FATHER’S TEACHING CORNER: By the middle of the 6th century the classical pattern of the Daily Offices in the Western Church had been perfected and outlined in the monastic rule of St. Benedict. It consisted of eight distinct services, although they were counted as only seven since two of them were combined as one continuous service. Justification for this sevenfold scheme was fond in Psalm 119: 164: “Seven times a day do I praise Thee.” They were sung daily in choir in all monasteries, cathedral, and churches with a collegiate body of clergy. Parish clergy were expected to read them each day at some convenient time if they were prevented from attending them in church. The laity were not obligated to attend even though they were encouraged to do so when they could, particularly the morning office of Lauds (Matins) and evening Vespers commonly said in parish churches on Sundays and Holy Days. The entire Psalter was said over the course of a week, and the other books of the Bible were appointed to be read at least once in the course of the years. (To be continued)
A RULE OF LIFE (Continued): Different by God’s will, creation, and appointment, men and women are the complement of each other. In the majority of homes, even in the modern world, the wife and mother make the most far-reaching and deep influence on the religious life of the family. The difference in men and women, mentally and physically, must be recognised without any consideration of superiority, inferiority, or equality. In the Christian home, the parents will wish to fulfil the obligations of Christian Marriage and have children to bring up to the glory of God. It should be a great joy and privilege to them to see that their children are brought up to be devoted to God and his Church. The Church should be looked upon as “The House of God” where all should love to go. The centre of home life should be on the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar where the family worships and adores Our Lord Jesus Christ together. (To be continued)
THE THREE ADVENT EMBER DAYS occur this week on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. There will be Mass each of these days as we pray for the growth of the ministry of the church and for men to be called to serve as Deacons and Priests. These days seem to have originally been connected to the growing seasons and the planting and harvesting. They have been observed since at least the rly 3rd century. Today they are associated entirely with the Church’s ministry, and traditionally in the Church of England ordinations were held on the Sunday following them
FRIDAY, 18 DECEMBER, is traditionally known as the Day of Expectation. This marks one week before the Feast of the Nativity. Traditionally one of the Great O’s was sung at Mass on each days. We know them as the verses in the hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”. On this day we remove the blue veil from the Creche and place the animals in in expectation of the arrival of the Lord. The crib remains empty, and the blue candle remails burning before the Crèche.