Tradition und Glauben

Gregory DiPippo, Compendium of the Reforms of the Roman Breviary, 1568-1961: Part 1 – The Basic Structure of the Divine Office

Die Grundstruktur des Officium Divinum haben wir mehr als einmal angegeben. Es ist eine feste Struktur. Wie jemand sehr treffend sagte, gibt keine schlimmeres Gift für das geistliche Leben als die ständigen „neuen Impulse“. Im geistlichen Leben soll man in die Tiefe gehen, wachsen, sich verwurzeln und nicht ständig mit Neuheiten angestochen werden. Der feste Rahmen, die Routine, die Wiederholung. Die stabilitas loci – Beständigkeit des Ortes der Benediktiner, welche nicht nur im Sinne des Verbleibens an einem Ort interpretiert werden kann, sondern auch im Sinne des Verbleibens bei einer Gebetspraxis. Diejenigen, die die ignatianische Methode kennengelernt haben, werden gleich einwerfen: Aber uns wurde beigebracht, dass wir eine Methode oder Praxis verwerfen können, wenn sie uns nichts bringt! Dies ist zwar richtig, wenn es sich um die Meditation, nicht aber um das mündliche Gebet handelt. Das mündliche Gebet des Breviers ist die Pflicht, die Meditation ist die Kür und zwar nur für manche Seelen. Wie treffen Pater Poulain SJ schreibt, haben die Menschen früher so viel gebetet, dass sie sich gar nicht die Fragen nach der Methode stellten. Oder versuchen sie es selbst und beten alle 150 Psalmen am Tag. Die Beständigkeit also schafft die Tiefe. Compendium of the Reforms of the Roman Breviary, 1568-1961: Part 1 – The Basic Structure of the Divine Office by Shawn Tribe We begin our series on the reforms to the Roman breviary with two introductory parts which focus on the historical structure of the Divine Office itself. The following is the first of those two parts. Compendium of the Reforms of the Roman Breviary, 1568-1961 by Gregory DiPippo for publication on the New Liturgical Movement Part 1: The Basic Structure of the Divine Office The structure described below is that of the Divine Office as it stood throughout the Middle Ages and, with certain adjustments, the post-Tridentine period, until the reforms promulgated by various Popes in the 20th century. The changes made after Trent and other reforms will be described later in their own articles. The first hour of the day, Matins, begins with Psalm 94, Venite, exsultemus Domino, followed by a hymn. The psalm is divided into five parts; a verse called the Invitatory is repeated twice before the psalm, once again after each of the five parts, and twice more after the doxology. (On three of the repetitions, only the second half of the Invitatory is said.) The Invitatory verse frequently contains the words ‘venite, adoremus’, e.g. ‘Regem Apostolorum Dominum, venite, adoremus.’ (Come, let us worship the King of the Apostles) for the feasts of Apostles. The text of this psalm used in the Breviary is older than St. Jerome’s last revision of the Psalter, the so-called ‘Gallican Psalter’, which was adopted as the liturgical Psalter of the Western church in the time of Charlemagne. The second part of Matins is the nocturns, of which there are three on Sundays and the more important feasts, but only one on minor feasts and ferial days. (By a special exception, Easter and Pentecost also have only one nocturn.) The nocturns of Sunday and the ferias run through the psalms in order from 1 to 108, omitting those which are said at other hours. They are as a result very long; the first of Sunday has 12 psalms, as do those of each feria. The remaining nocturns of Sunday have three psalms each, for a total of 18. On feasts of the Lord and Saints’ days, however, Matins is considerably shorter than on a Sunday or feria, a fact which will have a great impact on the history of the Office generally. There are only nine psalms on feast days; these are divided 3 per nocturn on the greater feasts, but all nine are said together on a feast of one nocturn. The psalms for Saints’ days are generally among the shorter ones in the Psalter; for example, on the feast of a Martyr, they are psalms 1-5, 8, 10, 14 and 20. Regardless of the number of psalms, each nocturn also has a versicle and a response after the last antiphon, and then the Lord’s Prayer is said silently. There follow three readings from the Sacred Scriptures, the Church Fathers, or the lives of the Saints; each reading is preceded by a blessing of the reader, and followed by a ‘prolix’ responsory, so-called in distinction from the shorter responsories of the minor hours. (For an excellent example of a Matins responsory, the seventh of the office of the Holy Trinity, see the following: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcWAOH9krw8) In the Roman Rite, the last reading is not followed by a responsory, but by the hymn Te Deum laudamus, on any day when Gloria in excelsis is to be said in the Mass (i.e. Sundays outside Advent, Septuagesima and Lent, all feasts and octaves, and all of Eastertide.)…

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