Friday, January 4, 2013

Pre-Epiphany breviary train wreck, plus Thanks and Welcome!

Just back from a two day visit to my daughter in Canada, and was overwhelmed by all your  lovely comments on what the Liturgy of the Hours means to you and your tips for newbies. These will be a great addition to a future Catholic Digest article. For one thing, it will prevent the article from being all about me and what I think about the Divine Office. It will show that a variety of Catholics from various  walks of life are attracted to daily liturgical prayer and have discovered in the psalms a pattern of prayer that covers every longing of the human  heart.
 To anyone who missed this post, please go read the comments, because they well encourage you in your Divine Office habit, and--if you've been lagging due to the upheavals in routine that come with the Christmas season-- will inspire you to get back on track with vim and vigor. ( Feel free to add more comments to these if you didn't get around to it the other day.)

Today, the iBreviary app takes on the annual confusion we Americans find ourselves in during the week before our Sunday celebration of the Epiphany.  Not only do our books not follow the format of the Roman ediio typica, but there is something clearly wrong about the instructions in our books for this past Sunday and Monday. Here is iBreviary's succinct description of the problem:

Due to an error in the liturgical books that follow the translation of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, the weekdays from January 2nd to the Epiphany are incorrectly labeled according to theweekday instead of the calendar date (i.e.'Monday from January 2 to the Epiphany' instead of 'January 2') in the printed books.  

This is clear from the rubrics found  for the Office of Readings in the printed books for the 'Second Sunday of Christmas' and the 'Monday from January 2 to Epiphany'. It is also evident from comparison with the Latin editio typical altera, as well as the liturgical books printed for the use of the UK/Australia/NZ, etc. and Africa. 

Despite this error, we have opted to provide the texts for this week according to the weekday rather than the calendar day. This is because the Roman Missal follows the weekday (i.e.  'Monday/Tuesday,etc. from January 2 to the Saturday before the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord') instead of the calendar date ('January 2', 'January 3', etc.) when assigning Mass texts. By using the texts for the weekday rather than the calendar day, the Closing Prayer at the Hours are aligned with the Collect (Opening Prayer) at Mass. 
Thus, for example, the texts for January 2 are not taken from the incorrectly labeled ‘Monday from January 2 to the Epiphany’ (actually ‘January 2’ in the Latin LOTH),  but from ‘Wednesday from January 2 to the Epiphany’.
Did you follow all that? Sort of?
I think this is a good week to set aside our (USA) breviaries and just stick with digital. That's what I'm doing. I'll get back to my book next week.

Welcome to our  newest blog follower Lisa!

One more thing.  Breviary collector James I. McAuley has sent me many pictures of items from his collection, which includes breviaries designed for lay use (in English) before the Second Vatican Council.  Here is a front piece illustration from the 1942 edition of the Shorter Breviary by Liturgical Press.

I'll be sharing these pictures and/or Jim's comments on them from time to time.