Office Resources

I thought to might be useful to bring together a list of useful resources on the traditional version of the Benedictine Office.  I'm not trying to be comprehensive, just point to the most useful currently (more or less) available resources.

Please do let me know about anything I've missed, and I'll add it in.

1.  Listen to the Office

Le Barroux Offices live - Broadcasts selected offices live.

Le Barroux chant archive - Captures Le Barroux's live broadcasts.  Provides more hours than Norcia but many of them (including Lauds on most days) are performed 'recto tono' (on one note).  Big advantage is that the recordings are archived, so if you have an Ordo from last year, you can find the right day's office even if you aren't in their timezone.

Monastery of Norcia - Puts Lauds, Vespers and the Mass of the day (and sometimes more) on their website, all normally fully chanted.  Download and save for next year if their timezone is too far from yours.

2.  Pronouncing the Latin

a) Summary notes on how to pronounce Ecclesiastical Latin.

b) Lessons on the pronunciation of Church Latin: William Linney

c) Psalms read aloud in Latin: Boston Catholic (nb doesn't always follow standard Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation),

3.  Office books (for saying or following the Office)

a) The Office as a whole

Breviarium Monasticum summorum pontificum cura recognitum pro omnibus sub regula S. P. Benedicti millitantibus iussi abbatis primatis editum, Marietti, Rome, 1963, 2 vols, Latin only.

This is the current official version of the traditional Office and the only book that provides all of the texts necessary to say Matins.   It is out of print but can still occasionally be obtained secondhand (though older editions tend to be much cheaper and can be adapted to the 1963 calendar and rubrics).

Psautier Monastique Latin-Francais du Breviare Monastique , 2012 Le Barroux reprint of Desclee and Sons 1938 edition.  Latin-French version of the psalter section of the breviary.  using the Vulgate, but as far as I know, not a Latin-English one.  It does not include any chant tones.

The other book in use in some places is the Psalterium Monasticum, which provides the psalms in various arrangements permitted in the 1977 Thesaurus, using the neo-Vulgate.  It includes the chant tones for the antiphons of Matins 9adjusted to conform with the neo-Vulgate).

Divinum Officium website - The pre-Tridentine monastic option does not actually follow any known Benedictine calendar, and the readings and responsories are arranged as for and taken from the Roman Office, but still a useful source for translations of the texts.

b) The day hours (Lauds to Compline)

Antiphonale Monasticum - chants and texts for the day hours (Latin only), Can be downloaded from CC Watershed (Section 11).

[Note: The 1934 edition is the version to use if you wish to use the 1963 calendar.  Solesmes has published a multi-volume set of the Antiphonale Monasticum (2005 - ) necessary to sing the Benedictine Office in accordance with the 1971 calendar, but as far as I know no English translation of it is available.]

Monastic Diurnal (Farnborough edition): Latin-English, Republication of the Collegeville Diurnal (which had an imprimateur), compiled according to the rubrics of the 1963 Monastic Breviary.

Diurnal monastique (Le Barroux edition): Latin-French. Consistent with the 1963 rubrics.

Lancelot Andrewes Press: English only Anglican version, uses older rubrics  (Note: not approved for liturgical use).

Monastic Diurnal Noted - Lancelot Andrewes Press - Anglican, English only.

c) Matins

For a comprehensive guide to books and resources to Matins follow the links here.

And if you are looking for the chants for the responsories, a growing list of sources and translations can be found by searching either under the relevant Sunday/feast or incipit here.

d) Other books for individual hours

Lauds etc English-Latin from Clear Creek Monastery (there is an equivalent French-Latin set as well, available through Le Barroux).  These are easy to follow versions intended to help you follow the Office when attending at a monastery (or listening online), but do not necessarily provide all of the necessary and antiphons and texts to say the full Office.

Psalmi Vespertini ad antiphonale monasticum...Vespers and Compline (various editions available secondhand) - Pointing of all psalms used in Vespers plus Compline (including seasonal/festal versions of Te lucis ante terminum). Can be downloaded here:CC Watershed (section 9)


4.  Other resources for chants etc

a) Hymns

Liber Hymnarius cum invitatriis & aliquibus responsoriis, Solesmes, 1983.  Useful for texts of hymns, but note that texts and chants often don't line up with those in older books.

Liber Hymnarius website - fantastic resource of online sound files, nicely arranged so you can find the appropriate seasonal tone

*Matthew Britt OSB, Hymns of the Office and Missal, 1922.  Reprints also available.

Joseph Connelly, Hymns of the Roman Liturgy, Newman Press, 1957, reprinted by FSSP.

b) Novus ordo aligned texts

 Solesmes has produced four volumes of the Antiphonale Monasticum (2005-2010) that provides antiphons and other chants for the day hours aligned with the Novus Ordo calendar.  It is Latin only, and unfortunately Romanises the Office (moving when the hymns are said and promoting the omission of Prime), but still may be useful for some.

You can find a (strictly unofficial, Anglican sourced) English version of most of the chants produced by Ormonde Plater here.

b).  Readings and collects

Liturgical Readings.  The Lessons of the Temporale Cycle and Principal Feasts of the Sanctoral  Cycle according to the Monastic Breviary, Grail Publicatins, 1941.  Reprint available

(English translations, note some divergences with 1963 breviary)

Divinum Officium: Note that the version labelled as monastic often does not align with the Monastic Breviary.  Searching through the various versions of the Office available for a particular day will often yield the appropriate text however.

My Lectio Divina blog - Provides Sunday Matins readings and guide to weekly readings in the Office, as well as notes on selected books of the Bible.

Chant sheets  for the Gospel (used at Matins) and Collects.

c).  Psalms

Psalm tone generator - Will point psalms for you to match the antiphons of the day.

St Robert Bellarmine - Commentary on the Psalms.  If you can only afford one commentary on the Psalms, this is the one I'd recommend.

*Dom Matthew Britt Dictionary of the Psalter - Fantastic resource, providing all the vocab you need to understand the psalms.

My Psallam Domino blog (and resources liked there) - notes on the psalms using Patristic and other traditional sources, and interpreting the psalms in the context of the Benedictine Office.

d).  About the Divine Office - selected references

*Vilma G Little - The Sacrifice of Praise.  A wonderful book about praying the Divine Office.  Worth buying, but you can also download it here.

Rev E J Quigley - The Divine Office: a Study of the Roman Breviary.  Very much oriented to the Roman Breviary, but worth a read.

Fr John Hardon - The Divine Office as LiturgyThe Divine Office as the Church's Prayer of Praise and IntercessionThe Divine Office as Sacrifice

Michael P Foley - The Great School of Spirituality - Useful quick history with lots of excellent references listed.

Theo Keller  - Breviary History focuses primarily on short brevaries of the 20th and 21st centuries, but lots of resources including psalm schemas for other forms of the Office.

Prob Dobszay The Bugnini Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform

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