• FKulash
    Posts: 71
    Is there (or has there ever been) a form of the Divine Office where Vigils and Matins were separate hours? How about the three nocturns being observed as separate night hours?

    This came up in "The Other Side of History" by Robert Garland in the Great Courses series. He says that the medieval Divine Office had nine hours: Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, Nones, Vespers, Compline and Vigils. His focus is 14th century England, so maybe it was a local custom at that time. Then again, Garland admits he is not a medievalist, so he may simply be misinformed. (Overall, the lectures are quite good.)
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,129
    As I understand, the long night office with its nocturns of psalmody and lections and responsories; and the dawn office ending with the psalms of praise, were already being sung together without a break even before 1000. Originally the night office was caused vigiliæ and the dawn office matutinum. But matutinum, the name, kinda shifted back to cover vigiliæ, and laudes, which should only mean the praise Psalms at the end, shifted back as well to refer to the whole dawn office.

    Probably the monks who actually still kept watch at night still called it vigils = watch-keeping, but the many others who said the combined office at the beginning of daylight preferred to call it Matins = morning.

    So Garland’s list would be better, if he wants to mention “matins”, as Vigils/Matins, Lauds, ... explaining that Matins is the newer name and Vigils the older. But not nine Hours: seven, plus the night office.

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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,278
    Some communities, at some times, tried to keep worship going round the clock (not of course with the same monks throughout). Perhaps this is the origin of the grossly exaggerated pause in mid verse, a mighty yawn while you gather strength to continue.
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