Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 17

I apologize for missing two days of updates. My wife and I have been very tired as of late, so when my day is done I usually go straight to bed. Anyway, we continue on where we left off, explaining how the prayers of the Hours should be practiced.

Chapter 17. The Number of Psalms to be Sung at These Hours

  1. We have already established the order for psalmody at Vigils and Lauds. Now let us arrange the remaining hours.
  2. Three psalms are to be said at Prime, each followed by "Glory be to the Father." 
  3. The hymn for this hour is sung after the opening versicle, God, come to my assistance (Ps 69 [70]:2), before the psalmody begins. 
  4. One reading follows the three psalms, and the hour is concluded with a versicle, "Lord, have mercy" and the dismissal.
  5. Prayer is celebrated in the same way at Terce, Sext and None: that is, the opening verse, the hymn appropriate to each hour, three psalms, a reading with a versicle, "Lord, have mercy" and the dismissal.
  6. If the community is rather large, refrains are used with the psalms if it is smaller, the psalms are said without refrain.
  7. At Vespers the number of psalms should be limited to four, with refrain. 
  8. After these psalms there follow: a reading and a responsory, and Ambrosian hymn, a versicle, the Gospel Canticle, the litany, and immediately before the dismissal, the Lord's prayer.
  9. Compline is limited to three psalms without refrain. 
  10. After the psalmody comes the hymn for this hour, followed by a reading, a versicle, "Lord, have mercy," a blessing and the dismissal.
Again, as I have mentioned before, there are reasons for these instructions. Remember in some of my previous posts I explained that there were a difference in rites being used, having a set of instructions (or like, you know, a rule) made things uniform for all of the brethren. 
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