Wednesday, February 01, 2006

the daily office

I am loath to post anything ever again because I love that engraving of St. Charles from the last post. However, I have a question to those of you who pray the Daily Office and who use the in-course, monthly Psalter (if there are any of you out there). What do you do (and is there a standard thing to do) when it is the 31st day of the month, as it was yesterday? I.e. the monthly Psalter is arranged such that Psalm 150 is read at Evensong on the 30th day, leaving nothing for the 31st day. Yesterday I read the Psalms from the lectionary Psalter (66-68 I think). But is there some other way to do it? Its not a super important point, but as it happened yesterday, I was reminded that it is sometimes an issue.

Another question: is there a regularized psalmody for Sext (a.k.a. "An Order of Service for Noonday"), apart from the three Psalms, or whatever, that are actually printed in the office in the BCP? I suppose there is the Anglican Breviary's weekly Sext psalmody. But you would think the BCP would provide some scheme for the offices it recommends....

6 comments:

Father Nelson said...

I've heard the thing to do is read Psalms 105, 106 or 107, reading half in the morning and half in the evening - making for considerably light psalm reading as compared with the rest of the month, but it is often very nice to have a break.

Matthew said...

The BCP says to repeat the psalms from the 30th day.

(For some reason this was removed in the 1928 revision of the American book and has been left out ever since.)

father wb said...

Hmmm... both seem like good schemes. Fr. Lee's scheme could be modified by reading Psalm 105, 106, AND 107 on the 31st day, thereby rendering it less light (and seemingly about normal -- if at Matins you said 105 - 106 A, and at Evensong you said 106 B - 107).

I wonder where that scheme came from...

Matthew - so that's what, e.g., 1662 says? So there's an explicit rubric somewhere to that effect?

Matthew said...

Yes, the 1662 BCP includes the following instruction:

"And, whereas January, March, May, July, August, October, and December have one-and-thirty days apiece; It is ordered, that the same Psalms shall be read the last day of the said months, which were read the day before: so that the Psalter may begin again the first day of the next month ensuing."

A similar instruction is found the 1892 American book:

"And when a month hath one-and-thirty days, it is ordered that the same Psalms shall be read on the last day of the said month which are appointed for the day before."

As I mentioned, this is missing in the 1928 American BCP and was probably a simple oversight. The fact that nobody noticed or bothered to correct it by 1979, though, seems to me to indicate the lamentable state of non-use into which the Daily Office has fallen.

macof said...

What happens in February??

father wb said...

macof -

I reckon in feb you just leave out the last ten or so psalms, just as you leave out those for the 31st day in months with only 30 days.