April 8, 2011

On The Various Forms of Prass

General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours 93-98 describes the particulars of how to combine Mass with one of the Hours. Mass may be "more closely joined" with Evening Prayer, Morning Prayer, or one of the Daytime hours. Except for the option of an extended vigil of Christmas Eve that includes the Mass in nocte, Mass can't ordinarily be combined with the Office of Readings. The GILH doesn't even address the idea of combining Mass with Night Prayer.

Even though I've been going to Mass for almost nineteen years, and have been saying at least some of the Hours for seventeen, I had not experienced this liturgical option until very recently.

It's curious, or at least it is to me, that the liturgical services that result from the 'more close joining' of Mass with one of the Hours do not seem to have their own names. Our friars sometimes use the general term 'Prass,' a contraction of 'Prayer and Mass.'

Playing around with this on Twitter yesterday, I learned some other names:

Evening Prayer combined with Mass is called "Masspers."

Morning Prayer combined with Mass is called "Mauds."

I still don't know what Mid-Morning, Midday, or Mid-Afternoon Prayer are called when combined with Mass. Perhaps Tass, Sass, and Nass, or Merce, Mext, and Mone? I'm not sure about those.

Thanks to @caesius and @mikewgossett


Paul A. Zalonski said...

I do not think it is a good option to combine the Divine Office with Mass unless there is a pastoral need. What do you do with a priest who has to celebrate a Mass at another time during the day and yet is expected to be present for community prayer? The magisterium has certain values that need to be respected in these matters.

For apostolic religious and monks and nuns, what is the perceived need to pray in this manner? Conservation of time doesn't seem to be an adequate reason since we are asked by the Lord to give more of ourselves, not less.

There's at least one monastery of monks that combine the Office with either Lauds or Vespers on a regular basis.

Brother Charles said...

I would tend to agree. Our Constitutions prescribe Morning and Evening Prayer in common as a minimum, as well as a daily conventual Mass. (The Constitutions do admit, however, that the daily community Mass is not always practicable.)

If we find in community that we don't know how to observe the minimum cycle of daily liturgy we have promised by our profession, then I think some other examinations of conscience arise for us.

At St. Joseph's Abbey, where I habitually make retreat, they have Morning Prayer and Mass in succession, though without repeating any particular element. Thus, there is no Our Father in the Morning Prayer and no prayer of the faithful in the Mass.

sam said...

How about "Massins"?

When I visited the nuns in Connecticut, I'm pretty sure they did Terce right before mass. But it was always clearly separate.

Brother Charles said...

Massins sounds pretty cool.

It's an old tradition of religious life that the conventual Mass follows Terce.

Br. Vito Martinez said...

There's a few other terms for the combination of the Divine Office and the Mass. Some of them sounds less flattering than "prass."

I haven't experienced that since returning to my province.