Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Psalmody Comparison - Just for Fun

The immemorial custom of praying all 150 psalms in one week is a given, but it exists more in theory than in actual practice for more than half the year even under the modified 1570 kalendar which we employ here. So. for no particular reason except to satisfy a bit of curiosity, I decided to track the number of unique psalms which would be prayed under different iterations of the Roman Breviary in a specific week. For this exercise, I chose the first week of Advent 2014 (i.e. 30 Nov - 6 Dec) which contains a, more or less, average mixture of feasts and feriae. The comparisons are based solely on the universal kalendar as rendered under the following iterations as applied to the current year:
1. The actual 1568/1570 kalendar (but using Gregorian dates)
2. The actual 1910 kalendar
3. The CTO
4. Divino Afflatu (1911-1913)
5. Pacelli (1956, aka Bugnini 1.0)
6. 1962 (aka Bugnini 2.0)

Each day shows the number of unique psalms prayed; fragments of psalms (e.g. Ps. 30: 1-6 at Compline) do not count for this exercise. When a particular psalm is repeated, it is only marked once, usually on Sunday, and therefore, not tallied again on the subsequent days it's used (e.g. Pss. 94, 118). Canticles are also excluded from this consideration.

                                     1570        1910        CTO        1913        1956        1962

Sunday, 30 Nov            37            37            37            21            21            21
Monday, 1 Dec               9              9              9            10            16            25
Tuesday, 2 Dec             18              5            18            20            20            21
Wednesday, 3 Dec        19              0            14            26            26            26
Thursday, 4 Dec           18              1              1             19            19            20
Friday, 5 Dec                13            12            13            18             18           19
Saturday 6 Dec              0               0              0            15             15           16

Total Unique Psalms:   114           64            92           129        135          148
% of Psalter:                75.3%      42.0%      60.7%      86.0%    90.0%      98.7%

For the statistical minded:
Mean - 113.67 psalms
Standard Deviation - 28.3 psalms
The CTO is within one standard deviation of the mean, but so are1913 and Pacelli. 1570 is the mean.

Clearly 1910 and 1962 are the outliers, but the the modern "reformers" certainly must have valued praying all 150 psalms weekly as the highest good, no? 


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