Friday, June 19, 2009

Rule of St Benedict Reading for June 19, 2009

Chapter 15: At What Times "Alleluia" Is to Be Said
Feb. 18 - June 19 - Oct. 19

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.

Some thoughts:

When I first ran into this practice of saying "alleluia" at some times in church and not saying it in others, I could not understand what possible good could come from failing to say it. Over the years though, I've learned more. My initial reactions are not the most informed ones nor are they the ones upon which I should base my opinions. That's one thing I've learned from the omission of "alleluia" at some points in the church year.

There is another, more important thing I learned and that is how the observation of the Church Year is formative. The habits and practices of the observation of each season of the church year are themselves formative. When I started this section of the RB for the umptiumph time I prayed, "Oh. Lord, what is there to be said about this rather boring stuff? All this minutiae of which psalms when etc." The answer was rather painfully obvious... in addition to accommodations for the changes in the seasons, making sure the monks get enough sleep, Benedict has set up a system of formation through the use of the Psalms, etc.

Anything that is a change will make us more aware of what was changed. Hopefully, it leads us to ask why there was a change. Hopefully we learn something from the change.

Any thoughts you would like to share?

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