'Liturgia Horarum' - Impossible to find!


Unless you have around $400 for the Midwest Theological Forum Six-Volume edition (Seriously?! How does that price encourage anyone to pray the Breviary?) then this wonderful jewel of the Church is impossible to find at a reasonable price.

Second hand copies are like gold dust, and it’s out of print at the Vatican printers, Paxbook. Anyhow they also charge well above what I’d describe as a reasonable cost for a very simple book.

I’m aware of an online source, but some of us like real books!

Any help?!:shrug:


Curious to see the answer to this myself. I’ve been looking for one to start seminary with, but don’t want to drop another $500 on it.



Exactly. Why should we have to? I’d be curious to see in the bookshops in Rome if they actually have any copies remaining, contrary to the paxbook website!


The sad matter of fact is that practically nobody prays the OF of the Hours entirely in Latin. People proficient in Latin almost universally gravitate to the EF 1961 Roman Breviary. The MTF and Paxbook editions are the best you’re going to do unfortunately.


I must be practically nobody :wink:

Well, not the entire Office. I do the Office of Readings in French, Compline in French during the week and in Latin on Sundays, and any Office when I’m away from home in French.

But I do Lauds, Vespers, mid-day prayer when working from home, and Vespers in Latin and in Gregorian chant.

I prefer the LOTH. The 1961 I have no special affection for as it’s no closer to the monastic tradition than the LOTH (in some cases the LOTH has borrowed monastic practices and traditions at least in some of the options it allows), and the Monastic is too long given my current professional commitments (3 hours of commuting per day).

The LOTH allows me to get almost all the psalms over 4 weeks. With the Monastic I found I was missing too many psalms because there were some offices I simply could not do.

But when I retire I will go back monastic (or get a job where I can work full-time from home)


Almost everybody in the world either uses the vernacular OF, the EF, or an adaptation according to their religious order. So you’re an extremely rare exception to that.


I think they sell the Liturgia Horarum at St. Pauls’ bookstore beside Westminster Cathedral?
They also sell them online at their website, and each volume costs about £60.


The Vatican bookstore (in St. Peters Square) has them.


Well I do know I’m not alone :wink:

I know of at least one other oblate that does the same thing I do. And since the first volume of the Antiphonale Romanum has been out since 2010, our schola chants Sunday Vespers in Latin at the cathedral once every Advent and Lent, as well as Lauds on Holy Saturday. It has been very well received by people who have attended.


I’m not sure what the problem is. The cost per volume is only $67. Try going to the local university and check out the cost of a hardbound textbook. It will place this in perspective.
I’m not sure what the attraction of a Latin text would be. It can’t be faithfulness to the original text as the psalms and canticles are from the old testament and all the passages chosen are in Hebrew.
Stick to reading the prayers in a language which you speak fluently. The translating committee has taken great pains to render the text accurately.

Reb Levi


The attraction for me is Gregorian chant. It’s part of the patrimony of the Church, and worth preserving and adapting to the current Liturgy. And that requires Latin to work properly. I’m a director of the Gregorian Institute of Canada and promoting chant is part of our mission.

However I don’t use Liturgia Horarum for that but rather Les Heures Gregoriennes which is noted for chant and has the liturgical French translation alongside. French is my mother tongue. I chant the Latin part and read the French silently after. Lauds and Vespers take 20-25 minutes that way. The LOTH makes that possible, the 1961 or monastic breviaries would take too big a bite out of my schedule.


:newidea:*** What you can do is, buy one volume at a time; the one for the season that is in use at the time. Then buy the next volume just before the next season starts; this is what I did when I got the 4 volume LOTH set.

Just remember to put away a little money each paycheck, until it is time to get the next volume. It works. :extrahappy:

God Bless you, and happy savings. ***


:newidea:*** What you can do is, buy one volume at a time; the one for the season that is in use at the time. Then buy the next volume just before the next season starts; this is what I did when I got the 4 volume LOTH set. When I bought the set, it was $400.00; that was QUITE a bit in 1977.

Just remember to put away a little money each paycheck, until it is time to get the next volume. It works. :extrahappy:

God Bless you, and happy savings. ***


That’s how I bought my 4 volume LOTH set as well. Les Heures Gregoriennes was a bit tougher, 3 volumes only available as set for well over 200 Euros, but worth every sou!


Slightly off-topic, but since we’re talking about the expenses to pray the LOTH: does anybody else think the way they’re set up is extraordinarily inefficient? It’s set up in four volumes by season, which is how most people buy it, but you can also buy Christian Prayer (everything but the Office of Readings) and the Office of Readings by itself, which is just two volumes. (It saves space because the four-week psalter doesn’t have to be printed four times.) In fact, I’m not really quite sure why more people don’t do that. (You also get the added bonus this way of getting the hymns’ sheet music in CP, at least in the Catholic Book edition.)

I suppose it’s more convenient if you’re a traveling priest or bishop that’s canonically obligated to pray all of the Hours to have everything you need in one book, but imagine the hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been wasted on splitting the Hours into four books rather than two. :shrug:


Where can you get the Office of Readings by itself? I’ve searched for it and can only find two. One by Daughters of St Paul and one by ICEL. Both are OOP, really hard to find, are used books, and really expensive. Better to buy the LOTH and have everything you need for the day in one convenient book.


I guess it’s out of print now, but the Daughters of St Paul published the OOR by itself.


As a general rule the smaller the possible number of buyers and the more specific the consumer group the more expensive a book will be. This is true of all books, not just Catholic ones.

Since few people will buy Latin breviaries the ones that do have to bear the brunt of the publishing costs.

The monastic breviary set me back over 80 bucks for a single, small volume. But it is leather bound, sewn, and last a lifetime if well cared for - which made it worth it for me.


I have the LOTH, but don’t use it all the time. Personally I would not have bought it if it were in only two books. As it is, the volumes are too heavy and bulky for me to hold comfortably for the entire office, especially the OOR.


It is OOP and really hard to find. Also, I don’t think it was what the previous poster was referring to, since it was a single volume, not two.

Also, I find the shuffling of books during prayer to be distracting.

As a side note, on a visit to an Orthodox monastery I asked one of the nuns why their office was printed pages in loose leaf binders. She told me that in order to pray all the hours in the Orthodox form you need twenty or so books which costs 1500-1800 dollars. Which is why I use the Catholic breviary.

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