Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays. February 15, 2017

February 15, June 16, October 16

Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays

On weekdays

the Morning Office shall be celebrated as follows.

Let Psalm 66 be said without an antiphon

and somewhat slowly,

as on Sunday,

in order that all may be in time for Psalm 50,

which is to be said with an antiphon.

After that let two other Psalms be said according to custom,


on Monday Psalms 5 and 35,

on Tuesday Psalms 42 and 56,

on Wednesday Psalms 63 and 64,

on Thursday Psalms 87 and 89,

on Friday Psalms 75 and 91,

and on Saturday Psalm 142 and the canticle from Deuteronomy,

which is to be divided into two sections

each terminated by a “Glory be to the Father.”

But on the other days let there be a canticle from the Prophets,

each on its own day as chanted by the Roman Church.

Next follow the Psalms of praise,

then a lesson of the Apostle to be recited from memory,

the responsory, the Ambrosian hymn, the verse,

the canticle from the Gospel book,

the litany, and so the end.

Some thoughts
There are some breviaries, diurnals, prayerbooks which corral for the user all of Benedict’s suggestions for which Psalm to be prayed when. I find them quite complicated. So complicated, in fact, that I don’t use them because I would spend more time flippin’ and floppin’, floppin’ and flipping’ the pages and worrying if I were on the correct page than I spent in actual prayer.I wanted to be a good Benedictine,y ou see, and do it the way Benedict wanted.
Then I realized it was a case of the letter vs the spirit of the law. Benedict wanted his monks to pray. As it happens they pray the entire Psalter in a span of seven days. They spend several hours a day in prayer. They can do that because they live in community and each member of the community has assigned life maintenance chores and all of the chores do not fall to one person to accomplish.
We who do not live in a monastic community usually have to work, raise our families, handle the life maintenance chores, and we don’t have the time to pray several hours a day.
This is why I love the Book of Common Prayer. It takes all of the above into account. There are short devotionals for families to do together. There are also four offices of daily prayer: morning, noon, evening, and compline. At the back of the prayerbook is the Daily Lectionary to tell us which Scriptures to read. It is simple and easy to use. And that’s what I need to follow the spirit of the Rule of St. Benedict and do the work of God which is prayer.

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