Sunday, January 17, 2016

Snowy Evenings and Disappearing Collects

Good evening, friends! Having just finished Evening Prayer,  I'm sitting here in my Divine Office rocking chair, in front of my picture window, gazing  past the birdfeeders and out into the snowy evening.  I love snowstorms when I get to watch them from inside a warm house, especially since  there's no need to drive anywhere for the rest of the day on this Day of Rest. 

I just found this question from a reader in the comments of an older post. I'll share and answer it here, since I bet this reader is not the only one who is puzzled. Here's the  question:

I need an explanation.
Why does the MP Concluding Prayer in all three online breviaries no longer match the the Collect prayer from the day's Mass? 

I thought they were authorized by ecclesial authorities to match . . .and for some time they did as I recall. Now it seems that the online sites have returned to matching the MP Concluding Prayer with what is documented in the breviary books and NOT the new/revised Collect Prayer from the day's Mass as approved for use in the 2011 missal. What's going on?

And now the answer.  Yes, the concluding prayers are authorized to "match" the Collect of the day's mass, when, and only when, the collect and the concluding prayer of  the Liturgy of the Hours are supposed to be the same prayer. And they are not  the  same prayer during MP and EP in Ordinary  time.   Here are the relevant explanations from the good old General Instruction for  the Liturgy of the Hours: 

197. The concluding prayer at the end marks the completion of an entire hour...
198. In the office of readings, this prayer is as a rule the prayer proper to the day. At night prayer, the prayer is always the prayer given in the psalter for that hour.
199. The concluding prayer at morning prayer and evening prayer is taken from the proper on Sundays, on the weekdays of the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, and on solemnities, feasts, and memorials. On weekdays in Ordinary Time the prayer is the one given in the four-week psalter to express the character of these two hours.
200. The concluding prayer at daytime prayer is taken from the proper on Sundays, on the weekdays of the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, and on solemnities and feasts. On other days the prayers are those that express the character of the particular hour. These are given in the four-week psalter.

So, to sum up. The concluding prayer for Morning,  Evening, and Daytime prayer is identical to the Collect of the day's mass only during the various holy seasons, and also for any saint's day throughout the year. The concluding prayer for Office of Readings is that of the mass all year long.   Eventually, when the revised translation of the English breviary is complete, you will see a change (i.e. an  improved translation, similar to what we had for the Roman  missal) in the concluding prayers in the four week psalter as well. But that is a few years down the  road.