Monday, November 12, 2012

Combining Mass with the Liturgy of the Hours

A couple mornings per week, our pastor passes out some  breviaries and  leads us in Morning Prayer after the 8 AM mass.But once in  while--perhaps on the feast of a parish patron--he passes out printed sheets and leads us in saying Morning Prayer and mass in a combined liturgy. This makes for a beautiful, psalm-drenched mass.

You might witness this option regularly if you attend mass at a monastery.  As explained in the General Instructions on the Liturgy of the Hours, the mass will begin with the either the opening verse and hymn of Morning Prayer, OR the entrance antiphon and celebrants greeting from the mass. Next, the psalmody of the day is recited. The mass then continues with the Gloria (on a feast or solemnity) or straight to the opening prayer on a weekday.

Next, comes the liturgy of the word from the mass of the day --the reading from Morning Prayer is not used. The intercessions that follow might be either those from the mass OR those from Morning Prayer. The rest of the mass continues as usual through the end except that the Canticle of Zechariah is sung or recited after communion.

There are slight variations to the above procedure  for combining mass with Daytime or Evening prayer.

So...if you ever witness a Divine Office/mass hybrid, be assured that this is not an unapproved liturgical shortcut. It's a legitimate option. One can see that it is a great convenience for monastic clerics  who gather in community multiple times per day. For the rest of us, it's an easy way