Chanting the Divine Office

Lay people are encouraged to pray the Divine Office daily.  (Clerics are generally required to pray it.)

Suppose you want to chant the office, or at least the psalms.  It’s easy to find chant in Latin, but what if you want to chant the office in English?  It isn’t so easy to find good resources for that.

St. Meinrad has published (and made available for free download) chants for use with the psalms.  You can find them in gregorian notation and in modern notation.

But which tone do you use with each psalm?  For the longest time, I used the first four on even numbered weeks and the second four on odd numbered weeks, just taking them in order.

Then I discovered a table that someone created based on the tones used in the Psalterium Monasticum assigning a tone to each psalm.

Here is a nice post over at St. Corbinian’s Bear in which the Bear has posted about chanting the office.  He is coming at it from the Benedictine tradition, but it is available to everyone.

It would certainly make a good lenten devotion.

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Ash Wednesday

Lent is upon us once again.  I am resolving, among other things, to pray the Liturgy of the Hours regularly – at least morning and evening prayer.

You can use any one of a variety of books – small single books, larger single books, four volumes sets – as well as apps and website which will give you the texts.

The LOTH (or Divine Office) is mostly psalms, and it uses the Grail translation, which is excellent for chanting.  The psalms are songs, so, while you can certainly recite them, they are meant to be sung.  I use the psalm tones from St. Meinrad, which they have put up for download free of charge.

The LOTH is a great way to build your day around God rather than fitting God into whatever cracks may already exist in your day.  Always remember, God wants our best, not just our leftovers.

May your Lent be fruitful.