My spiritual director made a comment this week: "How does it work for you to pray the [BCP 1979] office alone, as it's designed to be communal?" I made a quick comment about wanting to stick with the system I'm involved with when praying the office in church at least once a week, and that I do feel I'm participating in a communal prayer when I'm alone. But what do you think about prayer books for the Divine Office being designed for communal versus individual prayer? I've heard the RC Liturgy of the Hours described as having been (sadly, in the opinion of the one I heard say this) designed for individual priests' prayer, missing a chance to make it easily prayed in communities. Benedictine Daily Prayer: A Short Breviary seems designed for individual oblates. The lines between communal and individual aren't clear, obviously, and one might even argue there is no such line. My SD was obviously just getting me to talk about this...looking forward to exploring that question next time, since it went by rather quickly this session. Anyway, Cynthia Bourgeault, in her Chanting the Psalms: A Practical Guide with Instructional CD, suggests that if one prays alone (and presumably is free to structure one's praying of the psalter in any way), one follow this pattern:
Short scriptural reading
Psalmody (with or without canticle)
I'm about to go looking through my library for books that will facilitate this most easily. Maybe I can use my Benedictine Weekly Psalter if I figure out a scheme for the scriptural readings, or even add such a scheme to the next edition...hmm.