Thursday, March 28, 2013

Signing Off for the Triduum

...and probably into next week, since I'll be up in Canada with my daughter, son-in-law, and two(!) grandsons.

Wishing you all a blessed Triduum and Easter.

Deo Gratias.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Holy Week, Busy Moms,& Psalm 77

Melanie Betinelli is a follower of this blog who has a much more widely read blog than this one, called The Wine Dark Sea.  You might call it a Catholic mommy blog, but this doesn't completely do it justice.  True, you're likely to find any number of posts about  potty training, or cute drawings done by Melanie's little ones, or the perennial ups and downs of homeschooling or managing children's behavior in church.  But interspersed among these you'll find commentaries on T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland, or adult book reviews, or meditations on the Psalms of the Liturgy of the Hours. So although I'm a bit beyond the age of the target audience for Mommy blogs, Melanie's is one I keep coming back to.

Today, Melanie shares her worries about not having done too much for lent this year.( Since she was  still be post-partum on Ash Wednesday,Melanie had, in my opinion, all the excuse in the world. But-- you know mothers. They'll still worry and feel guilty no matter how many legitimate excuses they have.)  She goes on to describe the miseries of last night, when several children rendered her pretty much sleeples.  Then this morning  she  stumbled through Morning Prayer and found the Psalm 77 ("you withheld sleep from my eyes") was a perfect match for her experience.

In retrospect Melanie found that maybe God had provided her plenty of lenten opportunities without any need for her to have planned things out:

When all our attempts at penance and self mortification fail still we may find that we suffer agonies nevertheless. And perhaps those opportunities to suffer are themselves a sort of gift? Is it crazy and upside down to see them in that way? A Father giving me a chance to die to myself, to undergo the merest shadow of Christ’s agony in the garden?

Weekly Q&A- Edward Francis edition

Despite the long, dragged out winter, this Lent of 2013 has zoomed by. The papal resignation, conclave, and it's joyous results has been, for most of us, a pleasant distracton. Not a distraction from penance--on the contrary, I think many of us prayed and fasted a little more than we would during the average lent, since we wanted to do our part to bring graces down upon the conclave. But the whole process gave us a focus.  A sense of hope.  

Not to mention a reason to get out of bed each day--rushing to turn on the radio or the TV or the conclave app to see what was new. So lent has passed very quickly.

And now, I have more happy news which I can't help but share. My second grandson was born yesterday. Introducing Edward Francis Mathie.

Mother and baby are doing fine, but since Mother is recovering from a caesarean, and has an 18 month old to manage in addtion to the newborn, a prayer for her would be appreciated.

Now--it's weekly Q&A Day. Any questions about the breviary, perhaps something related to the triduum?  Don't forget that the evening mass of the Lord's supper on Holy Thursday, the Good Friday liturgy of the Passion, and Easter Vigil mass take the place of evening prayer on those days. (not that it hurts to do both, but it's not considered necessary for those whose vocation obligates them to recitation of the hours. Given the level of activity families experience in getting to Church each evening AND the many home preparations for Easter, it makes sense for most of us to follow the Church's suggestion.)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Return of the Tones

Just heard back from Father Douglas Martis, author of the Mundelein Psalter. The audio files for the psalm tones and Roman breviary hymns are now back up at the new and improved website of the Mundelein Seminary.

In addition, there is a very special treat for those of us who really want to learn both the psalm tones and to absorb the entire spirit of chanting the office. Go here to find audio files of lauds and vespers for each day of the Triduum and for Easter Day.  These are beautiful presentations of the hours done by students of Mundelein's Liturgical Institute. Listen to them and you will hear, put into practice, everything you read in a recently linked article from Sacred Music, including that tiny hush of silence at the end of each line of chant.

Follow along in your own breviary each day of the Triduum and see how quickly you can pick up the chant, even if you don't read a note of music. 

It's a bird! It's a plane!

It's blog follower Super Scott! Rescuer of the Missing Mundelein psalm tones, which were apparently being held hostage at   So go right here and bookmark this page. You may now chant to your heart's content.

Thanks, Scott!

More on chanting psalms and Jewish roots

Today on Facebook someone shared the link for this interesting quote from an article by Fr. Fessio.

If this is true, that's one more good reason to try to learn some Gregorian chant.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mundelein Psalter update

Last week a reader pointed out that after buying the Mundelein psalter (on my recommendation) and going to their website to look up the (recommended by me) audio files of psalm tones for chanting, they weren't there. 

I verified this terrible loss to all would-be amateur chanters, and wrote to Fr. Martis (author/editor of the Psalter) for an explanation. Here is what came back today:


Thank you for your note. 

The University has been migrating to a new website. Consequently all of our pages have been affected.

We have been trying to resolve the issues. 

I will contact you when I have more information. 

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Fr. Martis

So that sounds hopeful. We should have those audio files back sooner or later.

Bargain of the Century. Of the Millenium. Of all Time.

It's impossible to have a favorite passage from St. Augustine, but if I could narrow it down to twenty or so, this from today's Office of Readings would be on my list:

 He had no power of himself to die for us: he had to take from us our mortal flesh. This was the way in which, though immortal, he was able to die; the way in which he chose to give life to mortal men: he would first share with us, and then enable us to share with him. Of ourselves we had no power to live, nor did he of himself have the power to die.
Accordingly, he effected a wonderful exchange with us, through mutual sharing: we gave him the power to die, he will give us the power to live.

Another thought for this week: Holy Week is a great time to really notice the function of antiphons as a guide to prayerfully interpreting the psalms. Today's antiphons give a whole new character to the psalms of Monday, week II. This morning, for example, the first antiphon: "My heart is nearly broken with sorrow...keep watch with me." turns psalm 42 into an incredibly moving meditation on the agony in the garden. Antiphon 2: " the prince of this world will be driven out." makes the canticle from Sirach show us both spiritual warfare and the hidden glory in Christ's passion. The third antiphon this morning, "Jesus...endured the cross, heedless of the shame..." gives new meaning to the phrase in Psalm 19, "rejoices like a champion to run its course, which we apply both to the sun in the sky and the Son who descended from heaven.

Book giveaway coming soon to celebrate Easter!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fantastic article on Psalmody this archived issue of Sacred Music. The link will take you to an 80 page pdf of the magazine, but I'm referring to the very first article which starts on page 7. The article was geared mostly towards religious, to encourage them to take the Liturgy of the Hours seriously, seeing it as one of their greatest and most fulfilling activities.   It's very inspirational. Then, the article goes on at length about choral chanting of the Hours. Even if you have no interest whatever in chanting your own psalter, understanding this "theology of chant" will enhance your understanding of the Liturgy of the Hours, and give you some thoughts that will help you to recite it with a more contemplative spirit. Give the article a try. Today's Friday, do it as extra spiritual reading.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Doxology- Divine Office factoid #5

 "Doxology" comes from Greek words meaning "speaking praise". In Christian devotion and liturgy, a doxology is a short and profound verse of praise, often used as a conclusion of a longer prayer. Some examples are "Through Him, With Him, and In Him..." at the conclusion of the Eucharistic prayer; "For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours" after the Our Father; and, most familiar of all, the Trinitarian doxology with which we conclude every decade of the rosary and every psalm and canticle during the Liturgy of the Hours.

What's that you say?
You think there's a different doxology used in the Liturgy of the Hours that is not the same one used for the rosary?

Not really. It's a translation thing. Same  prayer, two translations.
The version you use for the rosary, with novenas, and other devotions is the traditional translation: Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit/As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

The version in our breviaries: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit/As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever
... is the 1970 translation courtesy of ICEL, the same organization that gave us our missal in 1970. (the same missal that had to be re-translated after Rome determined that it was not sufficiently faithful to the Latin of the Roman Missal)

Same prayer, not a different prayer. Just a different translation.

So if you prefer the traditonal Glory Be when you are privately praying your office, go right ahead. Many priests that I know do exactly that. However, it's probably best not to let your personal tastes prevail when you pray with a group. You don't want to confuse newcomers, or give the impression that you are trying to drown out the current translation with the traditional one in some kind of liturgical shouting match. Unity is the ideal for liturgical prayer.

Right now our bishops are working on a new edition of the American breviary. It is  quite possible that they will go back to the traditional doxology. It is also possible that they will come up with a version that is different from either the current one OR the traditional one. I say this because that phrase "world without end" is not necessarily the  most accurate translation of the Latin et in saecula saeculorum.  Other languages have translated this as something more like  "ages upon ages" or "forever and ever".

So we shall see what happens.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Augustine on Praying the Psalms plus Q&A

Today in the Office of Readings St. Augustine describes the top reason for praying the Liturgy of the Hours. That is, he describes that barely comprehend-able union we have with Jesus when we pray His very own prayer to the Father, and pray it in union with his body, the Church. Here are a few bits of it:

 ...when we speak with God in prayer we do not separate the Son from him, and when the body of the Son prays it does not separate its head from itself: it is the one Savior of his body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us and in us and is himself the object of our prayers.

He prays for us as our priest, he prays in us as our head, he is the object of our prayers as our God.Let us then recognize both our voice in his, and his voice in ours...

...We pray to him as God, he prays for us as a servant. In the first case he is the Creator, in the second a creature. Himself unchanged, he took to himself our created nature in order to change it, and made us one man with himself, head and body. We pray then to him, through him, in him, and we speak along with him and he along with us.

Amazing, isn't it? Sort of makes you want to fall on your knees and say, "Lord, depart from me, for I am  sinful man."  

To be clear, I don't think Augustine was referring only to praying the psalms, let alone only the Divine Office. But given the meaning of liturgical prayer, we can see that what Augustine says applies to holy Mass and to the Divine Office in an even more intense way than they do to private prayer.

Welcome, new blog follower W.E. Butcher.

It's weekly Q&A time. Nearly any question or confusion about the Liturgy of the Hours can be answered here either by me or by another alert reader of this blog. For example, yesterday, I had my own question about the parenthetical "alleluias" in the Office of St. Joseph addressed by several people in this post. So realize that when you submit a question here, it will be reviewed not only by me, but by any number of experienced and knowledgeable people...psalmsayers...breviaristas....Divine Office managers...whatever.

PS Look for a book giveaway soon!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Alleluia on St. Joseph's Day?

What an extra special St. Joseph's day,  with the inauguration of our new Pope, the nameday of our former Pope, and, as always, a nice little break from lent.

The Office of Readings has some lovely things to say about Our Lord's earthly Dad. Look:

In him the Old Testament finds its fitting close. He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its  promised fulfilment. what the divine goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms. 

Then, this:

Now we can see how the last summoning words of the Lord apply to saint Joseph: Enter into the joy of your Lord...They convey not only that this holy man possesses an inward joy, but also that it surrounds him and engulfs him like an infinite abyss. 

Now, I have a question. Maybe it's my current fever-induced fog, but I just can't figure it out. I see "Alleluia" in parentheses after each antiphon in the office of this solemnity. But, we aren't supposed to use the Alleluia during lent, are we? Even if it is a solemnity?  I mean, its not as if the Solemnity of St. Joseph would ever fall outside of lent. So...what gives?

Oh wait. I think I've got it. The same  psalms and antiphons may be used for the feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1st. Clearly, a day that is always during the Alleluia time of year. 

Book news: New reviews!

Thank you, J. Yaquinta and Cristina for giving my book 5-star reviews on Amazon.

That's five people now who have taken their time to do this. It's so very important to uncertain buyers to see lots of positive reviews, so I appreciate this very much. Together we will get more  people excited about the Liturgy of the Hours. New voices will soon rise in the symphony of praise. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

It Made my Heart Leap

"One day we'll look upon that beautiful face of the Risen Christ.”

This was the concluding sentence in a talk that his holiness Papa Francesco gave to the college of cardinals earlier today. You can read the rest here.

Also, if you have the Word on Fire app, you can watch a video of the pope preaching his first papal sermon to the cardinals yesterday. (I couldn't find it on their website; just on the app). Yes, it's in Italian, but, I don't know, I just wanted to become familiar with the sound of my shepherd's voice. If I find a link later I'll put it up. If anyone else finds it let me know.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book news: Kindle Edition Out!

So all you Kindle geeks, get buying.

Sorry to say, Nook has not happened yet as far as I can tell.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Official Prayer for Pope Francis

Print, clip down to size and use as a marker in your breviary. 

V. Let us pray for Francis, our Pope.
R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. 

Our Father, Hail Mary  
O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

New Pope accused of being "medieval"...

...I am soooooooo relieved to hear that!

For more facts on our new Papa Francesco, see this post by Taylor Marshall. It's all very encouraging, but I can't wait to learn more.

Weekly Q&A - Conclave Edition

How much time did you spend this week staring at a televised /live streamed chimney pipe  in Rome? I actually set my morning alarm a whole half hour early so that I could stare at it for close to an hour while it did NOT smoke, and then finally belched black.

As if there were any chance that we would have had a new pope by the second or third ballot. Oh well.

Maybe conclave fever keeps you from thinking enough  about the Divine Office (although of course you are praying  it fervently these days of conclave!) to have come up with any questions. But if you do have them, I am close to the computer for much of the day, as I sit here soaking in  all the televised and written commentary. So any questions this week would probably be answered promptly.

Nota Bene: now has propers for feasts and memorials of the Salesians, Franciscans, and the Holy Land.   And it appears that propers for the Passionist order are coming soon. Just go to setting and choose. then check the calendar. If you see a saint's day that you'd like to celebrate when it comes around, then make a note of it for the future. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Glued to TV

I may not be blogging much the next few days: glued to TV; laptop in repair shop.

Let's all pray hard for the college of Cardinals to be docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And not forget to add an intercession to that effect each day at Morning and Evening Prayer.

And those of you who do have a laptop with you as you sit on the living room couch, consider writing a brief review of The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the liturgy of the Hours.  It needn't be long and detailed. At this point, it's a matter of numbers. The more positive reviews the better.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Book news: Recommended for Religious Candidates

This post appeared on the American Catholic blog today.

Yes, it's by the CEO of my publisher, so it's no big news that he likes the Everyday Catholic's Guide.

But what I like, and humbly appreciate, it that Father Kroger recommends the book for the formation of religious candidates!

Religious communities will find this book helpful for leading candidates into praying with the Church. I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in praying the official prayer of the Church.

Pretty cool, huh?

Saturday, March 9, 2013


To God for, finally, a couple of sunny and not-too-cold days here in the wilds of Northwest Pennsylvania.

And for tomorrow being Laetare Sunday, traditionally a day to rejoice that lent is more than half way over. This means that there will be some dessert around here tomorrow. And maybe some donuts at breakfast time.

Also, to blog follower Lenny V. for writing a  very nice book review on Amazon of The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the LOTH. Thanks a bunch, Lenny.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Book News: on the Verge of a Kindle edition!

Wishing to strike that balance between my need to babble about the Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours while not annoying those who feel, "Enough already! Basta!" I've decided to just title every book-related post the same way. So whenever you see "Book news" you'll know right away whether you want to read or to skip.

Okay, for the remaining 6 readers who are still with me. Lots of you have asked when the Kindle edition will be ready. The latest news from the publisher is that it was submitted to Amazon today and thus should appear for sale some time next week. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What R Antiphons Phor? Divine Office Factoid #4

this is a golden oldie from 2011, but it fit the next factoid that was waiting in line. 
Each hour of the Divine Office begins with a couple of Psalms and a canticle. But before you  plunge into the psalm there's a little one-liner to read known as the Antiphon. At the conclusion of the psalm or canticle, the Glory Be is said, and then the Antiphon is repeated.

What is the point of that? Inqiring minds want to know, especially the inquiring minds of those who use the one-volume breviary, which unfortunately does not reprint the Antiphon at the end of the psalm. You have to flip back to the beginning to find it.  As this is ever-so-slightly irritating to the non-saint, one at least wants to be assured that it is  worth doing.

I'm probably just articulating something that most of you have already  intuited, but here it is. The antiphon gives us:
a. a focus
b. a suggestion from the Church about how to view that psalm or canticle
c. a thought to take away with us after the breviary is closed.

That's a lot for one little antiphon, isn't it? And please, if any of this is new to you, don't drive yourself insane trying to  think of all this at once with every antiphon you see. Just do it with one or two of them. The Divine Office is a very rich smorgasboard of prayer and scripture study, and you aren't supposed to take  a helping of every single item each time you partake of it.

 If you pray the liturgy at home, you are not having the same experience as a nun in a monastery choir. You are frequently distracted by what is happening around you, or by thoughts of what has to be done as soon as you finish praying. That state of  being "recollected" that spiritual books talk about is something your rarely achieve, right?   You  read a psalm, trying to make a prayer out of all this blah-blah-blah about King David and the strong walls of the city and the glory of Jerusalem.  You reach the end thinking, so why did I read this? And face it, we don't always have time to go through line by line finding all the biblical types that remind us of Jesus and  the Church. The oven timer is about to go off and there are hungry kids downstairs. You can't sit in your bedroom pondering scripture all evening.

That's where the antiphon comes in. So what was the point of what I just read? Check the antiphon:
Give joy to your servant, O Lord, for to You I lift up my soul.
Blessed is the upright man who speaks the truth.
Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.

See? Each of these is short and easy to understand. You read it before the psalm, and know what to look for. Re-read it after the psalm, to recall to your distracted mommy-mind (or daddy-mind or praying- this during-a- break -at- work- mind) exactly what it was you just prayed about.

Then, when you're done, if one of the antiphons was especially striking to you, you might try to bring it to mind again during the day. Maybe put it on a sticky note over the kitchen sink. (this is just an idea, please don't do this if it does not appeal.)

And here's something else I do with antiphons. (Devout people with well-ordered prayer lives please do not read any further.) If it's one of those days when events plus my own laziness/scattered-brainedness  conspire to make me miss one or more of the hours, I go back at a later time, and only read the antiphons of the hour that I missed. Then I proceed with the hour that it is actually time to say.

One more cool thing about antiphons. During the seasons of advent, lent, Christmas and Easter, the antiphons for the Benedictus and the Magnificat come from the gospel of that day's mass!  I think it's Benedictus during year B and Magnificat during year A. (Or maybe its the other way 'round.)
So, if you don't get to daily mass, this is a quick clue to the day's gospel. Or if you did go to mass, it's a quick review of the day's gospel. Anyway, it's just one more of the things I love about the Divine Office, and how it ties into the Eucharistic sacrifice that is going on at every hour around the world.

And let this suffice about Antiphons. (As Herodotus would say if he was writing about the Divine Office.)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Weekly Q&A,- post nasal, crashed computer edition

What a week! Rushing to meet a deadline for some articles about Poland, Solidarity, and Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, while laboring under a huge head cold, and dealing with a computer crash. Plus the distractions of conclave fever. Plus the distraction of one other little matter, but I've already mentioned that enough  in the last couple of posts.

Now I'm almost done sniffling, and working at the clunky  family desk top while my cute little netbook Fed exes its way to sunny California to get fixed.Right down to the wire, with one week left on manufacturer warranty.

Be sure not to miss the second reading for Sts. Felicity and Perpetua on Thursday. Last year I posted this this essay about these two mothers and why they are such wonderful patrons even for us non-martyr mommies.  If you weren't  following this blog last year you might want to check it out.

Okay, it's Q&A time. Although, I expect fewer and fewer questions in the future, given that other little matter mentioned above, about which I will say not more today.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Aw, shucks!Supercalifragilistic book review!


I'm tried really hard for months not to become a bore about the book I was writing. And I'd intended to try to do the same about the book once it was published.

But amazing blog follower Doug Lyons, aka Brother Joseph,oblate of St. Benedict, is making that very hard for me to do. First he tells me that he had to read it cover to cover in one night, even neglecting his studies to do so, then he writes an incredible review on Amazon, a review that is sure to make cautious consumers say "I want it!". Just listen to this:

What a wonderful, easy to read book that Daria Sockey has written. The best guidebook, with historical background, and inspirational treatise I have read on Liturgy of the Hours. Certainly a “must read” for any lay beginner or even someone considering beginning to pray the Daily Office, Divine Office, or Liturgy of the Hours, as it is now called. If you have been praying the hours, you will love this book, too.

In just 117 pages, which are written in such an easy, down to earth style, as though you were sitting at Daria’s kitchen table over a cup of coffee, this book walks you through the history, the purpose, and the benefits of adopting this most efficacious spiritual/religious habit.

Daria has one of the most comprehensive lists of resources for praying the Liturgy of the Hours (LOTH) that I have come across; printed options, on-line options, smartphone/tablet options, replete with all the sources, estimated prices and web addresses. No excuse for you to not be able to obtain just the right LOTH method for your prayer style or pocketbook.

I especially like Part Three of the book. This section brings you from the forest, among the trees, even under the bark, to examine how the Psalms can be understood and applied to your daily life, no matter who you are, and not come across as ancient, pre-Christian, Old Testament prose.

Isn't that nice? You can read the rest of it right here.

Today's Liturgy is for the Birds

I love birds. When we lived in Southern California years ago we raised cockatiels, lovebirds, and finches in outdoor aviaries. Right now there's a crowd of feathered friends at the front porch feeders--chickadees, tree sparrows, gold finches, cardinals. I'm envious of  fellow blogger Sarah Reinhard, who just posted on Google+ that she'd seen her first robin on her farm in Ohio. (Although with six inches of snow here in Northwest PA, it would be cruel of me to wish the robins back at this point.)

My bird lover's heart was lifted today by several avian references in Morning Prayer and Office of Readings. Psalm 50 in the Office of Readings (Monday week III) has the Lord reminding us, "I know all the birds on the mountains." He's making more concrete the idea that "In Him everything continues in being." ( Col 1:17)

I like to think about God knowing that bright-eyed tufted titmouse and the friendly little chickadee out there on the porch railing.

In today's psalter for Morning Prayer is one of my favorite bird-psalms, #84. This one really fills me with spring-longings. The psalmist notices, and in a way envies, the swallows and sparrows that live and  build their nests on the walls and atop the pillars of the temple courts: "she lays her young by your altars, my king and my God." 

(This points out the difference between a poet and a practical person, who would notice those swallows and only think of the mess on the ground beneath, and rather than write a psalm about it, would grab the nearest stick and try to knock that nest down.)

Moving on, the reading of Morning prayer has God telling his people: "You have seen for yourselves how I bore you up on eagle wings and brought you here to myself." Tolkien Geek that I am, I start thinking about Gwaihir the Windlord and the other giant eagles in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, who would come to the rescue and bear their charges away from the most dire and dangerous situations, saving their lives.


Next, the responsory verse: "God Himself will set me free, from the hunter's snare." Now, there are snares for all sorts of animals, but here I like to picture a bird being set free and flying away. I can pray this thinking of my own rescue from sin and death thru the Cross, in which case I see myself as a little sparrow or maybe a dove. (a pretty but really stupid bird,let me tell you.)

  Or I can read this verse thinking about the voice of Jesus. The Father rescued Him from those who entrapped Him--by His glorious resurrection. In which case,I think of Him as a mighty eagle. There's a lot to think of here, because rescue did not come for Our Lord until, it might seem, it was way too late for any rescue to occur. Something to think about when we imagine that God has not answered our prayers.
Looking ahead, I see that the bird/snare image is repeated tonight in Evening Prayer, Psalm 124: "Our life, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the fowler. Indeed, the snare has been broken and we have escaped." 

Thanks again for all the nice, encouraging things you've said about The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours. Once anyone finishes reading it, please consider writing a short review on Amazon. I know that I always check reviews before making a buying decision, so the sooner there are some of these up on the page at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, or anywhere else, the better. Thanks.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Interregnum Office Prayers

The United States Bishops' website has useful instructions to priests about masses for the election of a pope,

These same instructions also mention that the collect for such as mass may also be used as the concluding prayer for lauds and vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours on any day that is not a feast,solemnity, or obligatory memorial.  That would be most weekdays for the first three weeks  of March, except for St. Joseph on March 19th. You would not of course, use it at all during Holy Week.

Here is the prayer for you to copy and keep with your breviary:

O God, eternal shepherd,
who govern your flock with unfailing care,
grant in your boundless fatherly love
a pastor for your Church
who will please you by his holiness
and to us show watchful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

In addition, we may add a petition for the papal election to the regular petitions during vespers. Here are the ones suggested:

 That the Holy Spirit will inspire and strengthen the Cardinal-electors as they choose a new
Holy Father to lead us, we pray to the Lord.
 That the College of Cardinals in its electoral process may be a worthy vehicle of God’s
grace guiding the Church, we pray to the Lord.
 That the Holy Spirit will work strongly in the next Pope chosen by the College of
Cardinals, we pray to the Lord.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sound the trumpets! Or the Kazoos!

The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours is now available!

A couple of readers wrote to tell me yesterday that Amazon had told them their pre-ordered copy was on its way. Huge shock to me, since last I checked, it wasn't going to be out til April 16th. I called the publisher to make sure Amazon wasn't hallucinating, and sure enough, the book came back from the printer and went out the door to Amazon on Monday.

So, despite a horrible cold, I'm excited.

Since you've all been so supportive of the blog and are all such devoted fans of the Liturgy of the Hours, I'm asking you to do a tiny favor which does NOT involve buying the book. (although that would be nice too.)

Please just go to the book's page on Amazon and click the little orange "Like" tab that appears just beneath the title.  To those of tender conscience, I"m not asking you to say you've read and like a book that you haven't read. Clicking "like" can just mean that you like me, or like the cover design, or like the idea of such a book existing. Or, that you like the Liturgy of the Hours and are happy it is being promoted and made known to others. Lots of "likes" will help with ranking for those who are searching for books on this topic.

So please do this little kindness for me, okay?  Thanks.