St. Meinrad Archabbey Gift Shop. Heads are shattered far and wide! Also, it is meant to be chanted, and has the Archabbey's set of tones. Grab the iChant app and soon you'll be confidently chanting the four-week cycle of psalms that form the backbone of what St. Benedict called "The Work of God." (It does not include seasons or feast days, and, sadly, their projected volume that was going to has been abandoned, per the Bear's chat with their oblate director this morning.)
Rorate Caeli has a story on a topic dear to the Bear's heart: the Liturgy of the Hours. As Benedictine oblates, the Bear and his mate are expected to pray Lauds and Vespers. Among the changes of the last fifty years was a purported reform. If you guessed that Rorate Caeli is unhappy, you would be correct.
The Bear might as well blow his traditonalist street cred by admitting that he likes praying the hours as the Church has now provided them to us. Over time, one gets familiar with the hours and their individual psalms, and the hymns (most of them decent). There is a comfort in just flipping the ribbons, turning the pages, and allowing the prayer to flow. If the rosary is right-brained, the hours are more left-brained. The Bear cannot express how blessed he is to have a mate to share it with.
The backbone of the Liturgy of the Hours (LOTH) is a four-week cycle of psalms (and occasional canticles). Feast days and the seasons of Advent, Lent and Easter are taken into account. We use the one-volume Christian Prayer from Catholic Book Publishing Corp., since we normally only do morning and evening prayers (formerly Lauds and Vespers), plus night prayer (formerly Compline).
Before addressing the main complaint over at Rorate Caeli, the Bear would observe that what is suitable for one age may not be suitable for another. For example, St. Benedict, in his rule, makes this sad concession:
For monks who in a week's time say less than the full psalter with the customary canticles betray extreme indolence and lack of devotion in their service. We read, after all, that our holy Fathers, energetic as they were, did all this in a single day. Let us hope that we, lukewarm as we are, can achieve it in a whole week.So if you want to blame someone for introducing laxity praying the hours, you might as well start with St. Benedict. Now we pray the psalter in four weeks, instead of one. The Bear, for one, is grateful for this.
What really has Rorate Caeli upset is missing verses. For example, they complain that Psalm 109 (110:6) has been expunged to protect the delicate sensibilities of the faithful. "He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter heads over the wide earth."
As you might imagine, this is one of the Bear's favorites. It is not included in Christian Prayer. Nor is dashing little ones against a rock, 136 (137:9); or hating people with a perfect hate, 138 (139:22).
If there is one thing that keeps the Bear from being a full-bore traditionalist, it is that he can only nail himself to the floor in front of one pew and die there. Or, as the original fire protection Bear, not every smoldering campfire can be a five-alarm blaze. He loves the LOTH, and isn't going to get too upset over Rorate Caeli's missing verses. And the Bear would hate for someone to be dissuaded from trying the gift of the LOTH on account of thinking they were some modernist abomination.
Was the removal of the verses misguided? The Bear suspects yes, but is also sensitive to stumbling blocks before weaker woodland creatures.
Fortunately, the Bear has a Bible, which he reads regularly. Those verses are not lost to him.