The Office

Yesterday I managed to say the entire Office in the EF. It was very fulfilling. I had never said Prime before, and I think it's a shame that it was suppressed. It's character is a very good start to the day, very humble: the responsory is full of miserere nobises, and there are many supplications for mercy and protection from sin, and a prayer for the faithful departed.

Here are the collects for the hour:
Lord, God all-powerful, You have brought us to the beginning of this day. By Your power, keep us on the road to salvation: do not let us fall into any sin today, but grant that all our words, all our thoughts and our actions may tend toward the fulfillment of Your law of holiness. Per Dominum.

May holy Mary and all the Saints plead for us with the Lord, that we may obtain grace and salvation from Him who lives and reigns forever.

Lord, our God, King of heaven and of earth, for this day please direct and sanctify, set right and govern our hearts and our bodies, our sentiments, our words and our actions in conformity with Your law and Your commandments. Thus we shall be able to attain salvation and deliverance, in time and in eternity, by Your help, O Savior of the world, who live and reign forever.
These sorts of prayers aren't found in the Office of the OF. In addition, Prime has the reading of the Martyrology. This is a very good way of knowing those saints who are not in the calendar, and being able to connect with them and follow their example.

On Monday I said Matins, to practice saying a three nocturn form of the Office; it was the feast (2nd class) of Ss Philip and James. It went well enough, but it sure did take a long time. The other offices aren't so noticeable, but Matins really is long. It takes me about half an hour to say Matins of one nocturn, but a full hour for three nocturns. I can see how that would truly be a difficulty for a busy parish priest.

I also prefer Compline in the EF. You get either the Pater or the Confiteor, and the Marian antiphons are much richer, with their collects which the OF has lost. I do miss getting to say the Shema after First Vespers of Sunday, but it is more than made up for by getting every night the reading from 1 Peter about the devil going around as a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

Overall, I find the EF of the Office richer and more agreeable than the OF.

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