Friday, October 19, 2007

Reading for Feb 18, June 19, Oct 19

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

February 18, June 19, October 19
Chapter 15: At What Times "Alleluia" Is to Be Said

From holy Easter until Pentecost without interruption
let "Alleluia" be said
both in the Psalms and in the responsories.
From Pentecost to the beginning of Lent
let it be said every night
with the last six Psalms of the Night Office only.
On every Sunday, however, outside of Lent,
the canticles, the Morning Office, Prime, Terce, Sext and None
shall be said with "Alleluia,"
but Vespers with antiphons.

The responsories are never to be said with "Alleluia"
except from Easter to Pentecost.

Why do we say "Alleluia"? What is its purpose? Do we know what the word means? I looked it up in the Merriam -Webster online dictionary. Alleluia means "praise you".

Insight for the Ages: A Commentary by Sr Joan Chittister

The Navahos wrote,"We felt like talking to the ground, we loved it so." Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "The earth laughs in flowers." Benedict of Nursia wrote, say "alleluia" always, no matter the time of day, no matter the season of life.

The use of the alleluia dates back to the earliest of liturgical formularies, both Jewish and Christian, as an endless, chant of joy. In the Christian community it was an expression of praise and a foretaste of eternal gladness. "We are an Easter people," Augustine wrote, "and Alleluia is our cry."

Benedict of Nursia did not originate the use of the alleluia but one thing he did do was to extend its use to every day of the year except Lent.

The prescription is a telling one. To the Benedictine mind, life in all its long nights and weary days is something to be praised, death is the rivet of joy, there is no end to the positive. Even life in hot fields and drab offices and small houses is somehow one long happy thought when God is its center, and blessings, however rare, however scant, are blessed.

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