Traditional Mass

Monday, December 26, 2011



(The translation of the Psalms and the brief introductory comments on the Psalms of this Little Office of the Blessed Virgin are taken largly from: The Psalms and Canticles by George O'Neill, S.J. [Bruce Publishing Co. 1937.] The late Father O'Neill's work has long been out of print.)


Quotations no less ardent and eloquent might be drawn in abundance from the literature of every Christian age. No wonder if the Psalter, thus highly valued and commended, has always occupied, with the Gospels, the foremost place in the Church's liturgical devotions. It must be admitted, however, that with a lessening participation of the faithful in those devotions has gone a lessening use of them as prayers. Not to go back to the primitive centuries--laity and clergy--with one heart, one soul, and one voice took part in the Eucharistic and other celebrations (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32); throughout the Middle Ages the recitation of large portions of the Psalms--gradually made up into the "Breviary"--was customary for all devout Christians. 
To learn the Psalms was for boys and girls a chief part of education. 
Not only saintly kings such as Louis of France, Wenceslas of Bohemia, or Stephen of Hungary, but also less devout personages, grim soldiers and statesmen, like William the Conqueror and Philip Augustus, sought and found time from their secular cares to join the monks in their chant of the canonical hours, or to imitate them by private recital--much as this may amaze our modern Christians, who leave the Breviary, with its Psalms, hymns, lessons, and prayers to the clergy and are content it should be a closed volume to themselves.
(O'Neill, The Psalms and Canticles).

[To be continued]