Liturgy of the Hours vs the Divine Office


#1

I bought the 4-volume Liturgy of the Hours and while ago and I’ve been using it each day for a couple of months now but I found out the other day that the approved form for England and Wales (whence I come) is the 3-volume Divine Office and the version I use is approved for USA, Canada and a few other countries (but not UK).

My question is; is it OK that I pray the American version as opposed to the approved British version?

Now I know that because I’m not a member of the clergy, I technically don’t need to be praying it anyway but if I did become a priest, would I be able to stick to the way, in which I pray the Liturgy of the Hours (as approved for the USA) or would I have to use the approved Divine Office (3-volume) version?


#2

I think that the UK version just has devotions to more English saints. Do correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the prayers themselves to be the same in all other languages.
I’m just starting to get into the habit of the Divine Office myself, so I’m still a bit confused.

Also, I think the Liturgy of the Hours is just the updated terminology of the Divine Office, or version. Or something… I know a version I have (Divinumofficium.com) was completely different from the version I used at a recent retreat.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using a non-local version, but you may miss out on some of the Anglo-focus.

EDIT: You already covered some stuff I said. No offense meant. That’ll teach me to read fully.


#3

The Divine Office is just another many for the Liturgy of the Hours. And there are many different versions of it. Many religious orders have their own. I am not sure if diocesan priests are obligated to pray the version chosen by their diocese or can choose their own or need permission from their bishop.


#4

If you were paying publicly or were obligated to pray the office you would need to pay from the correct local version. But that could be tackled then. The main differences are

  1. translation differences
  2. variations in the local calendar for memorials and fests.

As a lay person using the books you have for private or family devotion using the USA version is not a problem.


#5

Yes.

Now I know that because I’m not a member of the clergy, I technically don’t need to be praying it anyway but if I did become a priest, would I be able to stick to the way, in which I pray the Liturgy of the Hours (as approved for the USA) or would I have to use the approved Divine Office (3-volume) version?

Both.

You would be obligated to follow the local (national and diocesan) calendar.

As far as the text itself goes, in private prayer, even as a cleric, you could use any approved version, regardless of the country. However, in public prayer, such as a parish praying Evening Prayer together, or at a retreat where the prayers are said in common, you would have to use the text approved for that country. But even this is not “absolute” as there are any number of possible exceptions.

Even in a parish setting, the level of permission needed to use a version from a different country is very minimal. For example, in the US, if a parish is an ethnic parish, then they already have permission to use the prayers approved in that language (by virtue of the fact that the bishop designates it as an ethnic parish).


#6

From the 2001 Instruction Liturgiam Authenticam, at vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20010507_liturgiam-authenticam_en.html :

“83. As regards the editions of liturgical books prepared in vernacular languages, the approbation of the Conference of Bishops as well as the recognitio of the Apostolic See are to be regarded as valid only for the territory of the same Conference, so that these editions may not be used in another territory without the consent of the Apostolic See, except in those particular circumstances mentioned above, in nn. 18 and 76, and in keeping with the norms set forth there.”

“18. In celebrations for speakers of a foreign language, such as visitors, migrants, pilgrims, etc., it is permissible, with the consent of the diocesan Bishop, to celebrate the Sacred Liturgy in a vernacular language known to these people, using a liturgical book already approved by the competent authority with the subsequent recognitio of the Apostolic See.[18] If such celebrations recur with some frequency, the diocesan Bishop is to send a brief report to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, describing the circumstances, the number of participants, and the editions used.”

Here are some problems I see with a United Kingdom Priest using a United State’s Liturgy of the Hours in private:

  • The priest will not become familiar with the books that he will use in public ceremonies.
  • He will not using the same books, the same translation of the psalms, as the priests and religious in his area.
  • This will influence things like his preparation of homilies, his discussions with others about the psalms, etc.
  • As a seminarian the UK books would be used in ceremonies in the seminary.

#7

Thanks to everyone for their replies
I’ve now bought the UK Collins Divine Office and I prefer the layout of it
But there isn’t as much choice when it comes to hymns (like there is more options in the ICEL translation and a few more Latin hymns and prayers)
Also, does anyone prefer the UK gospel canticles (benedictus, magnificat and nunc dimittis) because I think the ICEL translations flow a bit better :slight_smile:


#8

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