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Re:Opening the Doors
I don't know if it's my place to say this, but it might help, if
we're to talk in terms of Dana's line of reasoning...
The Book of Hours is not, as he says, primarily about the Virgin
Mary -- what he's thinking about is a suppliment, called the Little
Hours of the Virgin. The Hours are a manual for chanting the Book of
Psalms, known as the Divine Office. For a monk, and certainly for many
of the laity as well, the Office was part of the daily routine: get up,
say a psalm. Go to work, say a psalm. Break for lunch, psalm again.
There are even a few hours that were meant to be chanted at midnight --
that is to say, if (or when) one woke up after a few hours' sleep. Over
the course of a month, the whole 150 psalms would be said.
If this seems odd, it gets even more complicated: certain psalms
were supposed to have medical and other benefits as well. My personal
feeling is that our favorite book is medical. (Just a hunch...) If it
is, wouldn't it be true that it would contain such things as medicinal
plants (including newly found ones --assuming this is the 16th century--
again, just a guess) such as the Girasol Artichoke ( a tuber found in
some species of sunflower), medicinal baths, astrological advice, and
recipes. So including a few psalms or prayers would not be amiss.
I know I'm out on several limbs here, but I'd like to think I helped
the group, even a little....