Alternates to the Four Week Psalter Cycle in the LOTH
  • Hello all,

    I'm wondering if there is an acceptable alternative to using the Four Week Cycle of Psalms from LOTH (well, Christian Prayer in my case). I'm looking to begin a weekly service of Sung Vespers (would have to be in English) on Sunday evenings, and I'm not sure what to make of the fact that, using the Four Week Cycle, we would only ever use Psalms 110-12, 114-15, and the Canticles Rev 19:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:21-24.

    Is there something in the LOTH rubrics that I'm missing that would allow me to use another psalter cycle? (Any suggestions, if there is?) Or perhaps I don't fully understand the LOTH psalter.

    I find Christian Prayer a bit misleading in places, as it does not clearly distinguish between suggested elements (Hymn choice, Responsory) and prescribed readings (the Psalmody).

    I'd appreciate any insight you're able to offer!

    Best,
    Graduale
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,523
    General Instruction LOTH #247: ... In place of the Sunday psalms of the current week, the Sunday psalms of another week may be subsituted if desired. Especially in the Office with the people, other psalms may be chosen so as gradually to bring the people to a deeper understanding of the psalter. (1974 England & Wales version) Sounds a bit like anything goes, for pastoral reasons.!
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,523
    I take no responsibility for this, but it seems to show the full range of "options" which appear on various Sundays, in E&W. Including On Eagles Wings, apart from the generous provision above.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,523
    No, it's not the full range of canticles which can occur on Sundays, Christmas Day is a Sunday and will use Col 1:12-20. Jan 1 will use Eph 1:3-10 (common of BVM). Other canticles which can occur, though I don't know when include Rev 15:3-4 (if Epiphany is celebrated on Sunday?), Rev 4:11;5:9,10,12 (martyrs?), 1 Tim 3:16. May be worth looking for this book:- ISBN-13: 978-0-9741748-0-8 Evening Prayerbook, Sunday Vespers, or even Parish Sunday Vespers by Michael Beattie.
    Thanked by 1igneus
  • You sound as though you are worried about a potential lack of variety in the psalms—

    I would think this ought really to be the least of your concerns.

    In my experience, problems arise rather in getting people to successfully navigate variants; thus the fewer of these which need to be dealt with, the better.

    Also, if you really need more variety, you could always upgrade the tones you are using (or start adding Latin, if this is an option).

    [My two cents.]
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,523
    I agree with JonathanKK , this article by Stephen Dean says
    ... demonstrated that simple, relatively unchanging forms of Evening Prayer as an alternative to the intricate mechanism of the Divine Office provided a liturgy with genuine popular appeal.
    My recollection from 30-25 years ago is that the only part that stales are the canticles, which are unfortunately pretty much unsingable, or were in the settings we had. Westminster Cathedral has been using the same four weekly sheets for these services (on Saturdays, the Sunday Vespers is very grand) for forty years.
    Thanked by 1igneus
  • joerg
    Posts: 75
    No. 252 of the Institutio Generalis de Liturgia Horarum concedes that in place of the psalms assigned to a given day one may use the psalms assigned to the SAME HOUR of any other day.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,523
    And if we can extend that to canticles we can choose those that can be sung to a psalm tone. I forgot a point about variety, assuming that psalms/canticles will be sung:- Westminster uses Bevenot four line tones, I think that the more common simplified two line tones do get a bit wearing.
  • Great ideas all - hadn't thought of it in that way.
  • I'm going to beat Francis to the punch.

    Don't use LOTH. Use the Divine Office. At first, you will think "familiarity breeds contempt", but what actually happens is familiarity breeding love, and the willingness to learn more. So, then you branch out: introduce other hours, or multi-part settings of the Magnificat or..... gosh, the possibilities are not endless, but merely timeless and beautiful.
  • Is the DO the version from England & Wales? Is it acceptable to use in the US?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,907
    It often happens on the forum:

    New user: "Hi! I need some info about how to do XYZ...."
    Tradtionalist guy on forum: "You shouldn't do XYZ; the corresponding old-rite thing is so much better."
    Thanked by 2graduale eft94530
  • Bill,

    In fairness, his complaint is something specific to the LOTH. In order to preserve the integrity of the LOTH, the changes the OP seeks can't be accommodated...unless there's some alius cantus aptus regulation I don't know about (and there very-well could be). Therefore I proposed merely that what he was looking for already existed.

    I didn't declare the OF unworthy or any such thing. It's just that the very thing he wants to avoid is (already) avoided in another place.
  • And that "another place" would be...? The E&W Divine Office? Just trying to clear that up. Thanks!
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,523
    Surely the rubrics are the same, and it's just the translations which differ?
    There are of course omissions. DO lacks the psalm prayers (which are optional) but the rubrics still include them. Both DO and CP lack the alternative cycle of non-scriptural readings, which have never been completed. The rubrics for this 'optional Lectionary' appear at #161, followed by permission for Episcopal Conferences to extend it!
    [ Also note that a new editio typica of the Liturgia Horarum has come out, with new translations of scripture into Latin (the Nova Vulgata), latest publication is from 2000AD. Since the sung Latin psalter has not been updated to Jerome's Vulgate of 400AD (about), it may be some time before these changes work through fully]