Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Q&A for Head-Scratchers

I forgot to add in the previous post that it's weekly Q&A time.

Anything that has you scratching your head, frowing, or slamming your breviary on the table and saying, "I just don't get it" should be shared here. I'll do my best.

This week I've done some head-scratching myself over what it means in the book of Exodus (which is playing all through lent in the Office of Readings) when it refers to "seeing God". On Monday, Moses plus the seventy elders "beheld the God of Israel" and "He did not smite them. after gazing on God they could still eat and drink."

Then yesterday, it says "the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one man speaks to antoher." Yet in the same reading, Moses asks to see God's glory, and God gives a very conditional Yes: "but my face you cannot see, for no man sees me and lives."

So I guess speaking to God face to face is NOT the same as seeing his glory face to face. But I really wish I could read Hebrew.

Got any questions about the Divine Office?


  1. I've been trying to do the complementary psalms but I ran into them again on the evening prayers recently. I'm kind of bummed out about that. I guess the LOTH was really meant for praying 5 times a day, not 7.
    -Mike Demers

    1. The General Instruction says that choosing only one daytime hour is "permitted", but also that doing all three is "recommended." I can't find the passage right now, but I think I read somewhere in the Instruction that the complementary psalms also appear at times in the regular psalter so that those of us who only do one day time hour will not miss out on them. I almost never do more than one daytime hour, so I haven't experienced your frustration. The complementary psalms are also called the Gradual Psalms, because they were recited as Jewish pilgrims "gradually" went up the "grade" of the hill country to Jerusalem. They hold a special place in the psalter, and so are worked into the LOTH at other times as well.

    2. I just found out the answer to this question by accident. There are five days in the four week psalter where we can't use one set of the complementary psalmody because those psalms show up in Vespers. The four volume set of LotH supposedly marks these days with which two sets to use these days, but neither Christian Prayer nor Daytime Prayer has this information.
      Friday of Week II, use II & III
      Monday of Week III, use I & III
      Tuesday of Week III, use I & III
      Wednesday of Week III, use I & II
      Saturday of Week III, use II & III

    3. Hey! Thanks! I'll certainly mark up my book with this information.

    4. Eek, I said Sext just now, and it's even more complicated. The day's psalmody should be said at a specific hour on these days, if you pray all three hours.

      Friday Week II's psalmody is at Terce
      Monday Week III's is at Sext
      Tuesday Week III's is at Sext
      Wednesday Week III's is at None
      Saturday Week III's is at Terce
      Monday Week IV's is at Terce
      Thursday Week IV's is at None

      I went through the whole four week psalter on Universalis, so I think I've got them all. Can't vouch for the feasts though.

  2. Question 1: I've been subbing the new translation of the collect into the LotH, but would that still work after we leave the Proper of Seasons? I know the four week psalter has its own concluding prayers, but they set my teeth on edge compared to the new translation.

    Question 2: do you think we'll get a revised LotH anytime soon? Or even a revised Mundelein psalter?

    Question 3: it looks like in the old form, the Glory to the Father... is omitted from the psalms and canticles during the hours in the Triduum. Is it also omitted during the Triduum in the current form?

    1. Yeah, it gets tricky during ordinary time. At mass during OT the same collect is used every day for a week (not counting saints feasts)I've noticed that during OT, the ibreviary app uses the new collect after Office of Readings, but not after Morning and Evening Prayer, since, as you point out, the four week psalter has it's own prayers. So I'm not sure about what is the correct procedure here. I know just what you mean about the unpleasant contrast between the old and the new.I'm sure you've read my old posts about the cut and paste project I have going on with my own breviary, patching it up with collects from a monthly liturgy devotional.
      I've written to the USCCB worship committee, and although they assure me that discussion of a new breviary are going on, there is no definite timeline for it yet.
      I've never heard about the Glory Be getting ommitted during the Triduum, and have never done so.The only thing the instruction says we omit is, as you know, the Alleluia.
      Hope this helps.

    2. :-). I started transcribing the new collects from my new Missal, so I could print them in booklets to keep inside my breviary cover. But I was stymied over what to do with Ordinary Time.

      I got a bee in my bonnet lately about the union of Matins and Lauds during the Triduum in the Tenebrae service. And in my extensive reading via google, t appears that in the old form of the Divine Office, the Glory Be was omitted in all liturgical hours during the Triduum. So I was interested if it was omitted during the Triduum still. Thanks for the answer!

    3. By the way, Geeklady, I've beentrying to comment on your blog but wordpress won't let me. Something about a previous account that my address is linked to. I wanted to tell you about a friend who keeps a 24/7 vigil lamp, puts it out on Good Friday, and then brings home some of the "new fire" by lighting a votive from the paschal candle a at the easter vigil nd bringing that home.

    4. I'm sorry, something is wrong under the hood over there. But Im not alone, blogspot hates it when I comment from my iPad, and I can't go back to edit anything - the comment box freezes.

      This is so funny thou, because that's almost exactly what we are going to do this year! I just hadn't had time to blog about it. I'm going to cast and decorate my own candle though, so it will be big enough to last through the Easter season.

  3. I have one about the Feast of St. Joseph. Do we do the EP II on Sunday, or EP I for the Solemnity?

    1. You do Evening Prayer II for third Sunday of lent. Sundays of advent, lent,and Easter always take precedence over Solemnities.

    2. Will that also be for next week with the Annunciation?

    3. Yes indeed. The solemnity itself will be carried over to Monday, but we will not do EP I on sSunday.
      Now, during ordinary time it's another story. For example, should the Assumption occur on a Mondy, we WOULD use Evening prayer I of the Assumption on Sunday Evening, because Sundays in ordinary time don't take precedence the way Sundays of lent do.