HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
CELTIC ORTHODOX BENEDICTINE FATHERS
1703 Macomber St., Toledo, Ohio 43606
Phone: 419.2062190 / E-Mail: email@example.com
THE DAILY MASS AND THE DAILY PRAYING OF SCRIPTURE FROM THE TRADITIONAL WESTERN RITE DIVINE OFFICE / BREVIARY ARE THE HEART OF TRUE ORTHODOX BENEDICTINE MONASTICISM AND THE TWIN PILLARS UPON WHICH REST OUR HOPE FOR SALVATION
Our Lord assured his disciples that he had come, not to destroy, but to fulfill,
the Law. It is not surprising, therefore, to find the earliest Christians,
notably the Apostles, conforming to the traditional customs of worship of
the old Covenant: keeping the Passover, or going up to the Temple to pray
at the appointed "Hours of Prayer," or keeping those hours as times of private devotion.
Likewise, we find St. Paul, wherever he might be, seeking out the
local synagogue on the Sabbath, taking part in its worship and
availing himself of its opportunities for teaching. At the same time
we find Christians keeping strictly Christian observances, notably
the First Day of the Week, with its Eucharistic Breaking of Bread as
the distinctive act of worship. Even when the Church had overflowed
the bounds of Judaism and was overwhelmingly Gentile in its
membership, there was a survival of devotional practices of Jewish
origin. Chief among these was the observance of the "Hours of
Prayer," as services supplemental to the central Eucharistic Rite.
Tertullian, among others, is witness that this survival was not
confined to the Christian communities of Palestine. The observance
of the Hours was at first a matter of private devotion in Gentile
communities, as it continued to be in Rome until a comparatively
late period. But with the rise of asceticism, we find outside of
Rome the practice of saying the Hours becoming customary in the
public assemblies for worship, where it met and coalesced with two
other Non-Eucharistic services, the Vigil preceding Sundays and
great festivals, and the daily “Lucernarium”, or lamp-lighting
service, held at night-fall. The material of these services was
drawn from the worship of the synagogue and the structure of the
Vigil modeled loosely after its pattern. There was psalmody, the
reading of other parts of Scripture, and prayer. It is in the union
of these two streams of common worship, the monastic, semi-private
services of the Hours, and the public Vigil and its prelude, the
Lucernarium, that we find the original form of what has long been
known in the Church as The Divine Office. The Liturgy proper, the
Mass, held its position of supremacy unchallenged and unrivalled.
But contemporary writers bear witness to the fact that in the East,
in the Fourth Century, the laity, secular and monastic, as well as
the clergy, attended these supplemental services in great numbers.
That there should be need of regulation was inevitable. By the time
such regulation appeared (in the Fourth Century) the fusion of the
secular and monastic elements of the Office had become general, and
perhaps we may attribute the enactment of legislation on the subject
to the cooling of the zeal of not only the secular laity, but of the
clergy as well, in the matter of regular and systematic attendance
at the offices. Thus we find in The Apostolic Constitutions
directions that clergy and laity shall "make prayers early in the
morning, and at the Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hour, at eventide, and
at cock-crow." There is an additional enactment that, if assembly
for service cannot take place in church (on account of persecution,
or similar grave cause), the Bishop shall assemble his flock in some
private house; but if this is impossible, each one shall discharge
this duty either alone, or with one or more of his brethren. (Apost.
Const. VIII, xxxiv. Patr. Graec. I, 1135.) In the same century,
the Council of Laodicea (A. D. 387) echoes these directions.
The obligation to pray at set hours, originally binding on the faithful,
is typified in the Monastic Diurnal, a much shortened form of the Breviary
prayed by Priest. See: http://www.celticorthodoxchurch.com/diurnal.html
While the obligation for the faithful to pray at set hours is no longer binding,
the practice remains popular among Oblate Benedictine and among members
of various Third Orders associated with a Monastic Community.
The obligation to pray the full Breviary remains binding on all ordained to
Holy Orders in Holy Orthodoxy.
From the earliest days of the Church, there have existed two main forms of liturgical Christian worship: the Holy Eucharist, and the daily round of prayer known as the Breviary, or often called the Daily Office.
In previous times, the Daily Office (grouping of Psalms, Scripture Readings and inspired songs individually selected for each day) was found in the back of the Altar Missal. When the Daily Office was published in a separate volume, the book known as the Breviary was born. The term Breviary means shortened form and indicates it is published apart from the Altar Missal.
Regular daily prayer appears to have both been inherited from the Jewish Church and an outgrowth of the extended apostolic Eucharist. In accordance with Psalm 118:164 -- "Seven times a day do I praise Thee" --
devout Jews would offer prayers and psalms periodically throughout the day, and such services were a feature of synagogue worship in the days of the Apostles.
The watch of prayer which preceded the post-apostolic Eucharist was eventually organized into several hours, one of which remained as the preparatory part of the Eucharist (the Proanaphora or Mass of the Catechumens).
Vespers for Saturday is called Vespers 1 of Sunday to show continuity of worship with the Sabbath Day (Saturday). In the life of the early church for some 600 years or so the faithful met for worship on the Sabbath (Remember, keep holy the Sabbath) and also on Sunday, the Lord’s Day (the Apostles met on the first day of the week).
The chief end of the Orthodox Breviary/ Orthodox Divine Office is to render to God Praise, Thanksgiving, and Adoration which is His due, and the sanctification of souls.
The term Divine Office means divine duty and refers to the obligation of all ordained clergy in the Celtic Orthodox Church to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass and to daily pray the Breviary / Divine Office according to this ancient formula of the Psalms, Readings, Prayers and Inspirited Songs of the Divine Office. The Divine Office reflects the faith and worship of our Holy Fathers in the Celtic Orthodox and the larger Orthodox Catholic tradition. St. Benedict called the praying of the Divine Office the “Opus Dei”, meaning in Latin “the work of God”.
Next to the Holy Mass, the Divine Office is the most important prayer offered to God. It is offered by the Church and in the name of the Church, conferring multifold graces and blessings on those who recite it worthily, attentively and devoutly. The Divine Office is an extension of the Divine Sacrifice of the Mass and draws its breath from the Mass of the day.
The Church lives in time and with time. This truth is brought out beautifully in the canonical hours. They provide a perfect way to consecrate the whole day to God and make it holy. The admonition of our Lord, that we are to pray and not grow weary, is thus perfectly fulfilled. For every part of the day the Church has drawn up a special prayer-form, an hour, as it is called, that corresponds to the particular need of that time of the day. The day is like a journey through an arid desert, but every three hours we come upon an oasis that offers us the waters of grace and the cool refreshing shade of heavenly assistance. Spiritually we may revive ourselves at the canonical hours of prayer. The Apostolic Constitution made mandatory the daily praying of the Divine Office for all clergy. The theme of a canonical hour is that special thought or motivation to prayer that arises from the needs of that time of day: it is the hour's prayer intention. The background from the story of salvation is the mystery or event which bears upon the hour and should enter into the prayer intention while the hour is being prayed; it should be an illustration for the text of the prayer, to channel and intensify the spirit of devotion (eg., Terce—descent of the Holy Ghost).
OUR APOSTOLIC LINE OF SUCCESSION IS ACCEPTED BY WORLD ORTHODOXY.
REMEMBER AS YOU READ THESE LETTERS OF AFFIRMATION THE BISHOPS BEING ACCLAIMED AS PART OF WORLD ORTHODOXY WITH GRACE FILLED AND SPIRIT FILLED ORDERS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO ANY OLD WORLD PATRIARCH, YET THE PATRIARCHS ACCEPT THEM AS EQUAL BISHOPS IN THE LARGER CHURCH WITH THE SAME APOSTOLIC MISSION.
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM THE O.C.A.
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM ALEXANDRIA
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
WE ARE SUCCESSORS TO THE APOSTLES, IN UNION WITH THE ORIGINAL 12 AND ALL THOSE WHO CAME AFTER THEM AND WITH ALL THOSE WHO WILL COME AFTER US.
HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
CELTIC ORTHODOX BENEDICTINE FATHERS
IS A NOT FOR PROFIT CHURCH CORPORATION
UNDER SECTION 501 ( c ) 3 OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE .