Monday, July 7, 2014

Help Cistercian Nun with Breviary Research

I recently received this email from Sister Eleanor. Read it and see if any of you can help her out. 


Greetings from Rome!  I'm a Irish Cistercian (Trappistine) nun - my community is in Ireland, but at the moment I'm working at our Generalate in Rome.
Like you, I'm passionate about the Liturgy of the Hours.  Right now I'm drafting an article which I'm hoping will be accepted by an Irish liturgical/pastoral monthly magazine.  I'm talking about internet resources, and one of the things I thought I'd include is to encourage people to follow blogs about the Liturgy of the Hours. 

I want to name a few blogs.  So, there's yours, and... ???  Is that all?  I must be missing something, surely?  I mean blogs that are exclusively, or at least primarily, about the Liturgy of the Hours, that others might learn something from. 
I've even checked all the blogs in your sidebar, but none of them fits the bill for what I'm interested in.  Can you point me to any others, please?   I'd be grateful!

I made Sister aware of the Breviary Hymns blog, and also the newer Musical Breviary (see my previous post).
And Sister knows all about the several online breviaries.

Is there anything else we're missing? Let me know and I"ll tell Sister Eleanor.

25 comments:

  1. There are several Facebook groups on the breviary, including one that I run:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/breviarydiscussion/

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    1. Thanks, Ryan, for the suggestion.

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  2. Thank you, Ryan. I have forwarded the link to Sr. Eleanor. It's great that you're doing this--lots of people want to use the older breviary but find it terribly confusing. (As I do) You appear to be making sense out of it.

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  3. Yes, what is missing is a complete Cistercian Divine Office. As a Lay- Cistercian it has been my prayer that the Generalate or some generous Abbey would share the Order's beautiful Office complete with Antiphons, Hymns, Readings, Commons, Sanctorial, Temporal and Commendation to Mary. I pray the office following the Cistercian Ordo,and using a Schema by the late Chrysogonus Waddell OCSO and the Roman LOH. I would be grateful to help in any way.

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    1. Hi Timothy, I'm pleased to meet a Cistercian Lay Associate through this blog!
      I agree that it would be great to have a complete Cistercian Office online - unfortunately it's not possible, because in fact there is no one "Cistercian Office". In the period of change after Vatican II, monasteries were left free to develop their own Offices (within certain limits, of course), and there is no one set of hymns, antiphons, responsories etc. There is the Gethsemani Office, the Glencairn Office, the Office arranged by a group of French monasteries, and so forth. Whether or not this is a good thing is a moot point. Even if one community or Region was willing to put its arrangement online, there would be all kinds of copyright difficulties, among other issues.
      A schema by Fr Chrysogonus and the Roman LOH sounds pretty close to what a number of monasteries actually use. Is there anything in particular that you'd like help with?

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    2. I should clarify that I'm speaking about the O.C.S.O. ("Trappist") Cistercians when I speak about "the Order". Sorry. Our cousins in the O.Cist. have a Latin Breviary, the "Liturgia Horarum Ordinis Cisterciensis", published in 1974. It contains only texts, not music. I am not sure how much the actual celebration varies from one O. Cist. monastery to another.

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  4. Another place with pointers to links is the divineoffice discussion group on Reddit

    http://www.reddit.com/r/divineoffice/

    Hope this helps,
    Bob [ 2 weeks away from final profession as a Cistercian oblate :) ]

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Bob, there are some great pointers on that Reddit site. Every blessing for your oblate profession!
      Sr Eleanor

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    2. Thank You Sister.

      I have a question for you.

      St. Basil the Great says we should sing the psalms to attach our minds to the words, & uses the analogy of smearing medicine with honey . I looked at the Ordo Cantus Oficii

      http://media.musicasacra.com/pdf/LOTH-schema.pdf

      & it pointed at the Psalterium Monasticum from Solesme. I got a copy of that on interlibrary loan & made a spreadsheet of the psalms & respective tones, & was starting to use the St. Meinrad tunes linked on the reddit site to sing or at least hum to help focus.

      But your reply to Timothy makes me wonder about whether each monastery is using unique tones for each psalm. Especially if the antiphons are different.

      Specifically is the Liturgia Horarum Ordinis Cisterciensis available as a pdf?

      Thanks in advance for any reply.


      Timothy if you are reading this, I would be very interested in Fr. Chrysogonus' schema if you can share it electronically. I'm not on facebook.

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    3. Bob, there are a great variety of psalm tones, but not a unique tone for each psalm, I think that would be just too much. In my community, for example, we have three or four different "1st tones" which we use regularly. So when an antiphon indicates that the psalm should be sung on a "first tone", we will use one of those, according to whether it's a weekday or a solemnity, etc. The St Meinrad tones are very good, they are definitely worth staying with.

      Do you read chant notation? There is an English translation of the "Antiphonale Monasticum" which has been made available. First have a look at this blog post, which explains the background, and gives the link to the pdf download. http://trinitylewisham.com/2013/01/02/gregorian-chant-for-the-office-the-new-antiphonale-monasticum-translated/ However, the antiphons may be a bit complicated if you're trying to get started on your own.

      I doubt that the Liturgia Horarum Ordinis Cisterciensis is available as a pdf; it's a hefty volume. This is the liturgy page of their website. http://www.ocist.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=84&Itemid=89&lang=en

      Hope this helps (though I fear it may add further confusion).

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    4. Thanks very much for your reply Sister.

      I actually put a link to Deacon Plater's website on the subreddit

      http://www.oplater.net

      I believe he is the one who did the translating of the Antiphonal Monasticum that the trnintylewisham site has as well.

      I started with his pdf's but found there were some things he had simplified when I looked at the PM. Especially Psalm 118.

      I guess I got the idea from reading Russ Stutler's website:
      http://www.stutler.cc/russ/sing_psalms.html

      He uses 5 tones for the whole psalter :)

      I'll ask my Oblate mistress about the LHOC.

      Thanks Again!

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    5. Hello Again Sister,
      to your original question:

      Benedictine office:
      http://saintsshallarise.blogspot.com/

      also:
      http://psallamdomino.blogspot.com/
      http://benedict-iana.blogspot.com/

      Martin K. who runs universalis has a blog called Electric Prayer:
      http://universalis.wordpress.com/

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    6. Thanks for the links, Bob. I admire someone who can keep THREE blogs going!

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  5. Theo Keller, who I believe died a few years ago (I'd love to find out he's still with us, but I heard he had died and I haven't been able to find out any more) wrote a wonderfully informative blog called Short Breviaries. He had hoped to turn it into a book, and he set it up in chapters. Someone noticed it and preserved it here for us to continue to study:
    http://www.gregorianbooks.com/gregorian/www/www.kellerbook.com/INDEX.HTM

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    1. Wow, Scott, this is a great resource and I'd never seen it before. Thanks for llisting it.

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    2. Thanks for that link! I had some email correspondence with Theo a few years ago, and wondered what had happened to his work.

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    3. Theo and I traded copies of various breviaries for a short time. Thanks to him I have the full Collegeville Short Breviary with the full psalter. I think I sent him the oblates' breviary from Saint Meinrad Archabbey and something from the (Episcopal) Community of St. Mary. I go back to his psalter schema tables all the time. From Theo I found out about the excellent German breviary, Christuslob (Praise of Christ), which someone really should do an English version of. It's like Christian Prayer but done much more beautifully and with chant music notated throughout (in modern stemless notation). There are several resources like this that have been done in other languages but not in English. Ditto for the wonderful Monastisches Stundenbuch (Monastic Book of Hours, or Monastic Breviary) published by the German-speaking Benedictines.

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  6. I've never seen "Christuslob" but I'll keep an eye out for it, at least to have a look at it. (I don't read German, so I'm not inclined to pay for one, though they are out there on amazon, ebay, etc). There is certainly a need for something like that in English.

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  7. Reverend Sister: Have you read the fine historical studies of Robert Taft and Paul Bradshaw?
    Robert Taft, S.J.,_The Liturgy of the Hours in East and West_
    Paul F. Bradshaw, _Daily Prayer in the Early Church_

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