Wednesday, March 16, 2016

1909 Breviarium Juxta Ritum Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum - Pars Posterior

As I mentioned in a previous post, there are deals out just need to look for them.  The latest edition to my collection of Dominican liturgical books arrived a few days ago.  It is Volume II (pars posterior) of the 1909 Breviarium Juxta Ritum Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum.  I have been looking for this edition for a while, and this is a nice first step toward obtaining the complete set for my collection.

It is in remarkably good condition, with clean pages and a very tight binding.  A few pencil markings on the pages here and there, but other than that it is spotless.  It has been rebound in a leather cover, but the cover does not contain the usual crest or shield of the Order, and the binding merely says "Breviarium II"...not Breviarium S.O.P. as it should (UPDATE: I received an email from Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P. regarding the binding, and he informed me that the binding is, in fact, authentic.  He said that he has a copy of the 1909 Breviarium and that it looks just like mine.  He also said that the imprint of the Dominican shield on the breviaries was a practice that started after this breviary, and after the reform of St. Pius X).  Aside from that, it is a real gem!  This was the last REAL Dominican breviary, as this was the last to contain the ancient monastic psalter, as modified by the Order for their use.  Its calendar contains the full gamut of saints and blesseds of the Order (of that time) as well as many of the octaves that the Order celebrated of its own saints, and those of the general liturgical calendar as well.

In his book "A History of the Dominican Liturgy" Fr. Bonniwell, on multiple occasions,
stresses similarity between this breviary and the oldest extant breviaries that exist.  This particular edition  was the work of one Fr. Vincent Laport, O.P., "one of the best liturgists in the Order" who was give the task of revising the liturgical books of the Order by Master General Furwirth in the late 19th Century.  When Bl. Hyacinthe-Marie Cormier was elected Master General, he retained Laport to complete his work.  Of the 1909 breviary, Fr. Bonniwell gives high praise; "For accuracy of text, clarity of rubrics, and convenience of arrangement, it was the finest edition of the Dominican breviary ever published."  Having it in my possession now, I tend to agree with him.

I can already see in it much fruit for future blogs posts, particularly on lost traditions and practices that were done away with in the 20th Century.  Stay tuned!