Saturday, December 12, 2015

Giifts for Breviary Buffs, Psalmsayers, and Ribbon Flippers


Third Sunday of Advent! Here at the Sockey homestead, that means the outdoor Christmas lights all go on, and we can cut down and put up the tree whenever it's most convenient between now and next Sunday. We grow our own trees in the backyard so getting it won't be a big deal, but finding an evening when everyone is home to decorate is another story.

I was just thinking about how online shopping has certainly taken lots of the stress out of Christmas shopping. Far fewer trips into town, and no more struggles to package gifts for mailing and then heading out to the post office to mail them to recipients.  It really is possible now to take time during advent to pray and reflect--time  that we mothers simply did not have a dozen years ago.

The purpose of this post is to share some ideas for Liturgy of the Hours-related gifts. Items that a breviary beginner might appreciate, or things that might enrich those who have been praying the psalms for years.   I'll list a few here and would like the rest of you to chime in with your own finds (or wish list) in the comments section.

The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours  is my book, so I figured, why not give it one more plug?  It's good for people who just want to know what the LOTH is  and why they  should give it a try. It's good for those who are trying already, but not quite getting it. It's good for old timers who can flip  ribbons like nobody's business but want some tips on understanding the psalms and some motivation to maintain  their LOTH habit.

The Mundelein Psalter Are you interested in learning  some really basic,simple chant for the psalms and gospel canticles of Morning and Evening Prayer? Then this is the book for you.

Hymnal for the Hours by Fr. Samuel Weber,editor. A comprehensive collection of the traditional Roman Breviary hymns for all of the hours for every day of the year, many saints' feasts, commons, and the holy seasons. All in English translation, all in Gregorian chant.

Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible by Dietrich  Bonhoeffer. A classic from the heroic Lutheran martyr. Save money  and get the Kindle edition.

Praying the Psalms by Thomas Merton. Another short book. This is a very short work, about 50 pages. I re-read  it regularly. Delightful.

Reflections on the Psalms by  C. S. Lewis. You can't go wrong with this author.

Custom made breviary covers I've mentioned this wonderful cottage industry a month or so ago. Send in the measurements of your breivary, pick out a color and embroidered design, and get back a beautiful zippered cover of heavy-duty imitation leather

Singing In The Reign The only book I know of (for non-scholars or semi-scholars) that gives a theology of the psalms, exploring what the psalms meant as a whole to the Hebrews,  delving into key concepts such as king and kingdom, and explaining the significance of the order of the psalms.

Okay. Send me your suggestions and include links if you can. 

15 comments:

  1. I suggest two books about the psalms:"Singing in the Reign" by Michael Barber and "Praying the Psalms with the Early Christians" By Mike Aquilina. Understanding the psalms will give one a better appreciation of the LOTH.

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  2. I'd like to recommmend The Psalms: Songs of Faith and Praise by Gregory Polan, OSB. He is the abbot at Conception Abbey in Conception, MO. His book includes commentary and prayers for all 150 psalms and has been invaluable to me on those days when I just 'don't get it'. It's available at www.printeryhouse.org and also on Amazon.

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  3. Yes, Singing in the Reign is one I should have thought to add. I will also add the Polan book even though I have not yet read it. And will put it on my wish list.

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  4. Hi Daria I was quite moved by this reading from todays OR (memorial); when you have a quite momento, maybe you can look at it...

    Second reading
    From the book On Virginity by Saint Ambrose, bishop
    You light up your grace of body with your splendor of soul

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  5. Off topic but see this link for the proposed new Liturgy of the Hours for England and Wales using the RSV-2CE and the Revised Grail Psalter:
    http://liturgyoffice.org/News/bishops-conference-november-2015/

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  6. Hello Daria and community....Advent blessings and peace to you all
    Great suggestions...I actually have purchased two of the recommendations from the readers. Just a small inquiry about new revisions being prepared for the LotH...The Divine Office website is using the Collect from the day's Mass as the Closing Prayer for MP and EP.. Do you know if that would mean that the daily concluding prayers in the Ordinary Time 4 week psalter in future editions will be synched with the daily Mass Collects - which are usually the Collect from the Sunday Mass? or will they retain an "independent" concluding prayer?
    Just a quirky question, I know

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    1. HI, Tom, and Merry Christmas. As far as I know, the concluding prayers for the various holy seasons from advent thru Easter, and the prayers for saints days, will be the same as those of the mass, and the prayers for the 4 wweek psalter and ordinary time will remain distinct. However, even these are going t0 be in a revised translation, so that language will more closely resemble the language we get in the collects of the mass.

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  7. Hi Daria, just wanted to wish you and your family a very happy Christmas, and to thank you for all your work and patience with us who read your blog. Keep warm; I am trying to keep cool with A/c... It's 34c here in sunny Santiago...

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  8. Regarding Thomas Merton, I learned of another book he wrote that I recently acquired via Amazon entitled "Bread in the Wilderness." It's all about the Psalms and Merton's commentary on them published in 1953. It looks great and I can't wait to read it! I have already read the book you mentioned, "Praying the Psalms," by Merton.

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    1. "Bread in the Wilderness" is one of my favorite Merton works. It instills a great desire to pray the psalms...just beautiful! I would recommend it as well. + Theresa

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    2. Just ordered Bread in the Wilderness.

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  9. Daria...my husband has been gifting me (birthday and Christmas) with the 4-volume LOH (one at a time) which I just love compared to the 1-volume. I would love to learn basic chant and am considering purchasing a used Mundelein Psalter but wanted to ask if similar info is available online anywhere? When I visited St.Vincent's Archabbey in PA (Benedictine), the Novices were using the Mundelein to learn chant ; ) Merry Christmas Octave to you and yours! + Theresa

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  10. The custom made breviary covers....HIGHLY recommended. I received one for Christmas from Leah's Legacy (gave the gift idea to my wife, courtesy of your earlier posting!), superb quality and really nice looking. I have a second one on order for my brand new Benedictine Daily Prayer II breviary, and I had it embroidered with the back side of a benedictine medal, she is very customer service oriented and sent me a photo of the finished product (due in a day or two to me!), very well done.

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    1. Great! I'm glad to know that someone ordered a breviary cover from Leah's Legacy after reading about it here.

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