The Divine Office

My Short History

Even before my reception into the Roman Catholic Church, I have been praying the Divine Office, in some capacity or another. Beginning with my college friends, we said Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer using the Shorter Christian Prayer books in my professor’s chapel.

Upon entering the Church at Easter 2003, my professor, now Fr. John David Ramsey of the Diocese of Richmond and pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport News, VA, gifted me a complete four-volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours.

While at Duke Divinity School, a close friend and fellow student, Dr. Ty Monroe, now Visiting Professor at Assumption College in Worchester, MA, and I said Morning Prayer using the larger Christian Prayer breviary with the Liturgy of the Hours volume for that particular season.

At STMA, we say Morning Prayer (Lauds) using the Shorter Christian Prayer breviary, adjusting for the particular memorial, feast, or solemnity.

In the Fall of 2016, Franz Klein, a former colleague of mine, taught me the Divine Office in Latin using his four-volume Liturgia Horarum, with varying success.

In the summer of 2016, I purchased the Breviarium Monastacum (1920), a small four-volume set in Latin alone that had previously belonged to a Sr. Mary Karline, O.S.B., a religious sister in the Benedictine Order, who used this set at early as 1922.

In the winter of 2017, I purchased The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin (1963), a three-volume set, which I regularly use to pray on my own.

Lastly, in the summer of 2018, I purchased the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Ambrosius Benson, “Young Woman in Orison Reading a Book of Hours” (1520s)

My horarium, using Benedictine Breviarium Monasticum (1920),  for June & July 2018:

4:45 – 5:30am, Matins [ad matutinum], also called the Office of Readings
6:00 – 6:25am, Lauds [ad laudes], also called Morning Prayer
7:00 – 7:20am, Prime [ad primam]
9:00 – 9:15am, Terce [ad tertium], also called Midmorning Prayer
12:00 – 12:15pm, Sext [ad sextam], also called Midday Prayer
3:00 – 3:15pm, None [ad nonam], also called Midafternoon Prayer
6:30 – 7:00pm, Vespers [ad vesperas], also called Evening Prayer or Evensong
9:00 – 9:20pm, Compline [ad completorium], also called Night Prayer

I don’t say every hour every day but there is the goal of doing so.


Quotidian (2)

29 May 2018 | Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
In the traditional Roman Calendar, we remember St. Maria Magdelene di’ Pazzi, an Italian Carmelite mystic.

Last night the United States Men’s National Team defeated Bolivia 3-0. The World Cup, which will be hosted in Russia, begins in a less than three weeks. The US team will not be completed; neither will the Scots nor the Italians. Two of the three’s omission is more surprising than that third, and it’s funny that I’ve never cared for the Italian National nor do I watch Serie A, and yet I’m saddened that Azzurri will not be in Russia. And, of course, Scotland hasn’t qualified for the World Cup since France in ’98.

Part of this Italian sadness is due to a footie podcast I’ve been listening to. James Richardson (A.C. Jimbo), who used to panel the Guardian Football podcast jumped ship with Ian McIntosh to develop The Totally Football Show empire, including Golazzo, a show dedicated to the Italian game. N.B., if you want an excellent show to try on, the episode on the 1970s Lazio team is worth your time.

Today, after I dropped my oldest daughter off at school this morning, I went into the STMA for my last official workday of the 2017-2018 school year. It was quite low-key: I shared a biscuit with my headmaster, responded to some emails from both current and former students, and began thinking about Latin Honors for the coming year. The morning was accented by few shorter conversations with colleagues and moving some books around. But my wife. who had been without her purse for a few days, needed a few errands run, and today’s workday was optional, so I cut out early for lunch and reading with the girls.

Tonight, as my second child has now come down with a fever, I tried to comfort her with good cheer as I cooked fish for dinner. My father had brought home a small haul of dolphin (read mahi-mahi) and Virginia mullet. These went over well with my wife and the girls, and bedtime has come quickly for the lot.

Lastly, I said Compline, or Night Prayer, this evening after running to the store for more ibuprofen for Laura. Alongside my prayers (“Fratres, sobrii estote et vigilate..,” “”Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine,” etc.) the Friars of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., have a lovely album of chant for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I commend the entire album to you, especially their Salve Regina, which I attempted to pray along with them. Thank you, friars.

John Opie, “Confession”