This is once again a Tuesday unimpeded by feasts so in days of yore a Votive Office of St Benedict would have been said.
Even if you don't wish to say a devotional Office of the saint it is certainly salutary, I think, to make some extra devotion to St Benedict on Tuesdays in keeping with this beautiful tradition.
And hopefully at least some people will find it interesting to know something more of the liturgical traditions of the Order.
St Benedict and a good death
In previous posts I've described Vespers (said the night before) and Matins, so today I want to focus on Lauds.
But first, it is worth noting that the Matins readings for theVotive Office in November were, appropriately for the season, on the death of St Benedict, as described in Chapter 37 of the Life of St Benedict by St Gregory the Great. You can find the translation set out as it is in the older breviaries (ie pre-1911) over at my Lectio Divina blog.
St Benedict, by virtue of his edifying death, propped up in Church by two of his monks, is regarded as the patron of a good death, and it seems to me well worth meditating on this chapter given that this conception of the good death is so deeply counter-cultural to our times.
You might also want to consider adding to your prayers, if you don't already say it, the daily prayer to St Benedict for a happy death:
V. Intercede for us, O holy Father Benedict. R. And obtain for us the grace of a happy death.
O holy Father, St. Benedict, blessed by God both in grace and in name, who, while standing in prayer, with hands raised to heaven, didst most happily yield thy angelic spirit into the hands of thy Creator, and hast promised zealously to defend against all the snares of the enemy in the last struggle of death, those who shall daily remind thee of thy glorious departure and heavenly joys; protect me, I beseech thee, O glorious Father, this day and every day, by thy holy blessings, that I may never be separated from our dear Lord, from the society of thyself, and of all the blessed. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen."Votive Office of St Benedict - Lauds
At Lauds the antiphons, chapter, responsory and hymn of the Office were those of the Feast of St Benedict on March 21 (Fuit vir etc).
The Benedictus antiphon, however, was:
O beati viri Benedicti sancta praeconia, o inaestimabilis dilectio caritatis, quidum saeculi pompam contempsit, aeternae vitae coniunctus est.
O blessed man
The collect was, as for the other hours:
The collect is:
Excita Domine, in Ecclesia tua Spiritum, cui beatus Pater noster Benedictus Abbas servivit; ut eodem nos repleti studeamus amare quod docuit. Per Dominum...in unitate ejusdem Spiritus.
(Raise up, O Lord, in thy Church, the Spirit wherewith our holy Father Benedict was animated: that, filled with the same, we may strive to love what he loved, and to practise what he taught. Through Christ...)
The recording of the hymn below differs from the version in the 1934 antiphonale, but is worth listening to nonetheless.