Praying the Office
This phrase “praying the office” took on a new meaning to me this past week. Though I have heard the phrase used any number of times, it became a comfort to me in a way I had never experienced.
Yesterday, I spent the greater part of the day waiting in a hospital room while a good friend of many years had major surgery. I felt that I needed to be praying for my friend, but I found my words faltering. I had had a thought flash through my mind to take my 1934 Antiphonale Monasticum to the hospital with me. I often refer to it and occasionally chant the office of Terce.
So, during the surgery, I chanted the office of Sext. Because I was in the hospital setting, I needed to do it quietly so as not to be a disturbance. What I discovered and experienced defies my descriptions. It was as though 26 years of chanting these psalms came calmly but hurriedly to my side. What had been a great deal of work for many years, was now a path to God and a channel for His voice — no longer something dry but full of life!
It showed me again, quite personally, the real purpose of chant — the communication of God’s love.