Divine Office: Proper of Saints in a stand-alone volume?

Hello all,

I was given the Shorter Christian Prayer book as a gift a few years back (the basic intro version of the Liturgy of the Hours). I’ve been using the standard “Christian Prayer” book here and there recently, since there are copies of it in the chapel at my parish. I’ve really come to appreciate the Proper of the Saints, which is one thing that is largely missing from Shorter Christian Prayer (Shorter Christian Prayer only has a few major saints, ie Sts. Peter and Paul, St. John the Baptist, the major Marian feasts, etc.) I’m wondering, is the proper of the saints, as found in either the longer Christian Prayer book or the complete 4-volume Liturgy of the Hours set, available as a stand-alone volume? Is it possible to buy a little booklet that only has the Proper of the Saints, to use alongside Shorter Christian Prayer as a supplement?

I think it would be useful if such a book existed, and not just for people like me who have “Shorter Christian Prayer”. I know that new saints are added to the calendar every year, and that many recently-canonized saints aren’t in the longer Christian Prayer book, so it would be convenient if you could just buy a new stand-alone Proper of the Saints book every so often, or if your favorite famous deceased Catholic got canonized.

Is anyone aware of such a volume?

Well, you could always make one by hand and put it up on Lulu.com or something, but no, I don’t believe something like this exists. Do you have a smart phone or internet enabled tablet device?

I think there would be copyright issues that would not allow an individual to make such available.

As far as I know there is no separate volume for any of the Commons. Why not move to Christian Prayer?

I know that at one time an Office of Readings volume was in print (I have a copy of it) but currently all that I am aware of in print are Shorter Christian Prayer, Christian Prayer, the 4 volume Liturgy of the Hours, Daytime Prayer, and Night Prayer.

What is lulu.com?


The problem would be when you actually go to pray a saint’s feast day. Sometimes it calls for you to use the psalms from the Psalter and not the Commons. So now you are going back and forth between two books while praying.

Much easier to have one book.

As an aside, I’ve moved on to the Monastic Diurnal and really enjoy it. Here’s a review that shows it more up close.

Correct; most memorials take the psalms from the psalter. Feasts and solemnities use the festive psalms. Moreover many antiphons, the readings, etc, come from the commons and not the propers.

The best thing is to get the one-volume Christian Prayer that has everything minus the biblical and patristic readings, or the 4-volume set. I got the 4-volume, and to minimize the cost impact, I bought the first volume for the season we were currently in; towards the end of the season, I bought the volume for the next season, then the same at the end of that season. I spread the cost over an entire year which made it less painful!

Er, no, I don’t believe that you could, because the text of the Proper of Saints is copyrighted. Unless you want to write your own propers.

What’d be even better for a company to do would be to do a true diurnal of the LOTH:

Invitatory Antiphons with Invitatory Psalm
Seasonal Calendar
Festal Calendar

Forget all the Selections from the OOR and the one week abbreviated OOR Psalter
Forget the Poetry section
Forget the Musical notation
Forget the musical scores (for the sake of compactness)

Make it with a nice leather cover with zipper included. An IHS in gothic font embossed on the front would be nice, too.

PLEASE use traditional clip art, not the 70’s cr*p art we see in the CP now.

Make the Benedictus/Magnificat card Latin/English and be laminated (and have sacred clip art), and also put them on the inside covers like in Shorter Christian Prayer.

Oh yeah, and repeat the Antiphons if possible at the end of each Psalm in the Psalter. If it adds too much bulk, forget it. Page-flipping isn’t the end of the world.

Finally, add the Sacrasancte as an optional prayer after Compline.

Do that, and you will have a best-seller.

Well, with music, and in Latin/French, it’s been done, noted for Gregorian chant:

Les Heures Grégoriennes

It’s really well laid out in three volumes (Ordinary Time-Advent-Christmas, Lent-Easter, and Saints), very easy to use, minimal page flipping. It does not contain the OOR.

Thanks for the input, everyone. Due to my desire to have the complete Proper of the Saints, in addition to my affinity for the Daytime prayer hours that are missing from Shorter Christian Prayer, and my love of buying things, I’ve decided to just bite the bullet and pick up the one-volume “Christian Prayer”.

Now, I’ve heard great things about the Pauline Press version, and have heard that they’re going to release a revised version soon (which is to include more recently-canonized saints and improved translations a la the Roman Missal), according to this site: dariasockey.blogspot.com/2011/02/not-so-tragic-demise-of-pauline.html Does anyone know when this will be out? Otherwise, I’ll pick up the Catholic Book Publishing Company that everyone has.

HI! This is Daria Sockey, who wrote the post about the Pauline breviary. Since then, I’ve learned that this information is not quite accurate. It will probably be quite a while before a new Pauline breviary is available. There’s many reasons for this. Not only does the LOTH have to be updated to match the translations from the new missal (collects in mass= concluding prayers in LOTH) but also there are plans to change from the current psalms (Grail traslation) to the Revised Grail Psalms. (RGP) There’s already a 4 volume breviary published by the Paulines in Africa which used the RGP.
Furthermore, there are revisions to other parts of the LOTH that Rome wants done, so this is a third area that will involve translation from Latin, plus the complicated US copyright process. So now it seems that new breviaries from any publisher are quite a few years into the future. (Although I pray that by some miracle I’m wrong about that.)
Meantime, the one-volume Pauline breviary, now out of print, has to be sought out second hand. If you are really interested in getting one, try ebay. By coincidence, one of my blog followers at dariasockey.blogspot.com just told me she had a brand new one she wasn’t using and would like to sell. If you are interested, email me at thesockeys"at" gmail"dot"com.

I meant to add: what makes the Pauline one-volume so special is that it contains the complete daytime prayer psalter , unlike that Catholic Book Publishing Co. “Christian Prayer”, which only contains two weeks’s worth. Why they did this truncated version, yet devoted space to a mini-hymnal which few people need, is beyond me.

Don’t forget the random inclusion of the entire 4-week Psalter for the OoR and a few seemingly randomly selected biblical and non-biblical readings (and even more oddly - no responsories after the readings).

Basically, a better version would be what Windmill suggested: MP, DP, EP, NP with all Propers (Season and Saints + Commons), no OoR. Some kind of hymns are needed (with or without notation, inline or in a separate section, I don’t think that really matters as much which one).


Thanks for responding with the updated info on the Pauline Breviary. While I’m sorry to hear that we probably won’t be getting an updated Breviary any time soon, and that the Pauline version is still going to be out of print, it’s nice that the Catholic Book Publishing Company one I bought this Thursday won’t be obsolete in a month (as if it were a new computer…)

Here’s another question for everyone: would it be permissible to use one of the commons for a recently-canonized saint that’s on the Roman Calendar but not in the current edition of the breviary? For example, my Confirmation saint, St. Maximilian Kolbe, isn’t in the current breviary, so would it be permissible for me to simply use the Common of One Martyr on his feast day?

Yes, that’s exactly what you would do. And if you go to www.ibreviary.com on his feastday, you can scroll down to find the concluding prayer that is specific to St Maximilian. But don’t forget, since 8/14 is the vigil of the Assumption, you would only do the common of martyrs for St. Max through daytime prayer. Evening prayer would be Evening Prayer I of the Assumption.

There are some Propers for St. Maximilian Kolbe, but since he’s quite new they’re found in a small booklet called the LOTH Supplement (you can see it here for example). There is a proper 2nd Reading (for the OoR), along with proper antiphons for the Gospel Canticles, and a proper prayer. You can probably find these either at iBreviary or divineoffice.org.

As with any celebration that is a Memorial, you can take the invitatory antiphon, hymn, reading, responsory, Gospel canticle antiphon, and intercessions from either the weekday (Psalter) or the Commons (Common of One Martyr or Common of Pastors for St. Maximilian Kolbe). The Psalms and antiphons are from the weekday (this year from Tuesday Week III it looks like).

Minor quibble, for a memorial that has proper antiphons, you take them from the proper of the saint.

Of course. There’s only a few I believe that have proper antiphons/psalms (off the top of my head: Mary Magdalene is one, St. Barnabas I believe too).

I think there are quite a few more with a proper Gospel canticle.

Sorry, I think we had a miscommunication. I mean proper antiphons for Psalms (the first part of the Office).

Antiphons for Gospel canticles you can find in at least half of Memorials I would say.

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