Today’s Reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

Reading for: June, 21

Chapter 17: How Many Psalms Are to Be Said at These Hours

“We have already arranged the order of the psalmody for the Night and Morning Offices; let us now provide for the remaining Hours.

At Prime let three Psalms be said, separately and not under one “Glory be to the Father.”

The hymn of that Hour is to follow the verse “Incline unto my aid, O God,” before the Psalms begin.

Upon completion of the three Psalms let one lesson be recited, then a verse, the “Lord, have mercy on us” and the concluding prayers.

The Offices of Terce, Sext and None are to be celebrated in the same order, that is: the “Incline unto my aid, O God,” the hymn proper to each Hour, three Psalms, lesson and verse, “Lord, have mercy on us” and concluding prayers. If the community is a large one, let the Psalms be sung with antiphons; but if small, let them be sung straight through.

Let the Psalms of the Vesper Office be limited to four, with antiphons.

After these Psalms the lesson is to be recited, then the responsory, the Ambrosian hymn, the verse, the canticle from the Gospel book, the litany, the Lord’s Prayer and the concluding prayers.

Let Compline be limited to the saying of three Psalms, which are to be said straight through without antiphon, and after them the hymn of that Hour, one lesson, a verse, the “Lord, have mercy on us,” the blessing and the concluding prayers.”



Note:  To be inclusive, the even-numbered chapters below have been adapted for a women’s community and the odd-numbered chapters are for a men’s community.

Selections above from Saint Benedict’s Rule for Monasteries, translated from the Latin by Leonard J. Doyle OblSB, of Saint John’s Abbey, (© Copyright 1948, 2001, by the Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, MN 56321). Adapted for use here with the division into sense lines of the first edition that was republished in 2001 to mark the 75th anniversary of Liturgical Press. Doyle’s translation is available in both hardcover and paperback editions.

Benedict’s Rule: A Translation and Commentary by Terrence G. Kardong, O.S.B. is the first line-by-line exegesis of the entire Rule of Benedict written originally in English. This full commentary — predominately literary and historical criticism — is based on and includes a Latin text of Regula Benedicti (Liturgical Press).

RB 1980 in Latin and English with Notes is a modern, scholarly translation ed. by Timothy Fry, OSB (Liturgical Press, 1981), 672 p. The translation by itself is also available in paperback.