Divine Office: some assembly required


Every Advent, I get a little impetus to start saying the Office regularly, though I don't usually last long. Since it's time this evening for Vespers of the first Sunday of Advent, I figured I'd pull out some books I bought recently and give it a go.

It turns out that it's not totally easy yet, because the chant books for the Office have been published in an piecemeal fashion over the past 25 years: the psalms are in one volume (Psalterium Monasticum, 1981), the antiphons are in another (Antiphonale Monasticum, 2005), the hymns are in a third (Liber Hymnarius, 1983), and the collects are, as far as I can tell, to be sought over in the Gregorian Missal. Putting it all together requires a bit of flipping around and determination.

It's a fitful observance of Vespers, as I have to pause at times to work out the unfamiliar tunes on a keyboard. It pays to remember that the good of praying the Office does not depend on how easily it goes for us, but on the simple aims of adoring God who is worthy of all our love, and of praising him in union with Christ's mystical body, the Church present throughout the world.


There's a reason it's OPUS Dei.

Ah! If you lived closer! Yes, the litany is lovely in Latin and the music for it is just right. (The litanies notated for chant were published separately by Solesmes.)

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On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

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This page contains a single entry by Richard Chonak published on December 2, 2006 10:34 PM.

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