QUAERITUR: concerning Notitiae and the 5th vol of the Liturgy of Hours

Recently I have had a couple questions which mention Notitiae.

Notitiae is the official publication of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.  In Notitiae the Congregation publishes editorials, scholarly studies, new liturgical texts, reports of plenary meetings, speeches or writings of the Holy Father pertaining to liturgy or liturgical law, official responses to questions called dubia.

Here is the first:

I was wondering if there are any online or otherwise searchable databases for the Notitiae from the CDW.  I’m doing some research this summer on the sacramental role of the deacon in the context of Mass, and wanted to see if any questions pertaining to my particular topic have been addressed by the Congregation.  I already know what the answers are to may of my questions, but I need to cross-check that with anything that has been officially stated by the Church.  Any thoughts?

My thoughts?  I wish there were a searchable database of Notitiae.

Don’t forget to consult the Holy See’s Directory for Deacons and also the searchable indices of the CD-ROM disks of L’Osservatore Romano.

This question also came by e-mail:

Dear Father,

Do you have any sense of when 1) the Liturgia Horarum 5th volume, currently in proof form according to Notitiae, might see the light of day, and 2) if there are any plans for a new edition of the basic 4 vols.?

My set is worn and weary from years of use and I am planning to purchase another, but would hold off if anything new is coming down the pike.

The questioner is referring to a volume which will be a supplement to the Latin edition of the post-Conciliar Liturgy of Hours, which replaced the Breviariarium Romanum.  Clerics, most religious and consecrated virgins are obliged to recite this each day.  Many lay people are beginning to recite it also, alone or in groups, to unite themselves in their own way with the Church’s official daily prayer.   You might think about prayer as divided into three types, liturgical (ecclesial), communal, and personal.  When the Liturgia horarum or Breviarium are used, people unite themselves with the entire Church which prays incessantly chasing and running before the sun in our planets whirlin’g sweep.


The old Breviarium and the newer Liturgia horarum are in four volumes, dividing the year but all having the same structure.

The Office of Readings, after the hymn and three psalms, has two readings, the first from Scripture, and the second from sub-Apostolic, Patristic, Conciliar texts, or works of doctors, saints and other spiritual writers.

The "5th" volume of the Liturgia horarum has been in preparation for some years.  It will not be so-much a further division of the liturgical year (I believe the Ambrosian volumes divide the year in 5 volumes), as a supplement to all four volumes.  The 5th volume will offer addtional optional readings for the Office of Reading… optional readings for second reading only, not the first.

I asked Cardinal Arinze about this volume yesterday evening (he was with us for a few days at a group of priests in an annual gathering).  The Cardinal Prefect responded that the Congregation is indeed working on the volume, that progress is being made.  It is very difficult to balance the right variety of readings, suitable for the occasions.  Also, it will be necessary to find the proper critical editions and then be sure the translations of the non-Latin texts are good.  It is a complicated process.

In any event, there is progress with the 5th volume.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. josephus muris saliensis says:

    Your first questioner might find some useful links on this excellent resource site of the Congregation for Clergy: http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerus/ I have not had time to look.

  2. I have had a question about the Liturgy of the Hours that has yet to be answered satisfactorily. Does a priest fulfill his obligation to pray the office if he uses a breviary that is approved, but not by his Episcopal conference. For instance, can an American priest pray the office using the British breviary? I have heard a lot of answers from a lot of sources but nothing definitive. Any thoughts?

  3. Pater, OSB says:

    I second Fr. Christensen’s question! And is there anywhere stateside to attain to British set?

  4. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    The so-called “fifth volume” would also provide the complete 2-yr. cycle of biblical readings for the Office of Readings. Notitiae printed the complete “5th volume” contents for Holy Week some years ago (c. 1996, if I remember correctly). The Solesmes monastic lectionary also makes use of the complete 2-yr. biblical cycle. And, at least in the original proofs, the psalm prayers were printed.

    Personally, I think a combination of the BR and the LOH, with the BR and its Matins of 9 lessons for Sundays and major feasts, and the LOH for ferias and memorials, would be a good compromise on the difficult question of the breviary and its reform.

  5. Joe M. says:

    The UK set can be had from http://www.amazon.uk.

    Peace in Christ,

  6. Robert says:

    For what it’s worth, as to Fr. Christensen’s question, I have a priest friend who asked our bishop about this, and he was told that it would be fine to use the British breviary, as long as he retained the American Breviary for use when groups of priests prayed together. He has used the British Breviary now for several years.

    I have seen the British Breviary listed on Amazon. I think it is published by Collins.

  7. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    Be sure to get the newest printing of the “British Breviary”. It was recently reissued. The 1998 version is a mere reprint of the 1974 original, with no revised content. The English-Welsh bishops recently revised their proper calendar.

  8. Gregory says:

    As the Missal is being re-translated by ICEL per the requirements of Liturgian Authenticam, will the Liturgy of the Hours also be being re-translated? If so, I’d imagine it will take some years . . .

    Just curious. Thank you for an AMAZING service to the church, Father. I read this blog daily!

  9. To tell you the truth, I still prefer the Anglican breviary. Too bad this wasn’t used instead of the LOH.

  10. Geoffrey says:

    Gregory said: “As the Missal is being re-translated by ICEL per the requirements of Liturgian Authenticam, will the Liturgy of the Hours also be being re-translated? If so, I’d imagine it will take some years…”

    ICEL told me the Martyrology would be translated after the Missal, however I assume they would first tackle the Liturgy of the Hours, the Ritual, and the Pontifical before doing that. It’s going to be a while.

    I love the Liturgy of the Hours and try to pray it daily. It’s a wonderful thing to know you are united and saying the same prayers as your pastor, bishop, cardinals, the pope, and even Fr. Z! ;-)

    The abridged English edition titled “Christian Prayer” has the list of the 2-year cycle of readings in the back.

  11. Papabile says:

    This is a list of Dubia from Notitiae that is fairly interesting. Most, if not all of it, is spread out through the DOL also….


  12. Christopher Milton says:

    Am I the only Catholic geek that thinks it is totally AWESOME that you were able to chill with a.)a bunch of other priests and b.)Cardinal Arinze. The man is like the Catholic equivilent of a MLB player or something – or at least he is in my mind. A-MA-ZING!

  13. Emilio III says:

    I have a question for anyone with the current Latin LOTH: what are the days between Jan 1 and Epiphany?

    I know this must seem foolish, but my original copy of the US version has those days listed as Monday through Thursday. With the wonderful rubric “If this day falls on a Sunday the Te Deum is sung.”

    When I temporarily misplaced the volume and bought another set, and noticed that they had omitted the “Sunday” rubric. I think it should have been left there, and instead “Monday through Thursday” changed to “Jan 2 through 5”.

    Did somebody accidentally translate the second day of January as the second day of the week?

  14. To the first questioner in regards to the diaconate, you may just have to dig through the printed copies of Notitae. You should also have a look at “Documents on the Liturgy 1963-1979, Conciliar, Papal, and Curial Text” 1982 ISBN 0-8146-1281-4. I would be pleased to give you any assistance in regards to the diaconate and liturgy if your questions are primarily academic – contact me at bdavidkennedy@yahoo.ca

  15. Jörgen Vijgen says:

    A complete index of Notitiae (1965-2004) has been printed last year by the Vatican Publishing House. Libraries subscribed to Notitiae should have that index. Here is the link:http://www.paxbook.com/algorithmiS/servusPrimus?iussum=monstraScriptumEditum&numerus=31582

  16. Brian in Seattle says:

    Will the fifth volume also have the 2nd year of the biblical readings? I noticed in my breviary set a while back that there seems to be an optional second year of biblical readings for the OoR, or maybe I am thinking of a second year of saintly/conciliar readings (though I am pretty sure I saw a second set of biblical citations in the list).

  17. Geometricus says:

    An invitation to all those who pray the LotH: I recently started to attempt to pray the Latin version, and the only hurdle that was significantly getting me down was understanding the hymns. [Fr. Z will remember me struggling with these back when he was a parish priest at St. R’s–yes, Father, I am still at it!] I have recently decided to do something about it. The results of my study I am posting daily at Hymnos Debitos Canamus, a blog I started last month to wrestle with the wily poetic Latin we find in some of those hymns.

    I would call my level of study of Latin “intermediate” at best, but I think after a month I am starting to get the hang of the subjunctive! Please join me, whether to praise or correct, whether to encourage or heckle, whether to wonder at my skill or just to point and snicker at my ignorance.

  18. Renato says:

    Hi Friend! Nice to meet you! I live in Brazil and I’m 36 years old. I saw your profile on Blogger’s Choice Awards. Just dropped by to say “hello!”… I admit that I don’t understand all the words here but I can see It’s very interesting and great work. Congratulations! Keep up the good word my friend. I’m a new Blogger (started five days ago…) We are in a competition, but i taste very to make New Friends all over the World! Just voted your blog. Good Luck and GOD bless you! Do visit my blog. About: peace, prayer, saint, love, lord… It’s about GOD, religion, spirituality… You’re very welcome! Thanks and I’ll come back sometimes, ok? Warm greetings from Brazil, Renato (sorry, my little english. It is not very good because this is only from American Music. I only vrite my post in portuguese) PEACE!

  19. Padre Steve says:

    I would love to see the Notitiae online as well! This sounds like a great idea to me!

  20. Larry says:

    My understanding was that the 5th volume also would include the so-called votive offices. Since this volume was mentioned in the intro to the 4 volume set some 30 years ago and we are still waiting I will try to remeber to include a note on it in my Will becasue I feel certain it will be another 30 years before we see an English version. They might have a copy available for us to read at the General Judgement and we won’t have any breath to hold!

  21. Someone gave me a gift some years back, of the Daugthers of St Paul edition of “The Office of Readings.” Very convenient volume if you follow the reformed calendar, or if you just want to contemplate various writings of the Fathers. Sadly, it is out of print, and a reprint would be good news, I should think.

  22. Jeff says:

    Ah, Notitiae and the 5th volume of the LotH. These have become 2 of my favorite topics recently.

    Jörgen Vijgen mentions the Index published by CDW, very useful. It lists all the article, all the dubia, etc. I’m glad I have it. As for Notitiae itself, I found that is hard to find a library that has it. Even in the seminary I attended they only had the first 4 volumes, very sad indeed. However, through searching used booksellers online I was able to find someone who had a very complete set, and for a wonderful price I was able to obtain all the volumes of Notitiae 1965-1988, 1991, 1993, 1997-1998. Truly fascinating reading.

    Regarding the dubia in the DOL, keep in mind it only goes up to 1979. There have been some significant decisions since then. Such as in 1988 someone asks if the Deacon can say, “Mysterium fidei.”?

    Now the 5th volume of the LotH. I discovered that through reading the Reform of the Liturgy. I suspect that like many other things, when the CDW was suppressed in 1975, it was forgotten about for a while. In 1976 the Congregation published the 2 Year Cycle of Biblical Readings for the Office of Readings. I make a chart on my webpage where I lay out both the First and Second Cycle. Dr. Lee Fratantuono is right a sample text of Holy Week was published in Notitae, it was in 1993. I understand that the 5th volume will contain the 2nd Cycle of Readings, the Psalm Prayers, the Hymns that weren’t included in the 4 volume edition, and other things.

    Now the re-translation of the LotH, from my discussions with the National Liturgy Office in Canada, it is the next project after the Missal. The biggest decision will be, what Biblical translation will they use, and was will they do for the Psalms?

  23. Sid Cundiff says:

    Just delighted to hear that the 5th vol is coming out.

    I currently use the UK version, and I can’t find in it the list of the 2 years Bible readings. Does anyone know if this 2 year reading list is available on-line? Or at least the verse citations? Or where it is listed in the Latin edition? Is the The Solesmes monastic lectionary available for purchase?

    I’ve always thought that lengthy Bible readings belong in the Office, not at Mass. Ditto hymns.

  24. Jeff says:

    Sid: Yes. After searching for a while to see if I could find it and not having any luck. I was able to get the 1976 edition of Notitiae and put it on a spreadsheet. I also put in the 1 cycle for ease of reference.


    Click on Liturgy of the Hours and there is a PDF file with it.

  25. Robert says:

    There is a great book, hard to find, once published by Liturgical Press, called Commentary on the General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours. Can’t remember the author, but I have it at home if anyone is interested in that info. Anyway, he offers an almost paragraph by paragraph commentary on the Genl Instruction, and he’s where I found out, years ago, about the 5th volume. He also includes the Latin original of the Genl Instruction. I think the commentary is very useful.

    If you want the full info in order to find the book on abebooks or something, email me.


  26. Sid Cundiff says:

    Thank you,Jeff! I got it right away!

  27. Mary says:


    I’ve been thinking the same thing the past few days as I’ve started reading Fr. Z on a regular basis. Strolled over from The Curt Jester.

  28. Fr. McFadden says:

    Regarding “so-called votive offices:” I find that very interesting. I was was under the impression that Trent did away with all of the Votive offices other than the Office of the Dead and the “Memorial of the BVM on Saturdays.” However, I know that in many parishes during the Forty Hours Devotions today First or Second Vespers of Corpus Christi are prayed publicly in the Church, instead of the Office of the Day – which is in effect praying it as a Votive Office. Is this something I could read more about in Notitiae or DOL?

  29. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    So-called Votive Offices were printed in the Breviarium Romanum through the reign of Leo XIII; they disappear after the Pius X reforms.

    They are next mentioned in the rubrics to the LH, which allow broad options for choice of texts. In short, tomorrow, for example, a normal feria, one could conceivably celebrate a “votive office” with texts from the Office of 14 September and consider it a Votive Office of the Holy Cross.

    In my 1888 Breviarium, the Votive Offices have no proper texts of their own, but are borrowed from the appropriate sanctoral and temporal offices. But, I might add, the Leo XIII breviary editions were splendid: the Votive Offices were neatly printed, along with a very generous selection of local feasts, and also the proper offices for the Roman clergy, with all the saintly popes, etc.

  30. Hung Doan says:

    How do lay people obtain access to Notitiae? Only if we found libraries which subscribed to the journal? Can lay people subscribe, if so, how? Finally, this is news to me that there is a whole 2nd year cycle of OoR in the Liturgy of the Hours. Can anyone explain more on this or at least a website explaining these sets of readings and how they’re chosen to be included?

  31. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    Anyone can buy Notitiae through the Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

    Basically, the committee that drafted the new breviary meant for there to be a 2-yr. cycle for the readings. They planned on printing it from the very beginning, but the material proved too massive for a convenient breviary in even 4-vols. (they originally hoped for fewer). So they selected from the 2-yr. cycle and made an abridgement that became the 1-yr. cycle included in the 4-vols. But any reading of the General Instruction will reveal that a 2-yr. cycle was always the intention.

  32. Geoffrey says:

    Regarding Votive Offices, would you treat them as you would an optional memorial? Invitatory Antiphon, Hymns, Reading, Gospel Canticle Antiphon, Intercessions, and Prayer from the Proper or Common, and with the psalms and canticle with their antiphons from the Psalter?

  33. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    Exactly, though the General Instruction even allows for pretty flexible choice on psalms for many/most days of the year. Ditto celebrating the office of some martyrology entry as if it were an optional memorial.

  34. Jrny says:


    This is John R, the same person with whom you met recently concerning the Divine Office.

    While the Pius X through John XXIII Breviarium virtually did away with Votive Offices, the FSSP reprint of the 1961 Breviarium does contain a few Votive Offices (or more correctly put Offices for certain places and Congregations). Among these are those of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus (Thursday after the Sacred Heart) and of the Holy Relics (Nov 5th.). Oddly enough, they bear the imprimatur of none other than Leo Joseph Suenens!

  35. Bro. David says:

    Is there a place/person from which one can get the Latin Liturgia Horarum at a reasonable price? I’ve seen that you can get from the Vatican Store but each volume is roughly 85 euro… that’s A LOT of money!!

  36. Patrick says:

    The new liturgy of the hours, vol.s 1-4 or vol. 5 (!), is a waste of time. It is so untrad. Spare yourself this mod con, and get the real deal: the 1962 breviary. Baronius Press are due to give us a new edition shortly – pray that it may appear soon. The trad brev gives you the 150 psalms every week; in the new brev you have to wait four weeks for same. Also, the trad brev has the ancient psalter, in use for 1800 years, whereas the new brev has the new psalter, which is only about 40 years old – pathetic! Now don’t call me an ultra right-winger; ’cause I’m not advocating a pre-62 brev, or even a pre-Pius X brev (like Rev. Hemming, God bless his merely diaconal soul). I think the ’62 strikes a good balance (oh, sorry!), and it’s what I say daily. Deus, in adiutorium meum intende!

  37. John H. says:


    I’m not sure where you are getting your facts, but the Brevarium Romanum was last issued by Pius XII before 1962, and it includes a revised Psalter, not a Psalter used for 1800 years.

  38. Jrny says:

    John H,

    No, the Breviarium Romanum’s last edition was in 1961 following the Motu Proprio of John XXIII “Rubricarum Novarum” dated 25 July 1960. The last edition of the Breviarium incorporated the revised calendar, new ranking system, and simplification of Matins per John XXIII’s decree. Likewise, John XXIII allowed once again for the Vulgate Psalter to be printed, althought the Pius XII remained the “official” version of the 1961 Breviary. The FSSP reprinted the 1961 Brfeviarium which contained the printing with the Vulgate Psalter; it was not a new typeset – whcih is what the Baronius Breviary will be.

  39. Geoffrey says:

    “The new liturgy of the hours, vol.s 1-4 or vol. 5 (!), is a waste of time. It is so untrad.”

    I knew it was only a matter of time…

  40. Francis says:

    The French translation of the Liturgia horarum (sans readings of the Office of Readings), Priere du temps present, has the scripture references for both the one-year and two-year cycles of scriptural readings. Very uesful.

  41. Actually, something that has not been mentioned is that the current edition of the Liturgia Horarum uses the Neo-Vulgate edition of the Bible. Salva reverentia, but it is a disaster. Not only does it change the words of texts like the Magnificat, it completely erases the goal of the Neo-Gallican Psalter used in the earlier editions of the LH: which was meant to restore as much as possible, given the development of textual studies on the Greek and Hebrew Bible, the language of the traditional Gallican psalter. Now we even have “Iahve” (yes that is the spelling) on Saturday morning in the cantical at Lauds.

    Add to this that the new edition has typographical errors, a layout that makes it long and bulky, and binding that is worse than a cheap paper back–even in the multi-hundred dollor “delux” edition. Cf. the old “economical” edition that was half the price and had a decent hardback binding.

    That this new edition does not work is proved by Vatican pratice: at the Gregorian Vespers sung every Saturday night, the psalm texts used are those of the old edition. So too at every place I have ever been where the new Liturgy of the Hours is chanted in Latin with chant (e.g. the Angelicum in Rome). What a disgrace. The new edition should be suppressed and the old one reprinted with the additions to the calendar. And in the original sturdy bindings. And at a price that priests can afford.

    As to a translation of the Liturgy of the Hours, this could be done in no time: the texts are all biblical (including the antiphons). Just get an electronic file of an approved Bible and cut and paste it together. All that is needed otherwise is a translation of the collects (already done for the Missal) and the Preces–which could be done in a week. Likewise, the second readings at Office of Readings could simply be taken from good published translations, and the copyright cost paid. There is no need to do a “new” translation of the Breviary–it already exists, it just needs to be pasted together.

  42. Brandon says:

    Bro. David.

    Remind me and I’ll hook you up with a guy I know. I got mine when I was in Philly for not very much, considering.

  43. My suggestion for a revision of the Liturgy of the Hours:

    1. Better quality translation.
    2. This is meant to be a sung office! You’d almost never know that from the breviaries published in the U.S. Surely we can have an edition with musical notation to encourage singing the psalms?
    3. Better quality printing and binding, as the congenial Father Augustine suggests.
    4. Include some Latin texts in the breviary, just as we have Latin texts in the Missal.
    5. Publish the breviary in either five or seven volumes:
    I Advent & Christmas
    II Lent
    III Easter
    IV Ordinary Time 1-17
    V Ordinary Time 18-34
    VI Ordinary Time 1-17 alternate
    VII Ordinary Time 18-34 alternate

  44. Bill White says:

    I once emailed Fr John Rotelle about the 2nd cycle of readings; he recommended the 12-volume series “A Word in Season” from Augustinian Press. Here’s volume 1: http://www.augustinianpress.org/word-season-abjr-1d1p.html

    IIRC, he was in charge of the translations of the second readings in the current English Liturgy of the Hours. He recounted the story of those days in an essay in “Companion to the Breviary”. Austin Flannery, O.P. ed. Dublin: Costello Publishing Co. Circa 1970 (out of print).

  45. Geoffrey says:

    Fr. Fox: As a publisher, I confess to have been thinking of something very similiar! ;-)

  46. I know a priest who — minus feast days, etc. — has a continuous reading cycle of the Church Fathers going on… huge chunks of text everyday, working from century to century.

  47. Bailey Walker says:

    I’ve found the “The Mundelein Psalter” to be a very useful supplement to my daily recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours. Granted, it’s a large book and it only has Lauds, Vespers, and Compline. However, it has texts for all the currently approved saints and, best of all, a complete collection of the common and proper hymns in both Latin and English.

    I wish the they would publish a conveniently sized Hymnal with all the “official” hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours. I’ve always thought that the hymn selection included in the English (USA) Liturgy of the Hours is one of its weakest and most annoying features. Providing an expanded selection of hymns as suggested by the General Instruction would be fine as long as they didn’t exclude the hymns proper to the Office.

    And when one sincerely prays the Office, whether the older “Divine Office” or the newer “Liturgy of the Hours,” whether in Latin or in the vernacular, it is always a good thing and never a “waste of time.”

    Oremus pro invicem.

  48. RBrown says:

    My suggestion for a revision of the Liturgy of the Hours:
    2. This is meant to be a sung office! You’d almost never know that from the breviaries published in the U.S. Surely we can have an edition with musical notation to encourage singing the psalms?

    There was one–before the liturgical changes by Paul VI,


  49. RBrown says:

    Actually, something that has not been mentioned is that the current edition of the Liturgia Horarum uses the Neo-Vulgate edition of the Bible. Salva reverentia, but it is a disaster. Not only does it change the words of texts like the Magnificat, it completely erases the goal of the Neo-Gallican Psalter used in the earlier editions of the LH: which was meant to restore as much as possible, given the development of textual studies on the Greek and Hebrew Bible, the language of the traditional Gallican psalter. Now we even have “Iahve” (yes that is the spelling) on Saturday morning in the cantical at Lauds.
    Comment by Fr. Augustine Thompson O.P.

    IMHO, many of the changes to the Latin text, although often defended as a more literal translation, are insignificant from a translator’s POV. Changes to texts like the Iudica Me (42d psalm) and the Laudate Dominum (116th Psalm) seem to me gratuitous, intending little else than the proclamation of a New Age (nb: BXV’s interest in Joachim di Fiore) by disrupting the memory of the old.

    I am reminded that Henry Ford is supposed to have said: All History is more or less Bunk.

  50. Patrick says:

    Fr. Fox,

    I believe the Mundelein Psalter has proper notation for singing the Liturgy of the Hours. I’m pretty sure the seminarians at St. Mary of the Lake use it to sing morning and evening prayer.

  51. Fr. A. Thompson O.P: Indeed. My experience is that the psalms are unsingable with the new version. Though in many ways the Latin is cleaner, the phrases are long and awkward. They are also unmemorable.

  52. Brian in Seattle says:

    Bailey Walker,
    I LOVE the Mundulein Psalter!
    We (students at Bishop White Sem. in Spokane) have taken to using it one a week or so, generally on community night. There are only 10 of us total, few musically skilled, and so we are trying to slowly up our skill at it.

  53. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    I will concede, the pricing of the Liturgia Horarum seems a tad hard to justify. I can attest that the binding is indeed deplorably cheap for the cost of the volumes (at least on the so-called “editio economica”, which is both bad Latin and false advertising at 85 Euros a volume).

    Also, it seems odd that they reprinted the set in 2000, right before a 2001 major addition of some dozen sanctoral offices, offices that required an eventual supplement (2005) – for another few Euros, of course.

  54. Patrick says:

    As for using the Breviarium Romanum, there are a couple of issues. Pius XII released a new version of the Psalter, and John XXIII gave permission for Priests to use either that or the Clementine Vulgate (and no, that was not release by Pope St Clement I!).

    John XXIII shortened Matins to make it more reasonable, while encouraging Priests to read the Fathers. The 1961 Breviary’s biggest hardship is the Office of Matins — the readings are often awkward and somewhat out of context.

    Paul VI, among the better reforms, was to restore the ancient hymns. Pope Clement (I think it was he) had a love for Ciceronian Latin, and had all the hymns altered (lovely images of nymphs et c). The readings for the Office of Readings are, IMHO, better, in most cases than the previous.

    I miss Prime. I miss the one-week Psalter. I hate the marcionite tendency to edit the Psalms for things that aren’t warm and fuzzy enough.

  55. Emilio III says:

    Nobody with a new Latin LOTH is willing to help? Maybe I should wait until Advent and ask again! :-)

  56. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    The hymn issue was due to Urban VIII.

    Pius XII allowed optional use of “his” Psalter, not mandatory. It so happened most breviary publishers chose to print the Pian Psalter…but Pius didn’t require its use.

    The breviary lessons of 1961 are syncopated versions of the originals. Some European publishers actually kept the full lessons, bracketing what was “cut”. Ironically, the Johannine rescript prefacing the 1961 breviary urges priests to read the Fathers, especially now that so many lessons were cut.

  57. Patrick: I miss Prime.

    I don’t. I pray it daily, including the traditional Roman Martyrology for the day. Just before heading off to church for “morning prayer” with those faithful who are gathered for it before Mass. For whatever it’s worth, I find Prime, Sext, and Compline (in Latin) nicely complementary to ICEL morning and evening prayer (which I find more palatable in group use than individually).

  58. RBrown says:

    Fr. A. Thompson O.P: Indeed. My experience is that the psalms are unsingable with the new version. Though in many ways the Latin is cleaner, the phrases are long and awkward. They are also unmemorable.
    Comment by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

    And how about this dandy: Intercessiones, Heb I, Fera III, Laudes:

    Concede nobis hodie neminem umquam contristare,
    –omnes, autem, qui nobiscum sunt, laetificare.

    When the above is read, I think it’s most appropriate to have a balloon tied to the chair.

  59. Jim in Seattle says:

    This is a great write up and comment chain. I have been praying the LotH for 3 years now and find it has helped my faith grow (definitely not a waste of time! ;). I am wondering about the UK version – does it use the RSV? Are the hymns better (agree with the comment on the current hymns). Also, until Baronius Press comes out with their edition, are there any English/Latin versions of the pre Vatican II breviary? God Bless! Jim

  60. Geoffrey says:

    Jim in Seattle: The UK version uses three different bibles throughout, including the RSV.

    Regarding the Office of Prime: Summorum Pontificum clearly restores the 1961 Breviary, however Vatican II specifically abolished Prime. For those required to say the Office, would Prime now be considered optional?

  61. Rather than curse the darkness, I began, some months ago, to produce a Vesperal for the Liturgia Horarum, with all the music necessary to sing it in Latin with chant. I am using the cycle of antiphons prescribed in the Ordo Cantus Officii. Notitiæ, 19 (1983): 244-47, 357-528, along with any adaptions provided by the Propium Officiorum Ordinis Prædicatorum. Vincentii de Couesnongle iussu editum. Romæ, 1982. I have completed Ordinary time with its Sundays and am working on the commons. The sanctoral for Ordinary time will follow. Those who would like to download the PDF of the current edition and use it may do so at Dominican Liturgy (linked to my name). Just send me any errors or typos you note.

    People will notice that I still lack some antiphons: the ones listed in OCO but found in no edited office or on-line digital manuscript. I will slowly add these as I can consult manuscripts and transcribe them. Compline is also available on my site, but I don’t like the look of the pasted in music–it will eventually be revised.

    I might add that the texts are those of the old LH Psalter of 1974, because they are the ones used at the Vatican and the Angelicum. Please be forewared that the music notation follows Dominican usage–there are no Solesmes marks, quilismas, etc. Instructions on how to read O.P. notation will also be found at Dominican Liturgy.

    Fr. Z., yes, the new edition’s Latin is clearer because it erases some of the graecisms, hebraisms, and obscurities of the Gallican version. The old edition is, I agree, also easier to sing.

  62. Daniel Muller says:

    I would like to remind anyone who uses Palm organizers or telephones that the Liturgia Horarum is available as a free download. Here is one of the sites that hosts it. There are a number of free rosaries that are also available at other sites.

  63. Paul J. B. says:

    Does anyone know if the 5th volume will include more canticles from Lamentations for the “extended vigil” form of the office of readings for Holy Week, like some monastic uses currently have? Just dreaming, but also it would be nice to have some reading from the Book of Job for the office of readings in the Office of the Dead, since that is one of the oldest traditions of the Roman Rite.

  64. Sid Cundiff says:

    Any opinions on http://www.universalis.com/ , an on-line Breviary, for private use? The Little Hours, except for the readings, are omitted, and un-official translations are used (which might be a blessing).

    Fantasy-land: Why not have an on-line Mundeline Breviary, but with all the daily offices, AND with audio of the chant? However Mitch Miller it may seem, why not use a new medium to the fullest?

    Whenever I hear the Morning Lauds
    I like to praaaaaaaaaay along …

  65. Jim in Seattle says:

    Jeff, comparing your spread sheet from the Notitiae to the 2 year cycle in the abridged English edition titled “Christian Prayer” (has the list of the 2-year cycle of readings in the back) I notice significant differences. Does anyone know why?

  66. Rob F. says:

    Emilio III said: I know this must seem foolish, but my original copy of the US version has those days listed as Monday through Thursday. With the wonderful rubric “If this day falls on a Sunday the Te Deum is sung.”

    Yes, it was not enough that ICEL mistranslate the Black, they had to mistranslate the Red as well.

    To convert the American version into an accurate translation of what the Latin 2000 edition says, scratch out the word MONDAY in the proper of seasons and replace it with the words “Jan 2”. Then go to TUESDAY and replace it with the words “Jan 3”, and so on.

    Emilio III asked: Did somebody accidentally translate the second day of January as the second day of the week?


    But note that the problem does not exist for the days after Epiphany.

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