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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Office, (the) Divine

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Office, (The) Divine

(Lat. officium divinum), is the name popularly given since the 9th century to the collection of services enjoined for the canonical hours (q.v.). It is called by St. Basil and the Greek Church the Canon; by SS. Jerome and Benedict God's Work; the Cursus or Course in the Roman rites; the Collecta by St. Pachomius; Synaxis by Cassian; and Missa, in 506, by the Council of Agde. These services are prescribed to be read each day by bishops, priests, deacons, and subdeacons in the Roman Catholic Church. Under the head BREVIARY (See BREVIARY) may be found a general description of the contents and the arrangement of that great service-book. The special portions assigned for any particular day constitute what is called the divine office for that day; and each person who is bound in virtue of his order to recite the Breviary is obliged, under pain of sin, to read, not merely with the eye, but with distinct, although it may be silent, articulation. each and all these portions. The adjustment of the portions of the office of each day, the combination of the "ordinary" portions which are read every day in common with; the parts "proper" for each particular day, is a matter of considerable difficulty, and is regulated by a complicated system of rubrics (q.v.). Treatises De Divinis Officinis (on divine offices) appeared in the Middle Ages from the pens of some able writers of those times, particularly Amalarius, John Scotus, Walifrid Strabo, and others. The term "Divine Office" is also applied to the Introit (q.v.) and Vespers (q.v.). (J.H.W.)


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Office, (the) Divine'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/o/office-the-divine.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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