Posted by james0235 on February 11, 2008
Lent isn’t going exactly as I had planned. I was sick and so I got off to a late start. But, I have finally started a few things:
In addition to Sundays I am often able to get to Mass at least once throughout the week. I keep a stack of parish bulletins in my car so I always have Mass time information at hand. There are several parishes which offer Masses around noon and even a couple with evening Masses.
During Lent I would typically attend a Wednesday evening Mass that was added just for Lent. My thought was that I would make sure to attend this Mass and then in addition to that I would attend another weekday Mass on another day. And then I learned that this Mass was not going to be offered this year. And a few days later I learned that it was going to be offered after all. So, assuming that it is still on, I should be attending at least 2 daily Masses for Lent. I missed Ash Wednesday but I am looking forward to this week.
2. Liturgy of the Hours
This is something which I used to do quite regularly. I started years ago praying Compline (Night Prayer) on universalis.com. Then I moved on to the one volume Christian Prayer.
And then I moved from Christian Prayer to a book called the Anglican Breviary. The Anglican Breviary is essentially the Roman Breviary (pre-Vatican II version of the Liturgy of the Hours) translated into “Elizebethan” English. Despite its name it is really a Catholic prayer book. For over a year I prayed Compline nightly and Vespers on Sundays. I tried to use English for the Psalms and Latin for some of the prayers – Our Father, Hail Mary, Creed, Confiteor, etc. During this time I would also occasionally use Christian Prayer or The Monastic Diurnal (pre-Vatican II Benedictine Divine Office).
Somewhere along the way I stopped. And I intend to use Lent as an excuse to start again. I am beginning again with Christian Prayer. My plan was to begin on Ash Wednesday and pray Compline nightly and Vespers on Sundays. I actually didn’t start until last night. I prayed Vespers and Compline and it went so quickly that I am considering praying Vespers every night in addition to Compline.
After I get back into the swing of things I may go back to the pre-Vatican II version. But, before I do, I want to try out a book called Prayer of Christians. This was the American Interim Breviary – the version of the Divine Office that was used in the U.S. from 1971 until the Liturgy of the Hours was released in Latin (1972 – 1973) and translated into English by ICEL (1975). This one shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out. According to the late Fr. John Hardon “the revised Liturgy of the Hours is in every respect more detailed than the simplified Prayer of Christians…”.
3. Stations of the Cross
This one should be easy. Just about every parish seems to offer this on Friday evenings. I have also noticed a couple of parishes offering it on Mondays and even one parish offering it on Thursday afternoon.
I was considering following the Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan. It looks to be excellent and I may use it next year. But, I have decided on my own, less structured, plan. I am beginning with Life of Christ by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (Chapter 1 available online).
After I finish that I am going to move on to Volume 1 of Faith of the Early Fathers and see how far I get.
I have decided to do a 24 hour fast at least once a week during Lent. I may end up doing this on both Wednesdays and Fridays.