13 February 2009

Liturgy of the Hours at Mount St. Bernard's

At Mount St. Bernard's the full Liturgy of the Hours is celebrated in English. Vigils is at 3:30 AM and lasts about an hour. following that is a votive mass to Our Lady. The mass is Novus Ordo, in English and ad orientem. The mass is celebrated in the Lady Chapel within the cloister. I was across the main sanctuary in the St. Joseph Chapel. The St. Joseph Chapel is the only part of the church open to the public at that time. Usually I was not the only retreatant at Vigils(to my surprise).

Vigils is the longest office in the Liturgy of the hours. Along with the psalms, there are two long readings: one from scripture and one from fathers of the church or some hagiography. This is some times called the Office of Readings.

The next office is Lauds at 6 AM. Community Mass and Terce are at 8 AM, None is at 12:15 PM, Sext is at 2:45 PM, Vespers is at 5:30 PM, and the final office of the day, Compline is at 7:30 PM

All of the Offices are chanted and well attended by retreatants, visitors, and neighbors. Many of the people in the public section of the church chant along softly with the monks. Some people prefer that the offices be chanted in Latin. But when the office is in English it is more accessible to the faithul. That is not to say I do not appreciate Gregorian Chant or Latin. I am quite fortunate to have recieved a wonderful education at Quigley North in Chicago which included four years of Latin.

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