Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Divine Office During Lent

Much can be said about the Divine Office.  It is part of the Church's public prayer and because of that, it is placed on an elevated platform compared to our private devotions.  During the season of Lent, the Office has several unique facets that I wish to get into at the current moment.

Lauds During Lent:

Lauds is one my favorite hours in the Office.  Whether I anticipate it the night before or pray it half awake in the morning, it is a wonderful way to praise God for all His works. 

1.) The first Psalm is Psalm 50.  This great Penitential Psalm of David strikes into the heart of repentance.  It mirrors all of our dealings with sin.  We all have committed great acts of evil against God and man and all we can do is beg for God's forgiveness.  Without His mercy, all of our sacrifices and burnt offerings would have no value.

2.) The last three Psalms are the Laudate Psalms (148-149-150).  Even though Lent is a sorrowful time, I am glad that these Psalms have a place in the Psalter because it reminds us that God is to be glorified and praised at all times.  Yes, we are currently in a time of bondage, however, Christ will be Risen soon on Pascha and we must never forget this fact during our Lenten pilgrimage.

3.) The Chapter Verse is:
"Clama, ne cesses, quasi tuba exalta vocem tuam, et annuntia pópulo meo scélera eórum, et dómui Iacob peccáta eórum." 

"Cry, cease not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their wicked doings, and the house of Jacob their sins."

Once again, it reminds us of the utter destitution that we are in.   We are sinners and must never forget that.  In a time when many believe that there is a no sin,  this a stark warning to tell us the opposite.

4.) Towards the end we get to the Weekday Intercessions which are beautiful prayers asking God for His mercy, prayers for our leaders, our benefactors, those who have died and those who are afflicted and imprisoned. 

5.) Psalm 129.   This is quite possibly my favorite thing about the pre-1911 set up.  Psalm 129, another wonderful Penitential Psalm is added towards the end.

The Little Hours During Lent:

The Little Hours are essentially the same (Psalm 118).  The main difference is that a smart part of the Weekday Intercessions are added towards the end.

Kýrie, eléison. Christe, eléison. Kýrie, eléison.

Pater noster, qui es in cælis, sanctificétur nomen tuum: advéniat regnum tuum: fiat volúntas tua, sicut in cælo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidiánum da nobis hódie: et dimítte nobis débita nostra, sicut et nos dimíttimus debitóribus nostris:

V. Et ne nos indúcas in tentatiónem:
R. Sed líbera nos a malo.
V. Dómine, Deus virtútum, convérte nos
R. Et osténde fáciem tuam, et salvi érimus.
V. Exsúrge, Christe, ádjuva nos
R. Et líbera nos propter nomen tuum.
V. Dómine, exáudi oratiónem meam.
R. Et clamor meus ad te véniat.

Vespers During Lent:

The Weekday Intercessions from Lauds are added however instead of Psalm 129, Psalm 50 is prayed towards the end.

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