Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Right after I'd placed my ribbons in place, a friend brushed by, tapping my knee. The room was not quiet, so I teased her as she moved past, "Come, sit next to me and help me keep my place." She got herself a book from the man who brings extra, explained to her friends that she'd be sitting elsewhere and came back. She ran me through my ribbons and expressed surprise that they were all in the proper place. "Someone must have set this up for you already!" I couldn't bring myself to admit to doing it.

The priest, late vocation, recently ordained, entered announcing the feast along with some page references, etc., by way of casual confirmation. Most nodded their heads in agreement, but some protested, asking Father to call out the page numbers closer to when they're needed in the proceedings. He agreed to and took his place at the front of the room facing us. I'd gotten the impression from the quiet order yesterday that everyone else was old hand at navigating the book but the gentle outcry this morning made me think again. Were they just intimidated? Although someone did verbalize being "new to all this" to Father. I could totally relate. I sat more or less down the center, in the row against the back wall. My friend took "side 1" so I naturally took side 2. Besides, I can't lead off not being sure I'm in the right place. Just guessing that whichever side Father's on is "side 1."

I've already said I don't like how Ps. 95 is prayed, one person reading it and we say only its antiphon. If the words aren't passing my lips, am I praying? However, it bothered me less today and maybe I'll get to a place where I'm praying along mentally, like with the mass. Having nothing to compare against except some retreat experiences many years ago, I suspect they're "doing it wrong."

Instead of Wednesday Week IV, this feast calls for Sunday Week I in the psalter. How many feasts are like that, calling for another day / week? I don't know but all the online Divine Office sites I checked had it wrong. It's interesting to me that the Hymn of the Three Young Men1 of Daniel 3 is on Sunday Week I.

I knew having a more complete Proper than ever so far would be a challenge. I didn't know when to look in the Common and when to go to the Proper or the Week. But I'll get the hang of that. And the less I need to rely on following the Ordinary, the better. I kept going to the ribbon in Night Prayer - I need to work around that ribbon for the time being. Like ignore it.

I couldn't stay for mass so I said goodbye to my friend and promised to meet her again. There's a Bible study that we used to attend together but she's dropped out from lack of interest. She reaffirmed to me her lack of interest for it for the upcoming academic year. I can't say that I understand but it's totally up to her.

1 "either an abbreviated or full version of the Song is featured as the Old Testament Canticle in the Lauds liturgy for Sundays and Feasts in the Divine Office of the Roman Catholic Church." (Wiki)


Joann Nelander said...

You reminded me of many such experiences praying the Liturgy of the Hours over the years.

Each group, had their different ways with this liturgical prayer, all were praying with love and attention, all praying with some degree of difficulty.

In recent years, since finding, I've prayed with this praying, singing community of voices and loved the freedom from ribbons, and also their devotion and great effort.

The Divine Office is a challenge like all worthwhile endeavors. Thanks for the reminder.

Moonshadow said...

We all have stories of it, I'm sure. But, see, I was the sort of kid who taught herself how to use a slide rule only for the high school trig regents exam. I like arcane things and don't want to see anything become a lost art.

The day will soon come when I'm using my iPad for daily prayer instead - especially if the edition is ever updated! - but I'd still like to figure out the book system first.

Thanks for your comment, Joann.

Anonymous said...

A priest friend told me he thought it was far easier to get the whole series of books, so you don't have to worry about flipping between ribbons. The only trouble is the extra expense and use of paper. I can fumble my way through it now, but I think this is one vast improvement technology has brought to life!

Moonshadow said...

You mean the four-volume set involves less flipping? I wasn't aware of that. I thought the only difference between the single-volume and multi-volume was a fuller office of readings.