OCF 352-354: Structure and Content of the Office of the Dead

For those familiar with the Office, this is nothing new:

352. Morning prayer and evening prayer from the office for the dead include the introduction (or reception of the body), hymn, psalmody, reading, response to the word of God, gospel canticle, intercessions, concluding prayer, and dismissal.

If the body is being received at the church, then OCF 82-86 is inserted into the liturgy replacing any of the preliminaries before the psalms:

353. Morning prayer and evening prayer begin with the introductory verse, God, come to my assistance, except when the invitatory replaces it, or when the rite of reception of the body is celebrated, since this replaces both the introductory verse and the hymn.

Please note that this reception of the body at morning or evening prayer will not be devoid of singing, for the procession in OCF 85 calls for a “song, psalm, or responsory.”

What’s the difference? A metrical hymn is usually a sung piece for a stationary community. A procession calls for “moving” music, primarily a short and repeatable text by the assembly while they are walking, taking their seats. The dialogue is completed by the psalmist, cantor, or choir. The music to accompany the procession with the body is “ritual music,” designed to highlight the important ritual action taking place. If there is no reception of the body with the Office, then …

354. To set the tone for the hour, a hymn is sung.

The hymn for the liturgy of the hours is primarily focused on the time of day.

Thoughts or comments on any of this?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Order of Christian Funerals, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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