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)

http://www.ebreviary.com/

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