Saturday, February 21, 2009

Opening the Monastic Diurnal. A Benedictine oblate blog

I looked through the “Monastic Diurnal” I received recently and had to research to discover why the office of vigils is not in the book. Thanks to Michael LoPiccolo’s excellent overview of how to use the Monastic Diurnal, I learned that the title’s usage of “Diurnal” means daytime rather than daily. I learn something everyday!

I especially like the office of vigils part of the divine office. It has lots of Psalms, readings from the Early Church Fathers, and I like to think that vigils is one of the most ancient offices — having developed out of the very earliest practices of Christians often meeting on Saturday night in preparation for Sunday. But I will continue to use "Benedictine Daily Prayer" (which has vigils) at least for the foreseeable future anyway.

In my research, I also came across a weekly Ordo (like a list or calendar for what should be prayed) by Australia Incognita.

Both of these new-to-me helps have been added as links on the right sidebar of this blog under a new section: “Monastic Diurnal Helps.”

So far I like the Monastic Diurnal and can see why it is a classic. It was originally published “in 1948 as an office book for Benedictine Sisters engaged in apostolic work away from their convents and for oblates of the Benedictine Order...”


Top picture: When it's the middle of the night and you want to pray vigils, you will need a book like "Benedictine Daily Prayer."


  1. I received the Doyle translation of the RB today. :) I plan on getting into it tonight.

    Your "caption" for the picture - about how in the middle of the night if one wants to pray Vigils - I really pray I remember to pray something of the Office next time I have some wicked insomnia/E-bears is awake for more than just food and cuddles.

  2. Kim, I hope you do like Doyle's translation of the Rule.

    Good advice on Vigils too, thanks.