Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Divine Office – Part 3 Books – Ordinary Form

Tridentine Community News (January 30, 2011):
The official Latin edition of the Ordinary Form Liturgy of the Hours, the Litúrgia Horárum, is published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Vatican Press, and is available at This book gained some local fame when former Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Flores’ official photo showed His Excellency holding a copy, the title clearly visible in larger image views.

Midwest Theological Forum published, with Vatican approval, a Latin edition in 2009 based upon the Vatican’s 2000 edition, but including saints that had been added to the calendar over the preceding nine years. See

A parallel column Latin-English subset entitled, and containing only, Lauds and Vespers, is available from Newman House Press at Though it has some merits over the official English translation, the English in this edition is not the official version and thus may not be used in public prayer of the Office. Also note that this book contains only the Proper of Seasons, and not the Proper of Saints, so it is incomplete. It also suffers from some noticeable typographical errors. It must be viewed as a book to encourage praying the Ordinary Form Office in Latin, with English provided for understanding.

The official English-only Liturgy of the Hours is available at As with many Ordinary Form materials, the current Vatican Latin edition was published in 2000, but this English edition is based upon the earlier 1971 Latin edition. An intervening 1985 Latin edition was never translated.

Tutorial Books

PCP Books has republished 1961’s Learning the New Breviary from Benzinger and 1960’s Rubrics of the Roman Breviary and Missal from The Liturgical Press, two guides to using the 1961 Breviary that will be of interest to those starting to pray the traditional Divine Office. Do not be dissuaded by the word “new” in the first title; it refers to the rubrics that were new when the book was originally published. See The first book is also downloadable from

On-Line Resources, pictured below, is the most comprehensive web site for the Traditional Office. It contains parallel Latin and (hieratic) English, in either cell phone or full PC screen views. It even gives you the choice of viewing the Hours in one of several Breviary Editions, including Divíno Afflátu, 1955, 1960, and the “active” 1960/61 with modified calendar. contains the 1961 Breviary and Little Office of the Blessed Virgin in Latin only. Its chief advantage is that it is quickly navigable.

A downloadable book-format 1961 Latin/English Diurnále Románum is available at: offers a free app for Blackberry, iPhone, and Android phones. Endorsed by the Vatican and rapidly being enhanced, it includes the Ordinary Form Liturgy of the Hours in Latin, English, and other languages. It assumes no expertise on the part of the user and displays the entire Office as it should be prayed. Support for the Extraordinary Form is beginning, starting with the Ordinary of the Holy Mass. We would not be surprised to see the Traditional Breviary added in the future.

The Vatican offers on-demand recordings of the day’s Lauds, Vespers, and Compline in Latin in the Ordinary Form at:

As appealing as it might appear at first glance, is not recommended. It is a confusing, fee-based, pre-1961 edition of the Breviary, prepared from a sedevacantist viewpoint.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 01/31 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. John Bosco, Confessor)

Tue. 02/01 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop & Martyr)

Wed. 02/02 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for January 30, 2011. Hat tip to A.B.]


Anonymous said...

Also worthy of mention is the downloadable version of the Liturgia Horarum available at

Lynne said...

Thank you for the wealth of information. :-)