The new (African) Liturgy of the Hours: a brief review

My copy of the African LOTH arrived today! A brief review for those interested:

  1. If you were hoping for newly translated Latin hymns you will be disappointed. There are some new hymns but they are all relatively recent vernacular compositions.
  2. The main new features as advertised are the 3 year cycle of antiphons for Sundays and feasts.
  3. There are Propers provided for the most recent feasts added to the General Calendar. The style of the these Closing Prayers is noticeably different from the rest of the ICEL Closing Prayers. Interestingly, the conclusion of the prayers is closer to the British than the US LOTH. The endings used are “Through our Lord…Spirit, God, forever and ever” or “Who live and reign…”
  4. Psalter (revised Grail) could have some features better done (centering of text for example), but on the whole is quite nice. Psalm verse numbers are provided, but small enough not to be obnoxious. Also, like the UK LOTH, the psalms are pointed for singing to the Gregorian or Grail psalm tones.
  5. In addition to the Latin hymns, as in the current US LOTH, there is an Appendix containing the Latin texts for common parts of the Office like the Te Deum and Gospel Canticles and the Latin text of Psalms 62 (63), 149, 116 (117) and the canticle Benedicte
  6. Also following the editio typica altera, another Appendix provides the Solemn blessings and Form B and C of the Act of Penitence from the missal/sacramentary.

Where can one order a copy of it?


I’ve looked high and low on the web for whole-psalm excerpts of the new Revised Grail, and haven’t been able to find them. Could you perhaps type out here a well-known psalm, say, Psalm 91for Sunday Compline?

I’d be grateful.

I just read that the new Grail Psalter received recognitiio and will be out very soon. Unfortunately, GIA will be the publisher.

AJV, is the Grail Psalter what was used to translate the new LOTH, or, did South Africa jump the gun again like it did for the new Roman Missal?

Actually, GIA is just the agent for administering the copyright. Maybe they’ll publish a book of the Psalms, I don’t know, but people who want to include the new translations in works published elsewhere, like musical settings, will also have to deal with GIA. However, some people like Jeffrey Tucker have said that GIA “owns” the copyright, but this is false – they are just the literary agent for the copyright owners, Conception Abbey and The Grail (England).

With all due respect, Jeffrey Tucker is a pretty reliable source. I just loathe having to see GIA have anything to do with this.

Oh, I agree – and I’m not positive that he’s actually said GIA owns the copyright (though fairly sure), and if he did he may have just been speaking loosely. I am positive that GIA does not own the copyright, though, and will find a source if you are interested. I’m totally with you on regrets that GIA is involved, though. Obviously if you are an abbey and own a copyright, you’re not going to administer it yourself, but if would have been nice if they have found an agent without deep-seated conflicts of interest.

Just to follow up, see here (Tucker states that Conception Abbey “sold its portion of its rights to GIA publishing”) and here (“GIA owns the copyright”). However, this was most likely just forgetfulness or loose speaking (see his post and correspendence here).

The Revised Grail was used: to date, it is the only published work containing it (legally). The book can be purchased by using the Pauline Africa website and sending the Sisters. They will send you an invoice which you can return to them with payment (or with luck, to your local Pauline branch).

I will type out Psalm 91 or maybe 130 later today. I actually still use the current ICEL translation and not the African one, because ICEL the one approved for this country. I only look at the African on Sundays for the antiphons and will use it when one of the new memorials rolls around later this month. I’m working on a dual Latin-English document with the new translations for these (which, I must admit, in some cases leave something to be desired in terms of ‘flow’)


Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,
2 Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive
to the sound of my pleading.

3 If you, O Lord, should iniquties
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you is found forgiveness:
that you may be revered.

5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits
I hope in his word.
6 My soul is intent on the Lord
more than watchman for daybreak.
More than watchmen for daybreak
7 let Israel wait for the Lord

For with the Lord there is merciful love
in him is plentiful redemption
8 It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.


Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,
2 Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleading.

3 If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,
Lord, who would survive?
4 But with you is found forgiveness:
for this we revere you.

5 My soul is waiting for the Lord.
I count on his word.
6 My soul is longing for the Lord
more than watchman for daybreak.
Let the watchman count on daybreak
7 and Israel on the Lord.

Because with the Lord there is mercy
and fullness of redemption,
8 Israel indeed he will redeem
from all its iniquity.

I think the whole thing is a concern for everyone outside of GIA! Why, O why did the USCCB allow this to happen is beyond me? It’s not like the USCCB doesn’t have their own publishing house that can “administer” the copyright (because the do!). :shrug:

I think (although I could be wrong), but ICEL also has a lot to do with it. They seem to show a preference for the big publishing houses as opposed to the indepents and those composers who are not afiliated with a major publisher. Look what is happening to the settings for the new translations.

JMJ, people like you should be given a fair chance. I suspect that you could do a better job than what I fear we will be getting in the very near future. OCP is already touting its new compositions.

As far as I’ve heard, ICEL charges outrageous royalty fees (above average for the publishing community). For a small publisher, like I’m looking to become, it quickly becomes unaffordable. If one isn’t careful, one could quickly be looking at paying over 100% in royalties alone. Thus, for the small publisher who wants to publish say a missal or missalette (thus required to submit to the “pay to pray” fees of ICEL and now GIA), the only seemingly viable way to be profitable or even break even is to completely disregard any modern compositions (no matter how good and laudable they may be) and rely solely on traditional (and therefore public domain) compositions such as gregorian chant and hymns whose composers and writers are no longer alive to collect royalties.


The Revised Grail Psalms are now being sold through Conception Abbey’s Printery House as well.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit