My “daily bread” includes praying the Liturgy of the Hours. This is a traditional form of prayer that once was only prayed by clergy & religious, but now is enjoyed & practiced by laity as well. As an Adrian Dominican Associate, an increase in prayer-life is expected & I chose to add this to my daily routine. The LOH book pictured above was given to me by Sr. Margaret, OP who is part of my Mission Group. This prayer book once belonged to her mother, Jane, who was a 3rd Order Franciscan.
This is an older edition Liturgy of the Hours & it was very confusing to learn how to use. When I first started attending LOH at St. Lucie’s parish Fr. Mark would sit behind me & helped me out (I learned in spite of his good natured teasing!). Being an artist & a visual learner I created the elaborate color-coded yarn bookmark (pictured above) to assist me in keeping my place in the book & keeping my place throughout the liturgical calendar. Fr. Mark still sits behind me, but he doesn’t need to ask if I need help anymore (he still finds opportunities to tease me, though!). I also found this great site for the times when I do lose track due to a lack of “daily bread” (this happens during the school year at least once a month!).
I treasure this little book for several reasons. First of all, it is a gift from Sr. Margaret & it was her mother’s. That makes it dear to her, and dearer still to me. We Dominican women can be sappy & sentimental! I also treasure it for the sense of connection it gives me. When I pray the LOH I feel connected to God, scripture, and others all over the world that are praying the same prayers & contemplating the same message for that day. I also treasure this little book for the little “edits” that Jane added throughout.
I laughed out loud at the first edit I noticed: “…make your Church a more vivid symbol of the unity of all
mankind.” And, later that same morning, “You must never grow weary of doing what is right, brothers.” What about us “sisters”? There have been a few times when I’ve come across necessary edits that Jane somehow missed. Some may find crossing out & writing in a book offensive, but not me, not if it’s done with respect to the both the reader & the message.
I feel left out of the “salvation story” and the history of our Church when the NT Letters are only addressed to “brothers”, and do not include “sisters” (thankfully our daily & Sunday mass readings all use the address “Brothers and sisters” for these readings). There is even a Canticle (Daniel 3:57-88) in the Sunday Week I prayers that I simply had to edit. I mean, really? “Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.” Like there weren’t any holy women in the OT, or any since then? Of course I added “and women” to Daniel’s oversight. I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it; just an honest mistake.
In my previous post, Perfected in Love, skywanderer commented on the use of a gender-biased prayer that I quoted from this book (see post & comments here.). I promised pictures of my LOH book with Jane’s & my edits. So, enjoy the pictures below. Disclaimer: I do not encourage or support vandalism of any kind, so please do not “edit” books that are church property. I do encourage you to chuckle knowingly when you see gender-biased pronouns!