Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours

Dear brethren,

I was told that one who prays the LOTH daily gets through all the psalms (with the exceptions noted in the General Instruction) in a month.

Is this true?

Depending on how many exceptions are noted in the GI, probably not…

Officially, the post-VII LOTH says the whole psalter (minus a couple) in 4 weeks.

In practice, it doesn’t happen. There are Feasts and/or Solemnities at least once a month that will replace the day’s psalms with others chosen for the day or from the Commons.

Remember though, the point is not to just check the boxes and see “how many you get”.

Just did a quick count-up, and I could not find where the following Psalms are prayed in the usual 4-week cycle, including the Invitatory, Morning Prayer, Mid-Morning, Mid-Day, Mid-Afternoon, Evening Prayer, Night Prayer and the Office of Readings:

Psalm 22, 23, 40, 53, 54, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 64, 69, 70, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 82, 83, 94, 105, 106, 109, 129, 133, 140.

If one follows the Byzantine Horologion, one gets through the entire Psalter in a week :slight_smile: It’s tough going, though.

For the full picture:

You get more psalms in the LIturgy of Hours through a month, than you did got in the Breviarum Romanum before 1911 (Divino Afflatu reform) through the same month. Any office double or above had its own psalms outside of the theoretically weekly cycle. Between 1911 and 1970 this was improved, making only a few exceptions for the reformed weekly cycle.

The 1970 reform introduces the 4 weeks cycle, also for some reason simply deleted the coursing psalms and verses.

22 - Daytime prayer 3rd Friday
23 - Daytime prayer 2nd/4th Sunday
40 - Daytime prayer 2nd Monday
53 - Daytime prayer 2nd Tuesday
54 - same as 53
56 - Daytime prayer 2nd Thursday
58 - not prayed
59 - Daytime prayer 2nd Friday
60 - same as 59
61 - Daytime prayer 2nd Saturday
64 - same as 61
69 - OoR 3rd Friday
70 - Daytime prayer 3rd Wednesday
74 - Daytime prayer 3rd Tuesday
75 - same as 70
76 - Daytime prayer 2nd Sunday
78 - OoR 4th week, split between Friday/Saturday
79 - Daytime prayer 3rd Thursday
82 - Daytime prayer 4th Monday
83 - not prayed
94 - Daytime prayer 4th Wednesday
105 - OoR 1st Saturday
106 - OoR 2nd Saturday
109 - not prayed
129 - Daytime prayer 4th Thursday
133 - Daytime prayer 4th Friday
140 - same as 133

The Psalm index at the back of Vol. I doesn’t have (of the 4 volume set) 58, 83, 109, so those should be the only ones missing.

Good job! :thumbsup:
I’m using the 1-volume Christian Prayer right now, so I guess that’s why I didn’t get those ones :smiley:

The traditional Benedictine office (still a licit breviary for Benedictines) is even worse, not only do you go through the entire psalter in a week but psalms 3, 94, 66, 50, 148, 149 and 150 (vulgate numbering) are repeated daily, and the gradual psalms are repeated at Tierce, Sext and None from Tuesday through Saturday. So you essentially chant a psalm 250 or so times in a week.

The newer Benedictine Schema B (post Vatican-II) is easier: all 150 psalms are prayed during a single week, with no repetitions.

About halfway through the list I started wondering if that was the case (since it was mostly Daytime Prayers in the 2nd-4th weeks).

I have the 1963 reprint of the MD from St. Michael’s Abbey. Still struggling with that, but I love it.

I’ve been searching for the 1964 Roman Breviary in English, edited by Bede Babo, published by Benziger Bros. I’ve heard it was approved by Rome and is quite excellent. Does anyone have any experience with this?

OraLabora, where could I find the traditional Benedictine Office? Is there an English translation? Thanks.

Maybe this is it?

Yes, it is. Thank you. For some reason it didn’t come up in my Google search, even with expanded parameters and numerous variations.

You’re welcome, although I’m sure you can get it for a lot cheaper than their price!

I wonder why these are omitted?

From the General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours:

  1. Three psalms (58, 83, and 109) have been omitted from the psalter cycle because of their curses; in the same way, some verses have been omitted from certain psalms, as noted at the head of each. The reason for the omission is a certain psychological difficulty, even though the psalms of imprecation are in fact used as prayer in the New Testament, for example, Rv 6:10, and in no sense to encourage the use of curses.

I love seeing a Byzan-teen on this forum. :wink: God bless you richly little bro!!

So what’s the general consensus here again.

I think it’s fair to say you get through most of the Psalter in a month using the modern Liturgy of the Hours, leaving aside feasts and solemnities.

There are 150 psalms after all. Even if you’ve had a couple of feasts and solemnities that month, and leaving out the cursing psalms and verses, if you manage to pray all the offices (Readings, Morning, Daytime, Evening, Night) you’ve probably gotten through most of those 150 psalms.

In theory this is also true of the older Western Divine Office but,as Laszlo pointed out above, until the reforms of the early 20th century in practice one frequently deviated from the weekly cycle because of the number of feasts and commemorations.

My copy of Christian Prayer has the 4-week cycle of psalms for the Office of Readings towards the back. It only has 1 week’s worth of psalms for Daytime Prayer. I think it’s Week 1 of Daytime Prayer.

This page has links showing the different psalm cycles used in the Latin Rite during the last 100 years: Breviary Psalter Schemas in use in the 20th century.

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