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A simple Liturgy of the Hours for singing available here.
Resources for the Liturgy stored at: Company of Voices Resources.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Office Hymn and Intercessions for S Gregory the Great

An Office book I haven't mentioned before on this blog is the excellent Benedictine Daily Prayer (BDP), edited by monks of St John's Abbey, Collegville and Presbyterian oblate of that community Maxwell Johnson. It uses the Grail psalms (inclusive language edition) for a slightly abbreviated psalter over one or two weeks based on the pattern of the Rule of Saint Benedict. It is a very complete and compact breviary, ideal for travelling. Containing a lectionary of Scriptura,l and on feasts non-Scriptural readings, Office hymns and intercessions on the model of the Liturgy of the Hours/Divine Office but infinitely better - and not in exclusive language.
When the post Vatican 2 Office was first published the monks at St John's produced a fine people's version of it in one volume, A Book of Prayer, with superb translations of the Latin Office hymns. However, they got into trouble with the American hierarchy and had to withdraw the book. This is their first venture into an Office book since having their fingers burnt and it is excellent. For further non-Scriptural Readings Columba Press who distribute BDP also publish Readings for the Seasons in a similar sized and bound format which is the non-Scriptural lectionary from Glenstal Abbey, a very good resource, its only downside is that the readings are designed to match the one year lectionary for the Office of Readings, and it doesn't cover Ordinary Time, perhaps other volumes will follow.
BDP contains texts for feasts not printed in the official books. The Concluding collects come from the superb prayers of Peter Scagnelli or Proclaiming All His Wonders (Dominican Publications 1994) of which I am a great fan.
As a slight aside there is a very helpful essay by Robert Hale of New Camaldoli on the Benedictine spirit of Anglicanism here.

For Saint Gregory the Great, BDP includes these texts among others:

Hymn
Anglorum iam spostolus

In Rome you saw some Angles fair,
A mission then you did prepare
That Angles might like angels sing
the praise of Christ, their Lord and King.

You often came to those in need,
You helped them both in word and deed,
One day an angel stood revealed
Beneath a beggar's cloak concealed.

wise honeyed words you did impart
That soothed and strengthened every heart;
The wisdom of your speech was rare,
Like fragrant perfume in the air/

Saint Peter's crown you well did wear,
His glory now with him you share,
And with the Father, and the Son,
And Holy Spirit, three in One.


As an Anglican, and very happy to be one, I am especially touched by these intercessions:

God of holiness, in union with Saint Gregory we proclaim the goodness of your name. trusting in your loving kindness, we ask you to hear us as we pry:
Lord, give us your saving help.

Protect the Bishop of Rome, Pope N, with your power and guide him with your wisdom.

Raise up generous pastors for your faithful people, and let your ministers serve you in purity of heart.

Renew the members of the Anglican Communion in the faith preached by Saint Gregory's missionaries, and make them fruitful in every good work.

Bles those who work to preserve the Church's heritage of sacred music and chant, and let their efforts enrich our worship.

Call men and women to follow Christ in the monastic life, and help them to seek you at all times.

The Collect could be used as the Opening Prayer in Trinity Daily Prayer or CWDP:

It is by loving-kindness and forgiveness 
that you rule your people, O God.
Listen kindly to our prayer 
and in communion with pope Saint Gregory 
give to your Church's shepherds the spirit of wisdom 
so that the spiritual progress of their flocks 
may be to them a source of unending joy.
Through ...

Brother Aelred-Seton Shanley Obl.OSB.Cam, provides this:

A monk within your cloistered heart,
a pastor for your changing times,
God's servant of God's servants, true,
your leadership still stands a sign.

Compassion for the starving poor
you put above the Church's wealth;
the Jews you sheltered and kept safe;
in plague you prayed for people's health.

The Scriptures lighted up your way;
they led you to your living Lord.
Love urged you send to Britain's shores
the monk, Augustine, with God's word.

O Christ, revealed to every race,
renew love's vision in our age.
New shepherd's raise, new chapters write
upon redemption's sacred page.




1 comment:

  1. I share your appreciation for the BDP and its ill-fated but excellent predecessor, Book of Prayer. (I've been told by a Benedictine monk not to tell anybody, but that monk uses Book of Prayer as his "travel breviary." Sssh!)

    One can daydream about a Complete Edition of the BDP at some point, perhaps in the same format but taller, with all the missing psalms added in, probably as two more weeks of Vigils and maybe an extra week of Vespers and/or the Little Hours. A chance to fix a few typos, too.

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