Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Family Celebration of the Divine Office

We have recently been speaking about praying of the Divine Office. I've noted that when this arises, sometimes the refrain will be heard from some quarters that the Divine Office takes too long or that it is too difficult -- and this relates to adults; if the matter were to be raised within the context of a family with children, I am certain it will be thought to be nearly impossible for families with children to in any way consider this as part of their family prayer.

Now evidently one does have to build up a little bit of familiarity with the Divine Office so as to easily slip into its rhythm, but as I've also noted, this is a project whose timelines are far shorter than some might think, and not really so difficult. As for families and children, obviously one has to be reasonable in one's expectations (especially at first), but is adopting the Divine Office (even just for one of the hours) really so out of reach, or are we underestimating not only ourselves but also our children?

Witness this Eastern Orthodox family, who are using a more complex form of the Office, and even chanting it (they are praying Matins from a "Western rite" service book published by the Antiochian Orthodox).

And here, evening prayer.

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