Friday, September 26, 2008

Pray the Preces

Aside from the Ember Days, and ferial Wednesdays and Fridays of Advent and Lent, the '62 Breviary omits the Preces, that is, a series of intercessions (largely drawn from the Psalms) used at Lauds and Vespers; and it utterly omits the former Preces at Prime and Compline, and also the abbreviated Preces used at Terce, Sext and None (comprising the initial Kyrie and Pater, plus the last three versicles only of those appointed for the cardinal Hours; the Carthusians do not abbreviate thus, but recite the full Preces of Lauds and Vespers at the Little Hours also).  

Now, when using the Roman Breviary I make it my practice pro opportunitate to say some or all of these prayers as an optional add-on extra, as it were, seeing as how there is a duty - urged on us by the Apostle, as being "good and agreeable in the sight of God our Saviour" - to make intercession for all men, for rulers and those in authority, "that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all piety and worthy behaviour," so that all may be brought to know the truth and be saved (cf. I Tim. ii, 1f).

Indeed, without these, the Roman Breviary may seem somewhat lacking in focussed intercession, excepting the second part of Prime, the capitular office - though of course, in its magnificent weekly cycle of Psalms above all, but also in hymns, versicles of Scripture and incomparable Collects, the Prayer of Holy Mother Church does ever beseech God for His aid.

These intercessions - specially recommended by the Church on the Ember Days, occurring at present, by her own liturgical tradition - I recommend to all, together with the Litanies of the Saints, so here are some links to them:

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