Friday, 24 January 2014

A Wealth of Devotions ( and numerous Breviaries)

At Christmas I treated myself to the Baronius Press 3 Volume Breviarim Romanum (above). It is a beautiful product and it has been very interesting using it and discovering some new perspectives on the Latin-English translation of the Psalter. I have no problem with what I acquired it is a quality product well presented and packaged.

Because my prayer book of choice before had mostly been the Monastic Diurnal I had no difficulty with the rubrics and finding my way about the different sections.

The Roman Breviary has a greater selection of Psalms for Lauds in a week. The Monastic Diurnal has a set Invitory Psalm (Psalm 66) - as does the Roman Breviary  (Psalm 94) as part of Matins  - but also each ferial at Lauds Psalm 50 is recited, followed by another two variable Psalms, the Old Testament Canticle, and then Psalms 148, 149 and 150. So in effect with the Monastic Diurnal each and every ferial you are reciting the same five psalms out of the seven in total used for Lauds, being Psalms 66, 50, 148, 149 and 150.

There is a different set of daily Psalms for Lauds on penitential days or seasons in the Roman Breviary. Effectively Lauds II which starts with Psalm 50.

In the Monastic Office you would be expected to recite the Kyrie and the Paternoster each day before the Collect for both Lauds and Vespers, but in the rubrics of the Breviary Romanus it is only before the Collect for Lauds II during these penitential days and seasons mentioned above.

Also in the Monastic Diurnal there is only one single Compline which you use each day which doesn't include the Nunc Dimittis. Again the Roman Breviary has a varying selection of Psalms each night.

Vespers on the other hand are very alike in both Breviaries apart from the recitation of the Kyrie and Paternoster before the collect only occuring on penitential days in the Roman Breviary but daily in the Monastic Diurnal.

Finally the Roman Breviary includes Matins. I have a copy of the Night Office for the Benedictine Office. Both offices are probably too much for a lay-person  with the cares of the world pressing at every side to consider committing to  reciting regularly. (Unlike for example the Office of Readings from the modern Divine Office which is an excellent hour of scripture and spiritual reading in my opinion).

So, I wouldn't say I found the Monastic Diurnal repetitive but at the back of my mind as one of the main reasons for investing in the Roman Breviary was the fact that I would be using a wider selection of Psalms for Lauds. I thought when I acquired it I would probably never need another Breviary ever again. That probably remains true but I must admit I am pining for my Monastic Diurnal.

How strange! I feel compelled to pick it up again and put down my much sought after Breviarium Romanum!

At the end of the day it seems like a choice when you pick up your rosary. "Rosary of the Blessed Virgin or the Divine Mercy Chaplet?

The wealth of devotions available to us. If I had my ideal Breviary it would be

1. Lauds - Monastic Diurnal
2 Vespers - Monastic Diurnal but only because I used it for Lauds
3 Compline - Breviarium Romanum
3 Matins (Office of Readings) - Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours

What is your prayer book of choice then?

1 comment:

  1. I have many books of poems and prayers an ecumenical selection. I like the old Gaelic prayers and charms also.