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The Celebration of Lauds on Ordinary Days

Sunday, June 16, 2024
Chapter 13

On ordinary weekdays, Lauds are celebrated as follows. First, Psalm 67 is said without a refrain and slightly protracted as on Sunday so that everyone can be present for Psalm 51, which has a refrain. Next, according to custom, two more psalms are said in the following order: on Monday, Psalms 5 and 36; on Tuesday, Psalms 43 and 57; on Wednesday, Psalms 64-65; on Thursday, Psalms 88 and 90; on Friday, Psalms 76 and 92; on Saturday, Psalm 143 and the Canticle from Deuteronomy, divided into two sections, with the Doxology after each section. On other days, however, a Canticle from the prophets is said, according to the practice of the Roman Church. Next follow Psalms 148 through 150, a reading from the apostle recited by heart, a responsory, an Ambrosian hymn, a versicle, the Gospel canticle, the litany and conclusion.

At the break of dawn, every day of the week, Bene¬dict, through his organization of the morning psalms, reminds the monastic of two unfailing realities. The first is that life is not perfect, that struggle is to be expected, that the human being lives on the brink of danger and defeat at all times. As proof of that, the first Psalm of Lauds, every day of the week, is a cry for help (Psalm 5), a cry for vindication (Psalm 43), a cry for protection even from secret enemies (Psalm 64), a cry to be saved from depression, the death of the spirit, and on Friday, in Psalm 76, a review of the power of God in their lives.

In the second Psalm of Lauds, Benedict arranges a paean of praise, one after another, every day of the week in Psalms 36, 57, 65, 90, and 92 until, on Saturday, hav¬ing lived through everything life had to give that week, the community bursts into unending praise for having survived it, learned faith in God from it again, and been saved one more time by a loving God.

Lauds becomes an unending lesson in reality and faith, in accepting what life brings, sure in the knowledge that the God who loves us is with us upholding us all the way.