GILH 34-36: Introduction to the Whole Office

With this post we commence Chapter II: Sanctification of the Day: The Different Liturgical Hours. This chapter will take us up to section 99 and give readers a brief overview of the hinges of Morning and Evening Prayer, the Office of Readings, plus Daytime Prayer and Compline.

We’ll tackle three sections to explore the Introduction to the Whole Office

34. The whole office begins as a rule with an invitatory. This consists in the verse, Lord, open my lips. And my mouth will proclaim your praise, and Ps 95. This psalm invites the faithful each day to sing God’s praise and to listen to his voice and draws them to hope for “the Lord’s rest.” [See Heb 3:7-4:16.]

In place of Ps 95, Ps 100, Ps 67, or Ps 24 may be used as circumstances may suggest.

It is preferable to recite the invitatory psalm responsorially as it is set out in the text, that is, with the antiphon recited at the beginning, then repeated, and repeated again after each strophe.

This is somewhat how we use the psalm at Mass after the first reading. Note that the preference is against the antiphonal singing or recitation–likely to differentiate the purpose of this psalm from those used in the core of the Hours–a practice that makes sense ritually.

35. The invitatory is placed at the beginning of the whole sequence of the day’s prayer, that is, it precedes either morning prayer or the office of readings, whichever of these liturgical rites begins the day. The invitatory psalm with its antiphon may be omitted, however, when the invitatory is the prelude to morning prayer.

36. The variation of the invitatory antiphon, to suit the different liturgical days, is indicated at its place of occurrence.

The assumption is that the invitatory ritual is for those who pray the LH in their entirety, more or less.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to GILH 34-36: Introduction to the Whole Office

  1. Rob F. says:

    Much of the new Breviary is a restoration of Mediaeval practice. It makes me wonder about the three “new” invitatories. Does anyone know what inspired their inclusion into the new LOTH?

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