19 July 2007

A kindred spirit

For a moment I thought this was a photo of one of my bookshelves. I seriously have all of these but two. It can be an addiction. And unlike Confessing Evangelical, I've delved into the whole world of monastic daily prayer. But that's another shelf.

I'm interested in one of Confessing Evangelical's commenters who quotes George Guiver on the Office being mainly psalmody and intercession. Leaving out extensive Scripture readings would certainly make my imagined breviary project more manageable. Hmm. The idea of a one-book breviary isn't so far-fetched if that's the case.


Derek the Ænglican said...

Well, certainly in the monastic tradition the Night Office was the only one with extensive Scripture readings. Too, the lectionaries for the Night Office were more guidelines than lists of readings. Here's a badly translated Night Office lectionary from the 8th century. There are three main reasons for the lack of specificity here: 1) not only were there no verses marked in the Bibles of the times, chapters weren't standardized until the 12th century at the earliest; 2) if you didn't get through what the abbot or local liturgical expert thought you needed to get through to finish everything, that's what would be read aloud during mealtimes; 3) there was no consistent kalendar--saint's cults were more localized phenomenon--so you couldn't count on when all of them would fall, just the major ones.

Rose Maniple said...

See now, for me, the central point of the Office is to make it through the lectionary (I even compress it into one year: three readings at each Office). So I would have no use for, say, LOTH Lauds and Vespers.


Ann said...

Scott, I'm surprised to hear this -- though less so now, reading your comments. I think that the Scripture readings are so important in my own daily office experience, that I couldn't imagine leaving them out. And if one doesn't grab me, another inevitably does.

Scott said...

Thanks, Ann, for your comment. I guess what I'm thinking of, and doing as of late, is leaving the lessons out of the office in favor of concentrating on the psalms and canticles, and the prayers. But I don't intend to leave them out of my day, just read them separately as an act of study and of listening for God. It seems like a different (although not altogether unrelated) activity. And it lets me pray the office out of one book with minimal flipping.

I confess I've missed some of the Bible reading since I started leaving out the lessons, but that's not what I intend to do. Perhaps reading them before praying the office would be satisfactory. Or after.