Liturgical imperialism

Lester K. Little ( Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy in Medieval Europe , 66-7) writes, “In Benedict’s Rule, the liturgy took up about one-fourth of a monk’s waking hours; by the late eleventh century it had expanded to fill practically the entire day. The original number of psalms to be recited each day was 40; by the end of the ninth century the number had increased to 138; and two centuries later it had reached 170.”

Liturgy colonized hours once spent in labor because the monks said psalms “on behalf of the benefactors of monasteries” and to “intercede for the living and to commemorate the dead.”

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