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Author Topic: Office of Readings?  (Read 2960 times)

richness of tradition

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Office of Readings?
« on: June 02, 2010, 11:18:pm »

Could someone explain to me what the Office of Readings is?   When is it supposed to be recited?   I've been trying to pray using the Christian Prayer book.
I'd like to recite the trad. Breviary but I fear it's too complex for me.   And no English translation yet?


mike6240

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Re: Office of Readings?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2010, 06:26:am »

Could someone explain to me what the Office of Readings is?   When is it supposed to be recited?   I've been trying to pray using the Christian Prayer book.
I'd like to recite the trad. Breviary but I fear it's too complex for me.   And no English translation yet?



Hello!  My suggestion would be not to use the Christian Prayer book.  To me, the Christian Prayer Book is too dumbed down - think 3rd grade Sunday School.   If you are intimidated by using the full traditional breviary, pick up a Short Breviary.  There is usually one up for auction Ebay.  It's a shortened version of the traditional Roman Breviary but has the full daily offices (Matins - Compline) and it's completely in English (formal English - thees and thous).  I use my 1952 Short Breviary during the week and the regular traditional Breviary on the weekends.  If you go to Ebay and enter 140317646226 in the search bar it will come up for you.  The full title is:  Short Breviary for Religious and the Laity - Wm G Heidt +  It's a great way to start praying the traditional Hours.


glgas

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Re: Office of Readings?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2010, 06:30:am »
Could someone explain to me what the Office of Readings is?   When is it supposed to be recited?   I've been trying to pray using the Christian Prayer book.
I'd like to recite the trad. Breviary but I fear it's too complex for me.   And no English translation yet?

The Office of Reading is the equivalent of the Matins in the Liturgy of Hours. It can be recite in any convenient time of the day. It consist of the Introductory part, a Hymn, three psalms, a Scriptural reading and an other reading with responsories.

In the traditional times the equivalent Matins was supposed to read at night (before down) with a possibility to anticipate it in the previous day after 2o'clok or read later but always starting the recitation of the office. The Matins started with the Invitatory (in the Liturgy of Hours it is attached to the Lauds) , then either 3 nocturns, each 3 psalms and 3 readings, or 9 psalms and 3 readings.

On the net you may find the Liturgy of hours in English at http://universalis.com/ the traditional office e.g. in my site
http://divinumofficium.com/cgi-bin/horas/officium.pl


Tim

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Re: Office of Readings?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2010, 07:28:am »
Rich, (ness of tradition) try Laszlo's site that the second address in his post. It can be set up with Latin and English, so you can get better at Latin. It has the 1960 trad. Office and or you can use the new calendar. Take it for a spin. Many third orders only ask for the recitation of Lauds and Vespers, so you might want to try them first. Matins is longer and you may not have the time or experience to pray that long, yet.Compline is the easiest, and it remains the same every nigh, so it is the best candidate to get you started. If you have questions about the web site or how to set it up, email me, I help Laszlo, and I"m familiar with his  site. See what you think about it, here's the address;

http://divinumofficium.com/cgi-bin/horas/officium.pl

tim

richness of tradition

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Re: Office of Readings?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2010, 05:23:pm »

Thanks for the suggestions  :)


moneil

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Re: Office of Readings?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2010, 06:46:pm »
glgas gave a good summary of the Office Of Readings.  It is the equivalent of Matins, and as the General Instructions say, it retains a nocturnal character, though the rubrics permit it to be recited at any time of the appointed day, as appropriate to an individual's schedule.  The rubrics of previous brevaries, I believe, allowed Matins to be anticipated beginning the afternoon of the previous day, but it had to be rectided before Lauds (the morning office).

As mentioned, the Office of Readings from the Liturgy of the Hours consistes of three psalms (of divisons of long psalms) with antiphones, and two readings, the first one being from scripture, and the second often from the early Church Fathers, plus other prayers.  For Memorials the second reading is proper, often from the commorated saint's writings, and the scripture and second reading will be proper for Feasts and Solemnities, as will be the psalms.  There is also additional material in the Commons.  The Psalter is set up on a four week cycle, so for each cycle one will have recited 12 psalms (or divisons) for each day of the week (three each day, times 4 weeks), as contrasted with typically 9 psalms (or divisions) every day in the earlier brevaries.  Part of the idea for a four week cycle was (without commenting on whether it's a good thing or not) was to make it more do-able for more people to recite the complete office every day.

Once can compare the arrangement of the psalms of the various offices here:

St. Pius V and St. Pius X Brevaries:
http://www.kellerbook.com/Foursch.htm

Pope Paul VI Breviary (Liturgy of the Hours)
http://www.kellerbook.com/Loh-1971.htm


While I don't agree at all that Christian Prayer / Liturgy of the Hours is dumbed down - think 3rd grade Sunday School, mike6240 makes an excellent suggestion, for one who prefers the pre VII Breviary, of A Short Breviary for Religious and the Laity.  There are both a regular and complete edition  (a 1/2 inch difference in thickness of the volume).  The complete edition has additional scriptural readins, and additional psalms for Matins (I believe the regular edition only has the psalms of the first nocturn).  In the regular editon psalms 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 20, 27, 30, 34, 37, 38, 39, 43, 48, 49, 51, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, 60, 63, 67, 68, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 88 (part), 89, 93, 98, 101, 105, 106, 108, 113, 118 (part), 126, 128 are not included.  One could use the chart from the kellerbook site above, and recite those psalms from a bible, at the appropriate times, if they did not have a full editon.

There are also three editons of A Short Breviary....  Both of mine (regular and complete, both from e-bay) are the third editon, 1962, and do not have the thee's and thou's, but an elegent (IMHO) contemporary English.  Some prefer the former, but I find it distracting, a matter of individual taste.

Also, perhaps spend some time with glgas / Laszlo's site, as cited in the posts above.

In my humble opnion, the most important thing is to find a format that one is able to recite consistantly, and make that one's rule of prayer.

As an aside, watch e-bay for awhile for A Short Breviary..., if you decide that is an appropriate choice.  The current auction referenced by mike6240 is higher priced then some I've seen there.  Though, it is for a 1954 edition (probable with thee's and thou's), and most auctions I've seen are for the Third Editon, 1962, but with lower prices.

Credo

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Re: Office of Readings?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2010, 06:34:am »
Quote from:  mike6240
If you are intimidated by using the full traditional breviary, pick up a Short Breviary.

The drawback with “short breviaries” are that they often times do not conform with the actual Roman office. More than likely these office doppelgangers, whether A Short Breviary for the Religious and Laity (published 1950s & ‘60s) or the modern Magnificat, are based on the actual liturgical books rather than imitating the actual liturgical books.

Quote
it's completely in English (formal English - thees and thous).

Pointless factoid: the historical use of “thee’s” and “thou’s” was actually informal. “You” was formal. Our modern English has switched them. Please remember me next time you’re on Jeopardy.

Quote from: timoose
Compline … remains the same every nigh

Compline stays the same every night in the Roman office?

Quote from:  moneil
The Psalter is set up on a four week cycle

I believe the Office of Readings is on a two-week cycle. If memory serves, only Lauds, the Hora Media (the single obligatory daytime hour), and Vespers are on a four-week cycle. Compline is on a one-week circuit.
I promise not to put anything here which might help us question our mind-forged manacles, inspire us, or help us in any way at all.

N.B.: I will not be posting on this site again until the Christmas octave. Have a good Advent.

aquinas138

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Re: Office of Readings?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2010, 08:49:am »

Quote from: timoose
Compline … remains the same every nigh

Compline stays the same every night in the Roman office?

Quote from:  moneil
The Psalter is set up on a four week cycle

I believe the Office of Readings is on a two-week cycle. If memory serves, only Lauds, the Hora Media (the single obligatory daytime hour), and Vespers are on a four-week cycle. Compline is on a one-week circuit.


Compline did remain the same every night in the Roman Office until 1911.  I think the point, though, was that the structure remains the same and it is an easy place to start.

The Office of Readings is definitely on the four-week cycle.  You can see the schema at http://www.kellerbook.com/Loh-1971.htm
I revered what lay hidden
    and meditated on what was revealed.
The aim of my search was to gain profit,
    the aim of my silence was to find succor.

- St. Ephrem the Syrian

Tim

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Re: Office of Readings?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2010, 12:08:pm »
Aquinas 138, it's so good to have someone here who isn't looking for something to stir it up, and who can comprehend the meaning of my sloppy writing, even giving me the benefit of the doubt. :tiphat:

Oh and I mis-spelled "nigh" it should be night. I also meant "structure"  as you explained. :doh:
tim

moneil

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Re: Office of Readings?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2010, 10:37:am »
I can appreciate Credo's concern over these office doppelgangers.  In the case of A Short Breviary .., the introduction says:
Quote

These Hours, as contained in this book, are simplified by abbreviation rather than by a change in the essential organic structure of the Roman Breviary.  Hence the important liturgical elements: the Our Father, hmns, psalms, antiphons, readings from sacred Scripture, prayer of the day, versicles and responses, etc. keep A Short Breviary in close harmony with the Roman Breviary.  The departure consists mainly in the reduction of the number of feasts, psalms and lessons.
.

The A Short Breviary .. comes in a Regular and Complete edition.  The more common regular edition, on feria days (a weekday on a church calendar on which no feast is observed), repeats the Sunday scripture (as does the missal before the expanded lectionary in the missal of Paul VI), and has an abridged selection of the Matins psalms (I gave a list of the ommitted psalms in my previous post).  The complete edition has two supplements: an expanded Matins psalter arranged in three series or nocturns (one can recite all 3 if they wish to recite all 150 psalms ever week, or use it on a 3 week cycle), and a scripture reading for every day of the year.  What is not incluced in the A Short Breviary .. are the non scriptural readings of Matins in the full breviary.

They also offer the suggestion that if one wishes to observe a feast or votive office not included in A Short Breviary .., one can take the collect and scriptures from their daily missal.

I've not every ever recited the pre VII office, (I primarily recite the Liturgy of the Hours, or parts there of), so I can't make a direct comparison for A Short Breviary ...  However, from what I've read, it seems to be a more complete option, then say The Little Office of the BVM, or other breviary abridgements.  For one who wants to recite the pre VII office, and prefers a physical book rather than one of the very good online resources (http://divinumofficium.com/cgi-bin/horas/officium.pl or [urlhttp://www.breviary.net[/url], the A Short Breviary .. is probable the most readily available and reasonably priced option on the used book market, and it's simplified format may make it a good choice for the neophyte.

One thing to mention also.  The Keller Book site, as has been referenced, (and A Short Breviary .., including the list of ommitted psalms I cited in my previous post) use the (Septuagint) Greek numbering of the psalms, including Keller Book's chart for the psalm distribution in the Liturgy of the Hours / Christian Prayer.  The English version of the Liturgy of the Hours / Christian Prayer, and all (as far as I know) English bibles use the  (Masoretic) Hebrew numbering, except the Douay-Rheims, so one may need to make an adjustment to be sure they are using the proper psalm.  A chart for that adjustment is here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psalms.