Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Folks, Welcome! and...What's New?



Mad Maxi, KZG, and Miguel in Belgium are three bold, new seekers of wisdom who have joined us at Coffee&Canticles. A warm welcome!

It's Wednesday. Question&Answer day for anyone who is vague on Vespers, confused about Compline, or just baffled by the breviary.   Ask you questions in the combox, and I'm 98% certain I'll find the answer. If there is no precise, official answer to be had, I'll try for an expert opinion. If there's no expert opinion to be had, I'll give you mine.

7 comments:

  1. is reciting praying?

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    1. Yes. Depending, of course, on what you are reciting, and what your intentions are while reciting it.

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  2. what psalms were said today,wed, with MP? I had the antiphons from St. Paul Feast and did the Psalms on p688. wasn't sure! thanks

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  3. St.Paul's feastday used the psalms from the Common of Apostles, which would have re-directed you to Sunday of Week I for MP. But today isn't Wednesday, it's Thursday. St. Paul is January 25th. You must have a different breviary than mine, so I wouldn't be able to advise you regarding the page number.
    Today (1/26) is St. Timothy&Titus. For them you could use the current weekday plus their special concluding prayer, OR you could use the Common of HOly men. Your choice.

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  4. I know it is Thursday.I wrote the question last night before work and thought i posted it, but when i got on today it was still sitting there, so i sent it today regarding yesterday! sorry for the confusion. I did the Sunday week 1 and was just trying to make sure i did it the way it was supposed to.thanks

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  5. I was wondering if there are specific hours for each prayer, like 7 to 9 a.m. you should be doing morning prayer. Specifically, if I am only going to do two each day, should I do the evening prayer, even if I don't get to it till I am going to bed, say 10 p.m.? Or should I do the night prayer since I "missed" the evening prayer prescribed time? I know it sounds nitpicking, but it has been a question of mine for a while. thanks

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    1. This is a good question, and one we have discussed several times before. And the answer is one of those both/and, rather than either/or situations. As its name implies,the Liturgy of the Hours is meant to sanctify the various hours of the day. This does't mean clock hours, but it does mean general time periods. The Instruction says "Lauds (Morning Prayer) is designed and structured so as to sanctify the morning...Vespers (Evening Prayer) is celebrated in the evening when the day is drawing to a close...Compline is the final prayer of the day to be said just before going to bed, even if this is after midnight."
      The Church does not set clock hours, in recognition of how our schedules can vary so much. Morning prayer in a monastery, where they rise at 5 or 6, will certainly be done around sunrise, but most of us are often in bed at sunrise (at least during the summer). Similarly, monks probably go to bed earlier than we, so they might do evening prayer at 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon, as their workday ends, and night prayer at 7:30 or 8pm. Priest and laypeople will likely do evening and night prayer much later.
      That being said, priests and religious who are obliged to say all 5 liturgical hours each day, and don't get around to it at the right times, are not supposed to skip them, and might find themselves saying Morning Prayer in the afternoon if they have to in order to fulfill their obligation.
      You and I, having no strict obligation, can do whatever we want about hours we had not time for--or forgot about--at the appropriate time of day. For my part, if I miss an hour, I usually don't worry about it and just move on with the next one that comes along. Yesterday's post about New Zealand includes a quote from a priest explaining the rationale behind this approach. Occasionally, I will go back and read an hour that I have missed, for example, on the feast of a favorite saint, or if for some reason I'm especially interested in the liturgy of that day.
      I think "nitpicking" is a worthwhile practice, since this is, after all, liturgy. We want to pray the official prayer of the Church as perfectly as possible. But the guidelines the Church has given us allow quite a bit of latitude.

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