Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Um...I'll take the corner Office with the view...

On my birthday I sort of made a resolution: regulate my prayer life. The Liturgy of the Hours is way too daunting for me at this point, not to mention expensive. I looked around on the net to see if I could subscribe somewhere online but everything I looked at was sadly lacking in useability and function. A copy of the Liturgy of the Hours can run upwards of $150, so I looked into the Divine Office. I found a copy of the Divine Office for $37 on AllCatholicBooks published by Angelus Press. English and Latin side by side but still really complicated.

While looking around I saw something interesting "The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary." It seemed like it was exactly what I wanted. Its simple, follows the regular hours of the Church, and would give me a regular schedule to follow. Perfect.

So I went down (on my birthday) to the Diocesan Guild and picked up a copy. Now I know there is an older version from 1917 out there (and I probably would have preferred that one), but it really didn't matter to me. Yes, the NAB readings are pretty "loose" but it is doing the job for me - many times over.

My favorite parts of the office are the hymns that you recite in each hour. For those of you who don't know, there are 5 "hours" in the Little Office. They are: Office of Readings (Matins), Morning Prayer (Lauds), Daytime Prayer (Terce, Sext, None), Evening Prayer (Vespers), and Nighttime Prayer (Compline). Morning and Evening prayers take the longest - about 10 minutes each. Daytime and Nighttime prayers are said whenever appropriate for you, just like the Office of Readings.

But like I said, the Hymns are my favorite part. I'm obviously not singing them all by myself, so in my head they sound like poetry. Here is the first Sunday Hymn - which is a perfect summation of why we ask Mary for intercession:

O Mary, of all women,
You are the chosen one,
Who, ancient prophets promised,
Would bear God's only Son;
All Hebrew generations
Prepared the way for thee,
That in your womb the God-man,
Might come to set man free.

O Mary, you embody
All God taught to our race,
For you are first and foremost
In fullness of his grace;
We praise this wonderous honor
That you gave birth to him
Who from you took his manhood
And Saves us from our sin.

1 comment:

Roman Sacristan said...

I don't know if this would help with the Divine Office or not, it isn't too bad (they just usually don't observe optional memorials)


"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton