Friday, December 26, 2014

1967 Dominican Breviary On-Line

As has been reported over at New Liturgical Movement and Dominican Liturgy, the good folks at Corpus Christi Watershed, have posted a scan of Volume II of the 1967 English translation of the 1962 Breviarium Iuxta ritum sacri ordinis praedicatorum, and it is available as a pdf download.  This is the edition that I use daily when praying the office.

This edition was a project of the Irish Dominican Province, and was issued with the approbation of Fr. Aniceto Fernandez, O.P., who was Master General of the Order of Preachers during the tumultuous period from 1962 - 1974.  It was published in 1967 by St. Savrour's Press, Dublin, Ireland.  The translation of elements of the Old Testament are a combination of those from the Douay and the Revised Standard Version.  The psalm translation is that of the Grail edition.  Being issued after the close of Vatican Council II, the editors made the decision to remove the Office of Prime, which had been suppressed by the conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium.


As far as I can tell, it is a faithful translation of the 1962 Breviarium S.O.P..  The calendar was updated to include the changes that had been made since the 1962 edition was issued (such as St. Pius V's feast being elevated from III Class to II Class)  This is the calendar that I use in the preparation of my annual calendar, with modifications to accommodate the Dominican blessed's who have been canonized since.   Even the rubrics appear to be a faithful translation, short the references to Prime and Pretiosa, which have been deleted.  The editors did, however, make one change.  The Dominican tradition of praying the psalms had always been to intone the antiphon, and then begin chanting the psalm.  That tradition came to an end with the 1962 Breviarium S.O.P..  In the 1962 edition, the rubrics state that, as in the Roman Breviary, the antiphon was to be chanted in its entirety before and after the psalm.  This is reinforced by the inclusion of the antiphon before and after each psalm in the Psalter.  In the 1967 edition, the editors retained the traditional Dominican method of printing the antiphon at the end of the psalms only.  And they changed the rubrics to read "Antiphons are said at all the Hours after the psalms and canticles,..." (General Rubrics Of The Breviary According To The Rite Of The Order Of Preachers, Chapter V., E., 174).  I personally follow the 1962 rubrics.

What really baffles me about this edition, though, is their decision to suppress "Pretiosa", which is the office that was prayed in the Chapter room, and includes the martyrology, a reading from the Gospel of the day (or if there was none, from the Rule of St. Augustine), and prayers for the deceased Masters General, as well as for the "deceased brothers, sisters, family and benefactors" of the Order. Since, according to the rubrics of the 1962 Breviarium S.O.P., Pretiosa is prayed "after Lauds or after Prime", I don't understand why they didn't simply delete Prime and retain Pretiosa, which would have been prayed at Chapter after Lauds.  Adding to the bafflement is the fact that they left the "Anniversaries Of The Dead" at the end of each volume, which contains the lists the obits of the deceased Master Generals, along with the dates of the four (4) Anniversaries of the Order.  These obits and anniversaries were recited during Pretiosa...so why leave them in?   They even translated the instructions for praying for the deceased Masters General, and the anniversaries, as if those who would be using these volumes would be praying Pretiosa.

Nevertheless,  the two-volume set is well done, and it is ideal for someone who wishes to pray the Dominican Breviary in English.  By doing so, we are availing ourselves of a form of liturgical prayer that is almost as old as our beloved Order itself.  Fr. Fernandez's prediction, in his letter of approbation at the beginning of each volume, that this edition would be "...a sublime and chosen method of prayer and a rich source of meditation for all who have the duty and privilege of reciting the Divine Office...." is as true today as it was over 45 years ago.

May our Lord and his Holy Mother, our Patroness, grant a resurgence of interest in the traditional Dominican Rite of Mass and Office within our venerable Order. 

4 comments:

  1. Sorry if this duplicated, but I think Google signed me in and deleted my post...

    Thanks for a great post. I pray the '62 since that is the edition that I currently have, but have enjoyed reading through the English translation. The removal of Pretiosa befuddles me. Prime was suppressed (for whatever reason), and I guess it its possible to see Pretiosa as a "part" or continuation of Prime. Still, seems silly to toss out one of the what I would say are the two most "Dominican" elements of the Office (the other being the procession at Compline).

    It must have been terrible psychologically on so many religious living through the removal of so much of their orders' identity. No wonder so many left. Ironically all done in the name of a Council which called for a strengthening of identity of religious! To think that a young man who entered the Dominicans in the Early 20th century saw happen to his Rite.

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  2. it seems that Prime was also suppressed which is a beautiful office for the working man

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    1. Indeed. Particularly in the Dominican Breviary. It is much more penitential in that it includes the Confiteor.

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