The Divine Office eBook

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

In the new Psalter, the Psalms have been divided into two large divisions, Psalms I.—­CVIII. being assigned to the night Office, Matins; and Psalms CIX.—­CL. for the day Offices, Lauds to Compline.  From this latter division has been made:—­

(1) a selection of psalms suitable by their character and meaning to Lauds (vide infra, psalms at Lauds);

(2) a selection of psalms suitable to Compline;

(3) the psalms long used in the small Hours of Sunday’s Office;

(4) the first psalms assigned by Pope Pius V. to Prime on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The remaining psalms are divided into seven groups, in simple numerical order.  The psalms of Matins generally come first, and are followed immediately by the groups of psalms for the day Hours.

In the new Breviary, seven new canticles are added to the ten, which stood in the older book.  The ten taken from the old and from the new Testament are Audite coeli (Deut., chap. 32) in Lauds for Saturday; Benedicite (Daniel, chap. 3) Sunday’s Lauds; Cantemus (Exod., chap. 15) Thursday’s Lauds; Confitebor (Isaias, chap. 12) Monday’s Lauds; Domine audivi (Habacuc, chap. 3) Friday’s Lauds; Ego dixi (Isaias, chap. 38) Tuesday’s Lauds; Exultavit (I.  Kings, chap 2) Wednesday’s Lauds.  From the new Testament we have Benedictus, Magnificat, Nunc dimittis.  To these are now added Audite verbum (Jeremias, chap. 31), Benedictus es (I.  Paralip., chap. 29), Benedictus es (Daniel, chap. 3), Hymnum cantemus (Judith, chap. 16), Magnus es (Tobias, chap. 13), Miserere nostri (Ecclus. 36), Vere tu es Deus (Isaias, chap. 45). (Cf.  The New Psalter, Burton and Myers, pp. 51-52).

“The psalms retain the accentuation of the Latin words, which was inserted at the request of Pius V. in the Reformed Breviary of 1568; and also the asterisk, which was introduced to mark the division of the verses of the Psalms in Urban VIII.’s Reform in 1632.”  The verse division of the psalms do not, in the Breviary, always coincide with those of the Vulgate—­e.g., Psalm X.:—­


Dominus in templo sancto suo Dominus in templo sancto suo
Dominus in coelo sedes ejus Dominus in coela sedes ejus: 
(v.4).  Oculi ejus in pauperem respsiciunt;
                               palpebrae ejus
                               interrogant filios hominum
                              (verse 5).

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The Divine Office from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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