Rediscovering the Martyrology by George Weigel
As  a matter of fact, Prime never existed.  It's a late invention by some ingenious abbot to keep his monks awoke after the never-ending matins and lauds.  Later, diocesan priests - who had many duties, not like the monks who could afford devoting many hours to praying -  were overburdened by the same long offices; it was so illogical that for centuries poor diocesan priests had to recite matins (and probably lauds) by vespers hours on the day before, a de-naturalization of matins, which had to be read at midnight and lauds at daybreak.  So prime became the daybreak prayer.  Only now Vatican II has finally rearranged the office, which is now understandable, prayable.  Now you can concentrate on the much shorter offices, not as before that you had to pray at vertiginous speeds to keep up with the hours.  The martyrology is part of Catholic history and culture.  You may read it now and then, not every day by obligation. It's not liturgy.  In any case it's good that historian has updated it; pre Vat II breviaries were stuffed with lot of saints' lifes that looked like fairy tales.  Many saints didn't ever exist.  Finally now very few, really few saints have remained, and the office can be centered in God, which is its raison d'être.

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Re: Rediscovering the Martyrology by George Weigel - by voltape - 04-12-2014, 06:28 PM

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