20 February – Reading of the Rule of St. Benedict

Chapter 17: How Many Psalms Are to Be Said at These Hours

We have already arranged the order of the psalmody
for the Night and Morning Offices;
let us now provide for the remaining Hours.

At Prime let three Psalms be said,
separately and not under one “Glory be to the Father.”
The hymn of that Hour
is to follow the verse “Incline unto my aid, O God,”
before the Psalms begin.
Upon completion of the three Psalms
let one lesson be recited,
then a verse,
the “Lord, have mercy on us” and the concluding prayers.


The Offices of Terce, Sext and None
are to be celebrated in the same order,
that is:
the “Incline unto my aid, O God,” the hymn proper to each Hour,
three Psalms, lesson and verse,

“Lord, have mercy on us” and concluding prayers.

If the community is a large one,
let the Psalms be sung with antiphons;
but if small,
let them be sung straight through.


Let the Psalms of the Vesper Office be limited to four,
with antiphons.
After these Psalms the lesson is to be recited,
then the responsory, the 
Ambrosian hymm, the verse,
the canticle from the Gospel book,
the litany, the Lord’s Prayer and the concluding prayers.


Let Compline be limited to the saying of three Psalms,
which are to be said straight through without antiphon,
and after them the hymn of that Hour,
one lesson, a verse, the “Lord, have mercy on us,”
the blessing and the concluding prayers.


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