1961 Breviarium Romanum – online: dynamic site

From a reader:

I am writing to you about a website I have created that you or your readers may find useful.  The address is  HERE. I actually e-mailed you in 2008 when I was beginning this project, and your encouragement at that time was appreciated.  This is an online dynamic version of the Breviarium Romanum according to the rubrics of 1961.  By “dynamic” I mean that each office of each day is constructed on the fly so that all of the appropriate prayers, hymns, psalms, commemorations, etc…are displayed with no input required from the user or needing to follow different links to obtain the required information.  The layout is simple hopefully easy to follow, so I hope to be able to reach as wide an audience as possible.  I think this site may be very useful to seminarians, for example, who are not normally required to recite the office daily, but may want to cultivate a traditional liturgical sense.

As of this afternoon, the site is usable with some restrictions
.  The primary restriction is that I do not yet have Matins completed; this is a huge project in itself, and I felt that having the day hours available for use with no Matins would be better than delaying the entire project until Matins could be completed.  Other smaller aspects of the site still need work, but these do not detract from using the content currently available.  For example, I still need to format some pages more to be more pleasing to the eye (for example, by including an extra line break between text), and I am continuing to proofread the texts.

Future enhancements will hopefully include the option to localize the site (for example, to include local feasts), ability to generate PDF files for downloading/printing individual hours, optimization for mobile browsers such as the iPhone, and more.  Though the site is not optimized for mobile browsers, the main content displays well on the devices I have tested, and the only problem areas are the page headers and footers.  Even though the site is not 100% complete, it is definitely usable and hopefully will enable anyone who wishes to pray the traditional office.

As I said, I am unsure if my site can be any help to you or others, but I thought I would inform you of its progress in case you find some need for it.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Denis Crnkovic says:


  2. TJB says:

    For those interested there is also an excellent site for the Liturgia Horarum here:

  3. Furacao says:

    I want to express my gratitude, and admiration, for such a really fine effort. This site is very well done. May God bless you for your work!

  4. Fr. WTC says:

    great stuff. the restoration is achieved one project at a time.

  5. Fr. Aidan Logan, OCso says:

    A great job and a very practical alternative to http://www.breviary.net/ with its constant jumps from page to page and pre-Pius XII rubrics. (However, their illustrations are really great.) One observation: The Domine, exaudi/Dominus vobiscum is not repeated in commemorations at Lauds and Vespers. After the antiphon and V/R one goes directly to Oraemus and the collect. If there are two commemorations, the conclusion is omitted from the collect of the first commemoration — as at Mass.

  6. John Enright says:

    What a great site! I plan to use it (ahem) religiously!

  7. Timothy Mulligan says:

    I am a layman. I know only a little Latin. (I had four years in high school, but it was not rigorous and I was not serious.) However, I have a deep desire to pray the Breviarium Romanum. I had been praying the Liturgy of the Hours, but something was missing.

    Someone suggested the Divinum Officium site to me several weeks ago and I was astonished. What an excellent service to God and your brethren! I received the new Breviarium Romanum published by the Priestly Society of St. Peter last week. To quote the Fleetwood Mac song, “I’m over my head, but it sure feels nice.” I have seen how I can use the Divinum Officium to learn to use the books; it helps me to verify that I have chosen the correct prayers, etc.

    I’m setting myself a goal to become competent in ecclesiastical Latin at a basic level this year. (I have Collin’s Primer and the Scanlons’ Grammar.) The beauty of the Breviarium Romanum beckons. It will radiate more and more as my comprehension grows. Glory, glory, glory . . .

  8. William says:

    Like Timothy M. above, my knowledge of Latin is rudimentary. Why, oh why, I ask you CLERICS, can you not give us the English along side the Latin so that by daily exposure and repetition people like us can absorb Mother Church’s official language? Those of us who grew up with hand missals have no trouble following Holy Mass in Latin. Sacred Liturgy is not the exclusive preserve of an esoteric few. To borrow a Zulsdorfian expression, “GRRR!”

  9. Fr. John says:

    Does anyone know of any computer program or website for training you in the Latin vocabulary particular to the Brevarium Romanum?

  10. Timothy Mulligan says:

    William, the Divinum Officium site offers the option of reading an English translation alongside the Latin.

    However, there is something to be said for Latin only. Parallel text in English can become a crutch, preventing someone from ever learning to think in the new language. Immersion works wonders.

  11. booklover says:

    In the Saturday Office of the BVM Lauds I is said, even in Septuagesima. So the antiphons & psalms are incorrect; the antiphon for the Ben. & collect are correct.

  12. Fr. John: A valuable aid is the classic

    A Dictionary of the Psalter
    Dom Matthew Britt OSB (1928)

    “Containing the vocabulary of the psalms, hymns, canticles and miscellaneous prayers of the breviary psalter”

    Ostensibly contains every Latin word in the Vulgate psalter. The definition of each Latin word is followed by an example or two of its use. Surprisingly often, the psalm verse cited turns out to be the very one from which you looked up the word.

  13. Father Wilson says:

    Baronius Press is planning a printing of the traditional Breviary: it will contain the text of the three volume Divine Office published by Collegeville in 1964 — which means Latin and English in parallel columns — except that the prose English translations of the hymns will be replaced by poetry. It will be wonderful.

  14. Coletta says:

    Like Timothy M. and William I have been trying to learn and using the
    Divinum Officium site
    I recently acquired the Diurnale and hope to learn enough ecclesiastical Latin
    to have a sense of the meaning. Please pray for me to have the grace
    of Latin tongues :)

    oh- and I finally got the 1962 Missal from Angelus Press too. Who needs to eat when one
    can buy books?

    Thank you for all these aids to instruction and prayer.

  15. Rob says:

    I love all these websites, but can anyone tell us where to buy the actual books of the traditional office. All I have been able to get is the partial Officium Divinum sold by Angelus Press. Where, and how, does one buy the entire office?

  16. Timothy Mulligan says:


    You asked where one may go to buy the entire Divine Office.

    Behold: http://fraternitypublications.com/brrotrobrso.html

  17. Joan Ellen says:

    Now you are really cookin’ Fr. Z!

  18. Joan Ellen says:

    Oh! My mistake. I thought you did it Fr. Z. Anyway, it is still good cookin’. I wondered how you fit that in also.

  19. julianna says:

    This is the best version that I have found which gives the choice of having only latin or latin and english. It further gives the choice of having the english translation and the choice of versions in the Tridentinum, Divino Afflatu, 1955, 1960.
    What is the difference of the 1961 version?

  20. Mark M says:


    I would not recommend the Angelus one. It is nicely produced for what it is, but it is not a lot… it only accomodates a few of the Hours for each day, and only does seasons in general.

    I would instead recommend the Diurnale Romanum, which is available quite cheaply if one does not have to say matins.

    I would also second the recommendations for lzkiss.net / divinumofficium.com (same site). Very good. I use it all the time when I don’t have books with me. It is very dynamic and flexible (and complete).

  21. Coletta says:

    You asked where one may go to buy the entire Divine Office
    it is here:


    I did get the Diurnale there for a very good price as Mark said. Then I use the online version for Matins.

  22. Great site ! Another good site is :

    Recite the Office

  23. Rob says:

    Wow! Thank you all for the links. Finally I have found the books!

    Now, does anybody have any idea where I get the money to buy them?

  24. bryan says:


    I now know what the first website in the morning will be.

    And the last one at night.

    Bravo, Daniel.

  25. Vienna Guy says:

    nice. though http://www.divinumofficium.com has a simultaneous English translation next to it. Unless you’re fluent in Latin, one can’t pray the psalms and honestly know what you’re praying without it. So nice work, but I require the translation too.

  26. Michael O'Connor says:

    Some very nice sites, but as I was assembling Vespers for March 6, I found some discrepencies between the Officium Divinum site, the Divinum Officium site and the Liber usualis of 1961.

    For the Magnificat antiphon
    OD gives: Qui me sanum fecit, ille mihi præcepit: Tolle grabatum tuum, et ambula in pace.

    DO gives: O Doctor optime * Ecclesiae sanctae lumen, beate Thoma, divinae legis amator, deprecare pro nobis Filium Dei.

    The Liber usualis gives: Istarum est enim …

    Well, which is it???

    Confused chanter

  27. Daniel says:

    As the author of the website Fr. Zuhlsdorf was so kind to mention, I would like to thank everybody that has visited the site and offered comments/suggestions. I fixed the issues that have already been brought to my attention today, such as typos and incorrect psalms being displayed (due to a programming mistake I made last night while tweaking). I hope the website may help at least some of you deepen your prayer lives…whether you are canonically required to pray the office or not.

    As for Michael’s comment @ 11:29 re: the Antiphon of the Magnificat on March 6… My website is completely according to the rubrics of 1961. I did this so that it would be “in line with” Summorum Pontificum. I do not have the personal knowledge to know what things are permitted that were not in force in 1962 (such as the pre-1955 Holy Week), so I stuck strictly to the guidelines. Having said that, while the divinumofficium.com site allows for several options for the hours (including different sets of rubrics), I have noticed several mistakes in the rubrics for 1960. I believe one example is March 6 (Ember Friday). In the 1961 rubrics, Ember Friday of Lent is a 2nd class feast, which means this year Ss. Perpetua & Felicity will be commemorated at Lauds. On the other website (which I do not want to detract from by any means), Ss. Perpetua & Felicity are the feast of the day with a commemoration of Ember Friday. This is incorrect according to the rules in place as of 1962, so either the logic of the other website is off or the rubrical setting option does not quite work when switching between the different available versions (1955, 1960, etc…). However, I am not sure why the Liber lists “Istarum est enim…”…sorry I can be of no help in that regard.

    I hope this helps!

  28. Richard says:

    Excellent and very useful site

  29. A beautiful resource! Our sincere thanks to those who have worked and are working on it!
    Will accent marks eventually be placed on the Latin words of three syllables or more?
    I deplore the decision not to use the letter j and to write this consonant as i. Dropping j in favor of i just makes Latin more difficult for people. I recognize, however, that the editors are just following the usage in the Editio Typica and at the Vatican in general.
    Thanks again for a great job!

    Most cordially,

    Dr. Rudolph Masciantonio
    Chairman, Philadelphia Chapter, Latin Liturgy Association, Inc.
    429 S. 20th St., Apt. A
    Philadelphia, PA 19146
    e-mail: Rudolphus9@aol.com
    telephone: 215 732 6431
    website: http://www.latinliturgy.com

  30. Michael O'Connor says:

    Daniel, thank you for your work on this. I’m still a bit confused about all this and will need to find a 1962 LU or Breviary to clear it up no doubt. According to the 1961 LU (as posted on musicasacra.com) The March 6 feast of SS Perpetua and Felicity is a double. Normally that would take precedence over a double Feria (Ember Friday), BUT others have suggested that the feast (I guess as of 1962) is a third-class feast (as is St Thomas Aquinas, which I would raise to a first-class, but it’s probably a good thing that I don’t have that power!). If this is true, then Ember Friday takes precedence and the feasts are commemorated only at Lauds (which I’ve heard several times, but have not found the documentation). Anyway the LU provides rubrics for both 1st and 2nd Vespers for the feasts I have mentioned, further muddying the waters. What actually would you sing for Vespers on the evening of March 6, then? If anyone has expertise in this area, I’d be thrilled to hear from them. My own work is in the Middle Ages…

  31. Daniel says:

    Dr. Masciantonio,

    Yes, accent marks will eventually be included in the texts. I did not realize how important the accent marks were until I was about 1/2 way through the texts, and at that point I felt it better to continue without accents than to have 1/2 of the texts accented while the others were not. I plan on accenting the texts for one hour at a time, so that all of Lauds may be accented, but Vespers is not for example. How long this will take is anybody’s guess at this time.

    Mr. O’Connor,
    I cannot speak on the Liber as I have never really looked at it in depth. The use of doubles was discontinued by 1961, so it appears the Liber still has “old” information. I am sure somebody more knowledgeable than myself will have the exact reasoning, though. You may want to look into purchasing the ORDO MISSAE CELEBRANDAE 2009 by via lulu.com that was put together by Rinascimento Sacro. It is a traditional ordo with all that one would expect to find. I cannot completely verify its accuracy, but I do know that ordo lists March 6 as Ember Friday (2nd class) with an ordinary commemoration of Ss. Perpetua & Feliciy. If it were myself, I would stick with what is on my website – Feria Sexta Quatuor Temporum Quadragesimæ (2nd cl) with a commemoration of Ss. Perpetuæ et Felicitatis (Martyrum) at Laudes. I hope this helps!

  32. Mark M says:


    ‘The use of doubles was discontinued by 1961, so it appears the Liber still has “old” information.’

    You are correct; the Liber was never updated, and thus does not reflect the post 1961 ranking system.

    As regards the Ember Days, they are 2nd class feriae and outrank Ss Perpetuae & Felicitatis (3rd class).


    If one sung Vespers (EF) on March 6th this year it would be that of Friday in Ember Week of Lent:
    V/R: Angelis suis;
    Magn. ant.: Qui me sanum fecit;
    prayer “Exaudi nos misericors Deus”

    The commemoration of Ss Perpetuae &c., will only be at Lauds (see Tabella Occurrentiae).

    Not sure about Dr Masciantonio’s arguments about j versus i. Is it just me, or do polyglots have no problems viewing ejus and eius the same?

  33. Michael O'Connor says:

    Mark M, many thanks. That does clear up the issue nicely. I had no idea that the Liber usualis was never updated. Will take your advice to be sure.

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