Rediscovering the Martyrology by George Weigel
(04-12-2014, 09:12 PM)aquinas138 Wrote:
(04-12-2014, 06:28 PM)voltape Wrote: 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.

The issue is requiring secular priests to keep the whole daily cursus, not the existence of Prime. Rome is so married to this entirely invented obligation for her clerics that she is willing to deform the liturgy to make the obligation easier to meet rather than ask whether the obligation even makes sense (it doesn't, btw). If Prime is a duplication of Lauds, then Compline is a duplication of Vespers. Yes, Prime is "late" compared to Lauds - but it was created in the 6th century, not the Middle Ages. Compline is probably not much earlier - it is not mentioned in 4th century sources, for example. Should it be axed too?

John Cassian (5th century) mentions Prime and many easterners still have the office of prime so the root is evidently ancient.  The root of the Liturgy of the Hours is the idea to pray without ceasing as the Lord said.  From the record, it seems at least Lauds and Vespers were the first two in most places, and in different cities they had many variations.  Sure, it may have been a later development but the LOTH as we know it is largely a 6th century development as a merging and redaction of Metropolitan and Monastic Offices of Hours, namely promoted in the West through the Benedictines, which in the 6th century was eminently practical to that kind of rural life that was predominate in the west at the time.  However by the 11th century it was less so, and by the 13th century became detrimental which is why religious orders of this period were granted  greater dispensation powers when it came to communal prayers.  By the time of Trent the Office was in need of major reform namely due to local variation and the structure, many of those reforms were cosmetics.  The real break in the recitation of the hours (aside from the reformation of Pius X which was meant to bring the Breviary in line with Missal as well as make the readings more feasible by breaking psalms into a more uniform pattern and dropping the number of readings) was a much later development and by the 1958 rubrics, it was really disjointed the office from time of the day.  One of the elder priests I know that entered in '58 would have all their offices done by noon and then do matins for the next day at 5:30pm.    So the reform of the LOTH was a definite need by VII.  Aside, I do believe that every priests, ideally, should recite the office in common (with laity as well).  Unfortunately that is near impossible in most locations and most laity still don't understand the concept of the LOTH which is a great lost.

One of my beliefs is that the reform of the current Breviary should be the next fix on the list (followed by a reform of the Calendar), I find issues with the structure (i suggest reducing it to a two week psalter instead of four week because I find the four week psalter very awkward to say, and restore the "cursing" psalms which is a huge thing) and I am disturbed by the inclusions of some of the documents of Vatican II in it, not because i am so anti-Council, but because they shouldn't be liturgical, not yet at least.  I think a general rule relating to anything including canonization is that we should wait time, long time sometimes.  Usually let the people who wrote die first, wait till a generation or two have past.  Also, I feel that it also politicizes the LOTH.  Not every council succeeds, not every point and iota lasts even beyond the initial generation.  Trent had a lot of decrees that were never realized.  Nicea had canons that would contradict later decrees, heck we don't even know all the canons of that council as they appear to not have the survive long after their pronouncement.  To include a Council document that has not experience the trials of history is reckless and quite unwise.

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Re: Rediscovering the Martyrology by George Weigel - by AntoniusMaximus - 04-12-2014, 10:35 PM

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