Lauds, or, to speak more precisely, the Morning Office or Office of Aurora corresponding to Lauds, is incontestably one of the most ancient offices and can be traced back to Apostolic times. In the 6th century St. Benedict gives a detailed description of them in his Rule: the psalms (almost identical with those of the Roman Liturgy), the canticle, the last three psalms, the capitulum, hymn, versicle, the canticle Benedictus, and the concluding part. St. Columbanus and the Irish documents give us only very vague information on the Office of Lauds. An effort has been made to reconstruct it in accordance with the Antiphonary of Bangor, but this document may not give the complete office.
Gregory of Tours also makes several allusions to this office, which he calls Matutini hymni; he gives, as its constitutive parts, psalm 1, the Benedicite, the three psalms 148 - 150, and the versicles. At an earlier period than that of the fifth and fourth centuries, we find various descriptions of the Morning Office in John Cassian, in Melania the Younger, in the Peregrinatio Ætheriae, St. John Chrysostom, St. Hilary, Eusebius.
Naturally, in proportion as we advance, greater varieties of the form of the Office are found in the different Christian provinces. The general features, however, remain the same; it is the office of the dawn (Aurora), the office of sunrise, the morning office, the morning praises, the office of cock-crow (Gallicinium, ad galli cantus), the office of the Resurrection of Christ. Nowhere better than at Jerusalem, in the Peregrinatio Ætheriae, does this office, celebrated at the very tomb of Christ, preserve its local colour. The author calls it hymni matutinales; it is considered the principal office of the day. There the liturgy displays all its pomps; the bishop used to be present with all his clergy, the office being celebrated around the Grotto of the Holy Sepulchre itself; after the psalms and canticles had been sung, the litanies were chanted, and the bishop then blessed the people. Lastly, we again find the first traces of Lauds in the third, and even in the second, century in the Canons of Hippolytus, in St. Cyprian, and even in the Apostolic Fathers, so much so that Bäumer does not hesitate to assert that Lauds together with Vespers are the most ancient office, and owe their origin to the Apostles.
Symbolism and reason of this office
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m.
Karen Maguiness 317.844.8595
|Last Updated on Friday, 29 April 2011 17:40|