Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New! Benedicitine Sunday Office on CD

I just received a pre-release copy of O Day of Resurrection, the Liturgy of the House for Sunday, sung by the Benedictines of New Camaodoli hermitage.

I listened to most of it last night and the rest this morning. It includes Vigils, Lauds, Vespers, and Night Prayer. The readings are left out of this recording, as are the intercessions (assuming the monastic office even has intercessions? I really don't know)  Everything else is there, and all is  sung/chanted.

As I mentioned above, this is the monastic version of the Liturgy of the Hours, so it's a bit different from our breviary, which was designed for parish clergy, active religious, and lay people. So, for example, lauds and vespers have 3 psalms plus canticle, rather than 2 psalms. Also, each hour ends with a "troparion" which is more or less the same thing as an  antiphon.  The dictionary tells me that this troparion is meant to set the liturgical theme or mood for the rest of the day. Or maybe for the rest of the time until the next hour with its own troparion is said.

These hours are done entirely in English, with the exception of the Salve Regina at the end of Night Prayer, which is in Latin. The chant is sometimes Gregorian style (adapted for English) and sometimes Byzantine chant, which is in four (or more)  part harmony. I especially liked the Our Father, which was adapted from a setting by Rimsky-Korsakov. The chanting is beautiful. Great music, clearly enunciated so that you can understand the words. And its a pleasure to hear all males voices. You hear much of that in a typical parish church. And if there's no monastery in your area--with a decent cohort of  musically talented monks living there--audio recordings are the only way to experience this very beautiful and  masculine beauty.

...which is why one and only one aspect of this recording annoyed me somewhat. The psalms and canticles used were one of those "inclusive" translations which goes out of its way to avoid masculine nouns and pronouns. So instead of:
Let the sons of Israel say: his love endures forever.
Let the sons of Aaron say: his love endures forever.

the monks instead say:

Let the family of Israel say: God's love endures forever.
Let the family of Aaron say: God's love endures forever. 

If you don't find this kind of thing tedious and irritating, good for you. There are historical and theological  reasons why it bothers me, but I don't  have to drag that up here. There are plenty of places on the internet giving reasoned arguments pro and con for inclusive language, so look them up and make up your own minds.

All in all, this is a very nice recording. It will give those of us who mostly recite the hours at home, privately or at most with one or two people a better sense of the Liturgy of the Hours as the public worship of the body of Christ, and will maybe inspire with the ideal of singing as a way to enhance, nay,to complete what we are doing when we pray it.

And do check out this video for sample of the monk's music and a peep at their home in Big Sur, California.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Complicated Ordo Alert--Two Solemnities on one Weekend

A number of Coffee&Canticle readers are both:
a. very knowledgeable about the Liturgy of the Hours and 
b. very alert to LOTH news and information out on the internet.

One of these is long time blog follower Lenny Vaillencourt, who often sends me items of interest that I might have missed. Lenny actually sent me this back in August.

 All Saints Day and All Souls Day  occur on a Saturday and Sunday this year. What a headache it would be to figure out what the correct offices/masses would be said that day!

Luckily the Divine Worship Committee of the  the USCCB  has the answers for us in the  February/March issue of their newsletter  Here they are, and thanks, Lenny, for the heads up:

"In 2014, the Solemnity of All Saints on November 1 falls on a Saturday, with the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day) taking place on the following Sunday, November 2. The Secretariat of Divine Worship wishes to clarify the situation regarding the correct Mass and Office to be used during November 1–2.
Both All Saints Day and All Souls’ Day are ranked at no. 3 on the Table of Liturgical Days. Thus, on Friday evening, October 31, Evening Prayer I of All Saints is celebrated. On Saturday, November 1, both Morning and Evening Prayer II of All Saints Day are celebrated, though for pastoral reasons where it is the custom, Evening Prayer II may be followed by Evening Prayer for the Dead. For Sunday, November 2, the Office for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time is said, especially in individual recitation; the Office of the Dead may be used, however, if Morning or Evening Prayer is celebrated with the people (see Liturgy of the Hours, vol. IV, November 2).
On Friday evening, Masses are that of the Solemnity of All Saints. On Saturday evening, any normally scheduled anticipated Masses should be for All Souls’ Day. (If desired for pastoral reasons, a Mass of All Saints Day outside the usual Mass schedule may be celebrated on Saturday evening.)"

Evening Mass
Liturgy of the Hours
Saturday, November 1, 2014
All Souls (anticipated)
Morning & Evening Prayer II of All Saints (EP of the Dead optional after EP II of All Saints)

Sunday, November 2, 2014
All Souls
Individual recitation: Morning & Evening Prayer II of 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Celebrated with the people: Office of the Dead