Thursday, July 10, 2008

Blessing of Readers

The other day I dropt off some stuff for Fr Rowe at his place, and ended up joining him for a meal before departing; now, being a busy priest, the phone hardly stopt ringing, so I ended up doing some reading to fill in the gaps in the conversation! Anyhow, it was diverting to look through an old Monastic Breviary and an even older (pre-Pius X) Carmelite Breviary - the latter having very long preces, for instance.

But this prayer from the Monastic Breviary caught my attention: it is the form for blessing the week's reader (cf. RSB chapter 38) - the opening anthem being begun by the reader himself:

Aña. + Domine, labia mea aperies, et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam. (iii)

V/. Salvum fac servum tuum.
R/. Deus meus, sperantem in se.
V/. Mitte ei, Domine, auxilium de sancto.
R/. Et de Sion tuere eum.
V/. Dominus vobiscum.
R/. Et cum spiritu tuo.


Aufer ab hoc famulo tuo, quæsumus, Domine, spiritum elationis et ignorantiæ: ut, repletus spiritu humilitatis et scientiæ; intellectum sacræ capiat lectionis. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
R/. Amen.

(Ant. Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall announce Thy praise. (iii)

(V/. Save Thy servant.
(R/. My God, who hopeth in Thee.
(V/. Send to him, Lord, help from the holy place.
(R/. And out of Sion defend him.
(V/. The Lord be with you.
(R/. And with thy spirit.

(Take away from this Thy servant, we beseech Thee, Lord, the spirit of elation [i.e. pride] and ignorance: that, filled with the spirit of humility and science [i.e. knowledge], his intellect may grasp the sacred lesson. Through Christ our Lord. R/. Amen.)

I think this collect in particular entirely apposite for whoso would take up the Scriptures to read therein.

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