Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays,017

February 16, June 17, October 17

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

The Morning and Evening Offices

should never be allowed to pass

without the Superior saying the Lord’s Prayer

in its place at the end

so that all may hear it,

on account of the thorns of scandal which are apt to spring up.

Thus those who hear it,

being warned by the covenant which they make in that prayer

when they say, “Forgive us as we forgive,”

may cleanse themselves of faults against that covenant.

But at the other Offices

let the last part only of that prayer be said aloud,

so that all may answer, “But deliver us from evil.

Some thoughts

I read somewhere which I cannot now remember that the Lord’s Prayer is the essential prayer of those seeking God. Which I suppose is among the reasons it has been a part of every single worship service i can ever remember attending.

Benedict seems to see a communal purpose: “on account of the thorns of scandal” which are apt to spring up. So could we then say the Prayer is the remedy for the thorns of scandal? Surely when pray to to God to be forgiven as we forgive, aren’t we also praying to be forgiven as we forgive by those among whom we say this prayer?

Benedict goes so far as to call it a “covenant” which when heard is meant to elicit action in the form of repentance and restitution. Can we say, then, that the Lord’s Prayer as well as having a vertical dimension between the believer and the Lord also has a horizontal dimension about how we are to be with each other?

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