Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Comparison of the closings of the Office

Along with my travels this week is the Liturgy of the Hours.  It serves me well as I am along the road by grounding me in prayer as I go through my day.  I did not bring the Monastic Diurnal with me because I made choice to bring just one version.  Two is too many to travel with.  My main concern was choosing to have the Office of Readings or not.  The Readings won over the Diurnal.

The past few days have pointed out to me what I think the main deficiency and perhaps room for restoration in the Office.  The ending for each hour is very curt.  The particular hour you are praying does not feel finished as compared to the traditional office.  Let us compare:

Modern Divine Office:

(several lines)

Some derivation of "let us now conclude with the Lord's prayer".

Our Father...Amen.

Let Us Pray
(prayer of the day)

May Almighty God Bless Us, Protect Us from evil and bring us to everlasting life.  Amen.

Traditional Divine Office:

Kyrie Eleison
Christe Eleison
Kyrie Eleison

Pater Noster...Amen

Domine exaudi orationem meam. (O Lord Here My Prayer)
Et clamor meus ad te veniat. (And Let my Cry come to thee)

Oremus...(Let us Pray(

Prayer of the Day

Domine exaudi...
Et Clamor...

Fidelium Anime per misericodiam dei (May the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace)
Requiescat in pace.

(in Monastic)
Divinum auxilium maneat semper nobiscum. (May the divine help be always with us)
Et cum fratribus nostris absentibus. (And with our absent brethren)


As you can see, the traditional office ends with far more gusto and a better "cadence" frankly.  I don't think adding the Kyries and the Domine Exaudi and especially the Fidelium Anime back into the office would be a bad idea.  In fact, how much better would it be to have people all over the world praying for the dead 5 more times a day?!

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