'To be human now is the reason we follow the star....'
W H Auden
The Divine Office
The recitation of the Divine office, by its hallowing of time and its daily and yearly rhythms, allows worship to permeate throughout life. It is both an offering of praise and an act of intercession for the world.
Although the offering of the daily office is for the whole church to be engaged with, it is a work that all religious are particularly dedicated to, and each must take full responsibility for its recitation.
The ‘Opus Dei’ – the work of God – rests upon the constant recitation of the Psalter and biblical texts. The recitation of the Psalter provides a direct link to the prayer of our Lord, and over months and years, increasing familiarity with the texts allows them to sink into the unconscious, providing sustenance for meditation and prayer and nourishment for the inner journey.
The ‘work of God’ also refers to God working within us. The texts of the psalms cover every emotion and give voice to all human experience. Thus as we pray them, we learn more about our common humanity and become more deeply immersed in the mystery of the Incarnation.
The daily office is ordered in such a way that it is recited meaningfully and with dignity. Although perhaps nothing essential is lost when the office is said rather than sung, music enhances worship and in the singing of the chant, religious are immersing ourselves within the heritage of monasticism that has its roots within the earliest days of the Church.
Singing also involves the depths within us in a unique way in the offering of prayer and praise.
In continuing the tradition of the Divine Office, we are helped and carried along by the stream of worship that arises from body the Church, and stretches back through time. In this way we are reminded that our worship is joined with the ceaseless worship of heaven.
The daily office here is a four-fold office, comprising of Lauds, Midday office, Vespers and Compline.