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Liturgica: Matins and Evensong

GROWING UP as a Roman Catholic, I knew little of Matins or Evensong, aside from the assumption that they were associated with morning and evening. Later experience has brought with it an appreciation of the richness and variety in the daily prayer of the Church.

Studying its history helped me to appreciate that the virtual restriction of this kind of office to something only for clergy and religious in the Middle Ages was largely an accident of history and not in keeping with its origins. I became aware that, while monks and nuns may have had their own way of praying together at pivotal moments of the day, so did the wider Church, in a form that was, at least initially, quite user- friendly to the People of God.

* Full article available in printed copies.

John Columba McCann OSB

John Columba McCann OSB

is a monk of Glenstal Abbey, working in education, monastic formation and liturgical music.