Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Psalmody of the Divine Office

Dom Daniel Mark Kirby explains the traditions for the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours, as well as some of the recent breaks with tradition, saying:
In order to respond effectively to the liturgical vision of religious life articulated by Pope Benedict XVI, I will focus on the single most important element of the Divine Office in its various forms: the recitation of the Psalter. The Roman Liturgy of the Hours, reformed after the Second Vatican Council in view of the many demands made on the time and energy of the diocesan clergy and apostolic religious, distributes the entire Psalter over four weeks. Each Hour contains, nonetheless, an element of psalmody. The psalms belong, then, to the very substance of the Liturgy of the Hours.

The psalms, inspired by the Holy Spirit and entrusted to the Children of Israel in view of the day when Christ Himself and, after Him, His Bride, the Church, would pray them, are lyrical poems expressing every sentiment of the human heart, and directing those sentiments Godwards. The psalms are, at once, universal and personal.

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