Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blessings on our Rest

Eager students of liturgical minutiæ will have noted the absence, in an earlier post, of blessings for each Lesson at Matins according to the Dormitionist Rite.  This lacuna, overlooked before, I now supply; with the suggestion that these short prayers may be of great use to every man betaking himself to bed – they certainly gained me a deep and lengthy sleep last night!

Benedictio I. Qui requievit ſeptimo die, det nobis requiem ſine fine.
Benedictio II.  Ut dormiamus in ſomno pacis, benedicat nos Filius Patris.
Benedictio III.  Sanctificator omnium nobis det Dominus ſpiritum ſoporis.

It is often overlooked that the blessings in the Office rhyme (a typically mediæval feature): here is the first done into doggerel, as the Marquess of Bute rejoiced to do when he translated the Roman Breviary over a hundred years ago:

He who rested the seventh day, give unto us rest for aye.

(Of course, in this case "aye" rhymes with "day", as it bears its meaning of "evermore"; when it means "yea and amen", it is homophonous with "I" and "eye".  Isn't English spelling great?)

I leave it to the ingenuity of the reader to do likewise with the second and third blessings.

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