekly chance to express any and all puzzlement about using a breviary, celebrating feasts, rubrics, regulations, and options.  As always, if my own knowledge isn't enough I'll run to the General Instructions for the Liturgy of the Hours. If the answer is still not clear, I'll tell you my opinion but will identify it as such.


  1. I have the single-volume "Christian Prayer" version of LOTH. Others in my group have the 4-volume set. In their books, the antiphon is listed at the end of each psalm/canticle, to be repeated after the Gloria or prayer. In my book, this is not mentioned. Should that antiphon be repeated at the end, no matter what book is used? (We've got a few people giving the Evil Eye to the non-repeaters, which is another issue entirely, but I wanted to find out about the correctness of repeating vs. leaving it out.)

  2. Hi Barb!
    Here's what the General Instruction (printed in full at the beginning of the 4-volume, and also at says about this:

    "The antiphon for each psalm should always be recited at the beginning...At the end of the psalm the custom is maintained of concluding with the Glory Be to The Father and As It Was in the Beginning,( etc.)This is the fitting conclusion that tradition recommends, and it gives to Old Testament prayer a quality of praise linked to a christological and trinitarian interpretation. The antiphon may be repeated at the end of each psalm." (GILH, #123)

    My interpretation is that either way is a valid option. My opinion it that repeating the antiphon is the preferred method, at least in the English speaking world, because 1. The 4-volume set is the one for clergy and religious who are obliged to do the entire LOTH, therefore will contain the most complete version. and 2. I have seen one-volumes breviaries (Pauline editions) that print the antiphon both before and after. Also, 3. It seems to me that it is good for the antiphon, which often give the "theme" or main idea of the psalm,to bracket the psalm on both ends. But that last is just my opinion. I know plenty of groups that use the (non-repeater) one-volume but still flip back and repeat,and I notice that the online breviaries all repeat, so I get the idea that this is the prevailing custom int the USA. Personally, I repeat, unless I'm in a really big hurry. But since both are valid options, it remains for your groups to work in out. Charitably.
    Which brings me to that shocking "evil eye" business. In a third order community! But then, I reflected that the Franciscans were founded in Italy, and Middle -aged thru elderly Italian ladies are known to be practitioners of the evil eye. So on some level, this made sense. :)

  3. Yes, like I said, the evil eye thing is a whole other issue. And it's going to be my responsibility to address it--UNLESS I get our Spiritual Assistant to run interference for me.
    It's really just a matter of someone being very "letter of the law" rather than charitably guiding the others. Next time we pray Hours together (which will be December) I will make sure, ahead of time, to remind everyone that the antiphon will be repeated afterward and hopefully that will take care of it. We all know that we're working out of 2 or 3 different books, so I can use that angle to address the issue.
    As to the rest, which really amounts to uncharitable behavior, I have plenty of time to consult with our Spiritual Assistant (our parish priest serves us in that capacity) and some other SFOs higher up on the food chain and outside my own fraternity on how best to handle that issue.
    Yes, we're a 3rd order, but we're certainly not immune to personality conflicts, etc.! We've all got work to do.

  4. Mr Angelico Nguyen, OPOctober 29, 2011 at 2:56 AM

    Ms Sockey,

    I just discovered this blog and am already grateful for your work: It's really helpful and encouraging.

    I have the one-volume, 1976 'Christian Prayer' from Catholic Book Publishing.

    In the Office of Readings (p. 1785 et seq.), the Psalter is easy enough to figure out -- but are there any rules for choosing the day's readings from the one-volume selections of Biblical Readings and Non-Biblical Readings? I see that some readings have notes in parentheses, assigning them to particular days, seasons, or kinds of days. But it seems that not every reading has a note like that.

    My best guess is that, in Ordinary Time, as long as we are using the one-volume edition, we might as well sample randomly from the readings contained in it. Is this the case?

    Thank you for any guidance you can give. Please keep blogging!

    Your brother in Christ,

  5. Hello, Angelico, and welcome! I'm glad you like the blog.
    The problem with the Office of Readings in the one-volume breviary is that it is not complete. The entire psalter is there, but there are only "selections" from hundreds of reading in the complete Office of Readings. You have guessed correctly that you may choose from these selections whatever seems good to you depending on where you are in the liturgical year. Personally, I found it very unsatisfactory to use these selections in the one-volume book when I knew these were usually not the correct readings for the day. If you like the Office of Readings, the best thing to do is either to go online each day to or else to Both of these sites offers the correct readings for each day's Office of Readings. The other option, of course, is to buy the 4-volume if you can afford it.

    Thank you for coming to this blog. Please feel free to ask questions or make comments any time you want.

  6. Mr Angelico Nguyen, OPOctober 30, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    Thank you very much for the answer, as well as the kind invitation. I'll keep reading along, and will speak up the next time a question arises!

    And in response to your October 5 post : One of my intentions while praying the current translation of the Office will be the swift publication of a newer and better one! But, no complaints. It's still a treasure.