Friday, March 3, 2017

St. Katherine Drexel Today

credit: catholicsaints.info
It's the optional memorial of St. Katherine Drexel.

Poor saints with commemorations during Lent! Well, it's not as if they care in the least about when or how their day is observed down here. I suppose, in keeping with the virtue of humility, these lenten saints are pretty pleased with the way things have turned out.

But it is important for us Americans to take note of our own. Especially St. Katherine Drexel, a role model in so many ways. Her work with Native Americans and African Americans was a great act of reparation for the injustices done to these people by white men.   Her detachment from material wealth--of which she had TONS--is something we should all strive for in some degree.

And as a Pennsylvanian, I am doubly proud of this amazing woman.

If you wish to remember St. Katherine in your liturgical prayer today, be sure to use her concluding prayer which you will find on ibreviary.com, universalis.com, and divineoffice.org.  It should also be here on the usccb.org website.   

Want to learn more about this saint? Here is an ebook for your middle-school aged kids, a reprint from the early 1960s.

For adults, I'd recommend this title, which was very helpful to me when I recently did some research on the saint's life.

Okay, we are three days into lent. Was it nice and confusing trying to figure out which week to use in the psalter for these days after Ash Wednesday?   I don't think any printed breviary actually spells this out. (It's week IV) But it all becomes clearer with the first Sunday of Advent, where we start at week I, go through the four weeks in a row, start over with week I on the Fifth Sunday, and so forth.

Are you doing anything special with the Liturgy of the Hours for Lent? Say, adding an extra hour, or just making the effort to be more faithful? Waking up earlier in order to have time to do the Office of Readings in less of a rush?  I'm trying to sing the traditional breviary hymns (out loud) for every hour from Father Weber's Hymnal for the Hours.

As usual, questions, comments, and any assorted relevant remarks are welcome in the comments.

27 comments:

  1. A few months ago, I started praying the LOTH using the one-volume Christian Prayer breviary as I figured it was time to learn how to "work the ribbons". I had been using iBreviary almost exclusively until then - and continue to use it to pray Daytime Prayer and as a safeguard to make sure I'm "on the right page" with the rest of the church.

    I was quite delighted to discover that Catholic Book Publishers had also included in my one-volume, the 4-week psalter for the Office of Readings; as I had developed tha habit of praying the psalmody in the morning immediately before Lauds and would finish with the readings in the evening using iBreviary.

    Yesterday, however, I noticed a discrepancy which continued today: As everyone else was praying Psalm 78 parts I-III and parts IV-VI, yesterday and today, respectively, I was praying Psalms 55 and 50 in the one-volume.

    Can anyone solve this mystery...? Mind you, the OR psalmody for Ash Wednesday and Thursday were a match - and so is tomorrow for that matter since we're back to Week I in the psalter.

    Any ideas...?


    Peace, Mike Mac

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As you see, this blog has readers who are up on such things. I checked my ordinary time volume III against the lent/easter volume II and sure enough, what Mr. Demers says below is so.

      Delete
  2. You are alert! The psalmody in Christian Prayer is for Ordinary Time but Psalm 78 is read in Advent, Lent, and Easter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Shout-out to your shout-out of Fr. Weber's excellent hymnal! I obtained a copy (at 40% off!) around Christmastime, and have used it fruitfully since then with both the Liturgy of the Hours, and with the soon-to-be-approved Divine Worship Office (the Ordinariate Use based on the Book of Common Prayer). (I've also, for the LOTH, printed out Fr. Weber's Meinrad psalm tones and have started penciling in the flexes and pauses in my 4-volume version. But a Mundelein Psalter is finally on its way now!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'd be happy if someone (like you, maybe?) would do a detailed review of the Ordinariate Divine Worship, complete with photos of the cover and a few inside pages, your explanation of how it differs from the LOTh, and whatever you think the pros and cons might be. You will enjoy Mundelein--simple and easy to use. Although I wish there were separate settings for the antiphons instead of just using the tone for them. But I guess that would detract from the simplicity. Are you aware of the ichant app, which is very helpful when you get stuck sight reading the four line notation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When the book is published, I'd be happy to review it - for now, we just use the 1928 Episcopal Prayer Book with modified and added rubrics based on information from the CDF guidelines that are to govern the new Anglican-Use office.

      For people who want to get a sense of what it might be like, a fellow Ordinariateer has put together an excellent online resource: http://prayer.covert.org - coupled with daily live conference-call Morning and Evening Prayer. It won't be 100% accurate, but reflects our best understanding right now of what it will look like. The lectionary does follow the new Ordinariate Ordo approved for 2016-17.

      One quick note for those who might check it out: the website above does not indicate an Office Hymn. The proper hymn for the hour will be inserted after the second lesson and before Benedictus at MP, and after first lesson/before Magnificat at EP, restoring the traditional Roman usage of hymns right before the Gospel canticles, as opposed to the beginning of the office (as in the LOTH). The hymns can be pulled from Fr Weber's hymnal.

      The final copy of the actual book is now in the Vatican for approval, so hopefully it won't be too much longer until we have it.

      Delete
  5. I am adding the Office of Readings to my daily prayers (so far it's been just Morning, Evening, and Night). Even bought Vol II, so maybe I can continue this through Easter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will love the Office of Readings if you can persevere. The trick is finding a consistent block of time for it. The traditional time is early morning, before Morning Prayer, but if you can't wake up earlier, there are plenty of other options.

      Delete
  6. For some years I prayed morning prayer, more or less consistently. Last year for Lent I added evening prayer and night prayer, but they usually both ended up being squished together Lat thing just before I went to sleep. My plan for this Lent, although it is a very small thing, is to ecening prayer earlier, separate from night prayer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've often had your same difficulty. It's hard to fit evening prayer in at a rational hour (e.g. between 430 and 7pm) because one is usually preparing, eating, or cleaning up after dinner around then. So I am working on the same thing.

      Delete
    2. This is one of the things I appreciate about Ordinariate-Use Evensong -- it is a combination of Vespers and Compline, and can be said flexibly anytime between, say, 5pm and retiring.

      (It also, on the flip side, makes it less precisely timely, so you can sometimes end up saying the Nunc dimittis at 5 pm and stay up for five more hours, or being saddled with a 30-minute Office just before bed when you're just so ready to sleep!)

      You win some, you lose some...

      Delete
    3. Yes, it is a tradeoff. I think the ideal (at least as explained by the Vatican II decree on the Liturgy) is to separate them when possible, because the LOTH is meant to sanctify the various time periods of the day. It's not wrong to do several together, but one of the LOTH's virtues is that it makes up pause to mark all periods of our day with prayer.

      Delete
    4. I do often miss that aspect that is lost when the Office comprises two long hours instead of 5-8 shorter ones. Each has benefits and drawbacks. I do like being able to go through the entire (unabridged, unadulterated!) Psalter in 30 days with just MP and EP.

      I understand the Divine Worship Office (like the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham in England) will have Terce, Sext, None, and Compline restored as optional minor hours, following the ancient Benedictine schema of the unchanging Gradual Psalms for the day hours, and Pss 4+31+91+134 [KJV numbering] every night for Compline.

      In the Customary, and I presume in the new DW book-to-be, one can use a New Testament canticle borrowed from the LOTH in lieu of the Nunc dimittis in Evensong, if he/she is to pray Compline separately. The 30-day Psalter in course will stay intact through MP and EP, however.

      Delete
  7. Just an open question for users on this site: I read on a site somewhere that each hour in the Divine Office has a relative theme to those of Salvation i.e Morning prayer represents the Resurrection, Night Prayer as the theme of Our Lord in Gethsemane and so on. I was wondering if these themes were accurate? also my choice of Day Office for during the day is currently afternoon at about 4.30pm so is it down to personal preference to use these themes of salvation for each of the hours? what I was considering was 9:15am for Morning Prayer in representation of the theme of Our Lord's resurrection, 4:30pm for afternoon prayer in representation of the end of the Passion/Christ being taken down from the cross, 7:30pm for the representation of the Last Supper and 11:45pm for Night Prayer in representation of Our Lord's agony in Gethsemane. Any advice and/or tips would be gratefully received Thanks and God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds reasonable to me, Mitchell. And yes, traditionally, different hours have been interpreted as representations of various moments in salvation history.

      Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, by Bl. Ildefonso Cardinal Schuster (Abp of Milan, 1929-1954) on praying the Office, written close to his death:

      "I close my eyes, and while my lips murmur the words of the Breviary which I know by heart, I leave behind their literal meaning, and feel that I am in that endless land where the Church, militant and pilgrim, passes, walking towards the promised fatherland. I breathe with the Church in the same light by day, the same darkness by night; I see on every side of me the forces of evil that beset and assail Her; I find myself in the midst of Her battles and victories, Her prayers of anguish and Her songs of triumph, in the midst of the oppression of prisoners, the groans of the dying, the rejoicing of the armies and captains victorious. I find myself in their midst, but not as a passive spectator; nay rather, as one whose vigilance and skill, whose strength and courage can bear a decisive weight on the outcome of the struggle between good and evil, and upon the eternal destinies of individual men and of the multitude."

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  8. (An excerpt from a blog): "I confess that I miss the Anglican scripture readings and the more complete recitation of the psalter, but the daily provision of hymns and intercessions are what makes the Divine Office really shine..."
    https://christhum.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/the-anglican-tradition-of-daily-prayer-and-a-year-of-praying-the-roman-office/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting article. Psalter and Scripture have always formed the core of the Office. Hymns were a relative latecomer to the Roman Office in particular (though accepted in many other usages earlier), and "intercessions" are a late 1960s invention.

      The CDF guidelines to the Ordinariate Office restore the proper Office hymn to its traditional Roman position before the Gospel Canticle at each hour. Getting and using an appropriate hymnal (I use Fr. Samuel Weber's Hymnal for the Hours, designed for the LOTH but eminently usable for the Prayer Book Office) is really not rocket science, and doesn't make the Office that much more complicated. And many of the commonly recurring hymns are so easily memorizable that they can be chanted from memory even when traveling without a hymnal.

      As regards intercessions, that is what the Suffrages after the Lord's Prayer, as well as the numerous collect options, are for in the Anglican Office. There's a special collect for almost everything and anyone under the sky that can be included ad libitum after the set collects of the day.

      The author is right in that the intercessions "haven't aged well," but for completely the wrong reasons: not because of the lack of enough "inclusive language" (give me a break), but because -- unlike the timeless collects and suffrages of the BCP -- they often positively reek of flat and banal '70s political theology.

      The thing I personally miss the most from the Roman Office, and whose lack was actually jarring when we moved to the Anglican Use, is antiphons. I'm a bit surprised he didn't mention them, since their lack is much harder to remedy than that of a hymn. It would be great if the new Divine Worship Office restored proper antiphons to at least the Benedictus and Magnificat; whether this will be the case remains to be seen.

      The author and I may not be on the same page philosophically/theologically/liturgically, but I did appreciate the article nonetheless, so thanks for sharing it!

      Delete
    2. @imperialreaction: I keep thinking he meant antiphons, not intercessions.

      Delete
  9. Hi everyone I couldn't help but noticing that in my year book it states that complimentary psalms are to be used on the solemnities of st Joseph and the Annunciation of our Lord. Are the complimentary psalms obligatory on these solemnities or can weekday day prayer be used after morning prayer Sunday week 1?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have an iPhone or Android, I recommend you download the iBreviary app from the App Store/Google Play. When in doubt about rubrics, you can consult it and see what is prescribed for a particular day.

      Delete
  10. Due to a potential change in curcumstances, I have found that I have had to reduce down to just Morning and Evening Prayer with Night Prayer. (I find that prayer during the day is a bit to pressuring for me) I was just wondering as to whether some one could answer the following points for me please:

    A: I have been told that all Feasts Solemnities are MP Sunday wk 1 with appropriate Vespers 2 of the solemnity/ Feast St Joseph is on Monday this Year, is the Sunday vespers 2 of the 3rd Sunday of Lent?

    B: With optional St days it still can be the current weekday Psalter if chosen?

    C: With Holy Week is one allowed to do Vespers on Holy Thursday/Good Friday/Easter Vigil before the Services as a devotion to the hours? thank you .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mitchell,
      A. The Solemnity of St. Joseph has it's own Vespers II, which is in the proper of saints and uses psalms from common of men saints. If your actually meant to ask about Compline (Night Prayer) rather than Vespers, the answer is to use Sunday Night Prayer II for lenten Sundays, except use the second final prayer, "for Solemmities that do not occur on Sunday." B. Yes, for optional saint days you may simply use the current weekday. C. Those who attend evening liturgies during the Triduum may consider that as taking the place of Evening Prayer for Holy Thursday and Good Friday, and taking the place of Office of Readings for Easter. But this does not mean it's somehow wrong of you to want to do them anyway. Priest and monks, who have heavy liturgical duties during the triduum, would be relieved to be freed from the obligation. But if you wish to do both, then that is fine.

      Delete
  11. Thanks Daria. So the 3rd Sunday of Lent Vespers 2 should be said and not 1st Vespers of St Joseph?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mitchell, what Mike says below is correct. Sundays in lent take precedence over solemnities, so Sunday night you will use vespers of the third Sunday of lent. On a Sunday in ordinary time, a solemnity on the following Monday would rank higher, so, say, if the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary were on a Monday, you'd use Evening Prayer I of the Assumption on Sunday night. There is a list of liturgical precedence in the four volume breviary but I don't think they have it in the single volume. Here is an online link to this list: http://www.osb.org/liturgy/precede.html I should probably write a post pointing this out since this type of question comes up regularly.

      Delete
  12. It seems that if it's a solemnity then 1st Vespers of St Joseph is said but because the 3rd Sunday of Lent has a higher rank the Vespers for that day is said instead. If I remember right, all Sundays have a higher rank except for solemnities of the Lord.
    P.S. Better wait for Daria for a more authoritative answer.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm looking at the Book of Commons in my one-volume breviary and it seems to me that they are laid out in order of precedence - i.e. Common of the Dedication of Churches, Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Common of the Apostles, etc. Is there any validity to this observation?

    The reason I'm asking is that, in looking ahead to the Solemnity of St. Joseph on the 19th, I'm rather disappointed to find that the psalmody and antiphons for EP I (though not prayed this year since a Lenten Sunday takes precedence) and EP II are actually taken from the Common Of Holy Men. If there is an order of precedence to the layout of the commons, then St. Joseph has been proverbially placed in the "back of the bus".

    Why is there not a Common of St. Joseph...? For reasons that I won't go into but should be fairly obvious to anyone who ponders it, he should have his own common - right after our Lady's and right before the Apostles.

    Forgive me if my rant is misplaced here but I'm rather devoted to St. Joseph - as I assume most of us are. There would be no "Universal Church" if St. Joseph had not been chosen by God to be the head of the original "Domestic Church"!

    Perhaps we should forward a petition to the Congregation for Divine Worship (or whatever Vatican office this would fall under). Oh - and they would have to change the Roman Missal, too!


    Peace & All Good, Mike Mac

    ReplyDelete