Video Diary: 13th Thursday in Ordinary Time (or memorial of St. Elizabeth of Portugal)

A blessed 13th Thursday in Ordinary Time to you and your family. I’m Deacon Ken Crawford and this is my 4th video as a newly ordained deacon. Today my topic is going to be about the Ordo. I had a little revelation this morning. For those of you who don’t know, as deacons we are obliged to pray Morning and Evening Prayer every day. That comes from our Liturgy of the Hours book. It’s a little bit of a complicated book. There are different sections. There’s the Psalter. There’s the Common of Saints. You have to use you ribbons to know which section you are going to be praying from. To figure out those things we have this book (the Ordo), that’s not just for that, (it also tells priests what prayers to use at Mass and all those sorts of things) and it tells you, what is today.

So if we were to open this guy up and look at July, 5th, which today is, we would find that actually today is the optionl memorial of St. Anthony Zaccaria or St. Elizabeth of Portugal. Now Ordo’s are actually very specific. This one here is for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. And while there is lots of commonality between the Ordo for this region and other regions within the country they do vary slightly and then of course as you move to other countries they change even more.

What was on my mind today and why I decided it would be the topic of today, was I said “optional” memorial. There are different levels of feasts. There’s everything from a Solemnity to a major Feast, to a mandatory Memorial to an optional Memorial. Because the Liturgy of the Hours is somewhat complicated and more complicated when you have a higher level feast; there’s more ribbons you have to use and more sections you have to reference, there’s a great temptation on optional Memorials to just do the regular prayers. On a weekday during Ordinary Time, only requires one ribbon. I always use the gold ribbon for the Psalter which is the center-piece of the Liturgy of the Hours. Thus it is very tempting to want to do that.

And I thought to myself today, is that really the right mindset? Think of who someone has to have been in history as a saint. Not all saints get on the general calendar. There are probably approximately 100 or 150 of them like that through the whole year [point of clarification: that’s the number that are in the Ordo or general calendar]. It seem very unending. That’s something like 1 out of every 3 days or something like that. But think about that…

150 most holy people in the history of the Church.

How could we possibly say, “Oh, it’s optional, let’s not worry about them.” So I think I’m going to change a bit the way I do my morning and evening prayer. I’m going to do the optional memorials from now on. I didn’t this morning as I was praying my Morning Prayers or Lauds as it is sometimes called. However, this evening when I get to Vespers, I’m going to use the prayers associated to St. Elizabeth of Portugal. How could we not? How could we not honor those people?

Yes, there are lots of them, but that’s the beauty of our faith. There are thousands upon thousands. We should never let the quantity of them turn our hearts away from their holiness.

That’s my thought for this morning. A little bit of a learning for those of you who don’t know much about the Liturgy of the Hours and the Ordo. You will often see this in the sacristy and priests use it to know what they need to do for today’s Mass. And the of course Liturgy of the Hours, every clergy person is expected to pray these. Priests and bishops, they have 5 hours a day, or 5 times a day that they have to pray. They have to pray the Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Mid-day Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer. And Deacons have to do the Morning and Evening Prayers. Maybe someday in the future I’ll go over more of the details of it.

But wanting to keep these short I’m just going to go with that today. Thank you all for your prayers for my grandmother. She seems to be getting better. Thank you for your prayers for me. I’m blessed to have this ministry. And I promise to pray for you, your families. And God willing, I’ll see you tomorrow.

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