Traditional Mass

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


We continue with our posting of the Introduction to The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary:


(The translation of the Psalms and the brief introductory comments on the Psalms of this Little Office of the Blessed Virgin are taken largely 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.)




"One thing we can definitely affirm as to the form of ancient Hebrew poetry is this--that it affected parallelism. Parallelism is a rhetorical or poetic ornament found everywhere in literature, but rarely in the marked and predominant form it assumes in ancient Hebrew poetry. It may be of a great many kinds. The satiric couplets of Pope, the triads of Dr. Johnson's prose, Dr. Watt's familiar quatrain: 'Let dog's delight,' etc., Tennyson's descriptive lines:
The Lotus blooms 'neath every barren peak
The Lotus blooms by every winding creek.

PSALM 50, 19
My sacrifice to God is a humble heart
A contrite and humble heart, o God,
thou wilt not despise.

PSALM 120, 3-4
He will not suffer they foot to stumble
Nor shall he slumber that keeps thee.
Behold, he who is guardeth Israel,
Slumbers not nor sleeps.

PSALM 119, 5
Alas! I sojourn in Mosoch,
I dwell among the tents of Kedar.

are all illustrations of parallelism; indeed, some fifteen varieties have been specified as observable in the Psalms. The most definite and characteristic is that which amplifies and varies a thought without passing on to a new one. There are, however, Psalms, such as 109 and 130, that show little parallelism of any kind."

[To be continued]