Marcel Rooney, O. Introduction Translated by Francisco Schulte, O. Theology of the Work of God II. Celebration of the Work of God Directive Nomrs for the Celebration of the Monastic Liturgy of the Hours Foreword As Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation, it is my pleasure to introduce this publication of the documents which present the theological and celebrative elements of the Monastic Liturgy of the Hours. Among these documents, the Directory for the Celebration of the Work of God stands out.
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Marcel Rooney, O. Introduction Translated by Francisco Schulte, O. Theology of the Work of God II. Celebration of the Work of God Directive Nomrs for the Celebration of the Monastic Liturgy of the Hours Foreword As Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation, it is my pleasure to introduce this publication of the documents which present the theological and celebrative elements of the Monastic Liturgy of the Hours.
Among these documents, the Directory for the Celebration of the Work of God stands out. The value and importance of these documents for the ongoing renovation of our liturgical and monastic prayer life is amply delineated in the introduction to this publication. Its author, Fr. Leikam, O. Since the Celebration of the Work of God constitutes the "spiritual summit of monastic life" cf. Directory, Preface , by which the history of monasteries and the life of monastics has always been measured, we can be thankful for the gifts God has given to the Benedictine Order throughout its history, so rich in service to the Church and to humanity.
Today we are called to renew our commitment by the offering of the "spiritual sacrifice. Looking toward the future with hope, our monasteries can offer to the Church and to the world the best of their experiences of liturgical prayer, as well as the best of their communitarian and monastic lives, distinguished by the divine virtues of living faith, joyous hope, and sincere love.
The documents which are here published in their English version are of an official and normative nature. In their Latin version they are found as the preliminary documents of the Thesaurus Liturgiae Horarum monasticae.
My predecessor, Abbot Primate Rembert G. Weakland, O. On the threshold of the third millennium we are presented with a great opportunity to prepare ourselves to celebrate the upcoming Jubilee, as monastics, by the Liturgy of the Hours.
Abbot Primate Introduction The liturgical prayer of the Church, and the monastic experience of it, constitute a theological and spiritual value which is the legacy of all. Therefore, desiring to offer an aid which is accessible not only to the monks and nuns of Benedictine monasteries, but also to the Oblates and friends of our monastic communities, we are publishing the documents which can assist us to understand more deeply the significance of the Liturgy of the Hours.
From a Monastic Breviary to a Thesaurus Both inside and outside strictly monastic circles it is known that following the Second Vatican Council we Benedictines renewed our Liturgy of the Hours which St. Benedict calls Opus Dei in original ways, yet in continuity with the rich monastic and ecclesial traditions.
From the old Monastic Breviary, approved and extended to the entire Benedictine Order by authority of Pope Paul V in , and whose last edition was that of , we went to a Thesaurus Liturgiae Horarum monasticaein The origin and the history of that renovation can be summarized in the following manner: beginning in the abbots and conventual priors of the Benedictine Confederation, gathered at the Congresses of Abbots in Rome, gave priority in the course of their deliberations to the renovation of the Work of God.
In the Confederation obtained from the Roman Concilium for Implementing the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy an indult for an ad experimentum guide by which the Benedictine monastic Liturgy of the Hours could be renewed. The central liturgical Commission of the Confederation was charged by the Congresses of Abbots with helping monasteries in their renovation of the Divine Office in the spirit of the liturgical Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium and of Benedictine tradition in conformity with the principles of the Rule of St.
The work of the commission was slow for two reasons: it began its labors before the publication of the Liturgy of the Hours of the Roman rite, and it had to take into account the concrete needs of the diverse monasteries. With time, reflection, consultations and deliberations of the Congresses of Abbots and the Congregation for Divine Worship, some concrete needs were noted: a The need for a Document which would present theological and practical reflections on the Liturgy of the Hours for monks and nuns.
The competence of Abbot Salvatore Marsili, a theologian of the liturgy who edited that first text, was made manifest in it. The document was sent to all monasteries for study; the monasteries responded by sending to the central Commission a series of observations, opinions and suggestions which, when attentively examined, contributed to the definitive redaction of the text. Having been approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship, it now forms part of the current Thesaurus under the title of Directorium de Opere Dei persolvendo, which is published here in its English translation.
After eight years of experimentation, it was decided that those guidelines had been of great help to the monasteries in the renovation of their liturgical prayer.
The guidelines entered the Thesaurus, with some corrections, as the Praenotanda, which is also published here in its English version. In order to do so, the principle of the postconciliar liturgical documents and books was adopted, i.
The most concrete application of this principle is found in the four arrangements of the Psalter which the Thesaurus contains. This was one of the reasons why the Benedictine Confederation did not choose to edit a new Monastic Breviary, but rather a Thesaurus, a source or "treasury" with all the material, in texts and schemas, for the benefit of the communities, so that each community might create and celebrate a suitable Office.
Many monasteries, and some Benedictine Congregations of the Confederation, have subsequently made with creative efforts their own editions of the Monastic Liturgy of the Hours. A "Directory" Various years have already passed since the promulgation of the principal documents which marked in the Church the official renovation of the Liturgy of the Hours. Based upon chapter IV of the Conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium , there was a movement for a true reform of structures and for giving new force to the spirit and to the form of the liturgical prayer of the Church.
These were preceded and accompanied by a careful reflection. The two documents mentioned above and the texts of the new Roman Liturgy of the Hours have, in turn, aroused further reflection. The greater part of the subsequent studies has tried to elucidate and deepen some historical, theological, spiritual, and pastoral elements already present in the documents from the Holy See. From various points of view the liturgical reform can justly be considered a point of arrival. But it meant and means for the Church not only a providential moment, but also the point of departure and the challenge for a living celebration of the mystery of Christ which answers, in an adequate manner, to the many and varied particular situations in which the Church itself lives, works, and celebrates its faith.
In this context, the Directory for the Celebration of the Work of God is introduced, approved for the use of Benedictine monasteries. It is a model document and a model of adjustment to the times and of adaptation to real and concrete situations. By being rooted in the rich tradition of the liturgical spirituality of monasticism, the document contains practical suggestions for reviving the liturgical undertaking in full fidelity to monastic custom, and in tune with the sensibility and the demands of the monastics of our time.
The text, fully traditional and authentically up to date, constitutes a challenge for monastics to live their particular vocation in the future that God is constructing for them and with them. The continual reference to tradition does not intend a facile return to the past, but an invitation to rediscover the original grace that God gave to our Father St.
On the other hand, openness to new proposals entails the honest and creative response of those who today feel themselves called by God and by the Church to collaborate in the salvation of the world. An eminently theological and spiritual document, the Directory can become a faithful companion of monastics, as well as those who are not monastics, on their own way of faith and divine service, which they travel in the life whose rhythm is marked by the eucharistic liturgy and by the various hours of communitarian and personal prayer.
The community gathered in the name of the Lord makes present the mystery of the Church at prayer, and in prayer infused with faith it can perceive the heartbeat of the Church itself. Such a praying community is transformed into a sign of the presence of Christ, and its prayer constitutes a saving event, which at the same time is clothed with the character of time of salvation by the vital experience of worship "in spirit and truth" John It is for this reason that this foundational experience in the celebration of the Divine Office, whose goal is the memorial celebration of the mystery of Christ, must raise up in the praying community contemplative praise as its first and fundamental spiritual activity.
Our document also contains some celebrative principles, for the purpose of concretizing the doctrinal principles. They can help monastic families to a constant renovation of their own identity, and to a worthy and beautiful liturgical celebration which, without losing its monastic character, should be welcoming and open, thus permitting the participation of all those who arrive at the monastery.
Benedict conceives the monastery, can offer fraternal hospitality in prayer, contributing not a little that all those who draw near may learn to praise God and to find a plentiful peace.
Theological-Liturgical Attributes Liturgical prayer enjoys various dimensions which the Directory illuminates from diverse angles. It can be useful to read the text keeping in mind some attributes that we call theological-liturgical. They constitute guides to the reading and interpretation of the document; we present them here briefly: a Ecclesiological-liturgical attribute. By means of the celebration of the Opus Dei, each community is aware of being a "monastic Church" and a "praying Church," which represents the universal Church even as it manifests it.
For such a community the Opus Dei constitutes a particular "charism" by which the Holy Spirit gives to it the "ministry of prayer"; it is exercised in the bosom of the community and has an outwardly directed projection from it for "the growth of the Body of Christ" Eph By its "ministry of prayer" the praying Church continues, in a memorial celebration, the "work of salvation" through the presence of Christ, who exercises in it and through it the "priestly office.
The monastic community is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, who gives to it the ministry of prayer. Its action consists fundamentally of inspiring a truly Christian prayer. The pauses for silence, considered "liturgies of silence," are moments of strong pneumatological significance, and therefore the monastic community gathered in liturgical assembly should be a constant epiphany of the Spirit.
Christ is present in liturgical prayer in the capacity of "Christ, the total human person," forming a unity with the community and it with him in a relationship of Head-members. The members, with all their being, form a community which participates in the mystery of Christ present.
It manifests it as a liturgical assembly by the ritual celebration in an ensemble of characteristic human signs, to the rhythm of daily life and of cosmic time.
In Christ the "unique sacrament" humanity enters into a saving dialogue of praise and contemplation with the Father. This attribute makes it possible to see that the religious and dialogical relationships of monastics with God are ritualized and celebrated liturgically.
This celebration enjoys diverse dimensions: ecclesial, communitarian, personal, dialogical, eucharistic, memorial, spiritual, pastoral, and eschatological. The celebration, in the totality of its dimensions, makes the Opus Dei the "source and summit of the monastic day," typical element of monastic spirituality and "spiritual summit" of the monastic life. Thanks to the Divine Office, that spirituality is profoundly liturgical. The Liturgy of the Hours, as far as a "memorial prayer of salvation history," is defined in relationship to the Eucharist as a true "spiritual sacrifice.
The sung celebration of the Hours, where the psalms constitute the fundamental law of prayer, ought to be for us a great offertory in the solemn liturgy of the sacrifice of praise: we present, upon the altar of this marvelous spiritual sacrifice, all the variety of sentiments which the psalms suggest not only to our spirit but to our whole life. We beg Christ to accept these gifts, that he may consecrate them by uniting them to his own praise of the Father in our name, his priestly members.
Directive Norms and Structure Both theological and celebrative principles ought to awaken in us the awareness of personal responsibility in the liturgical area. This responsibility will be manifested in our care not to fall into one-sided and extreme solutions, as are, for example, the illusion of being up to date by the simple act of performing the rites with a mechanical fidelity to the rubrics, without thinking about enlivening them from within; or, in the disputable sufficiency of those who act as if the liturgy were a manipulable reality, for the arbitrary use of the consumer.
Now that the time of experiences and quests immediately after the council have passed, the Directive Norms for the Celebration of the Monastic Liturgy of the Hours represent a normative instruction, secure yet flexible at the same time. Together with the norms we are publishing the configuration of the monastic Office, that is, the Structure of the Monastic Liturgy of the Hours, with the parts and elements which form the hourly celebration.
The theological and celebrative principles of the Directory describe the spirit which must enliven the ritual celebration of the Hours, in fidelity to their norms and structure.
We hope that the reading of these documents may encourage many to love and savor ever more deeply the prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. In that way they may promote a living and fruitful celebration, thus fulfilling the two-fold purpose of all liturgical action: the sanctification of men and women and the glorification of God. The words of Paul VI in the Apostolic Constitution Laudis Canticum, 8, continue to be an encouragement and a challenge: "May divine praise resound more and more splendid and beautiful in the Church of our time; may this praise unite itself to the praise which the saints and the angels make sound in the celestial dwellings and, increasing its perfection in the days of this earthly exile, may it approximate more and more that full praise which is eternally rendered "to him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb" cf.
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I remember, though, the following permissions: Educalingo cookies are monastiquf to personalize ads and get web traffic statistics. I would agree that some accomodation of the calendar is necessary, however, if one habitually uses EF office with OF Mass. Popular Posts Two popes? Fontgomabault and its foundations have done this sucessfully with the EF and the Barroux Diurnal Monastique monastuque the collects of the modern sanctoral cycle and thereby aids its use with the OF calendar. On mondays i add Officium Defunctorum.
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