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Friday, May 10, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 130

Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Part Five: PRIME


Karl D. Keller

    There are many devotions we can practice throughout the day, but one of the most efficacious of these, besides the holy Rosary, is the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are various versions - long ones and short ones - dedicated to Our Lady and it is the intention here to share the approved devotion with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from over a century ago with readers. Here is presented the third hour of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Prime, which means "First" or "earliest hour of daylight." Like Lauds, Prime is much shorter than Matins and can be said at the appointed hour of 6 a.m. just after waking before daily Mass. As always, one may say it at the appointed time or all it once continually with the other hours in succession.

PRIME    (6 a.m.)

   After introducing you to the importance of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary in my first installment Our Lady of the Great Event, and providing the First Nocturn and Second and Third Hours of Matins, and recently Lauds, today I will share with you the beauty of the office of Prime, normally said at dawn or 6 a.m. and considered the Third Hour of the day

    It is my intention to console Our Lady by helping to make the recitation of Her Little Office more accessible and consoling to others in the hope that more people will pray it and realize how comforting it is to know that the Mother of God Herself, hundreds of years ago, provided this means of grace to Her children. In order to do that, I have put together the following that I will present each week so that all will eventually have access to the Little Office.

    All of the prayers of the Little Office each time will be listed here with a link to the Psalms or other passages of Scripture at for the most exact translation of the Douay-Rheims version. Each psalm will be prefaced by some thoughts from Explanation of the Psalms & Canticles in the Divine Office by none other than St. Alphonsus Liguori, translated by the Rev. T. Livius, C.SS.R., with a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from 1887. To these are added some of my thoughts on how the same psalms relate to the situation through which we are living, an age of Apostasy, which many, myself included, believe to be the Apostasy foretold by St. Paul. I have tried to organize it in such a way as to keep a smooth flow as I will treat a different nocturn each time.

The Hours

    Once all these installments are published, you'll see where one can pray the Little Office from Matins to Compline straight through in about 90 minutes. Nearly half of that is needed for Matins and Lauds. The "little hours" of Prime, Tierce, Sext, and None require only about 7 or 8 minutes each, so all four can be said in around a half hour. These are the hours and psalms for the soldiers of the Church Militant, encouragement for the soldiers of Christ. If your schedule is very crowded and your days very busy, as mine are, and you cannot pray all of the hours, my suggestion is to pray the little hours, either all together in the morning, at noon, or any time really, or at three a.m. (Lauds), six a.m. (Prime), nine a.m. (Tierce), noon (Sext), three p.m. (None), six p.m. (Vespers) and compline just before going to bed or nine p.m.


    Hail Mary, secretly, which is said always at the beginning of all the Hours.

    V. Come + unto my help, O God.
    R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
    V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
    R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

(Thus is said Alleluia at all the Hours throughout the year, except from Septuagesima to Holy Saturday; for then is said: Praise be to Thee, O Lord, King of everlasting glory.)

Psalm 92
Dominus Regnavit.
The Glory and Stability of the Church of Christ.

    This beautiful hymn becomes more lovely the more it is prayed. It is said at all of the little hours, Prime, Tierce, Sext, None, and at Compline. The first four lines are to remind us that the Creator of the universe deigned to take flesh and dwell among us and that he did so by assuming our mortality through the Blessed Virgin Mary. It sounds as if we are reminding Christ Our Lord of this fact, but it hardly seems necessary to remind Him of it! It works to my advantage to realize that I am the one to be reminded of this essential fact of our salvation. The three brief stanzas are a summation of the profound mystery of the Incarnation: the first focuses on the fact that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; the second, directs our thoughts to the Blessed Virgin, through whom He became man; the third gives glory to the Most Holy Trinity and Our Lady. It is repeated five times each day and can be said to be the germ of the entire Little Office.

      Remember, O Creator Lord!
      That in the Virgin's sacred womb
      Thou wast conceived, and of her flesh
      Didst our mortality assume.

      Mother of grace, O Mary blest!
      To thee, sweet fount of love, we fly;
      Shield us through life, and take us hence
      To thy dear bosom when we die.

      O Jesu! born of Virgin bright!
      Immortal glory be to Thee;
      Praise to the Father infinite,
      And Holy Ghost eternally. Amen.

    Ant. Mary was taken up.

    Ant. Advent: The Angel Gabriel was sent.

    Ant. After Advent: O marvelous intercourse.

    (In the little hours, there is only one antiphon, said before the first psalm and after the third psalm.)

    We see these truths reflected in many of the mysteries of the life of Our Lord and His Holy Mother recalled in the Holy Rosary. Our Lord's Body was lifeless in the sepulchre and was suddenly resurrected in a glorious form, King of Kings and Lord of Lords; Our Lady's body lay lifeless in her tomb and was suddenly raised body and soul into heaven where she was crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth; the Church lay lifeless in the upper room, with Our Lady in the midst when the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, descended with the sound of a strong wind and with fire and quickened the Church so that she was born anew on Pentecost Sunday. So now, though the Church seems to be dead and buried, she will be resurrected and Her glory restored even greater than it was before. This is the fundamental reason that Our Lady encouraged Mother Mariana to be faithful to the recitation of the Little Office and why she was equally insistent on the daily recitation of the Holy Rosary. We must keep these truths alive in our hearts in order to persevere.

    Ant. Mary was taken up.
    Ant. Advent: The Angel Gabriel was sent.
    Ant. After Advent: O marvelous intercourse.

Psalm 53
Deus, in nomine
A prayer for help in distress.

    A prayer of David asking God to deliver him from the soldiers of Saul, by whom he was surrounded. It may serve for all Christians who find themselves assailed by the temptations of the devil. Cardinal St. Bellarmine remarks that the Holy Church, in her choice of this Psalm for the Hour of Prime, admonishes us to fortify ourselves betimes by prayer against the tribulations and temptations that we may have to meet with in the course of the day.

    If David was surrounded by his enemies, much more so is the Catholic of our day who is trying to keep the Apostolic Faith unchanged in the face of the church of Antichrist which has eclipsed the True Catholic Church and driven the faithful underground.

    As you begin to read and pray the psalms of the little hours, that is, the hours read during the working part of the day, so to speak, that the tone of them changes. Whereas in Matins and Lauds the psalms were of praise and wonder at God's glory and magnificence, they now reflect the aspect of the supplication of a soldier of Christ in battle against His enemies. Remember when praying these psalms to focus on the fact that you are speaking to Someone. Perhaps you can pause briefly after saying O God or O Lord to remind yourself that you are not reciting a poem in a book, but you are speaking to the Creator of the Universe!

    This psalm sets the tone for the little hours and puts the soldier of Christ in the proper frame of mind for beginning the day's combat: We are in a battle. This day is one of so many in the spiritual warfare against the enemies of Christ and His Church. We must ask God to protect us against our enemies, keeping in mind that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against Satan and his slaves, who want to destroy our souls so that we cannot take their places in heaven that they lost when St. Michael cast them out. It ends with a reminder that God hears our prayers and will deliver us from our enemies if we persevere.

    Remember to pray that the enemy, the church of darkness that has eclipsed the True Catholic Church, be driven from Rome, and that a true pope be restored to the throne of St. Peter. That is our battle.

Then go to Psalm 53.
Complete the Psalm with Glory Be...

Psalm 84
Prayer to obtain the complete restoration of Israel.

    In this psalm mention is first made of the deliverance of the Jewish people from captivity, and afterwards of the redemption of the human race from the slavery of the devil. The fruits of this redemption are, moreover, predicted. We can make use of the Psalm to obtain these fruits, as the Holy Church does in the Office for Christmas.

    Thou hast covered all their sins, or, as Bellarmine well explains, Thou hast hid them from Thy Face, not to see and punish them. When God covers sins, He cancels and forgives them, as if they had never been.

    If Thou, O Lord, art appeased, and turnest Thine eyes towards us, Thou wilt give us life, by causing us to rise again from sin to grace, and Thy people will rejoice in Thee, singing Thy praises.

    I will listen to what the Lord my God shall say to me in my heart; because He will speak of the peace there is for His people, that is, of the reconciliation that Jesus Christ, their Redeemer, will obtain for them, who is called by Isaias, Princeps pacis [Prince of peace](Is. ix. 6).

    Mercy and truth, that is, justice, will meet at the coming of the Messias, so that then justice satisfied and peace bestowed shall mutually embrace. St. Jerome and St. Augustine understand by Mercy, the coming of the Savior for the Gentiles, to whom He was not promised; and by Truth, the faithfulness of the Messias with respect to the Jews, to whom He was promised. --- We have used the future, will meet and will embrace, because in this Psalm the advent of the Messias is foretold as something yet to come. The Psalmist speaks in the past, because as Bellarmine remarks, the poetical language of the Orientals often expresses the future in the past tense to denote the certainty of the prophecy.

    At the hour of Prime, our Lord Jesus Christ was led to Pilate and accused; In the same hour, after His Resurrection He appeared to Mary Magdalen. - The Myrroure of Our Ladye

    Who can doubt that God's wrath has been kindled, or rather, enflamed against us. Just as the Hebrews were driven into exile and captivity in Babylon due to their infidelity, so now the Church has been driven into the wilderness: the True Mass and Sacraments are almost impossible to find; the Apostolic Faith is held by a tiny remnant while an imposter church masquerading as the True Church sits in the Vatican and in our once Catholic churches. We must pray this psalm intensely each day begging Almighty God to have mercy. In addition, we must fast and offer sacrifices as Our Lady asked at Fatima. There is no doubt that God will end this eclipse, and that the Church will be restored and that Her enemies will be confounded. A true successor to St. Peter will return to his See and Holy Mother Church will triumph. We have Christ's promise that this will be. His anger will NOT stretch forever, but it may last quite some time. We must be humble and keep our eyes upon Him and His Holy Mother Mary and wait for them to act.

    He will show His mercy to them that fear Him and are converted in heart. He will grant us His salvation. Those who persevere until the end will be saved. How wonderful of Our Lady to lead us to these psalms in Quito, almost 400 years before this eclipse of the Church came upon us. How loving she is to prepare us and shield us from the just wrath of her Son.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Then go to Psalm 84.
Complete the Psalm with Glory Be...

Psalm 116
Laudate Dominum
Exhortation to praise God.

Go to Psalm 116.
Complete the Psalm with Glory Be...

and then:

    Ant. Mary was taken up into Heaven, the angels rejoice and with praises bless the Lord.

    Ant. Advent: The Angel Gabriel was sent to Mary, a virgin espoused to Joseph.

    Ant. After Advent: O marvellous intercourse! the Creator of mankind, taking a body with a living soul, vouchsafed to be born of a virgin, and becoming man without man's concurrence, bestowed upon us His Godhead.

The Little Chapter

    The Little Chapter asks "Who is she that cometh forth...? This army set in array is the Church. Why would anyone have to ask, Who is this? Why is the Church rising? It is because right now the Church is hidden; She is out of view; She is being eclipsed by a false church, the church of Vatican II, the church of darkness; and the whole world has been fooled into thinking that that monstrosity is the Catholic Church. For that reason, when the TRUE Church, is released from Her imprisonment, when She comes out from the catacombs, no one will recognize Her! They will be in awe at Her beauty, at Her majesty. The good will rejoice, but the wicked will be in terror because they will see the very power of God in Her as a powerful army ready to avenge the innocents who have been oppressed by their enemies for so long. Just as Our Lord, Our Lady, and the Church arose from their sepulchres, so will Holy Mother Church arise and Her enemies will be scattered.

    Before and after Advent: Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?

    Advent: Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel: butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good.

    R. Thanks be to God.
    V. Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin.
    R. Give me strength against thine enemies.

    Lord, have mercy.
    Christ, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.

    V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
    R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

    Let us pray. O God, who didst vouchsafe to choose the chaste chamber of the blessed Virgin Mary in which to dwell; grant, we beseech Thee, that fortified with her defense, we may find our joy in taking part in her commemoration. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

    V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
    R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
    V. Let us bless the Lord.
    R. Thanks be to God.
    V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
    R. Amen.

    In the next installment we will treat the Fourth Office of the Day - Terce, which is said at 9 a.m.. Again, I encourage you to allot time in the future to include this meaningful practice in your life for saying the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I know She'll greatly appreciate it and respond with many graces.

Karl D. Keller

      Karl D. Keller is a Catholic trying to live and die as a loyal son of Holy Mother Church. A father of nine, grandfather of five (so far!), he believes all things revealed by God through His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. He rejects anything else, even if it comes from men who do not keep the Catholic Faith and pretend that they can change it. Only Catholics can hold office in the Church. His goal is to encourage others who are trying to keep the Faith not to despair, but to persevere, with the help of The Mother of God, by promoting the recitation of Her Little Office, and the apparitions in Quito, Ecuador in the 1600s, where she described herself as, Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso, which does not mean Our Lady of Good Success, but rather, Our Lady of the Good/Great Event, referring to the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart and the Reign of Christ the King. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

Treasures of Tradition
Friday, May 10, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 130