Saturday, June 13, 2009

Reading from the Rule of St Benedict, May 11, 2009

February 12, June 13, October 13

Chapter 10: How the Night Office Is to Be Said in Summer Time

From Easter until the Calends of November
let the same number of Psalms be kept as prescribed above;
but no lessons are to be read from the book,
on account of the shortness of the nights.
Instead of those three lessons
let one lesson from the Old Testament be said by heart
and followed by a short responsory.
But all the rest should be done as has been said;
that is to say that never fewer than twelve Psalms
should be said at the Night Office,
not counting Psalm 3 and Psalm 94.

Some thoughts

"on account of the shortness of the nights" Benedict cuts out portions of the service to ensure that the monks get enough sleep. Until the invention of electricity and the light bulb some 13 centuries later, all Benedictines prayed the majority of their Offices before dawn, practiced lectio divina before dawn, read their spiritual reading before dawn. Because once dawn came, the monks were hard at work in the fields, sheds, etc. And in the spring through the summer as the days get longer, they were working longer hours.

"let one lesson from the Old Testament be said by heart " How many lessons can each of us say by heart from the Hebrew Scriptures?



Post a Comment

<< Home