Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4: Anniversary of the 1962 Breviarium juxta ritum ordinis prædicatorum

Today is the anniversary of the approval of the last official Breviary of the Order of Preachers.  On July 4, 1961, Master General of the Order Michael Browne, O.P., approved the new revised Breviary.  His letter of approval and introduction is in the front of the Breviary.  It is reprinted below.  The copyright date on the title sheet, however, is 1962 which explains why it is always referred to as the 1962 Breviarium sacri ordinis praedicatorum.  This particular breviary is the one that is authorized, under Pope Benedict XVI moto proprio "Summorum Pontificum", for use by the Order should a friar, or group of friars, or even a whole priory should decide to use it either occasionally, or even adopt it permanently.  

Michael Cardinal Browne, O.P.
Master General of the Order of Preachers

With this breviary, the "Romanization" of Dominican Rite of Office had reached its zenith.  There is absolutely no question that this Breviary is Dominican, through and through.  Yet a quick comparison of the calendar of the 1952 and 1962 Breviaries of the Order reveals a significant reduction in the number of feasts of Dominican saints and blesseds in the latter. Further, many of the blesseds whose feasts survived the cutting board had the rank of their feast reduced to a mere commemoration.  In addition, with this edition, we see a change in the manner of chanting the antiphons for the Psalms (from simply intoning the first word before the Psalm and then chanting the entire antiphopn at the end of the Psalm to chanting the entire antiphon before and after) is yet another concession to the Romanizing forces that were pressuring the Order to do away with its unique Office and Missal.

I had hoped to have an English translation of Fr. Browne's approval letter, which is at the front of each volume.  However, my usual translator was busy and I am not confident enough in my ability to translate such a document from Latin to English.  Someday perhaps, but not yet.  From what I can tell though, it appears as though he acknowledges that the calendar has been more closely conformed to that of the Roman calendar, but I do not see where he gives any explanation for why this was done.  He also speaks of additional adaptions (accomadata?).   If any reader out there wants to take a shot at translating it, I would be very grateful and would be happy to post it, giving full credit to the translator!





Salutem et in divinis laudibus devotionem.

Rubricis Breviarii et Missalis ritus nostril novo rubricarum codici ritus Romani conformatis, calendario quoque nostro ad normam Instructionis Sacræ Ritum Congregationis diei 14 februarii 1961 reviso novum Ordinis nostril Breviarium novis rubricis et novo calendario conforme in lucem tandem prodire potest.

In hac editione, ab Instituto Liturgico nostro parata, multa invenietis faciliori usui accomadata, sæpe repetitis quæ in editionibus præcedentibus non sine legentium tædio immo et devotionis amittendæ periculo passim quærere necesse erat.

Igitur tenore Præsentium Nostrique auctoritate Officii hanc Breviarii editionem approbamus eiusque usum Paribut, Fratribus, Monialibus et Sororibus Nostris permittimus.  Contrariis non obstantibus quibuscumque.

In quorum fidem, his litteris Officii Nostri sigillo munitis manu propria subscripsimus.

Datum Romæ ad S. Sabinæ die 4 julii anno Domini 1961.

Happy Anniversary to the 1962 Breviarium sacri ordinis praedicatorum!!