The Divine Office eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 261 pages of information about The Divine Office.

Suffrages of the Saints. (Title XXXV.) In Sec.2 of rubrics of the new Breviary we read, “Deinceps, quando facienda erunt suffragia sanctorum, unum fiet suffragium, juxta formulam propositam in Ordinario novi Psalterii.”  Thus were abolished the old formulae of suffrages and a new one inserted.

Antiphon Beata Dei Genitrix....  V. Mitificavit ....  R. Et exaudivit....  Oremus, A cunctis....

This will be said at Lauds and Vespers outside Paschal time (1) on all Sundays and ferias, (2) on semi-doubles and simples, except (a) in Advent and Passiontide, (b) when there is a commemoration of a double, a day within an octave.  In Paschal time the Commemoration is of the Cross.

In this prayer the names of the Holy Angels and of St. John the Baptist, if they be titulars, are inserted before the name of St. Joseph.  At the letter N. in the prayer, the name of the titular saint of the particular church should be inserted; but churches dedicated by the title of a mystery (e.g., the Ascension) are not to be named in this prayer (S.R.C., March, 1912).


1.  “Woman, behold thy Son; Behold Thy mother” (St. John, c. 19),

2.  “I thirst” (St. John, c. 19).

3.  “And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar about hyssop, put it to His mouth” (St. John, c. 19).

General Intentions.  The conversion of sinners; the wants of the Church; those in death agony; spread of Eucharistic devotion; daily Communion; priest adorers; reparation for bad Communions; reparation for impieties and irreverences towards the Eucharist.

Personal Intentions.  Regularity in visits to Blessed Sacrament; Fervour in Mass and in administering Holy Communion; a happy death; true and deep devotion to Mary.

Special Intentions.  The Irish Daily Mass Crusade; Total Abstinence; devotion to the Passion; devotion to the agonising Heart of Jesus.


Etymology and synonym.  The word compline comes from the Latin word complere, to complete, to finish, because this Hour completes or finishes the day Hours of the Office.  It bore several names, Completa (St. Isidore), Initium noctis (St. Columbanus), Prima noctis hora (St. Fructeux).

Antiquity.  The origin of this Hour has given rise to a great deal of controversy.  Both Baumer and Battifol in their histories of the Breviary attribute the origin of this Hour to St. Benedict (480-543).  Other scholars attribute its origin to St. Basil, and hence date it from the fourth century.  It is admitted that before the time of St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea (370-379) this Hour was in existence.  Some hold that St. Basil established the Hour in the East and St. Benedict in the West.  The latter

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The Divine Office from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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