Rediscovering the Martyrology by George Weigel
My primary issue is that it does not make sense that every secular priest should be bound under pain of mortal sin to recite the entire daily cursus, which is a monastic exercise. The so-called cathedral Office was essentially the vigil that evolved into Vespers-Matins-Lauds - the other hours are monastic in origin. There seems to be a fetish for invented obligations that overrides common sense ("People don't come under pain of mortal sin to Ascension Thursday? Let's transfer the feast to the following Sunday when more people show up!"). Deforming the liturgy to make invented obligations easier to fulfill is ridiculous.

If the Office had just been the Office, it would not have been as burdensome as it is made out to be, even with the changes in society. However, over the centuries, the Office became encrusted with obligatory additions, such as the Little Office of the BVM and the Office of the Dead, at least one of which was added most days; various additional Little Offices in some places; the Gradual Psalms at certain times, the Penitential Psalms, with or without the Litany, at others, etc., etc.  St. Pius V took a much-needed machete to most of this overgrowth, but he didn't change the structure of the Office itself all that much; he redistributed some of the psalms of Sunday Prime throughout the week, and constrained the legends of the saints to the second nocturn, requiring Scripture for the first. Otherwise, the Office was essentially the same as always, with a significantly (but temporarily) pruned General Calendar.

Much like the largely needless Holy Week reforms, it is possible to require services to be said at the proper time without changing them.  Why did Holy Week have to be altered? Couldn't the celebration just be ordered to begin in the evening or at night? As for the Office, the truly traditional Roman Office (not any of the 20th-century hatchet jobs) could stand unaltered in the books, with most priests bound to say only a part of the cursus at the appropriate times. The full office could be recited in monasteries and in chapters. Those parts not of obligation could be further enriched with indulgences as an incentive to their recitation. Perhaps the reestablished permanent diaconate could be especially tasked with cultivating the Office.

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Re: Rediscovering the Martyrology by George Weigel - by aquinas138 - 04-12-2014, 11:50 PM

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