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The

Canonical Hours.

According to the Use

of

The Guild of S. Alban.

DOMINE EXAUDI.

London : J. Masters, Aldersgate Street. J. T. Hayes, Lyall Place, Eaton Square.

Hull: C. Peck, Lowgate. Birmingham : B. H. Leather, New Street.

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PREFACE.

IE OFFICES FOR THE SEVEN CANONICAL Hours according

of consist of

to

and Evensong of the Church of England, with Prime, Terce, Sext, None, and Compline, arranged after the plan of the ancient services for those Hours.

Great changes having been made when the Matin and Vesper Offices of the old monastic bodies were converted into Morning and Evening Prayer, and adapted to general use, alterations in the other Hours have become indispensable. It has been our earnest endeavour to make these alterations in a manner agreeable to the principles which guided the reform of our Church a reform which was indeed only a return to older precedents,and yet to retain the spirit and character of those Offices, used throughout the middle ages, whence the Matins and Evensong of the Church of England were themselves compiled.

Thus the Reformers having chosen, in Matins and Evensong, to say the whole Psalter, and to read the whole Bible, regularly through (in the former of which they merely returned to the first principle of all Breviaries), rather than to preserve the very generally commemorative character of those Offices, we have ventured to transfer that character to the Prime, which was always made of more importance than the Day Hours of Terce, Sext, and None.

For the rest, we have chiefly followed the Cistercian use, as being the most ancient and the most easily reconciled with the English Church Services.

It is the duty of every member of the Guild to use these Offices, but only so often, and in such manner as not to interfere with the other duties of life, and the necessities of his daily avocations.

PREFACE. They are not imposed on him as a task; for he had better leave them altogether unsaid than make them a burden, and say them as a matter of form without devout attention and serious recollection. He ought, if at all possible, to use the daily services of Matins and Evensong; for they come to him not by the mere direction of the heads of a voluntary Society, but upon the far greater authority of the Church herself.

Most men, however actively engaged in secular pursuits, do find themselves at times with a few unoccupied minutes: surely this their leisure cannot in any way be better employed than in the use of some such devotions as these here presented. Happy is he who, stealing a few moments from the world, can give himself occasionally to so good a practice: happier far is he who, using them with unbroken regularity, can say with the Psalmist, “Seven times a day do I praise Thee, because of Thy righteous judgments."

OF THE SAYING OF THE OFFICES IN COMMON HALL,

OR ORATORY.

The OFFICIANT sayeth the Offices in his own place or stall, standing, except during the saying of the Lord's Prayer and the final Benediction.

The Psalms are sung antiphonally. The Cantor commenceth the first Psalm alone: all the rest join their voices to his after the close of the mediation of the first verse. The second verse is sung by the opposite side alone; the third by the Cantor's side, and so on alternately.

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