I’m a priest and religious and I’ve wanted to pray the psalter in the traditional way for a long time and while clearing out our library I came across a Breviary in English from 1964, an approved translation of the official text of the Breviarum Romanum, published by Benziger and with an imprimatur from Cardinal Spellman, all in one volume (one does have to get the Gospel readings from a bible and there’s no text for the martyrology).
My first question is: under Summorum Pontificum do I fulfill my obligation to pray the Divine Office or do I also have to pray the LOTH? At the moment I am only present for Office with my community on some evenings in the week and at that I use the LOTH and pray vespers from the breviary I found later on. I enjoy this alternative (even though the translation is a little clunky) and it certainly puts me into more intimate contact with the psalms. In addition I find the seven hours more effectively sanctifies my day than the LOTH.
My second question: which calendar am I to use. At the moment I try to follow the revised calendar so that Mass and Office harmonize but I had not realised that the creators of the LOTH and the NO also moved so many feasts around! It’s a bit of a mess and of course the saints canonized since the 60’s are not there. I have to admit I miss the readings from the Fathers in the Office of Readings.
That said I want to pray with the Church and not at cross-purposes with her and I want to be obedient while praying the psalter. I am of the generation that was not given the option of learning Latin and as yet I have not the funds to buy a bi-lingual breviary set. So English is my only medium for using the old form for the present.
Your spiritual adviser/director could be of good use here. Be sure to include him.
Priests can use the older Breviarium Romanum and fulfill the obligation.
However, the Breviarium Romanum is in Latin, as is the Liturgia Horarum. The Council’s document Sacrosanctum Concilium stated that clerics and religious were to say the office in Latin unless they obtained explicit permission from their superior to use the vernacular. Since then that has been relaxed, but the principle does remain: Latin clerics should use Latin whenever possible and practical. Of course we now like in an age when clerics – horribile scriptu – are not so well-versed in Latin as they ought to be. I suppose… suppose that a cleric today with permission to fulfill his obligation using the vernacular (which I think is all clerics these days) could also fulfill his obligation with the English version of the older office. Odiosa restringenda and all that.
The calendar situation is messy for clerics who use both forms. That said, I think we have to be flexible and not get overly worked up about it. I usually suggest that when you use the older form of Holy Mass you might also benefit from the older form of office. That takes care of the calendar from day to day. When using votive Masses in the older form, this is obviously less complicated for the office.
There is no reason why you cannot fulfill your obligation with English Liturgia Horarum and then, on your own time as it were, do some hours from the Breviarium Romanum in whatever version to get the feel of it, get used it, get something more out of it, etc. Time consuming? Yes!