Sunday, February 15, 2009

Morning Hours of Sexagesima

I would prefer to get Matins and Lauds out of the way, so to speak! before Sunday Mass; but having awoken a little later than usual, and then having gone for a walk and had a late breakfast afterward, I decided to read the morning Hours in aggregate; so I set up my icons, and did so.  (I've been told that this sort of self-absorbed minutiæ is not what readers of blogs like; but I resolved when I opened this blog that I would write exactly what and exactly as I please.)  Just for the sake of comparison, I noted the time it took to read the Breviary: I started Matins at 9:50 am, got to Lauds at 10:09, then Prime at 10:21, and Terce at 10:28, which I finished at 10:33.  This seemed more or less what I would have expected: Matins took about 20 minutes (it's normally longer, but Sunday Matins is only ¾ as long as weekday Matins, as the psalms used are shorter); Lauds, 10 or a bit more (since it's Septuagesimatide, Lauds II is used, which begins with Pss 50 and 117, albeit the Old Testament canticle is shorter); Prime, 7; and Terce, 5.  (Prime has its appendange the Chapter Office, which is why it's longer than Terce.) 

Sext and None should each take as long as Terce, Vespers as Lauds, and Compline as Prime: in total, another 25 minutes to half-an-hour to be added onto the three-quarters of an hour for these four Hours this morning*.  This agrees with my usual estimation that the daily recitation of the Breviary takes a good hour and more.

(* A philological aside: why do we say "to-day",  "to-night", "to-morrow", but not "to-morning" nor "to-afternoon"?)

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