Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Rule of St Benedict

I have finally down-loaded a version of the Rule of St benedict onto my Kindle. Ever since I started following @digitalnun on twitter, and her blog in www.ibenedictines.org I have been intending to see what this is all about. For 75p one can hardly go wrong!

The Rule of St. Benedict

Not your usual choice of "holiday reading"?

I started reading it on 20th August or thereabouts, not at the beginning, but at the portion for the day, so the first chapter concerned the election of the Abbott.

My only "rule" has been to read just the portion for the day, and no more. It is very simply written, bearing in mind that it is in "King James Bible" language. I mean it is plain, like one thinks of Shakers and Quakers as "plain" and direct, and Good Sense. It reads "slowly", not like your usual "holiday page-turner", but is equally gripping. I'm finding it hard not to turn the page and see what comes next.

Product Details

After that, I read a chunk of Bible (currently early in Psalms) in "The Message" paraphrase; whoof! That's a contrast! Like hearing monastic chanting accompanied by a heavy rock beat.

Product Details

And if I still want to read some more, I turn to "The Phantom Tolbooth" which has an underlying morality somehow all tying with the above.

Then I sleep like a log.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Prayers from BCP - Litany, Mag and Nunc, Collect against perils of the night

That it may please thee to strengthen such as do stand;
and to comfort and help the weak-hearted;
and to raise up those who fall;
and finally to beat down Satan under our feet.

From the Litany in the Book of Common Prayer.

thanks to @johnthelutheran for flagging this up.

Thanks to compulsory church attendance at boarding school, there are a number of BCP prayers that are embedded in my memory.

We used to sing Evensong in Winchester Cathedral once every term. I hated our "choir robes" - a sort of drab brown cape, "buttoned down before" like Old Abram Brown in the song. It had slits that we could poke our arms through, showing the sleeves of our horrible fawn cardigans. However I am thankful for having learned how to chant Psalms, and for learning the introits and anthems.

I can only remember the "Mag" and "Nunc" if I sing them:

File:Alexandr Ivanov 011.jpg

Magnificat. St. Luke i. 46.
My soul doth magnify the Lord, * and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded * the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth * all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me; * and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him * throughout all generations.
He hath showed strength with his arm; * he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, * and hath exalted the humble and meek;
He hath filled the hungry with good things; * and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel; * as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.
GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.


Nunc dimittis. St. Luke ii. 29.
LORD, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, * according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen * thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared * before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, * and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.

A Collect for Aid against Perils.
Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

¶ At the end of every Psalm and the whole of the Psalter, the Gloria is said, as follows.

GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.