Friday, July 13, 2012

Of X-files and breviary supplements- guest post #6

Another guest post from breviary expert Jim McCauley. This one is not so much on history, as on supplements and variants on our current breviary that are currently available. I'll certainly be putting a few of these on my wish list! -Daria

This article was supposed to be on the Pian Psalter, which I will get to , I assure you, But, as some of you may have heard, the Committee on Divine Worship to begin to develop a plan to produce a revised edition of the Liturgy of the Hours, but no timeline is available for this project.  However, I can tell you that a new supplement is due out in 2014.  But still, many of you may ask is there more out there?  Are there other variants?  Well, the first thing to keep in mind is that the African Liturgy of the Hours (updated 2009) and the BritishDivine Office (updated in 2006) are not approved for Liturgical use in the United States or Canada.  Yes, you may  use them privately, if you wish.

But the question remains, are there other approved forms out there?  Yes, as Mulder from the X -Files stated, "the truth is out there," you just have to find it.  What lies out there is a treasure trove of wonderful readings and hymns, the proper offices of the various religious orders.  No, you do not have to be a religious to make use of them, any layperson can do so and it is considered liturgical prayer.  Probably the best known and the easiest to obtain is the Proper Offices of Franciscan Saints and Blesseds in the Liturgy of the Hours.  This is a red softcover volume, just like the 1992 Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours.  It was last updated in 1975 and a new Proper Office is supposedly due out in 2014.  This is a particularly wonderful one ,with the memorial of the Holy Name of Jesus on January 3, the Feast of Our Lady of the Angles of the Portiuncula on August 2, and the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis on August 17.  Please note that the Feast of the Holy Name and the Stigmata are both survivors, as they were once on the pre-1970 universal Calendar of the Church. Please note that the Holy Name of Jesus was re-inserted into the Church’s Universal Calendar in 2001, with the same date of January 3, as a memorial.  The Franciscan proper office book is the only place you can find this office for the Liturgy of the Hours! This may be purchased from Franciscan Media, formerly St. Anthony Messenger Press.

The next one is the Supplement to the Divine Office For The Society of Jesus, a green hardback volume with a ribbon that came out in 2002.  This contains the memorials of St. Edmund Campion on December 1, St..John Berchmans on November 26, Blessed Miguel Pro on November 23 and St. John Ogilvie on October 14.  The reading are superb and it contains in its appendix specialized intercessions for certain Jesuit celebrations.  You can obtain this volume from the Institute of Jesuit Studies in St. Louis, Missouri

When we come to the Carmelites, the American Province last produced a supplement in 1993 while the Anglo-Irish province last produced one in 2006.  Both are out of print and difficult to find.  However, a supplement to the last volume is available, called theSupplement to theProper of the Liturgy of the Hours of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and of the Order of Discalced Carmelites.  This is a 48 page supplement updating the American 1993 volume.  I was told, once again a new one is due in 2014.  This will be a great boon, because the Carmelite proper contains the optional memorial of Blessed Titus Brandsma on July 27, the Memorial of St. Teresa of Avila’s Transverberation on August 26, and the feast of the Prophet Elijah on July 20.  The 2006 Anglo Irish volume contains, extra Poetry, hymns, and readings for vigils, making this a superb volume.  The Supplement is available from Carmelite Media in Tuscon, Arizona.

In regard to those congregations dedicated to the Blood of Christ, they have the wonderfulThe Liturgy of the Hours: Feast Days for Congregations Dedicated to the Blood of Christ.  This is a superb volume, approved by now Cardinal Ranjith when he was Secretary Congregation of Divine Worship in February 2009.  This volume contains the July 1 Solemnity of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, another survivorl from the pre-1970 office.  This is an absolutely wonderful office. The paperback book is available from the St. Charles Center in Ohio.

An odd little supplement I came across: The Oblates of St. Joseph Proper Texts for the Liturgy of the Hours, available from the Marello bookstore in California.  Outside of the feast for the founder (St. Joseph Marello), I can only tell you it is a small, red softcover book, like the Franciscan proper.  I have mine ordered.

Finally, St. Meirad Archabbey has the Liturgy of the Hours for Benedictine Oblates, published in 2009.  It has a leatherette cover with ribbons and gilded edges.  It contains monastic feasts, such as those of St. Meinrad on January 22.  This volume is available from the Archabbey.

In regards to other orders.  I know the Redemptorists, Servites, and Passionists all have their own proper offices.  I emailed the Servites and Passionists and received no reply.  The Redemptorists told me I had to check in with their English province.  In regard to the Dominicans, they had an experimental office come out in 1982, but they actually have no official English translation of their Latin proper offices!


  1. Dear Jim -
    thank you for this wonderfully informative and interesting post! i am looking forward to checking into a couple of these references. I was curious - did you happen to find anything about the particular office used by the trappists?

    1. James Ignatius McAuleyJuly 13, 2012 at 7:18 PM

      Teresa, before 1970 most Benedictine and Cistercian abbeys used some form of the Monastic Breviary. Since 1970 most Abbeys use their own "in-house" psalters- For example, I know the trappists of the Abbey of the Gennessee have their own psalter. I would suggest you contact your local abbey and see what they have available.

  2. Jim--

    Thanks for the information. I am particularly interested in the Office for the Feast of the Precious Blood (July 1st) so I will definitely contact the center for a copy.

    I have the supplement for the Oblates of St. Joseph and they have the Office for the Holy Spouses, Mary & Joseph---beautiful which is celebrated January 23rd. Of ourse they also have their patrons and other feasts. Nice little supplement.

    Thanks again for all your doing----I for one am very appreciative.


  3. Jim, Daria,

    Thank you for this post. It is very informative. Is it safe to assume that the supplement for the Liturgy of the Hours to come out in 2014 will contain the newly translated collects from the Roman Missal?

  4. James Ignatius McAuleyJuly 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM


    As Archie Binker said, "Never assume, unless . . ." All I know for sure is that the supplment to the LOTH will contain the proper offices for those saints added into the general Roman calendar from 1992. I do not know if it will contain the new translations of the collects from the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal. That would be a good idea though.


  5. Hi Jim, Daria
    I placed my order for the Franciscan breviary. I am a candidate and I get frustrated when I know that on an "ordinary" day, I could be celebrating a Franciscan saint instead. Thanks for the post!

    1. Hi Jim & Daria,
      I just received the Franciscan Supplemental Breviary and I'm so excited. I am just in time for the Franciscan Feast of Our Lady of the Angels on August 2nd. Thanks for the great idea.