Saturday, January 28, 2017

Lauds With the Bear

Here is the entirety of Lauds, as sung by the Bear, using the St. Meinrad "Liturgy of the Hours for Benedictine Oblates." It is obviously not offered as an experience of sublime chant. It is offered to show how anyone can chant the Hours, or Opus Dei, as St. Benedict called it.

This is a week behind due to production.

It starts with a brief prayer for assistance, then has an invitatory as a kind of "warm up." (Monks were supposed to make sure they arrived no later than the end of the invitatory.) Then there are psalms chanted to different tones. There are six tones, each one having the normal four lines, then versions for each having six (and five) lines. It just takes practice to learn the tones so they are second nature. The only music the psalms will have is the tone number. You are expected to know the tone, and be able to sing it to the words of the psalm.

The two psalms in this example use 7 and 6, and the Canticle of Zachary is 3. These happen to be some less commonly seen tones. The Lord's Prayer is always the same beautiful  tune. By the way, the monks sing the same way, which is cool when we visit.

iChant is an excellent little app to help you learn the tones. (And there are many different ones. The more familiar black "Christian Prayer" has a few, but is quite a bit more complicated. The book the Bear uses is a four-week psalter without special observances.)

The Bear may be biased, but the St. Meinrad psalter is easy, lovely, and complete. It is designed for amateurs, i.e. oblates.

All psalms end with the Glory Be.

There are two or three psalms. Then there is a reading, and responsorial verses. Then there is an antiphon for the Canticle, then the Canticle. There is the Lord's Prayer, the collect, and the ending prayer.

There is also Midday, Vespers, and Compline, which ends with a beautiful Salve Regina in Latin.

The Bear cannot recommend chanting highly enough. There is something indefinable about the Opus Dei, as Father Benedict knew well. He regarded it as most important, and an aversion to it was an infallible sign of demonic oppression.

Again, not offered for entertainment. Bears aren't much for singing. Call it edification.


  1. Bear, this was really nice! I was prepared just to listen, but after the first intonation, I had to bow my head and pray with you. A beautiful call to prayer. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for the nice comments. I am a big fan of LOTH.

  3. Replies
    1. You are most kind to comment. Thank you.


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