adhere to the general configurations of their antecedents, and
noon office is an amalgam of the Little Hours of terce, sext, and none into one
whole. The fourth—compline—is frequently referred to as “the
dear office.” Unlike the others, compline is fixed by the individual and
not by the clock, for it is observed just before retiring. Because compline is
indeed the dear office of rest and because it is freer in its timing, it is also
more repetitive or fixed
here in its structure. For this reason, there is only one week
of compline texts for each month of the manual. Thus the compline
for the first Monday in June is the compline for each Monday in
month’s texts are preceded by a prefatory page that
gives the page number for that month’s compline texts; the
physical or calendar date of saints’ days and observances
for the month; and the text of the Gloria and the Our Father. Most
Christians are so absolutely familiar with both of these fixed
prayers as to need no assistance in praying them. For that reason,
they are the only parts of the daily offices not reproduced here
within the texts of each office. On the other hand, new Christians
or those just commencing the practice of the offices may find it
reassuring to know that these two integral components are immediately
available at the head of each month.
Feasts and saints’ days of the Church are so numerous
as to be only rarely incorporated in toto by any breviary or manual.
Rather, each selects for inclusion those holy days that are the
major observances of the Church as well as some that seem most
applicable to the volume’s intended communion. Although this
manual lists on each month’s header the exact date of observation
for each selected observance, it follows the pattern of celebrating
the saint or feast on the Monday of the week within which the occasion
falls. This system allows the user the flexibility to choose between
precise commemoration or that of the memorializing week in general.
In the event, as in third week of July, that there are two observances
in one week; the later one is celebrated on Thursday.
facilitate the Church’s increasing emphasis on sacred
texts, The Divine Hours incorporates readings into three offices—morning,
noon, and compline. To make such incorporation possible, hymns
are primary here only in the vespers office, just as some of the
more repetitive practices of earlier manuals have been omitted.
The list of the symbols and conventions used in this manual, which
follows, will enrich the user’s understanding of some of
the other particulars of The Divine Hours as well.
PLEASE NOTE: During Lent, most Christian communities omit The Gloria. "Alleluia" is always omitted from every part of the Church's worship during Lent. The use of both is restored at Easter.
Phyllis Tickle. From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by
Phyllis Tickle. Reprinted with permission of Doubleday Books.
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