QUAERITUR: Dirunale and Nocturnale

A reader asks:

I purchased a Monastic Diurnal and am quite pleased with it.  I am interested in obtaining a Nocturnale that contains the entire Vigils of the Monastic Breviary, including the Psalter, Sanctoral, and Temporal, all in the 1962 rite.  I am considering making my own, but if it is available for sale, I would rather just purchase it.  Are you aware of where I could buy this?


A Nocturnale Romanum is available from the Abbey of Farnborough in England.

When I visited the Abbey this last year, the Abbot very kindly gave me some of their books, including the Diurnale.

It is a splendid book, beautifully bound.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Flambeaux says:

    I have been using this for several years and I am still very happy with it.

  2. Flambeaux: I have their Monastic Diurnal, but I wonder if it’s the Nocturnale Romanuum that you’ve been using. If so — since no details appear at the Abbey Press site — I’d much appreciate a brief description. Does it indeed contain the “entire Vigils of the Monastic Breviary, including the Psalter, Sanctoral, and Temporal, all in the 1962 rite”, in the same Latin-English format as the diurnal?

  3. I don’t think a Nocturnale Romanum will match up with the Monastic Diurnal. The Monastic Diurnal is accorcding to the (pre-Vatican II) Benedictine monastic office and calendar. The Nocturnale Romanum is… well Romanum.

    There’s been talk of reprinting the companion book to the Monastic Diurnal, but it hasn’t happened yet as far as I know.

  4. Here’s a review of the Nocturnale Romanum by Alcuin Reid.

  5. Flambeaux says:


    I’ll be of no help. The unclear referent of the pronoun in my post was the Diurnal, not the Nocturnal. Sorry. :(

  6. Samuel: Thanks, I infer that the NR is Latin only, as opposed to the Latin-English of the MD.

  7. That’s my impression, but I don’t have first hand knowledge. It’s from a GGerman publishing house.

  8. Matt says:

    Lancelot Andrewes Press has a single volume Matins book that corresponds (more or less) to the Abbey Press Diurnal. It is 100% English and takes its psalter and scriptures from Anglican Sources such as the KJV etc. It counts the Sundays after Trinity by default rather than Pentecost and uses the Book of Common Prayer feasts with an appendix for Western Rite uses (Orthodox). It is sort of a mish mash ecumenical office book because it is a translation of the Catholic Benedictine Office into English by Anglicans and then published by a Western Rite orthodox publishing house. Useable by all three.


  9. Ah… glad to see it’s come out.

  10. Henry,

    What version of the breviary do you use? I personally use the Anglican breviary when I can as it is the old Traditional office with amazing translations of both the prayers & the psalms.

  11. J. Wong says:

    Greg, I recently puchased the Anglican Breviary. I am very with it.

  12. Jakub says:

    Just received my Dirunal Friday, now I have the pre & post ’62…

  13. Greg,

    The details of my personal office defy simple description. Roughly speaking, except on solemnities and notable feast days I use the Newman House Press “Lauds and Vespers” (NO) which has the Latin on the left-hand pages, the RSV English on the right-hand pages (because I’ve been trying to get into a Latin mode, and about 3 psalms/canticles per office hour is about what I can muster on a daily basis right now).

    But for the “bigger days”, I frequently use the Monastic Diurnal for Lauds and a 1962 missal for Vespers, and sometimes also the Angelus Press Officium Divinum for Prime, Sext, and/or Compline.

    None of the afore-mentioned include Matins, for which for some time I used exclusively the Anglican Breviary with those wonderful old Anglican translations of the antiphons, responses, collects, and (not least) hymns, plus the fine old King James psalms. Then about a year ago I started downloading the Latin-English Matins for Sundays and solemnities from http://www.breviary.net which uses the Vulgate (of course) for the Latin and the Anglican Breviary translations for the English.

    What this all boils down to is that several years ago I decided (too trustfully) not to search eBay for a genuine 1962 Roman Breviary, and instead wait for the long- and still-promised Baronius Press Latin-English 1962 breviary. Maybe 2009? (Anybody at BP lurking? How long, o how long?)

  14. J. Wong says:

    Greg, I recently puchased the Anglican Breviary. I am very happy with it.

  15. Matt says:

    @ Henry: Does the Lauds and Vespers contain the propers for the Saints as well, or just the seasons and feria?

  16. Sacristy_rat says:

    I have the Anglican Breviary. I am fond of it. I also have the Monsatic Diurnale, and Little Office. Baronius Press has been claiming for years that a Latin/English edition of the Briviary is a month away! Oh well. I guess we’ll have to keep waiting!

  17. Gordon says:

    As far as I am aware, there is no complete monastic night office with plainchant notation for all the days of the year and feasts, etc. There was printed in 1895 a “Responsorialis Monasticum” which had the entire offices for all the major 1st class feasts of the year, from Christmas thru to Corpus Christi, Does’t have newer feasts like Christ the King)& feasts from December 8th on. Not all the saints days have full offices, but has complete common offices, & various bits n pieces for Sunday responsories. The one bound copy I had aquired, I gave to a monastic community on a mountianside in New Mexico. (Not saying who)Anyway, prior “lost it” Don’t know if he ever found it. But I had the sense to photocopy every last page before hand! The Carthusians do I think, use full chant for the antiphons etc every night. Would love to get a hold of a hand size Carthusian night office book. The ones they use in choir are truly massive! Old Cistercian choirbooks are likewise huge. All kept on choir stalls for use of two or three monks. Do not know if any Cistercian places still use them. These huge tomes are not things you could just carry away, or order thru the mail either supposing some monastery would ever let you have one, and I doubt they would dare part with such stuff. Solemnes “new” Antiphonale monasticum” from 1980 does have notation for the night office antiphons, but only for ferias and Sundays “PerAnnum” Alas….Monastic night office with full notation, supposing that is what one is seeking, and not just the monastic breviary, is probably not out there. Tried making up my own version, never got too far! But really, this needs done by a monastic community. Finally….Monastic offices, ALL offices pre 1960s use Roman office entirely for the Sacred Triduum and office for the dead. (That is no longer in force today). The old Responsorialis from 1895 was commonly found in enclosed Benedictine convents. There might still be a few out there. Wouldn’t use Anglican things, mixing with the Church’s own Office. Otherwise one is doing their “own thing” not what Holy Church sanctions.

  18. Gordon says:

    “Liber Responsorialis” is the title of the 1895 night office book I should have given in post above. It was produced by Solesmes. (I spelt that wrong above as well!)

  19. Matt: Does the Lauds and Vespers contain the propers for the Saints as well, or just the seasons and feria?

    Unfortunately, the Novus Ordo Latin-English “Lauds and Vespers” edited by Fr. Peter Stravinskas includes only the Proper of Seasons, not the Proper of Saints.

    (This thread got kicked down the page so fast that I didn’t see your question when you posted it.)

  20. JMM says:

    Sacristy Rat, I just emailed Baronius Press and they said that the Breviary will come out of the typesetting stage in a couple of weeks and will commence on the proofreading. Thus it will come out in a few months.

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