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THE

SECUL AR’S OFFICE;

OR,

APPROPRIATE EXERCISES FOR EVERY DAY IN THE WEEK,

Arranged in a form similar to that of the

ROMAN BREVIARY:

To which are added,

MORNING AND EVENING PRAYERS,

DEVOTIONS FOR THE TIME OF MASS, &c. &c.

"Be ye filled with the Holy Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms, and
hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing and making melody in your hearts
to the Lord."-Ephes. V.

“Seven times a day I have given praise to thee, for the judgments of thy
justice."-Ps. 118.

WITH THE APPROBATION OF THE
MOST REV. ARCHBISHOP ECCLESTON.

BALTIMORE:
PRINTED BY JOHN MURPHY,

146 MARKET STREET.

1839.

THE NEW YORK
PUBLIC LIBRARY

866286 A
ACTOR, LENOX AND
TILDENHUNDATIONS

R 1936 L

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1839, by Rev. CHARLES I. WAITE, in the Clerk's Office, of the District Court of Maryland.

PREFACE.

PRAYER is one of the principal duties, and one of the greatest consolations of a Christian life. Watch and pray, is a command of our Divine Saviour, which his true followers have never ceased to observe from the very origin of religion. “When the fires of impious persecution prevented the erection of temples in which this homage could be solemnly paid to the God of infinite power and mercy, the Christian looked upon the universe as his temple. On sea and on land, in the desert and in the cultivated field, in the prisons of Rome as well as in the privacy of domestic retirement, did he offer the tribute of his praise. His prayer, like his faith, was known from one extremity of the earth to

before 1936

. the other. But, though the life of the primitive Christians was a continual prayer, there were certain periods more particularly appropriated to this holy exercise. Several fathers of the church make mention of the seven hours which are now termed canonical hours; and we learn from Cassian, that, in the monasteries of the East, the religious were assembled at six different times in the day for the purpose of chanting the praises of the Almighty."* This holy practice of devoting a considerable time to prayer still subsists in the church, and her ministers are required, under a serious obligation, to recite daily the ecclesiastical office, commonly called the breviary, because it is an abridgment of the office formerly used, and is a summary, as it were, of the most instructive and edifying passages in the holy scripture and in the

* See Collet, Traite de l'Office Divin.

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