Friday, 20 February 2015

Domine refugiam...

This is my favourite setting for Psalm 90 (my favourite psalm) sung by my favourite choir, the choir of Westminster Abbey. It's one of a handful of psalms I know by rote in English. In times past when it was my wont to say some pre-Pius X office on Sundays I came to know many of the most common psalms in Latin, but I long since gave up. I gave up for two reasons, 1, my own indolence, and 2, on account of the nature of liturgy. You can't go about criticizing the decadence, decay and deterioration of liturgy as corporate prayer in the West if you have actually succumbed to the very problem. Liturgy is common prayer, not private prayer, and it's for the whole Church, not just the clergy. If everybody did liturgy there'd be no need of miraculous medals or novena prayers.


  1. Objection. Praying the pre-Pius X Breviary is common prayer, because one is praying it with the living & triumphant Church in heaven. Further, it includes within it both in actual content and in its spiritual breadth all that is present in later emasculated versions of the Breviary. Therefore one prays it with the whole Church.

    1. I'm afraid I have to dissent from everything you have said. Albeit that the services of the Breviary are beautiful and old, there is a marked difference between a man sitting alone in a pew and reading from a book and the common prayer of the church in which a service takes place. These days I view private recitation of the offices as a liturgical abuse unto itself; just like a priest vested for Mass saying a low Mass with nobody present. That is the antithesis of liturgy.

      If the use of later emasculated breviaries constitutes the prayer of the whole church, past and present, then there is no moral reason to use previous versions.