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Breviary

Breviary

Overview
A breviary is a liturgical book
Liturgical book
A liturgical book is a book published by the authority of a church, that contains the text and directions for the liturgy of its official religious services.-Roman Catholic:...

 of the Latin liturgical rites
Latin liturgical rites
Latin liturgical rites used within that area of the Catholic Church where the Latin language once dominated were for many centuries no less numerous than the liturgical rites of the Eastern autonomous particular Churches. Their number is now much reduced...

 of the Catholic Church containing the public or canonical prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

s, hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s, the Psalms
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

, readings, and notations for everyday use, especially by bishops, priests, and deacons in the Divine Office (i.e., at the canonical hours
Canonical hours
Canonical hours are divisions of time which serve as increments between the prescribed prayers of the daily round. A Book of Hours contains such a set of prayers....

 or Liturgy of the Hours
Liturgy of the hours
The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns and readings...

, the Christians' daily prayer). The word can also refer to a collection of Christian orders of prayers and readings, such as contained in Anglican or Lutheran resources.
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Encyclopedia
A breviary is a liturgical book
Liturgical book
A liturgical book is a book published by the authority of a church, that contains the text and directions for the liturgy of its official religious services.-Roman Catholic:...

 of the Latin liturgical rites
Latin liturgical rites
Latin liturgical rites used within that area of the Catholic Church where the Latin language once dominated were for many centuries no less numerous than the liturgical rites of the Eastern autonomous particular Churches. Their number is now much reduced...

 of the Catholic Church containing the public or canonical prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

s, hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s, the Psalms
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

, readings, and notations for everyday use, especially by bishops, priests, and deacons in the Divine Office (i.e., at the canonical hours
Canonical hours
Canonical hours are divisions of time which serve as increments between the prescribed prayers of the daily round. A Book of Hours contains such a set of prayers....

 or Liturgy of the Hours
Liturgy of the hours
The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns and readings...

, the Christians' daily prayer). The word can also refer to a collection of Christian orders of prayers and readings, such as contained in Anglican or Lutheran resources. In general, the word breviary may be used to refer to an abridged version of any text or a brief account or summary of some subject, but is primarily used to refer to the Catholic liturgical book.

The volume containing the daily hours of Roman Catholic prayer was published as the Breviarium Romanum (Roman Breviary) until the reforms of Paul VI, when it became known as the Liturgy of the Hours. However, these terms are used interchangeably to refer to the Office in all its forms. This entry deals with the Breviary prior to the changes introduced by Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

 in 1974.

Origin of name


This word breviary (Lat. Breviarium), signifies in its primary acceptation an abridgment, or a compendium. It is often employed in this sense by Christian authors, e.g. Breviarium fidei, Breviarium in psalmos, Breviarium canonum, Breviarium regularum. In liturgical language Breviary has a special meaning, indicating a book furnishing the regulations for the celebration of Mass or the canonical Office, and may be met with under the titles Breviarium Ecclesiastici Ordinis, or Breviarium Ecclesiæ Rominsæ (Romanæ). In the ninth century Alcuin uses the word to designate an office abridged or simplified for the use of the laity. Prudentius of Troyes
Prudentius of Troyes
Prudentius was bishop of Troyes, and a celebrated opponent of Hincmar of Reims in the controversy on predestination.-Life:Aragon was since 415 West-Gothic and in 812 became Frankish...

, about the same period, composed a Breviarium Psalterii (v. inf. V. HISTORY). In an ancient inventory occurs Breviarium Antiphonarii, meaning "Extracts from the Antiphonary". In the "Vita Aldrici" occurs "sicut in plenariis et breviariis Ecclesiæ ejusdem continentur". Again, in the inventories in the catalogues, such notes as these may be met with: "Sunt et duo cursinarii et tres benedictionales Libri; ex his unus habet obsequium mortuorum et unus Breviarius", or, "Præter Breviarium quoddam quod usque ad festivitatem S. Joannis Baptistæ retinebunt", etc. Monte Cassino about A.D. 1100 obtained a book titled "Incipit Breviarium sive Ordo Officiorum per totam anni decursionem".

From such references, and from others of a like nature, Quesnel gathers that by the word Breviarium was at first designated a book furnishing the rubrics, a sort of Ordo
Directorium
Directorium is a Latin word meaning guide; in the later Middle Ages it came to be specially applied to liturgical guides for the recitation of Office and Mass.-Early history:...

. The title Breviary, as we employ it—that is, a book containing the entire canonical office—appears to date from the eleventh century.

St. Gregory VII
Pope Gregory VII
Pope St. Gregory VII , born Hildebrand of Sovana , was Pope from April 22, 1073, until his death. One of the great reforming popes, he is perhaps best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor affirming the primacy of the papal...

 having, indeed, abridged the order of prayers, and having simplified the Liturgy as performed at the Roman Court, this abridgment received the name of Breviary, which was suitable, since, according to the etymology of the word, it was an abridgment. The name has been extended to books which contain in one volume, or at least in one work, liturgical books of different kinds, such as the Psalter, the Antiphonary, the Responsoriary, the Lectionary, etc. In this connection it may be pointed out that in this sense the word, as it is used nowadays, is illogical; it should be named a Plenarium rather than a Breviarium, since, liturgically speaking, the word Plenarium exactly designates such books as contain several different compilations united under one cover. This is pointed out, however, simply to make still clearer the meaning and origin of the word; and section V will furnish a more detailed explanation of the formation of the Breviary.

History



Early history


The canonical hours of the Breviary owe their remote origin to the Old Covenant
Old Covenant
The Old Covenant was the name of the agreement which effected the union of Iceland and Norway. It is also known as Gissurarsáttmáli, named after Gissur Þorvaldsson, the Icelandic chieftain who worked to promote it. The name "Old Covenant", however, is probably due to historical confusion...

 when God commanded the Aaronic priests to offer morning and evening sacrifices. Other inspiration may have come from David's words in the Psalms "Seven times a day I praise you" (Ps. 119:164), as well as, "the just man meditates on the law day and night" (Ps. 1:2).

In the early days of Christian worship the Bible furnished all that was thought necessary, containing as it did the books from which the lessons were read and the psalms that were recited. The first step in the evolution of the Breviary was the separation of the Psalter into a choir-book. At first the president of the local church (bishop) or the leader of the choir chose a particular psalm as he thought appropriate. From about the 4th century certain psalms began to be grouped together, a process that was furthered by the monastic practice of daily reciting the 150 psalms. This took so much time that the monks began to spread it over a week, dividing each day into hours, and allotting to each hour its portion of the Psalter. St Benedict in the 6th century drew up such an arrangement, probably, though not certainly, on the basis of an older Roman division which, though not so skilful, is the one in general use. Gradually there were added to these psalter choir-books additions in the form of antiphons, responses, collects or short prayers, for the use of those not skilful at improvisation and metrical compositions. Jean Beleth
Jean Beleth
Jean Beleth was a twelfth-century French liturgist and theologian. He is thought to have been rector in a Paris theological college...

, a 12th-century liturgical author, gives the following list of books necessary for the right conduct of the canonical office: the Antiphonarium, the Old and New Testaments, the Passionarius (liber) and the Legendarius (dealing respectively with martyrs and saints), the Homiliarius (homilies on the Gospels), the Sermologus (collection of sermons) and the works of the Fathers, besides, of course, the Psalterium and the Collectarium. To overcome the inconvenience of using such a library the Breviary came into existence and use. Already in the 8th century Prudentius, bishop of Troyes, had in a Breviarium Psalterii made an abridgment of the Psalter for the laity, giving a few psalms for each day, and Alcuin had rendered a similar service by including a prayer for each day and some other prayers, but no lessons or homilies. The Breviary rightly so called, however, only dates from the 11th century; the earliest MS. containing the whole canonical office is of the year 1099 and is in the Mazarin library. Gregory VII (pope 1073–1085), too, simplified the liturgy as performed at the Roman court, and gave his abridgment the name of Breviary, which thus came to denote a work which from another point of view might be called a Plenary, involving as it did the collection of several works into one. There are several extant specimens of 12th-century Breviaries, all Benedictine, but under Innocent III (pope 1198–1216) their use was extended, especially by the newly founded and active Franciscan order. These preaching friars, with the authorization of Gregory IX, adopted (with some modifications, e.g. the substitution of the "Gallican" for the "Roman" version of the Psalter) the Breviary hitherto used exclusively by the Roman court, and with it gradually swept out of Europe all the earlier partial books (Legendaries, Responsories), &c., and to some extent the local Breviaries, like that of Sarum. Finally, Nicholas III
Pope Nicholas III
Pope Nicholas III , born Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, Pope from November 25, 1277 to his death in 1280, was a Roman nobleman who had served under eight Popes, been made cardinal-deacon of St...

 (pope 1277–1280) adopted this version both for the curia and for the basilicas of Rome, and thus made its position secure.

Local and regular breviaries


The Benedictines and Dominicans have Breviaries of their own. The only other types that merit notice are:
  1. the Mozarabic Breviary, once in use throughout all Spain, but now confined to a single foundation at Toledo; it is remarkable for the number and length of its hymns, and for the fact that the majority of its collects are addressed to God the Son;
  2. the Ambrosian, now confined to Milan, where it owes its retention to the attachment of the clergy and people to their traditionary rites, which they derive from St Ambrose.

Early modern reforms


Until the council of Trent every bishop had full power to regulate the Breviary of his own diocese; and this was acted upon almost everywhere. Each monastic community, also, had one of its own. Pius V (pope 1566–1572), however, while sanctioning those which could show at least 200 years of existence, made the Roman obligatory in all other places. But the influence of the court of Rome has gradually gone much beyond this, and has superseded almost all the local "uses". The Roman has thus become nearly universal, with the allowance only of additional offices for saints specially venerated in each particular diocese. The Roman Breviary has undergone several revisions: The most remarkable of these is that by Francis Quignonez, cardinal of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (1536), which, though not accepted by Rome (it was approved by Clement VII and Paul III, and permitted as a substitute for the unrevised Breviary, until Pius V in 1568 excluded it as too short and too modern, and issued a reformed edition (Breviarium Pianum, Pian Breviary) of the old Breviary), formed the model for the still more thorough reform made in 1549 by the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, whose daily morning and evening services are but a condensation and simplification of the Breviary offices. Some parts of the prefaces at the beginning of the English Prayer-Book are free translations of those of Quignonez. The Pian Breviary was again altered by Sixtus V in 1588, who introduced the revised Vulgate
Vulgate
The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...

, in 1602 by Clement VIII (through Baronius and Bellarmine), especially as concerns the rubrics; and by Urban VIII (1623–1644), a purist who unfortunately tampered with the text of the hymns, injuring both their literary charm and their historic worth.

In the 17th and 18th centuries a movement of revision took place in France, and succeeded in modifying about half the Breviaries of that country. Historically, this proceeded from the labours of Jean de Launoy
Jean de Launoy
Jean de Launoy was a French historian. Known as "le denicheur des saints", he was a critical historiographer. He was on the sceptical side over the supposed papal bull Sacratissimo uti culmine...

 (1603–1678), "le dénicheur des saints", and Louis Sébastien le Nain de Tillemont, who had shown the falsity of numerous lives of the saints; while theologically it was produced by the Port Royal school, which led men to dwell more on communion with God as contrasted with the invocation of the saints. This was mainly carried out by the adoption of a rule that all antiphons and responses should be in the exact words of Scripture, which, of course, cut out the whole class of appeals to created beings. The services were at the same time simplified and shortened, and the use of the whole Psalter every week (which had become a mere theory in the Roman Breviary, owing to its frequent supersession by saints' day services) was made a reality. These reformed French Breviaries—e.g. the Paris Breviary of 1680 by Archbishop François de Harlay (1625–1695) and that of 1736 by Archbishop Charles Gaspard Guillaume de Vintimille (1655–1746)—show a deep knowledge of Holy Scripture, and much careful adaptation of different texts.

Later modern reforms


During the pontificate of Pius IX a strong Ultramontane movement arose against the French Breviaries of 1680 and 1736. This was inaugurated by Montalembert
Montalembert
Montalembert can refer to:* André de Montalembert , French officer* Marc René, marquis de Montalembert , French military engineer and writer* Charles Forbes René de Montalembert , French publicist and historian...

, but its literary advocates were chiefly Dom Gueranger, a learned Benedictine monk, abbot of Solesmes, and Louis François Veuillot (1813–1883) of the Univers; and it succeeded in suppressing them everywhere, the last diocese to surrender being Orleans in 1875. The Jansenist and Gallican influence was also strongly felt in Italy and in Germany, where Breviaries based on the French models were published at Cologne, Münster, Mainz and other towns. Meanwhile, under the direction of Benedict XIV (pope 1740–1758), a special congregation collected many materials for an official revision, but nothing was published. Subsequent changes have been very few and minute. In 1902, under Leo XIII, a commission under the presidency of Monsignor Louis Duchesne
Louis Duchesne
Louis Marie Olivier Duchesne was a French priest, philologist, teacher and a critical historian of Christianity and Roman Catholic liturgy and institutions....

 was appointed to consider the Breviary, the Missal, the Pontifical and the Ritual.

The most significant changes came with the revision of the Breviary by Pius X in 1910. Pius X modified the traditional psalm scheme so that, while all 150 psalms were used in the course of the week, these were said without repetition. Those assigned to the Sunday Office underwent the least revision, although noticeably fewer psalms are recited at Matins, and both Lauds and Compline are slightly shorter due to psalms (or in the case of Compline the first few verses of a psalm) being removed. Pius X was probably influenced by earlier attempts to eliminate repetition in the psalter, most notably the liturgy of the Benedictine congregation of St. Maur. However, since Cardinal Quignonez's attempt to reform the Breviary employed this principal—albeit with no regard to the traditional scheme—such notions had floated around in the western Church, and can particularly be seen in the Paris Breviary.

Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII
-Papal election:Following the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, Roncalli was elected Pope, to his great surprise. He had even arrived in the Vatican with a return train ticket to Venice. Many had considered Giovanni Battista Montini, Archbishop of Milan, a possible candidate, but, although archbishop...

 also revised the Breviary in 1960, introducing changes drawn up by his predecessor Pope Pius XII The most notable alteration is the shortening of most feasts from nine to three lessons at Matins, keeping only the Scripture readings (the former lesson i, then lessons ii and iii together), followed by either the first part of the patristic reading (lesson vii) or, for most feasts, a condensed version of the former second Nocturn, which was formerly used when a feast was reduced in rank and commemorated. The new or so-called "Pian" psalter sponsored by Pius XII, a modern translation of the psalms from Hebrew into Latin, was also an option for use in the Office, and most breviaries published in the early 1960s used this psalter.

Manuscripts and printed editions


Before the rise of the mendicant orders
Mendicant Orders
The mendicant orders are religious orders which depend directly on the charity of the people for their livelihood. In principle, they do not own property, either individually or collectively , believing that this was the most pure way of life to copy followed by Jesus Christ, in order that all...

 (wandering friar
Friar
A friar is a member of one of the mendicant orders.-Friars and monks:...

s) in the thirteenth century, the daily services were usually contained in a number of large volumes. The first occurrence of a single manuscript of the daily office
Canonical hours
Canonical hours are divisions of time which serve as increments between the prescribed prayers of the daily round. A Book of Hours contains such a set of prayers....

 was written by the Benedictine
Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

 order at Monte Cassino
Monte Cassino
Monte Cassino is a rocky hill about southeast of Rome, Italy, c. to the west of the town of Cassino and altitude. St. Benedict of Nursia established his first monastery, the source of the Benedictine Order, here around 529. It was the site of Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944...

 in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 in 1099. By a strange twist, the Benedictine
Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

s were not a mendicant order
Mendicant Orders
The mendicant orders are religious orders which depend directly on the charity of the people for their livelihood. In principle, they do not own property, either individually or collectively , believing that this was the most pure way of life to copy followed by Jesus Christ, in order that all...

, but a stable, monastery
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

-based order, and single-volume breviaries are rare from this early period.

The arrangement of the Psalms
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

 in the Rule of St. Benedict had a profound impact upon the breviaries used by secular and monastic clergy alike, up until 1911 when Pope St. Pius X introduced his reform of the Roman Breviary. In many places, every diocese, order or ecclesiastical province maintained its own edition of the breviary.

However, mendicant friars travelled around a lot and needed a shortened, or abbreviated, daily office contained in one portable book, and single-volume breviaries flourished from the thirteenth century onwards.

These abbreviated volumes soon became very popular and eventually supplanted the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

's Curia
Curia
A curia in early Roman times was a subdivision of the people, i.e. more or less a tribe, and with a metonymy it came to mean also the meeting place where the tribe discussed its affairs...

 office, previously said by non-monastic clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

.

Before the advent of printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

, breviaries were written by hand and were often richly decorated with initials and miniature illustrations telling stories in the lives of Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 or the saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

s, or stories from the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

.

Later printed breviaries usually have woodcut
Woodcut
Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges...

 illustrations, interesting in their own right but the poor relation of the beautifully illuminated
Illuminated manuscript
An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders and miniature illustrations...

 breviaries.

The beauty and value of many of the Latin Breviaries were brought to the notice of English churchmen by one of the numbers of the Oxford Tracts for the Times
Tracts for the Times
The Tracts for the Times were a series of 90 theological publications, varying in length from a few pages to book-length, produced by members of the English Oxford Movement, an Anglo-Catholic revival group, from 1833 to 1841...

, since which time they have been much more studied, both for their own sake and for the light they throw upon the English Prayer-Book.

From a bibliographical point of view some of the early printed Breviaries are among the rarest of literary curiosities, being merely local. The copies were not spread far, and were soon worn out by the daily use made of them. Doubtless many editions have perished without leaving a trace of their existence, while others are known by unique copies. In Scotland the only one which has survived the convulsions of the 16th century is Aberdeen Breviary
Aberdeen Breviary
The Aberdeen Breviary is a 16th-century Scottish Catholic breviary. It contains brief accounts of various Scottish saints. It was edited by William Elphinstone, and printed in Edinburgh in 1507 by Walter Chapman and Andrew Myllar....

, a Scottish form of the Sarum Office (the Sarum Rite was much favoured in Scotland as a kind of protest against the jurisdiction claimed by the diocese of York), revised by William Elphinstone
William Elphinstone
William Elphinstone was a Scottish statesman, Bishop of Aberdeen and founder of the University of Aberdeen.He was born in Glasgow, and educated at the University of Glasgow, taking the degree of M.A. in 1452. After practising for a short time as a lawyer in the church courts, he was ordained a...

 (bishop 1483–1514), and printed at Edinburgh by Walter Chapman and Andrew Myllar in 1509–1510. Four copies have been preserved of it, of which only one is complete; but it was reprinted in facsimile in 1854 for the Bannatyne Club by the munificence of the Duke of Buccleuch. It is particularly valuable for the trustworthy notices of the early history of Scotland which are embedded in the lives of the national saints. Though enjoined by royal mandate in 1501 for general use within the realm of Scotland, it was probably never widely adopted. The new Scottish Proprium sanctioned for the Roman Catholic province of St Andrews in 1903 contains many of the old Aberdeen collects and antiphons.

The Sarum or Salisbury Breviary itself was very widely used. The first edition was printed at Venice in 1483 by Raynald de Novimagio in folio; the latest at Paris, 1556, 1557. While modern Breviaries are nearly always printed in four volumes, one for each season of the year, the editions of the Sarum never exceeded two parts.

Contents of the Roman Breviary


At the beginning stands the usual introductory matter, such as the tables for determining the date of Easter, the calendar, and the general rubrics. The Breviary itself is divided into four seasonal parts—winter, spring, summer, autumn—and comprises under each part:
  1. the Psalter;
  2. Proprium de Tempore (the special office of the season);
  3. Proprium Sanctorum (special offices of saints);
  4. Commune Sanctorum (general offices for saints);
  5. Extra Services.


These parts are often published separately.

The Psalter



This psalm book is the very backbone of the Breviary, the groundwork of the Catholic prayer-book; out of it have grown the antiphons, responsories and versicles. Until the 1911 reform, the psalms were arranged according to a disposition dating from the 8th century, as follows: Psalms i.–cviii., with some omissions, were recited at Matins, twelve each day from Monday to Saturday, and eighteen on Sunday. The omissions were said at Lauds, Prime and Compline. Psalms cix–cxlvii (except cxvii, cxviii and cxlii) were said at Vespers, five each day. Psalms cxlviii–cl were always used at Lauds, and give that hour its name. The text of this Psalter is that commonly known as the Gallican. The name is misleading, for it is simply the second revision (A.D. 392) made by Jerome of the old Itala version originally used in Rome. Jerome's first revision of the Itala (A.D. 383), known as the Roman, is still used at St Peter's in Rome, but the "Gallican", thanks especially to St Gregory of Tours, who introduced it into Gaul in the 6th century, has ousted it everywhere else. The Antiphonary of Bangor proves that Ireland accepted the Gallican version in the 7th century, and the English Church did so in the 10th.

Following the 1911 reform, Matins was reduced to nine Psalms every day, with the other psalms redistributed throughout Prime, Terce, Sext, and Compline. For Sundays and special feasts Lauds and Vespers largely remained the same, Psalm 118 remained distributed at the Little Hours and Psalms 4, 90, and 130 were kept at Compline.

The Proprium de Tempore


This contains the office of the seasons of the Christian year (Advent to Trinity), a conception that only gradually grew up. There is here given the whole service for every Sunday and week-day, the proper antiphons, responsories, hymns, and especially the course of daily Scripture-reading, averaging about twenty verses a day, and (roughly) arranged thus: for Advent, Isaiah; Epiphany to Septuagesima, Pauline Epistles; Lent, patristic homilies (Genesis on Sundays); Passion-tide, Jeremiah; Easter to Whitsun, Acts, Catholic epistles and Apocalypse; Whitsun to August, Samuel and Kings; August to Advent, Wisdom books, Maccabees, Prophets.

The Proprium Sanctorum


This contains the lessons, psalms and liturgical formularies for saints' festivals, and depends on the days of the secular month. The readings of the second Nocturn are mainly hagiological biography, with homilies or papal documents for certain major feasts, particularly those of Jesus and Mary. Some of this material has been revised by Leo XIII, in view of archaeological and other discoveries. The third Nocturn consists of a homily on the Gospel which is read at that day's Mass. Covering a great stretch of time and space, they do for the worshipper in the field of church history what the Scripture readings do in that of biblical history.

The Commune Sanctorum


This comprises psalms, antiphons, lessons, &c., for feasts of various groups or classes (twelve in all); e.g. apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. These offices are of very ancient date, and many of them were probably in origin proper to individual saints. They contain passages of great literary beauty. The lessons read at the third nocturn are patristic homilies on the Gospels, and together form a rough summary of theological instruction.

Extra services


Here are found the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Office of the Dead (obligatory on All Souls' Day), and offices peculiar to each diocese.

Elements of the Hours


It has already been indicated, by reference to Matins, Lauds, &c., that not only each day, but each part of the day, has its own office, the day being divided into liturgical "hours." A detailed account of these will be found in the article Canonical Hours
Canonical hours
Canonical hours are divisions of time which serve as increments between the prescribed prayers of the daily round. A Book of Hours contains such a set of prayers....

. Each of the hours of the office is composed of the same elements, and something must be said now of the nature of these constituent parts, of which mention has here and there been already made. They are: psalms (including canticles), antiphons, responsories, hymns, lessons, little chapters, versicles and collects.

Psalms


Before the 1911 reform, the multiplication of saints' festivals, with practically the same festal psalms, tended to repeat the about one-third of the Psalter, with a correspondingly rare recital of the remaining two-thirds. Following this reform, the entire Psalter is again generally recited each week, with the festal psalms restricted to only the highest-ranking feasts. As in the Greek usage and in the Benedictine, certain canticles like the Song of Moses (Exodus xv.), the Song of Hannah
Song of Hannah
The Song of Hannah is a poem interrupting the prose text of the Books of Samuel. According to the surrounding narrative, the poem was a prayer delivered by Hannah, to give thanks to God for the birth of her son, Samuel.-Contents and themes:...

 (1 Sam. ii.), the prayer of Habakkuk (iii.), the prayer of Hezekiah (Isaiah xxxviii.) and other similar Old Testament passages, and, from the New Testament, the Magnificat
Magnificat
The Magnificat — also known as the Song of Mary or the Canticle of Mary — is a canticle frequently sung liturgically in Christian church services. It is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns and perhaps the earliest Marian hymn...

, the Benedictus
Benedictus
-Music:* Benedictus , the canticle sung at Lauds, also called the Canticle of Zachary.* The second part of the Sanctus, part of the eucharistic prayer* Benedictus , a song by Simon and Garfunkel...

 and the Nunc dimittis
Nunc dimittis
The Nunc dimittis is a canticle from a text in the second chapter of Luke named after its first words in Latin, meaning 'Now dismiss...'....

, are admitted as psalms.

Antiphons


The antiphons are short liturgical forms, sometimes of biblical, sometimes of patristic origin, used to introduce a psalm. The term originally signified a chant by alternate choirs, but has quite lost this meaning in the Breviary.

Responsories


The responsories are similar in form to the antiphons, but come at the end of the psalm, being originally the reply of the choir or congregation to the precentor who recited the psalm.

Hymns


The hymns are short poems going back in part to the days of Prudentius
Prudentius
Aurelius Prudentius Clemens was a Roman Christian poet, born in the Roman province of Tarraconensis in 348. He probably died in Spain, as well, some time after 405, possibly around 413...

, Synesius
Synesius
Synesius , a Greek bishop of Ptolemais in the Libyan Pentapolis after 410, was born of wealthy parents, who claimed descent from Spartan kings, at Balagrae near Cyrene between 370 and 375.-Life:...

, Gregory of Nazianzus
Gregory of Nazianzus
Gregory of Nazianzus was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age...

 and Ambrose (4th and 5th centuries), but mainly the work of medieval authors.

Lessons


The lessons, as has been seen, are drawn variously from the Bible, the Acts of the Saints and the Fathers of the Church. In the primitive church, books afterwards excluded from the canon were often read, e.g. the letters of Clement of Rome and the Shepherd of Hermas. In later days the churches of Africa, having rich memorials of martyrdom, used them to supplement the reading of Scripture. Monastic influence accounts for the practice of adding to the reading of a biblical passage some patristic commentary or exposition. Books of homilies were compiled from the writings of SS. Augustine
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

, Hilary
Hilary of Poitiers
Hilary of Poitiers was Bishop of Poitiers and is a Doctor of the Church. He was sometimes referred to as the "Hammer of the Arians" and the "Athanasius of the West." His name comes from the Latin word for happy or cheerful. His optional memorial in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints is 13...

, Athanasius, Isidore
Isidore of Seville
Saint Isidore of Seville served as Archbishop of Seville for more than three decades and is considered, as the historian Montalembert put it in an oft-quoted phrase, "le dernier savant du monde ancien"...

, Gregory the Great
Pope Gregory I
Pope Gregory I , better known in English as Gregory the Great, was pope from 3 September 590 until his death...

 and others, and formed part of the library of which the Breviary was the ultimate compendium. In the lessons, as in the psalms, the order for special days breaks in upon the normal order of ferial offices and dislocates the scheme for consecutive reading. The lessons are read at Matins (which is subdivided into three nocturns).

Versicles


The versicles are short responsories used after the little chapters in the minor hours. They appear after the hymns in Lauds and Vespers.

Collects


The collects come at the close of the office and are short prayers summing up the supplications of the congregation. They arise out of a primitive practice on the part of the bishop (local president), examples of which are found in the Didachē
Didache
The Didache or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles is a brief early Christian treatise, dated by most scholars to the late first or early 2nd century...

 (Teaching of the Apostles) and in the letters of Clement of Rome and Cyprian. With the crystallization of church order improvisation in prayer largely gave place to set forms, and collections of prayers were made which later developed into Sacramentaries
Sacramentary
The Sacramentary is a book of the Middle Ages containing the words spoken by the priest celebrating a Mass and other liturgies of the Church. The books were usually in fact written for bishops or other higher clegy such as abbots, and many lavishly decorated illuminated manuscript sacramentaries...

 and Orationals. The collects of the Breviary are largely drawn from the Gelasian and other Sacramentaries, and they are used to sum up the dominant idea of the festival in connection with which they happen to be used.

Celebration


Before 1910 the difficulty of harmonizing the Proprium de Tempore and the Proprium Sanctorum, to which reference has been made, was only partly met in the thirty-seven chapters of general rubrics. Additional help was given by a kind of Catholic Churchman's Almanack, called the Ordo Recitandi Divini Officii, published in different countries and dioceses, and giving, under every day, minute directions for proper reading. In 1960 John XXIII simplified the rubrics governing the Breviary in order to make it easier to use.

Every cleric in Holy Orders and every member of a religious order must publicly join in or privately read aloud (i.e. using the lips as well as the eyes—it takes about two hours in this way) the whole of the Breviary services allotted for each day. In large churches where they were celebrated the services were usually grouped; e.g. Matins and Lauds (about 7.30 A.M.); Prime, Terce (High Mass), Sext, and None (about 10 A.M.); Vespers and Compline (4 P.M.); and from four to eight hours (depending on the amount of music and the number of high masses) are thus spent in choir. Lay use of the Breviary has varied throughout the Church's history. In some periods laymen did not use the Breviary as a manual of devotion to any great extent. The late Medieval period saw the recitation of certain hours of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, which was based on the Breviary in form and content, becoming popular among those who could read, and Bishop Challoner did much to popularise the hours of Sunday Vespers and Compline (albeit in English translation) in his 'Garden of the Soul' in the eighteenth century. The Liturgical Movement in the twentieth century saw renewed interest in the Offices of the Breviary and several popular editions were produced containing the vernacular as well as the Latin.

The complete pre-Pius X Roman Breviary was translated into English (by the marquess of Bute in 1879; new ed. with a trans, of the Martyrology, 1908), French and German. Bute's version is noteworthy for its inclusion of the skilful renderings of the ancient hymns by J.H. Newman, J.M. Neale and others. Several editions of the Pius X Breviary were produced during the twentieth century, including a notable edition prepared with the assistance of the Sisters of Stanbrook Abbey in the 1950s. Two editions in English and Latin were produced in the mid-sixties, which conformed to the rubrics of 1960, published by Liturgical Press and Benziger in America. These used the Pius XII psalter. Baronius Press
Baronius Press
Baronius Press is a traditional Catholic book publisher with headquarters in London, England. It was founded in Glasgow, Scotland in 2003 by former St Austin Press editor, Ashley Paver and other young Catholics who had previously worked in publishing and printing...

's revised edition of the Liturgical Press edition (which was originally scheduled for publication at the end of 2006) was delayed due to numerous factors. It is currently scheduled to be printed in late 2011 after their "printer in the Philippines [was] beset by a series of typhoons" delaying the printing. Baronius advised customers "there have been floods in the area around the plant, electrical shortages and the humidity has been very high for a much longer period than normal, causing technical problems and making it very difficult to print continuously". It uses the older Gallican psalter of St. Jerome. In late 2010 the company announced that the concordat cum originali had been granted for the Breviary and specimen pages appeared on their website.

Under Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio
Motu proprio
A motu proprio is a document issued by the Pope on his own initiative and personally signed by him....

 Summorum Pontificum
Summorum Pontificum
Summorum Pontificum is an Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI, issued "motu proprio" . The document specified the rules, for the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, for celebrating Mass according to the "Missal promulgated by John XXIII in 1962" , and for administering most of the sacraments in...

, Roman Catholic bishops, priests, and deacons are again permitted to use the 1962 edition of the Roman Breviary, promulgated by Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII
-Papal election:Following the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, Roncalli was elected Pope, to his great surprise. He had even arrived in the Vatican with a return train ticket to Venice. Many had considered Giovanni Battista Montini, Archbishop of Milan, a possible candidate, but, although archbishop...

 to satisfy their obligation to recite the Divine Office
Liturgy of the hours
The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns and readings...

 every day.

In 2008, an i-breviary was launched, which combines the ancient breviaries with the latest computer technology.

See also

  • Liturgy of the Hours
    Liturgy of the hours
    The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns and readings...

  • Canonical Hours
    Canonical hours
    Canonical hours are divisions of time which serve as increments between the prescribed prayers of the daily round. A Book of Hours contains such a set of prayers....

  • Book of Hours
    Book of Hours
    The book of hours was a devotional book popular in the later Middle Ages. It is the most common type of surviving medieval illuminated manuscript. Like every manuscript, each manuscript book of hours is unique in one way or another, but most contain a similar collection of texts, prayers and...

  • Horologion
    Horologion
    The 'Horologion' , or Book of Hours, provides the fixed portions of the Daily Cycle of services as used by the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches...

  • Little Office of Our Lady
    Little Office of Our Lady
    The Little Office of Our Lady also known as Hours of the Virgin is a liturgical devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in imitation of, and usually in addition to, the Divine Office in the Roman Catholic Church...

  • Liturgical books of the Roman Rite
    Liturgical books of the Roman Rite
    The liturgical books of the Roman Rite are officially issued books that contain the words of the prayers to be recited and indicate the actions to be performed in the celebration of the Catholic liturgy as done in Rome....


Medieval breviaries


Breviaries according the Curial or Roman use (pre-Vatican II)


Breviaries according Pre-Tridentine usages outside of Rome (pre-Vatican II)


Contemporary (i.e. post-Vatican II) breviaries


Non-Catholic breviaries