During the early months of 1825 we find Eugene and the Oblates preoccupied with revising the Rule of Life that they had written seven years earlier. Their lived experience had led them to make some changes in the text that they wanted to have officially approved by the Church. We find some of this reflected in the letters of Eugene. Today he comments on how the Liturgy of the Hours should be prayed by the group together:
The Office must be said in a very recollected manner, without being sung or intoned, but composedly and with care to observe the pauses.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 10 February 1825, EO VI n.169
In the Rule this was expressed as:
Art. 2. The Office will be recited with great spiritual recollection in choir, without chanting or intoning, but without haste, with gravity, with exact observance of the pauses.
1825 Rule, Part One, Chapter Three, §6 Divine Office.
He always insisted upon the importance of recitation of the Office in common:
No one can forget the importance we in our Institute attach to the recitation of the Divine Office in common. Hence it is recommended that all our communities be so attached to the fulfillment of this duty in accordance with the spirit proper to us, that even if the greater number in a house happen to be absent and there are only two present in the community, they are to assemble in choir at the fixed time to recite the Office together.
Act of Visitation of Notre Dame de l’Osier, 16 July 1835,
in Selected Texts n. 269.
“Use vocal prayer…very slowly, trying to realize the meaning with which it is charged and remember that…you are only a unit in the Chorus of the Church, so that the others will make good the shortcomings you cannot help.” Evelyn Underhill