Daily Meditations on the Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 12

To be read: February 14, June 15, October 17

At Lauds on Sunday, let Psalm 66 be said first, without an antiphon. 2After that Psalm 50 is said with Alleluia.  3After this let Psalms 117 and 62 be said; 4then the blessing and the praises (Psalms 148-150), one lesson from the Apocalypse, said by heart, a responsory, an Ambrosian hymn, the versicle and the canticle from the Gospel, the litany, and it is finished. 

Benedict continues his direction for observance of the divine office on Sundays with instruction regarding Lauds.  Again, the focus is on praise.  Even the name of the office is Praise!  The Psalms appointed for the day are all praise Psalms, except Psalm 51.  (Remember that Benedict follows the Vulgate and Septuagint numbering of the Psalms, so they differ from what is in our Psalter and the Masoretic text.  For more information on the Psalms’ numbering see: https://www.cotres.org/fsb-teachings/9-recitation-of-the-psalms/file).  After the opening Psalm of adoration (Psalm 67 “Let the peoples praise thee, O God” [v.5]), the monks offer their confession of sin in Psalm 51.  The acronym ACTS helps us understand the flow of worship in this our morning devotion: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.  But even Psalm 51 is recited as a psalm of praise as it “is said with Alleluia.”  

The remaining Psalms are all thanksgivings and praise Psalms.  They are coupled with readings from Revelation, responsories, an Ambrosian hymn, versicle, the Benedictus (Luke 1:68-79), litany, and conclusion.  The heart of the service is to bring “laud” to the Lord.  Our Sunday observance sets the tone not only for the day but for the week.

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