They appear to be the same, except that the 3-volume is the one for England and the 4-volume is for the US. The prayers themselves will be (mostly) the same, but the spelling of the words will vary. Also, the calendars will vary slightly for saints that are more prominent in one place or the other.
I don’t know where you are because it doesn’t say in your profile. Because your links are amazon.co.uk I’m wondering if your in UK. The three volume set is, as Fr David said, the one we use in England & Wales, Scotland, and Ireland (North and the Republic).
It seems to be a good price as well, when I checked it last week it was more expensive.
I don’t know if you’re thinking of buying. I’m holding off as I’m trying to find out if the Divine Office is due for revision now that there’s a new Missal. It’s an expensive buy to find out it’s going to be changed soon.
Don’t hold your breath. They are going to be working on some of the other rites before they get to the LOTH. Then they are going to work on the Lectionary. I don’t think we’ll see a new revision for at least 10 years
Sorry, FrDavid96, but that is absolutely not true. While both are translations of the Latin Liturgia Horarum, they are quite different translations.
The US 4-volumes are translated by ICEL. The Psalms are from the 1963 Grail Psalter and the rest of the Bible are taken from the New American Bible. For example:
Concluding prayer for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time:
God our Father and protector,
without you nothing is holy, nothing has value.
Guide us to everlasting life
by helping us to use wisely
the blessings you have given to the world.
We ask this through our Lord.
Concluding prayer for Sext today:
All-powerful and ever-living God,
with you there is no darkness,
from you nothing is hidden.
Fill us with the radiance of your light:
may we understand the law you have given us
and live it with generosity and faith.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
The UK 3-volumes are translated by a separate, special commission set up by the Bishops of England and Wales, Ireland and Australia in the 1970s. The Psalms are also from the 1963 Grail Psalter, and they use a mix of translations, e.g. RSV, JB, Knox, TEV for the rest of the Biblical canticles and readings. Comparing with the same texts as ICEL’s translations:
Concluding Prayer for the 17th Sunday of the Year:
Lord God, protector of those who hope in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing holy,
support us always with your love.
Guide us so to use the good things of this world,
that even now we may hold fast to what endures for ever.
Through our Lord.
Concluding Prayer for Sext today
you are all light,
in you there is no darkness.
Let your light shine upon us in all its radiance,
so that we may walk gladly in the way of your commandments.
Through Christ our Lord.
For comparison, the Latin reads:
Concluding Prayer for 17th Sunday Per Annum:
Protector in te sperantium, Deus, sine quo nihil est validum, nihil sanctum, multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam, ut, te rectore, te duce, sic bonis transeuntibus nunc utamur, ut iam possimus inhaerere mansuris. Per Dominum.
Concluding Prayer for Sext today
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus,
apud quem nihil est tenebrosum, nihil obscurum,
lucis tuae in nos emitte splendorem,
ut madatorum tuorum lege percepta,
in via tua dilatao corde fideliter ambulemus.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
In addition, some of the terms are translated differently, for e.g. *per annum *is translated as *Ordinary Time *in ICEL’s 4-volumes, but as *time through the year *in UK’s 3-volumes.
But yes, the spellings are different and the particular calendars for the saints are slightly different (e.g. St Isidore is prominent in the US, but St Thomas More is more prominent in the UK.
To add to the above: the Divine Office has different hymn selections, different poetry/prose, etc. While the UK Divine Office is generally a better translation, I have found that the Intercessions, particularly those of Sunday, tend to be freer compositions, compared to the Latin.
It also has a different (and IMHO more inconvenient) layout to show the relation between the Ordinary and the Proper parts.
Some of the things I do appreciate are:
the psalms are pointed for singing to either chant tones or the Gilineau melodies.
they have a nice and clear arrangement of the Office around the Christmas Season which can be used in places where Epiphany is celebrated on the 6th and where it is celebrated on the Sunday. The ICEL layout is incomprehensible from the book itself and one needs to either know about it, or resort to an Ordo.
Perhaps you are fortunate enough to be able to afford to purchase the Divine Office. Other people may not be able to afford it. In the UK the 3-volume Divine Office we have is £150 (approx. US$ 235.45). If you want to send me the money via Western Union I’ll happily go out and buy it.