Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Dominican a Simpler Office

I have been interested – when I've managed to pray the Office at all, these ten days past have been very difficult, disrupted and fruitless – in observing the quite pleasant differences between the Roman and Dominican Breviaries.

For example (and I didn't quite believe it till I sat down and carefully compared the full Breviaries of each, for the time per annum and for Septuagesimatide (or as my '56 Diurnal terms it, from the Octave of the Epiphany until Lent, and from the Octave [now suppressed] of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus until Advent), the Dominican books give a single hymn for each of Matins, Lauds and Vespers - the Roman provides seven for each, one per weekday.

At Matins, the Dominican hymn is Nocte surgentes, vigilemus omnes [but with a strange difference in the last lines: cujus reboat in omni / Gloria mundo, using the rarer verb reboö, "to resound"] (the Roman books use this for the Sundays after Trinity until the end of September only); at Lauds, Ecce jam noctis tenuatur umbris (the Roman again appoints this only for Sundays after Trinity till the end of September); and at Vespers, Lucis Creator optime [the Dominican is as the modern Liturgia Horarum, reading Cælorum pulset intimum for the start of the second-last stanza] (the Roman Sunday Vespers hymn) - excepting only that on Saturday evenings, for the first Vespers of Sunday, the hymn is instead (as in the Roman Office) O lux beata Trinitas.

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