Saturday, January 17, 2009

Prime Mistakes

I've found I've been making the following mistake at Prime:

Correctly, I finish the invariable little chapter Regi sæculorum (I Tim. i, 17) by saying Deo gratias, thus:

Regi sæculorum immortali et invisibili, soli Deo honor et gloria in sæcula sæculorum.  Amen.
R/.  Deo gratias.

(Unusually, this sentence of Scripture includes the word Amen, and then one must respond, as to all Scripture, by saying "Thanks be to God" for this word of the Lord.)

Incorrectly, by a faulty subconscious analogy, when I soon after recite the prayer Sancta Maria, I make to end it also with Deo gratias, even though it should read:

Sancta Maria et omnes Sancti intercedant pro nobis ad Dominum, ut nos mereamur ab eo adjuvari et salvari, qui vivit et regnat in sæcula sæculorum.  
R/.  Amen.

The sæcula sæculorum.  Amen.  Deo gratias. of the former makes me tend to add a superfluous Deo gratias to the latter.

Very minor, I know, but a good example of why one ought pay careful attention to what one is praying.


Anonymous said...

Why is it not:
Tu autem, Domine; miserere nobis. Deo gratias

Joshua said...

You're thinking of the short lesson (lectio brevis), which comes still later, at the end of Prime.

Remember, all the lessons at Matins, and the short lessons at the end of Prime and the start of Compline, all end Tu autem... - becuause originally these were all read from a book, for as long as the superior wished, and when enough had been read, he said Tu autem (idiom for That's enough, stop there you!), the reader added Domine, miserere nobis (asking forgiveness for reading imperfectly) and the rest all replied Deo gratias, giving thanks to God for the salvific message.

However, the little chapters (capituli) read at the Day Hours, being very short and apparently said from memory (as St Benedict says in his Rule), weren't like the former sort of lessons, which could go on and on, so there was no special ceremony at their end, and therefore all that was said was a simple Deo gratias.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Joshua. Silly me!

Anonymous said...

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God bless...