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A basic "how to" on praying with BDW #415502 04/16/16 10:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
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IberianPhilhellene Offline OP
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Good evening, all,

I'm a Latin Catholic with a deep interest in the Byzantine Churches; I've bonded well with the parishioners of the local Ruthenian Church nearest my home, and am trying to learn to pray at least some of the canonical Hours, in the traditional Byzantine way.

I've read up enough to be quite certain that, barring a LOT of spare cash and a LOT of time (i.e., "not needing to work") it is next to impossible to pray ALL the hours without living in a monastery. However, I have read that it is possible to pray a few--like Lauds and Vespers--in the regular state.

I purchased a copy of Archbishop Raya's book, "Byzantine Daily Worship," through Alleluia Press (it's a reprint).

Wonderful tome of beautiful prayers, Liturgies, and just general info. One thing I'm missing, though:

A "how-to" guide.

The Archbishop of Happy Memory put together a fine "compendium" of Byzantine Spirituality--but, as a Latin, I think I've become spoiled with the "idiot-proofed" Liturgy of the Hours--which basically hold your hand the whole way through.

Is there someone who might be able to point me to some sort of "beginner's guide," whether online or in print, of how to use the Archbishop's book, specifically? I'm aware that there are other books--but I heard that, if you could only afford one, this was probably the best in terms of "overall" completeness and ease of use.

Thank you all, in advance, for your help!
-Alex

Re: A basic "how to" on praying with BDW [Re: IberianPhilhellene] #415524 04/18/16 08:13 PM
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Christ is risen!

Well, Alex, there is a lot to say. The issue with trying to pray daily matins and vespers is the propers. What you can do practically speaking is pray the "ordinary" of these services. And the heart of these services is the psalms prayed during the hours. For example psalm 104(103) and the lamplighting psalms at vespers. Then there are the six psalms of matins. And the hymns that are always sung "O Joyful Light" etc.This will keep you busy and if you have more time you can pray the kathisma at Matins and Vespers on the 150 psalms per week schedule.

But to be honest, doing the Divine Office is practical only in monasteries and cathedrals. These services are not really adapted well for use as a personal prayer book - unlike the liturgy of the hours.

My suggestion is to work with your Ruthenian priest and develop a prayer rule using prayers from the prayer books designed for the laity. You will find the focus very different from that of the Divine Office, which is corporate prayer.

Where do you live in FL? Eventually, I will be living in Bradenton for half the year. In some respects, I feel like I will be wandering off into the desert.


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