Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Benedices coronae anni benignitatis tuae: campi tui replebuntur ubertate.

Pinguescent speciosa deserti:
et exsultatione colles accingentur.

Induti sunt arietes ovium,
et valles abundabunt frumento:
clamabunt, etenim hymnum dicent.

- Psalmus 64, Feria quarta ad Laudes II

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In essential things, unity

In essential things, unity.
In doubtful things, liberty.
In all things, charity.

For the reason of unity and in obedience to the Lord's command to "Pray always" the Church legislates and promulgates Her prayer, the essential work of the Church for the salvation of souls. For priests, deacons and religious who have promised to pray the liturgy of the hours faithfully there follows obedience in this essential matter for unity. For this reason, and in common obedience, they therefore must choose either the current form of the "Liturgy of the Hours" or the 1962 Breviarium Romanum for their daily prayer in fulfillment of the sacred promise to pray the prayer of the Church. In this way is fulfilled the Lord's own prayer, "That they may all be one".

For priests this is particularly stressed:

"Sacred ministers have the liturgy of the hours entrusted to them in such a particular way that even when the faithful are not present they are to pray it themselves with the adaptations necessary under these circumstances. The Church commissions them to celebrate the liturgy of the hours so as to ensure at least in their persons the regular carrying out of the duty of the whole community and the unceasing continuance of Christ's prayer in the Church." (General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, No. 28.

For the laity, who have made no such solemn and public promise as have priests, deacons and religious men and women, there is freedom to choose their form of prayer from any such that has ever been in use at any time everywhere in the Church.

In essential things, unity.
In doubtful things, liberty.
In all things, charity.

(Photo: CNS/Reuters)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sanctum est templum Tuum

Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion:
et tibi reddetur votum in Ierusalem.

Exaudi orationem meam:
ad te omnis caro veniet.

Verba iniquorum praevaluerunt super nos:
et impietatibus nostris tu propitiaberis.

Beatus, quem elegisti, et assumpsisti:
inhabitet in atriis tuis.

Replebimur in bonis domus tuae:
sanctum est templum tuum,
mirabile in aequitate.

-Psalmus 64, Feria quarta ad Laudes I

(Photo by author: Church of Saint Peter, Olney, Maryland.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Breviary hymns translated at

A resource for translating the hymns of the Breviarium can be found here, at Latin and English texts are arranged side-by-side for ease of use.

A sample translation is offered below.

Iam Lucis Orto Sidere / Star of Light Now Having Risen

This 6th century hymn is used in the Roman Breviary at the Office of Prime. In the Liturgia Horarum it is found at Thursday Lauds for the second and fourth weeks of the Psalter during Ordinary time.

IAM lucis orto sidere,
Deum precemur supplices,
ut in diurnis actibus
nos servet a nocentibus.

Linguam refrenans temperet,
ne litis horror insonet,
visum fovendo contegat,
ne vanitates hauriat.

Sint pura cordis intima,
absistat et vecordia:
carnis terat superbiam
potus cibique parcitas.

Ut cum dies abscesserit,
noctemque sors reduxerit,
mundi per abstinentiam
ipsi canamus gloriam.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
eiusque soli Filio,
cum Spiritu Paraclito,
nunc et per omne saeculum.

NOW in the sun's new dawning ray,
lowly of heart, our God we pray
that He from harm may keep us free
in all the deeds this day shall see.

May fear of Him our tongues restrain,
lest strife unguarded speech should stain:
His favoring care our guardian be,
lest our eyes feed on vanity.

May every heart be pure from sin,
and folly find no place therein:
scant meed of food, excess denied,
wear down in us the body's pride

That when the light of day is gone,
and night in course shall follow on,
we, free from cares the world affords,
may chant the praises that is our Lord's.

All laud to God the Father be,
all praise, Eternal Son, to Thee;
all glory, as is ever meet,
to God the Holy Paraclete.

From the Liturgia Horarum, translation by Alan G. McDougall (1895-1964).

(Art: Breviarium Romanum, Ghent, 1494 [MS Hunter 25 (S.2.15)])

Monday, July 14, 2008

Vox Domini...

...super aquas,
Deus maiestatis intonuit:
Dominus super aquas multas.

Vox Domini in virtute:
vox Domini in magnificentia.

Psalmus 28, Feria secunda ad Laudes

(Photo by author: Haditha Dam, Iraq.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Divinum Officium for beginners

Divinum Officium, recommended by Rorate Caeli as well as others, offers Latin and English prayers side by side.

Recommended for those who are experiencing difficulty obtaining a copy but who wish to begin to familiarize themselves with the Breviarium.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

From our readers

New Catholic at the celestial Rorate Caeli informs that there is a site dedicated to praying the Breviarium Romanum. This has been added to the links list at right.

He also very generously has added us to his blog list. Benedicamus Domino.

D. of Michigan asks:

Q. But, is the 62 Breviary in Latin only? Also, is it similar in time daily, or is it more intense. I've been interested in learning Latin and have accumulated several resources to learn on my own. I suppose this would be a good application, if it is in Latin only.

A. As far as I know it is now only, and has always been, in Latin. It takes significantly longer to pray than the contemporary version. This is primarily for the reason that the 62 BR prays the entire Psalter in one week and the new breviary is based on a four-week Psalter that omits some of the Psalms.

Perhaps for those who would like to begin an alternative in English, there is as suggested by sacristy rat on

You may also want to consider praying the Psalms in English on a daily basis, building up to praying the entire Psalter weekly. This will aid you in translating as you read the Psalms in latin at such time as you decide to begin praying the 62 BR.

Any thoughts from others familiar with the Anglican Breviary as a short term alternative or introduction to the 1962 BR?

Thanks D!

(Photo: Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest ordinations near Florence, Italy, this year. For info:

Blog poll results at present

So far:

Yes. 57 (42%)

No. 21 (15%)

Interested. 67 (49%)

Votes so far: 135
Days left to vote: 360

If you have not yet done so, please vote on the right side of this blog page (over there>).

Special thanks to good friend Fr Z at and many of his readers!

(Thanks also to Maryland Yacht Club for technical support and to blessed readers for patience while the author extricated himself from a "blogjam". Gratias tibi, David.)

"Be models...masters of prayer."

Pope To Priests At Brindisi . . . "Be Models...Masters Of Prayer"
BRINDISI, Italy ( CNA) — Pope Benedict wrapped up his weekend visit to the Archdiocese of Brindi­si- Ostuni by speaking to a gather­ing of all the priests, deacons, and seminarians of the archdiocese. Being a good priest, the Pope said on June 15, requires that one be­come a “master of prayer.”
As he spoke to the clergy in Brindisi’s St. Lawrence Cathedral, the Holy Father told them that, to ensure “your faith is always strong and vigorous, it is important, as you well know, to nourish it with assid­uous prayer. Be, then, models of prayer, become masters of prayer.”
Benedict XVI then reflected on how the entirety of a priest’s min­istry flows from his prayer.
“ The moment of prayer is the most important moment in a priest’s life, the moment in which divine grace acts most effectively, making his ministry fruitful. Prayer is the first service to be of­fered to the community,” he said.

From CNA.


"Fas est clericis in sacris constitutis uti etiam Breviario Romano a B. Ioanne XXIII anno 1962 promulgato." Art. 9, § 3, Summorum Pontificum

The one means of continuing to live the graces of holy Mass throughout the day is prayer.

The one prayer of the Church which most powerfully flows from the Mass as a source and leads back to the Mass as a summit is the Breviarium Romanum or Liturgy of the Hours.

The praying of the entire Book of Psalms each week offers a profound well of spiritual waters from which the priest drinks to relieve his parched soul in a spiritually arid world, the antidote to the false promise of the mirage of material comfort and empty temporal distraction.

Oremus pro invicem.

"Veritas de terra orta est: iustitia de caelo prospexit.

Etenim Dominus dabit benignitatem:
et terra nostra dabit fructum suum."

Psalmus 84, Feria sexta ad Laudes

Comments from our readers

Mark said...

Thank you for your kind words on the Holy Vocations blog, and thank you for this blog!

You might consider giving some small kind of commentary/explanation of the Psalms each time. This would really help poor people in the same boat as me, who don't know very much Latin and yet pray the Breviary in Latin.

By the way, this might also interest you.

Best wishes,

July 12, 2008 1:15 PM
Alphonsus said...
Thank you, Father, for opening this blog. I am a seminarian who loves the Breviarium Romanum. I already know how to pray it, but I do not have my own personal copy. Do you know where I might be able to find one to order online? I know about the Baronius Press project, but it just seems to keep getting pushed further into the future, and I would really like to start praying the 1962 Breviarium Romanum as soon as possible. Most of the sites I know of show that this edition is out of print.

PS: I'm looking for one with the Vulgate psalter, and only Latin if possible (vernacular translation not necessary). Thanks.

July 12, 2008 2:18 PM
techno_aesthete said...

Angelus Press publishes a 1962 Diurnale in Latin only. It is not available on the Web site, though. You need to call their customer service number and order it. Also, Fraternity Publications (FSSP) publishes a two volume 1962 Roman Breviary in Latin.

July 12, 2008 4:12 PM
soyyo201 said...
Ahem, breviarium, not breviarum, Father! You have missed the i passim!

July 12, 2008 4:31 PM
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Aquam de petra

Interrupit petram in eremo;
et adaquavit eos velut in abysso multa.

Et eduxit aquam de petra:
et deduxit tamquam flumina aquas.

Psalmus 78: 15-16

(Photo by author: Sunrise Christmas Eve, Euphrates River near Juba, Iraq.)