Liturgy of the Hours: Question RE Different Book Versions


#1

I've been listening to the Liturgy of the Hours in podcast form for a few months now as I've heard it's not easy to get into, so thought that might be a way to good starting point and way to familiarize myself with it somewhat. Anyway, I've seen three different versions in book form: Liturgy of the Hours 4-Volume Set, Christian Prayer and Shorter Christian Prayer.

Besides the 4-volume version costing more and being more books, what's the difference between the three versions?

[And from a practicality stand point, it is highly unlikely that I'll be able to do anything beyond the Invitatory, Office of Readings, Morning, Evening and Night with any regularity due to my job.]


#2

Also online ...

Post-Conciliar Liturgy of the Hours: divineoffice.org/
Post-Conciliar Liturgy of the Hours (Great Britian): universalis.com/
Post-Conciliar Liturgy of the Hours (Latin): almudi.org/Portals/0/docs/Breviario/fuentes/breviario.html

Compare to:

Orthodox (Church of Greece) Horologion: orthodox.seasidehosting.st/seaside/home


#3

The previous poster was noting differences between different traditions of the Divine Office, and comparing online versions of the current Roman Rite version with other avaialble versions.
I believe that does not answer your question.

I Live in the UK, and the publications are nation or region specific.

Here we have
"A Shorter Morning and evening Prayer"
This is the 4 week psalter, with Morning, Evening, and night prayer, but without the most of the proper of the seasons or any of the feasts of memoria.

"Morning and Evening Prayer"
This is everything you need to follow Lauds, Vespers and Compline (Morning, evening and night prayer). It has the full proper of the seasons for those sections. It has the (shortened) General Instruction (Omitting sections not related to those 3 hours). It has the general calendar for the region, and the National calendars for the countries where it is intended to be sold (In this case the Nations within the British Isles: Ireland, Scotland and England & Wales)

"Daily Prayer / Prayer During The Day": this is a small book containing the 3 "Small Hours" of the days' prayers. (Terce, Sext & None). Very convenient if you want to carry it for prayer of The Office during your working day

"Christian Prayer"
This contains everything except the Office of readings. It's a bit bigger than "Morning & Evening Prayer, as it also contains "Daily Prayer"

"The Divine Office" (As a 3 or 4 volume set)
This contains Everything you need *including *the Office of Readings.

I am not aware of a printed publication of the Office of readings other than the full "Divine Office".
You will note that it adds 2 or 3 volumes to the set compared to "Christian Prayer"

Regional Variations

The UK & Ireland version is published by Harper Collins. Most reviews comment that it is of lesser print quality, and I can attest that the "Morning & Evening prayer" while well bound, has misprinted pages, and I have 1 copy where around 2 dozen pages were blank, scattered through weeks 2 & 3 of the psalter. Both copies I hav contain some pages where the print is smudged or very faint.
There is a almost identical version published by Veritas in Ireland (an official catholic publishers) I have not seen their print quality.
(I now personally boycott Harper Collins, as I discovered they are 100% owned by Rupert Murdochs News Corporation. I have written to our bishops asking them to reconsider who gets the uk publishing rights for liturgical publications as there are several catholic publishers and I believe the exclusive rights to a major publication should not lie with a commercial publisher who has such a scandalously tarnished reputation.)

The USA have at least 2 publishers of the smaller versions. The 4 volume edition is by St. Josephs Press. It contains variations in the translation compared to the UK editions, and also contains some additional "Psalm Prayers"
Personally I very much prefer the translations used in the UK edition where they are different. - they are far more poetic. - and very occasionally they are slightly easier to understand. - but the additional materials in the St Josephs version are very usefull additions.

If you wish to pray in common you must use the correct version approved for your country.


#4

The four-volume basically is the complete LOTH. In addition to all the psalms, it includes the long readings for the Office of Readings, which are omitted from Christian Prayer. There might be a few other differences as well, my LOTH is in French so slightly different. Instead of "Christian Prayer", we have the 1-volume "Prière du temps présent" which is identical to our four-volume, minus the readings for the OOR, although I find it less convenient to use (more page flipping).


#5

I also find Christian Prayer less convenient than the 4-Volume, due to there being more flipping back and forth. I find that distracting, personally.

Since you're interested in praying the Office of Readings, the 4-volume is the one you'll need. It's more expensive, of course, but you don't have to buy all four at once. It also, of course, has the daytime hours.

Now, if you're not completely tied to the idea of having a physical book, check out divineoffice.org. They have the full LoH, and you can pray it online, or buy the app for your smartphone/tablet. I use that most of the time. I thought I would miss using an actual book, but I rarely do (and when I do, I still have my books). There's no page-flipping at all, no wondering whether today is a feast or a memorial, etc. The only thing missing is that they don't have versions for particular religious orders, but I understand they may be working on that.


#6

I would avoid Shorter Christian Prayer. As you gain proficiency in praying the Office, you'll find you quickly outgrow that version.


#7

[quote="SachieWhitby, post:1, topic:325033"]

[And from a practicality stand point, it is highly unlikely that I'll be able to do anything beyond the Invitatory,** Office of Readings

[/quote]

, Morning, Evening and Night with any regularity due to my job.]

(Bolding is my emphasis)

If you are planing to pray the Office of Readings I would highly suggest the 4-volume version so that you have the full Office of Readings and not a selection of readings found in some abridged versions of Christian Prayer (not all have even the selection).

Welcome to the world of praying the hours! But Beware! It becomes a highly addictive and and immensely gratifying discipline! :D


#8

[quote="anruari, post:3, topic:325033"]
The previous poster was noting differences between different traditions of the Divine Office, and comparing online versions of the current Roman Rite version with other avaialble versions.
I believe that does not answer your question.

I Live in the UK, and the publications are nation or region specific.

Here we have
"A Shorter Morning and evening Prayer"
This is the 4 week psalter, with Morning, Evening, and night prayer, but without the most of the proper of the seasons or any of the feasts of memoria.

"Morning and Evening Prayer"
This is everything you need to follow Lauds, Vespers and Compline (Morning, evening and night prayer). It has the full proper of the seasons for those sections. It has the (shortened) General Instruction (Omitting sections not related to those 3 hours). It has the general calendar for the region, and the National calendars for the countries where it is intended to be sold (In this case the Nations within the British Isles: Ireland, Scotland and England & Wales)

"Daily Prayer / Prayer During The Day": this is a small book containing the 3 "Small Hours" of the days' prayers. (Terce, Sext & None). Very convenient if you want to carry it for prayer of The Office during your working day

"Christian Prayer"
This contains everything except the Office of readings. It's a bit bigger than "Morning & Evening Prayer, as it also contains "Daily Prayer"

"The Divine Office" (As a 3 or 4 volume set)
This contains Everything you need *including *the Office of Readings.

I am not aware of a printed publication of the Office of readings other than the full "Divine Office".
You will note that it adds 2 or 3 volumes to the set compared to "Christian Prayer"

Regional Variations

The UK & Ireland version is published by Harper Collins. Most reviews comment that it is of lesser print quality, and I can attest that the "Morning & Evening prayer" while well bound, has misprinted pages, and I have 1 copy where around 2 dozen pages were blank, scattered through weeks 2 & 3 of the psalter. Both copies I hav contain some pages where the print is smudged or very faint.
There is a almost identical version published by Veritas in Ireland (an official catholic publishers) I have not seen their print quality.
(I now personally boycott Harper Collins, as I discovered they are 100% owned by Rupert Murdochs News Corporation. I have written to our bishops asking them to reconsider who gets the uk publishing rights for liturgical publications as there are several catholic publishers and I believe the exclusive rights to a major publication should not lie with a commercial publisher who has such a scandalously tarnished reputation.)

The USA have at least 2 publishers of the smaller versions. The 4 volume edition is by St. Josephs Press. It contains variations in the translation compared to the UK editions, and also contains some additional "Psalm Prayers"
*Personally I very much prefer the translations used in the UK edition where they are different. - they are far more poetic. - and very occasionally they are slightly easier to understand. *- but the additional materials in the St Josephs version are very usefull additions.

If you wish to pray in common you must use the correct version approved for your country.

[/quote]

A new translation is in the works (whether for just the United States or for the whole English-speaking world I'm not sure) but the process only began recently so I would not recommend anyone wait for it to come out. It may save money not to have to buy two editions within a just few years, but in my opinion depriving oneself of this prayer for years is too high a cost.


#9

[quote="Aelred_Minor, post:8, topic:325033"]
A new translation is in the works (whether for just the United States or for the whole English-speaking world I'm not sure) but the process only began recently so I would not recommend anyone wait for it to come out. It may save money not to have to buy two editions within a just few years, but in my opinion depriving oneself of this prayer for years is too high a cost.

[/quote]

1) the news articles I can find relate only to the USCCB issuing an instruction to their own committee to prepare a new translation. This would not automatically be used outside the USA, and it would presumably include components of the NAB or revisions thereof, which is a translation not well respected outside the USA.

It's a great pity. I believe the ICEL should be taking the lead on this and provide us with a common translation for the whole of the english speaking world. (but the arguments about which bible translation to use for the readings would probably go on forever).

Of course, the Monks at Conception Abbey did a wonderful job on the Grail translation of the Psalms: in that they produced a translation ideal for Chant and maximising the poetic nature of the translation.
(there are many bibles with other approaches which are more appropriate for study od word for word accuracy... that's not the point in a poetic prayer when you're reciting or chanting the prayer in the Liturgy)

Perhaps they could be approached to do the whole LOTH except the Readings... Those could be reassessed based on the overriding intentions of the Vatican, which have moved away from the Dynamic Equivalence translations like the Jerusalem and NAB and towards more formal equivalence translations like the RSV, NRSV(modified), ESV and others in that vein.

Similarly... I think it would be great if the ICEL would commission a new Catholic translation following best modern scholarship which the whole church can come behind, instead of the fragmented system we have today, which is only getting worse.
It worked great for the Roman Missal... We now have a unified translation. Please give us the same for the Lectionary, the Divine Office and the other liturgical books and books of blessings.


#10

[quote="anruari, post:9, topic:325033"]
1) the news articles I can find relate only to the USCCB issuing an instruction to their own committee to prepare a new translation. This would not automatically be used outside the USA, and it would presumably include components of the NAB or revisions thereof, which is a translation not well respected outside the USA.

It's a great pity. I believe the ICEL should be taking the lead on this and provide us with a common translation for the whole of the english speaking world. (but the arguments about which bible translation to use for the readings would probably go on forever).

Of course, the Monks at Conception Abbey did a wonderful job on the Grail translation of the Psalms: in that they produced a translation ideal for Chant and maximising the poetic nature of the translation.
(there are many bibles with other approaches which are more appropriate for study od word for word accuracy... that's not the point in a poetic prayer when you're reciting or chanting the prayer in the Liturgy)

Perhaps they could be approached to do the whole LOTH except the Readings... Those could be reassessed based on the overriding intentions of the Vatican, which have moved away from the Dynamic Equivalence translations like the Jerusalem and NAB and towards more formal equivalence translations like the RSV, NRSV(modified), ESV and others in that vein.

Similarly... I think it would be great if the ICEL would commission a new Catholic translation following best modern scholarship which the whole church can come behind, instead of the fragmented system we have today, which is only getting worse.
It worked great for the Roman Missal... We now have a unified translation. Please give us the same for the Lectionary, the Divine Office and the other liturgical books and books of blessings.

[/quote]

I agree. I seem to recall (and a quick internet search seems to confirm) that the new translation will use the Revised Grail Psalter. I suppose that would bring our translations closer together but I don't see why we don't have one common translation, with necessary modifications for spelling, national differences in feast days, etc.

Incidentally the NAB is not well respected inside the USA either.


#11

[quote="agnes_therese, post:5, topic:325033"]
I also find Christian Prayer less convenient than the 4-Volume, due to there being more flipping back and forth. I find that distracting, personally.

Since you're interested in praying the Office of Readings, the 4-volume is the one you'll need. It's more expensive, of course, but you don't have to buy all four at once. It also, of course, has the daytime hours.

Now, if you're not completely tied to the idea of having a physical book, check out divineoffice.org. They have the full LoH, and you can pray it online, or buy the app for your smartphone/tablet. I use that most of the time. I thought I would miss using an actual book, but I rarely do (and when I do, I still have my books). There's no page-flipping at all, no wondering whether today is a feast or a memorial, etc. The only thing missing is that they don't have versions for particular religious orders, but I understand they may be working on that.

[/quote]

I don't have a smartphone/tablet... BUT my LG Chocolate has been on the verge of death for a while now in that the camera no longer works, I don't get voice mail notifications consistently and it started to have charging difficulties a few days ago thus I'm anticipating having to replace it very soon. [Something I've been holding off on as I have a sense of frugality where I don't like replacing things like cell phones until they completely stop working.] A cellphone app would certainly make those daytime hours more doable as I do in-home care for the elderly and while my currently client isn't going to mind if I take a Liturgy of the Hours break and would even encourage it, I've had other clients that vehemently oppose Catholicism.


#12

[quote="SachieWhitby, post:11, topic:325033"]
I don't have a smartphone/tablet... BUT my LG Chocolate has been on the verge of death for a while now in that the camera no longer works,
...
A cellphone app would certainly make those daytime hours more doable as I do in-home care for the elderly and while my currently client isn't going to mind if I take a Liturgy of the Hours break and would even encourage it, I've had other clients that vehemently oppose Catholicism.

[/quote]

There are cell-phone apps available from 3 websites.
www.universalis.com
www.divineoffice.org
www.ibreviary.com

They contain a mixture of free to access and paid for applications.


#13

[quote="Aelred_Minor, post:8, topic:325033"]
A new translation is in the works (whether for just the United States or for the whole English-speaking world I'm not sure) but the process only began recently so I would not recommend anyone wait for it to come out. It may save money not to have to buy two editions within a just few years, but in my opinion depriving oneself of this prayer for years is too high a cost.

[/quote]

Given the usual speed of these things, I expect longer than "a few" years, although the bishops said "three to five." You could probably start putting away 50 - 75 cents a week now, and be ready. :D

The second story on this page tells more about the bishops' decision:
usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/2012-november-meeting/cns-stories.cfm

I am SO glad Cardinal O'Malley brought up the "glory be" issue!


#14

[quote="agnes_therese, post:13, topic:325033"]
Given the usual speed of these things, I expect longer than "a few" years, although the bishops said "three to five." You could probably start putting away 50 - 75 cents a week now, and be ready. :D

The second story on this page tells more about the bishops' decision:
usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/2012-november-meeting/cns-stories.cfm

I am SO glad Cardinal O'Malley brought up the "glory be" issue!

[/quote]

When the LoTH first came out in 1970, the Vatican promised a new Latin antiphonary so it could be chanted in Gregorian chant, "soon". The first volume for Vespers of Sundays, feasts and solemnities came out in 2010.

So in Vatican parlance, "soon" = 40 years :eek:


#15

[quote="anruari, post:3, topic:325033"]
...
I Live in the UK, and the publications are nation or region specific.....

[/quote]

Is The Day Thou Gavest, Lord Is Ended, approved in your region?


#16

[quote="Fairwinds, post:15, topic:325033"]
Is The Day Thou Gavest, Lord Is Ended, approved in your region?

[/quote]

Do you mean the Popular Hymn or some book by the same name?

If you mean the Hymn It would greatly surprise me if it' wasnt' in at least 1 approved hymnal.


#17

[quote="anruari, post:16, topic:325033"]
Do you mean the Popular Hymn or some book by the same name?

If you mean the Hymn It would greatly surprise me if it' wasnt' in at least 1 approved hymnal.

[/quote]

The hymn, as one of the hymns approved for the LOTH. I use the LOTH approved for the region including the USA, where its not listed (although another favorite, Morning Has Broken is).


#18

[quote="OraLabora, post:14, topic:325033"]
When the LoTH first came out in 1970, the Vatican promised a new Latin antiphonary so it could be chanted in Gregorian chant, "soon". The first volume for Vespers of Sundays, feasts and solemnities came out in 2010.

So in Vatican parlance, "soon" = 40 years :eek:

[/quote]

I imagine it depends on whether this is a "new translation" or a recasting (to use a favorite word of Fortescue's) of the editio typica.

If it is a mere translation issue, it will probably be much faster; we've discussed this in other threads. The biggest pieces (Revised Grail Psalter, Collects for the sanctoral cycle and special seasons, etc.) are done. This scenario is more or less what I gathered from last year's USCCB coverage, i.e., a retranslation.

On the other hand, other sources had earlier indicated that a reworking of the editio typica may be underway within the near future. We just don't know the status of these reports without inside knowledge. If that were true, I would agree wholeheartedly that it will be later rather than sooner.


#19

I want to learn to pray the divine office but think I should start off with the shorter, Christian Prayer Book first. What do you recommend? I would actually need someone to show me how to pray the LOTH because even though it comes with directions, Im more of a hands on type of person.

I need a new prayer life if thats makes sense....I find myself praying the same thing day in and day out and Im honestly sick of it.....

Any suggestions?


#20

[quote="Serenity412, post:19, topic:325033"]
I want to learn to pray the divine office but think I should start off with the shorter, Christian Prayer Book first. What do you recommend? I would actually need someone to show me how to pray the LOTH because even though it comes with directions, Im more of a hands on type of person.

I need a new prayer life if thats makes sense....I find myself praying the same thing day in and day out and Im honestly sick of it.....

Any suggestions?

[/quote]

You might call some of the parishes around you to see if they have a group saying the office (whatever part) on a regular basis, and see if you can find the time to join in. That would be "hands on".

My experience is that there are people out there saying the Office in community, but it is "volunteer" as opposed to organized by the parish, so calling may be necessary,

Next thought - see if one of the parishes has a deacon or two who might be able to say the Office with you for a period of time until you become familiar with it.

Or see if there is a seminary anywhere within a reasonable amount of time; the seminarians should be saying the office in community. For a while I had a job that would occasionally take me by our local seminary, and I could drop in for Vespers with the seminarians.


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