Monday, January 25, 2010

Conversion of St Paul

This last week, perhaps because of jet-lag, I've slept a lot, and prayed little (hence my grumpiness?): the Office has been neglected, I'm sorry to say.

That said, I am continuing to use my small Dominican Diurnal: it presents some very interesting prayers and antiphons and so forth, being of Roman form but perhaps a tad more florid than the austerities of the Roman Breviary.

Take to-day at Lauds, for instance: Holy Church keeps a festival day in honour of the conversion of the Apostle of the Gentiles, and the Black Friars heed her call - here is the Benedictus anthem:

Celebremus Conversionem sancti Pauli Apostoli, quia hodie ex persecutore effectus est vas electionis: ideo gaudent Angeli, lætantur Archangeli et collaudant in cælis Filium Dei.
Let us celebrate the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle, for to-day from a persecutor he was made a vessel of election: therefore the Angels joy, the Archangels rejoice and together praise in the heavens the Son of God.

(This text is obviously based on the festal Introit originally for St Agnes, I think, that later was adapted for many Masses.)

The psalm antiphons are also different to the Roman ones.  Another little difference: unlike in the Roman books, the Dominicans have not the rule that every time there is a collect for St Paul, a collect for St Peter must be added (and vice versa), so there is only one collect for to-day.


Here is the Anglican Collect for the Conversion of St Paul, based upon the Latin, but amplified and watered down in the end - so that instead of simply per ejus ad te exempla gradiamur (by his example may we mount up unto thee), which echoes his bold words, "Be ye imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (see how Protestant fears of seeming to encourage the veneration of saints here entails straying from Scripture), the BCP prayer states that "by following the holy doctrine which he taught" may our thankfulness be expressed (a much weaker sentiment than that of the original!):

O God, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may shew forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I've been using the Diurnal too, and loving it. I'm finding the stuff I was looking for - it must've simply been St Vincent I was having a problem with.

But... at some point (pretty please) can you explain the circa '56 rankings to me? I don't know how to do occurrence and concurrence, something which worries me on Sundays, etc.