Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Living a Liturgical Life in Hungary

Within Hungary, near Budapest, there are some faithful Catholics who form part of a group, the Capitulum Laicorum Sancti Michaelis Archangeli. They are often seen serving the usus antiquior Masses that we feature from Hungary, they are closely associated with Professor Laszlo Dobszay, and they are also often seen in a choral capacity within the sacred liturgy. (To my knowledge as well, they function within the context of both forms of the Roman liturgy.) Indeed, I have had the opportunity to meet a number of them last year in Budapest and they have a great love for the Church and for her liturgical life.

A few weeks ago, this lay chapter of St. Michael the Archangel welcomed three new members with a brief ceremony.

As they note on their blog, the brief ceremony of clothing was then followed by singing of the Divine Office, specifically Matins and Lauds.

It is for reason of this incorporation of the Divine Office (and knowing this particular group, I should imagine it was also chanted) that I wished to highlight this event and group, in the hope of encouraging others to do likewise.

The recitation (spoken or sung, privately or publicly) of the Divine Office is a practice we should encourage, for it not only binds us closely to the liturgical seasons and calendar of the Church, it binds us to the liturgical life of the Church generally, as well as to the Psalms and to the Sacred Scriptures.

Whether it be in our parish life, our domestic life of prayer, or whether through groups such as these, I hope that may we continue to see it spread, fostered and embraced.

We have often encouraged our pastors to consider adding Sung Vespers to their parish schedules (whether weekly or at least for greater feasts as a beginning), and I would likewise encourage those who have groups as these to consider following the example you see here from the Capitulum Laicorum Sancti Michaelis Archangeli, adopting the recitation of the Divine Office to their group life in some capacity.

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