Skip to comments.Divine Office - for daily download to your iPod
Posted on 06/16/2006 11:50:40 AM PDT by NYer
Welcome to the Maronite Podcast.
The prayer books we are using can be obtained from the Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn:
SAINT MARON PUBLICATIONS
4611 Sadler Road
Glen Allen, Virginia 23060
Phone: (804) 762-4301
Fax: (804) 273-9914
This podcast is brought to you by Fr. Armando Elkhoury, Administrator of St. Rafka Maronite Mission in Denver, CO and Chris Pond, OCDS.
St. Rafka Maronite Mission
4950 S. Logan St.
Englewood, CO 80113
Prayer is the primary obligation of every Christian, indeed of every person. It is our duty to acknowledge our loving God, to praise him, thank him, ask for his forgiveness, and to seek his protection.
We know that Jesus would often go off by himself or with his disciples in order to spend some time in prayer. He knew that he could not live alone, isolated from the Father. At the completion of his earthly ministry, Jesus offered his priestly prayer (John 17) on behalf of us all. His final hours on the cross were spent in prayer and in submission to the will of the Father.
Jesus himself did not always pray alone. He would frequent the Temple and the synagogue in order to pray according to the Jewish tradition. In addition, he taught his disciples how to pray and would gather them in prayer. He exhorted both his disciples and us to do the same.
In adhering to the exhortation of Jesus, the Church is a praying community. The practice of reciting prayers at various hours throughout the day has its origin in Jewish tradition. It is known that the Jewish people used to gather in the synagogue to chant psalms, recite prayers, read from the scriptures, and listen to commentaries and exhortations by the elders. The psalmist, David, paused seven times a day in order to pray to God: Seven times a day I praise you for your just ordinances: (Psalm 119:164).
The Divine Office of the West Syrians, which includes that of the Maronite Church, contains a select number of psalms and a great number and variety of hymns, canticles, homilies and prayers. The Syriac fathers wrote approximately twelve thousand poems. The most celebrated composer of these ancient hymns is the deacon, Ephrem, who was called the harp of the Holy Spirit.
It became the custom of the Maronite Catholic Church for the faithful who lived near the monasteries to participate in the liturgical celebration of the Divine Office, the whole local community was thus gathered in prayer. This was especially true for the offices of Ramsho (Evening Prayer), Sootoro (Compline), and Safro (Morning Prayer).
The priest is called to be another Christ, which is to say that he is to be a man of prayer. He is to pray for himself and for the Church as such, and is to be an example of prayer for the entire community of the faithful. Therefore, there is a moral obligation for the priest to pray both with and for his people. Failure to pray because of negligence will certainly result in the impoverishment of the priests life and ministry.
The Maronite Catholic Church keeps the ancient semetic tradition of beginning the liturgical day at sunset. Ramsho or evening prayer is celebrated at the end of the working day, with the setting of the sun, and is the first hour of the Churchs cycle of daily prayer. It is directed to Christ, the Light of the World, who conquers the darkness of sin. As the sun rises and a new day begins, the Church sings praise, in the office of Safro or morning prayer, to the Father, glorifies Christ, the True Light, and gives thanks to the Holy Spirit. Ramsho and Safro are thus the two hinges of the Churchs daily prayer which bathe us in an atmosphere of praise and thanksgiving.
I wish someone would do this for the 1961 Roman Breviary.
You should give it a listen. These prayers are so uplifting.
I have used the Magnificat for about 5 years and it is getting better. There are now over 200,000 of us world-wide. It contains Morning prayer, the prayers of the Mass, a meditation by a theologian or the Holy Father, Evening prayer and a section on a saint for each day. The middle section in red has the Prayers of the Mass and Latin prayers near the end of the red section (containing the Anima Christi, for example). There are special editions for Lent and Advent. It also has some fascinating prayers for each month for families including Litanies, seasonal prayers, etc. I would be lost without this and have given it as gifts to 4 families; all are using it daily as well.
Universalis is the Office. Check the site for more details.
I wish someone would do this for the 1961 Roman Breviary.
Do you mean posting the day's Office here on FR every day or are you asking about a published book?
I mean create a daily podcast/digital recording of the Divine Office (1961 Roman Breviary) said or chanted in Latin. If not all of the hours, at least Lauds and Vespers and maybe Compline.
For example, yesterday was the Feast of Corpus Christi. The Office and Mass for the feast were written by St. Thomas Aquinas. The lyrics of well known hymns like Pange Lingua (of which Tantum Ergo is a subset) or O Sacrum Convivium come from this work of his.
I think it was St. Bonaventure (I'm sure a FReeper will correct me if I'm mistaken) who was also asked to write the Office for the Feast of Corpus Christi. He and St. Thomas both met with the Pope. After hearing St. Thomas' composition, St. Bonaventure tore his up.
I agree. I'm not sure such a recording exists. I think the only recorded Offices of the Latin Rite (traditional) that exist are Monastic, and the Monastic Office as taken from the Antiphonale Monasticum differs considerably in format and psalm arrangement than does the Roman Breviary.
It is possible to adapt the chants from the Antiphonale to sing the Roman Office. For example, the Liber Usualis incorporated select chants from the Antiphonale such that all of Compline, most Vespers, some Lauds, and a few Matins Offices are presented in their entireties in the Liber. This wouldn't be enough to have as a source for every day's Office, especially since the Liber does not have the Antiphons for weekday Matins and Lauds, nor does it have the Ferial per annum hymns for Matins, Lauds, & Vespers each day of the week, etc., etc.
To my knowledge, no such text was ever produced which rendered the traditional Roman Office in its full chanted form. If someone has the capital, I would get to work today starting to produce such a work. But, I think this would be necessary before an audio version can be available; otherwise, any audio would consist solely of excerpts of the Office rather than the entire Office in its complete, rubrical format beginning to end.
It looks like a start. Do members of the SSPX chant the Divine Office daily?
Do you know if any dioceses or cathedrals had the Divine Office chanted? or did they simply say the Breviary in community?
So, the only hours that are chanted are Prime, Sext, & Compline?
So do I!!! I bought a breviary, but I can't figure out how to use it!
To be a little more correct:
In the SSPX, Prime & Sext are not chanted, they are recited recto tono. Compline is the only office they sing in full chant. On Sundays and major feasts, Lauds are usually recited instead of Prime, and Vespers are sung in full chant.
I'm not sure if the Benedictines in Silver City, NM, who do pray the entire Office publicly, even CHANT the entire Office. I suspect most Offices are recited recto tono because of 1.) lack of the musical texts which I mentioned earlier or 2.) time constraints.
What Breviary did you buy? Is it all in Latin?
Those in the SSPX bound to pray the entire Office do not chant the entire Office. Matins, weekday Lauds, Terce, None, and weekday Vespers are almost always privately prayed by those individuals.
I think I am going to ask our priest to offer a class in how to use a breviary. It doesn't do much good owning one and having good intentions to pray the Divine Office if you don't know how to do it!!
Sounds like a great idea. I am not well versed in the post-V2 Divine Office. If you were trying to pray the 1962 Office, I would offer to help you.
While I am no longer an SSPX adherent, I have fond memories of participating at many public Divine Office services while spending a summer week at the Retreat House in Ridgefield, CT or while in High School in St. Mary's, KS.
That being said, I think (and wish) that the SSPX and FSSP (a little Trad ecumenism here) should sponsor an organization similar to those on Breviary.net which would be committed to the 1962 Office rather than the 1954 Office. What do you think?
I came across a photo of some FSSP members chanting Terce in their parish in Rome (if you click on the picture, you will see a larger version):
The work from scratch I alluded to would be the publication of complete musical text for the Roman Office. Or, IOW, the same Breviaries that the SSPX and FSSP use, with all the Gregorian notes in addition to the text. Such a book would likely be 3-4 times the thickness of the Liber, so it would probably have to be published in 4 volumes.
As for placing the Breviary on line just like Breviary.net does, I suppose a scanning project would suffice to accomplish this. The 1961 Breviary is MUCH easier to learn and pray than the 1954, so we wouldn't have as much cumbersome work to do in order to get this online.
It really surprised me that a die-hard old rubrical sedevacantist group took such initiative to get lay people praying the Office via Breviary.net. I always expected the FSSP and perhaps the SSPX to be in lead on this issue.
If the print version is in an electronic format, then going to an online version would not require scanning. Besides, Web pages load faster when they are primarily text as opposed to images (unless you were talking about scanners with OCR capability).
If an online version of the 1961/2 Roman Breviary is ever made, I agree with comments you have made on previous threads that it would be nice to have the prayers fully laid out so one wouldn't have to navigate all around the site (as is necessary on breviary.net).