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Saturday, 12 July 2008

Breviarium Romanum blog (and poll)

A new blog, just started yesterday, is Breviarium Romanum. the author is Sacerdos who already writes the blogs Meeting Christ in the Liturgy and The Liguori Society.

Breviarium Romanum is
"Dedicated to a profound spiritual life for all priests especially through the praying of the Breviarum Romanum."
There is a poll in the sidebar asking whether you pray the Breviarium Romanum so you could drop by and take part. (H/T Fr Z)

I remember at one of the CIEL conferences making a little intervention from the point of view of a parish priest, mentioning that I prayed the Roman Breviary. The great scholar Laszlo Dobszay picked me up on this and pointed out that the 1962 breviary was not really the Roman Breviary at all since the structure of the psalmody had been so radically altered by Pope St Pius X. There are some pertinent observations on this subject in Alcuin Reid's excellent book "The Organic Development of the Liturgy."

He was right and if I could actually get hold of a copy of an earlier breviary, I would be very much inclined to use it. However, it must be said that the use of the 1962 breviary does have the merit of giving a structure to the day, and of giving the whole psalter for the week. Sadly, by 1962, many further changes had been made, particularly the reduction of matins for most feasts to only three lessons, truncating the important second nocturn into a single reading. Many breviaries of this time also had the new "Bea" psalter.

Recently, a member of the schola who come to sing at our monthly Missa Cantata at Blackfen showed off a breviary that he had obtained from St Philip's Books which was pre-1955, with the vulgate psalter, and the propers for the Diocese of Southwark. As we were sitting outside the Robin Hood and Little John consuming a pint or twain of Traddie's Old Dappled Headbanger Ale, I thought I could get away with snatching it and making off in the direction of Bexleyheath to catch the B13 bus home. A skilfully executed rugby tackle saved me from having to admit to a completed act of theft at my next confession.
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