Singing the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin
  • Isaac
    Posts: 16
    Hi guys,

    This may sound like a silly question but i've hunted high and low on the net for this. What resources are there for those who desire to sing the reformed liturgy of the hours in Latin. What books are there out there? In short, what book does Westminster Cathedral use for their sung vespers?

    Would appreciate much help.

    Happy New Year
    Thanked by 1thenovice
  • Jscola30
    Posts: 116
    The order of Compline is in the Liber Cantualis. There is the Antiphonale Monasticum.
  • There should be a Latin Breviary available to give you the texts. If it were me, I would use as much of the EF Psalter and Antiphoner (the Liber usualis is more convenient, though) that you can. Below I've pasted info from a very useful website.

    Borrowing from

    Antiphonale Romanum secundum Liturgiam Horarum...Tomus Alter: Liber Hymnarius (1983). The only book as yet to provide any music specifically for the non-monastic version of the Divine Office in its post-Vatican II revised form. Perhaps a first in the history of chant publishing for the Office, this book contains all the chants which can be used in both monastic and non-monastic rites. It contains Office Hymns and Invitatory antiphons with settings of the Venite for all occasions, together with a selection of Great Responsories. The Hymns and Great Responsories are of particular interest. The Vatican II restoration of Latin hymn-texts has provided an opportunity to introduce melodic readings from some older sources of tunes. The Great Responsories are perhaps the most useful publication to date for those who want a practical book from which to sing the rhythms contained in the earliest notation. Unlike the Graduale Triplex for the Mass, which expects the user to read two ancient notations for the rhythm, and square notation on a four-line staff for the pitches, this book employs equivalents of the ancient note-forms on the pitch-defined staff, so that all information is contained in one notation. This edition of the Great Responsories is therefore vastly superior to that contained in older books such as the Liber Usualis , and one might wish that the music of the Mass were also published in this format. A preface in Latin (unsigned, by Dom Jean Claire of Solesmes) unequivocally describes Gregorian rhythm according to principles derived from Cardine (though without mentioning him by name). Both the rhythmic theories and the editorial markings of Mocquereau are absent.

    Psalterium Monasticum (1981) was produced to supplement the provisions of the Antiphonale Monasticum (1934), and to take account of changes to the church calendar introduced after the second Vatican Council. It includes antiphons for all of the 150 psalms for use on ordinary days (i.e. not Holy Days, Saints Days or special seasons), and some other material. This book takes full account of Cardine's work on the rhythmic signs in the earliest manuscripts, and also reflects a desire on the part of the Solesmes monks to restore the melodies of the antiphons to their "original" state, by reintroducing some ancient modes which were dropped when the system of eight modes was adopted.

  • mahrt
    Posts: 517
    The more I look at the post-Vatican-II breviary, the more it becomes apparent that it was confected for the private recitation of the vast majority of priests who have little experience and less interest in the sung office. Let's face it, even before the Council, very few priests, aside from those in the religious orders, had the occasion to sing the office. Many of them did not even observe the hours of the day: I was told by a priest that the best policy was to say the entire office the first thing in the morning and get it out of the way, so that you could get down to work. So I recommend simply following the old rite for the office, the one that arose from the sung office.

    One solution is to follow the Monastic Antiphonary, but the other is simply to use the EF, i.e., the Liber Usualis. Here you have, at least for vespers, all the psalms pointed. The regulation of the office is quite different from that of the Mass; if you do not have a canonical obligation to the office, and no lay person does to my knowledge, you may follow any form you choose, including the traditional one. My choir has sung vespers essentially straight from the Liber usualis for thirty-four years. Some of us sing lauds Sunday mornings, though I had to prepare the psalms, since neither the Liber nor the Antiphonary points the psalms.

    I have a particular reservation about the Liber Hymnarius: it contains Latin hymns by some of the great hymnodists, St. Ambrose, Venantius Fortunatus, etc., a few by each of them, and then over forty by a certain Benedictine, Fr. Lentini, the editor of the Liber Hymnarius. I submit that the traditional repertory of hymns should have been the source of practically all of the hymns, with less recourse to the editor for his own compositions.
  • I agree completely. I only concern myself with the LOH when required to do so. The EF Divine Office makes so much more sense. There are those, however, who prefer the new form since it focuses less on the Psalms. I say that it just the reason not to like it. Also, a homily during Vespers? Whose idea was that?
  • Cantor
    Posts: 84

    Can you confirm?? The LH hymns are mostly not Gregorian hymns?

    Do you mean that the Latin texts are new, or that the melodies are neo-Gregorian?
  • In the English version of the LOH, the hymns are "suggested" as I recall.

    BTW I just finished Laszló Dobszay's fine essay titled "Critical Reflections on the Bugnini Liturgy: The Divine Office". It's a must-read for anyone wanting to know the theological foundations of the Divine Office and "what happened" to it under Bugnini's direction. You can download this from the CMAA front page.
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    In my version of the Liturgy of the Hours (Christian Prayer) the instructions for hymns call for them to be
    '...from the Four Week Psalter or from the Proper of Seasons" (for Morning and Evening Prayer) and "suitable to the time of day" (for the other hours). Somewhere along the line I remember reading "or other suitable hymn" but I'm not finding it.

    The hymns are generally in English in this book, but are traditional Catholic hymns and do not fly in the face of the meaning of Catholic teachings. We will begin in February holding Vespers on the first Friday of each month. The current plan calls for a primarily English session. The schola will sing a Latin prelude and the Regina Coeli at the end. We also plan by way of meditation to chant the Magnificat in Latin after the people recite it in English. By the third or fourth first Friday I'm hoping that the people will join in.

    As for a homily, I agree that it would be out of place on a daily basis. But I think it is a wonderful idea in this public monthly forum as a chance to catechize the people as to the meaning of the Liturgy of the Hours, Exposition, and Benediction. I'd bet that over 99% of the congregation is clueless. They shouldn't be after February!
  • If I were asked -- and no has has asked me! -- I would offer a catechetical homily before Vespers so as not to disrupt the Office, which I believe the homily does. In any case, I still have little interest in the Bugnini LOH. As Dobszay so eloquently states, it is an Office meant to be read in private, not sung in public.
  • On the subject of singing the OF Office -- there are a few resources that have become available just in the last decade, some official, some not so much.

    First, the Solesmes monks are nearly done with an Antiphonale Monasticum for the post-Conciliar monastic Office. The first three volumes are available now -- the first is the Proper of Seasons, the second is the Psalter, and the third is the Sanctorale. The fourth book, which I think is supposed to come out in 2009 or 2010, will contain a revised form of Matins based on a two-week cycle of Psalms. (This represents a break with Benedictine custom, but they're following many other groups in the OSB.) This is only rarely a resource for the secular Office, however, as the Benedictines chose quite different antiphons than the LOTH has.

    Another incomplete resource is this one:

    It is a "proposed antiphonary" for the LOTH, produced by some Catholics in the Archdiocese of Köln (Cologne). It contains the Psalter, most of the Temporale, and not much else. I've been tempted to start filling in the bits that are missing, but I don't really have the expertise to compose new antiphons -- and since the compilers of the secular Office created a large number of new antiphons (for which there is absolutely no music) and rehabilitated some long dead ones (so the music is a little harder to get ahold of than just pulling up a PDF of the 1912 Antiphonale or other books available online), composing new chants or fitting the texts to old, unrelated chants is necessary to fill out the antiphonary. If you look at the books I linked above, you'll notice a number of antiphons marked "HPS", composed by the man (one of the men?) who edited the collection.

    I read something online about Westminster Cathedral -- someone cobbled together some books to make Vespers possible, but I don't think they're readily available. (Which is a shame -- if anyone has connections there, please prevail on them to publish them!)

    Fr Augustine, OP, who posts on the NLM blog, mentioned to me in email that some Dominican nuns, I think from Indian, compiled some antiphons for singing the post-conciliar Office in Latin, too, which the Dominicans used at their chapters for some time. I don't think these are readily available, either.

    In the end, I gather that most religious orders who use the Liturgia Horarum just sing the antiphons to Psalm tones. This is probably the easiest way to manage it without editing your own books. It is lamentable, though, that no one has bothered to put together anything official. There are many Catholics who love the Office, especially sung, but it doesn't seem to have many friends in high places these days. :-(
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    and then over forty by a certain Benedictine, Fr. Lentini, the editor of the Liber Hymnarius

    (hitting forehead)

    My goodness, this would explain a great deal!
  • "The regulation of the office is quite different from that of the Mass; if you do not have a canonical obligation to the office, and no lay person does to my knowledge, you may follow any form you choose, including the traditional one."

    My reading of the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" is that all priests are always free to use the extraordinary form of the Roman Breviary, so it seems as if the canonical obligation to recite the office is fulfilled by reciting the Office in this form.
  • mahrt
    Posts: 517
    In the Liber Hymnarius, many of the texts are new compositions; the melodies, in general, are traditional Gregorian tunes, but in new versions.

    Fr. Lentini, the editor of Te decet hymnus, a commentary on the Liber Hymnarius, and presumably the editor of the LH itself, gives an index of authors: The great hymn writers get the following numbers: St. Ambrose, 8; Jacopone da Todi, 3 with question marks; Paul the Deacon, 3 with question marks; Prudentianus, 10; Venantius Fortunatus, 3.

    Anselmo Lentini, OSB gets forty-three!
  • It never occurred to me that any of the hymns in the Liber Hymnarius were new compositions, let alone 43, by one author. The author index of Te Decet Hymnus confirms that Fr. Lentini is the only living author of hymns in the Liber Hymnarius. After quickly paging through Fr. Lentini's hymns and notes in Te Decet Hymnus, these are a few observations.

    Many of the hymns fill in holes where there were no proper hymns, whether because the feast didn't have a proper hymn (e.g., St. Luke, Oct. 18, which used the hymn from the Common of Apostles) or because the feast was new (e.g., the newly merged feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Sept. 29). Many are Office of Readings/Matins hymns, which are rarely heard outside monasteries. Occasionally he gives brief explanations for the new compositions, but most of his compositions he passes over without any comment.

    The biggest shocker was finding the Christmas Matins hymn authored by Fr. Lentini (previously the Vespers hymn was use). There weren't any suitable hymns in the patrimony of hymnody for this one (one of the few Matins offices that are supposed to be sung in cathedrals and other secular churches annually)?

    Fr. Lentini authored all the hymns for the Office of the Dead (which previously had none).

    His explanation for his two new hymns for the feast of St. Mary Magdalene (July 22) is one of the longer ones. He explains that the "copious hymnographic tradition" reflects the confusion of the Magdalene with Mary of Bethany and the sinful woman, and so "it seemed necessary to compose new hymns" based on the explicit Gospel references. Granting, for the sake of argument, this need to change hymns, I'd be surprised if the Dominicans didn't have something suitable for the "Apostle to the Apostles"? Anybody know?

    I'm also a little surprised that the lack of a proper hymn for St. John Chrysostom (new calendar, Sept. 13, old calendar Jan. 27) had to be supplied with a fresh composition. I would have thought the East would be replete with hymns for this great Doctor of the Church, Patriarch of Constantinople, and author of the most-used Divine Liturgy outside Western Christendom.

    I’m assuming that since Fr. Lentini doesn’t comment on the provenance of the texts of his hymns (except in a couple cases), that these were fresh compositions. But even though my Latin is weak and my familiarity with Latin hymnography weaker, and I’ve only thumbed through the lyrics of his hymns, it looks to me like they bear a strong resemblance to the poetic phrases found in the Latin hymns of the patristic and middle ages.

    Has anyone analyzed the lyrics and music of Fr. Lentini’s hymns or know anything more about how he came to write them? I guess it surprises me that all the new compositions came from just one man. Granted there are probably not a lot of folks today capable of writing new Latin hymns after the classic fashion, but it sure seems like there should be more than one such person.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,193
    Palestrina said:

    "The regulation of the office is quite different from that of the Mass; if you do not have a canonical obligation to the office, and no lay person does to my knowledge, you may follow any form you choose, including the traditional one."

    My reading of the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" is that all priests are always free to use the extraordinary form of the Roman Breviary, so it seems as if the canonical obligation to recite the office is fulfilled by reciting the Office in this form.

    Hmm. I'm not so certain about this. I stumbled across a blog while trying to find the title of a little book that explains how to pray the LOTH from a pre-Vat. II breviary (how to manage the collects, etc., depending on the class of the feast, solemnity, etc. If anyone knows of this or some other source, please reply here). In an entry at that blog, a John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM, stated that everyone, including the laity, are obliged to use for their daily liturgical life the forms approved for the territory where they live. Now, this was in 2003, and I'm not clear exactly what impact the MP had on this with respect to the laity. I was a bit chagrined to discover that the laity were under that kind of obligation, even prior to 2003. I have in the past attempted to pray the EF breviary, but found it really complex. I own and pray the current 4-volume LOTH, and really dislike it for many reasons. If however I'm under some canonical obligation to pray privately according to approved forms, I'd certainly like to be clear about that before I start using just any old breviary.
  • This topic is interesting to me because I am a lay Carmelite and we are obliged to pray Morning and Evening Prayer, and to pray Night Prayer if we have the time.

    I would love to start singing Lauds and Vespers daily. When I can, I join the St. Ann choir in singing Sunday Lauds and Vespers. Does anyone have any hints about how I could start to figure out what to sing and pray for each day, either in the extraordinary or ordinary form?
  • I think david andrew's reference to a blog post claiming that everyone, including the laity, are obliged to use for their daily liturgical life the forms approved for the territory where they live, is actually to a post by Bro. Ignatius Mary , OLSM on Oct. 31, 2003. While his comments are not wholly without merit, Ignatius Mary has only a rough grasp of liturgical principles and liturgical law. As he admits in his post, he is not a canon lawyer, and his AllExperts bio mentions no training in sacred liturgy. What is freely asserted can be freely denied.

    Two important principles surely are to use the received texts of the sacred liturgy of the Church rather than acting as master of the liturgy and to treat the Divine Office as the Church's liturgy rather than as my own personal devotion.

    But the application is not so clear cut. You've got dumbed-down ICEL translations, a situation where the chant music for the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin is still not available, the rather bizarre situation where celebration of the Divine Office (any of the Hours) in cathedrals and parishes is the exception rather than the norm, and now the derestriction of the older form of the Divine Office for priests. And then there is the issue of legitimate custom.

    It is interesting to note that Summorum Pontificum didn't mention derestricting of the older form of the Office for the laity. Presumably it omitted this, not because the older form was not to be publicly celebrated (at least one bishop actually said this), but because the laity don't have a canonical obligation to say the Office.
  • Roseanne --

    For the extraordinary form, all you need is the Antiphonale Romanum, which you can download here:

    For the Liturgy of the Hours, there are a number of resources named above, but there's nothing very easy for singing the Office in Latin. (In English, try the Mundelein Psalter -- it gets repetitive, but it's solid.)
  • Actually the Breviarium Romanum is the main book for the texts. The AR has the antiphons but does it have the psalms?

    I have found that is a great resource for puzzling out the EF texts.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,193
    My thanks to gsmisek for his clarification; that indeed is the blog entry I spoke of. It proves that not everything we find in the ether is reliable.

    By the way, it seems that the book that I am looking for was discussed extensively in a thread over at WDTPRS. Unfortunately, I don't think the page with that thread exists anymore. If anyone knows anything about this specific book, I'd really appreciate the information.
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    Our church has all-day Exposition every First Friday. We will begin monthly First Friday Vespers starting in February. The only Latin planned for now is a schola prelude, the Magnificat, and possibly the Gloria Patri. The remainder will be in English, with the psalms to be chanted. Then during Benediction we'll sing the O Salutaris Hostia and Tantum Ergo. While our pastor is not a great proponent of Latin, he is not vehemently opposed either. His initial take was that the people wouldn't understand, but has now advanced a compromise of English translations in the Liturgy Guide handouts. He's even asked for help in pronouncing the Sanctus, so perhaps there will be something more happening in Lent.

    Not surprisingly, considering his own reverence, he is being a stickler for following the proper Vespers rubrics even though this will be a completely lay ministry for now. I really think this bodes well for the future, particularly if the turnout is good and consistent.

    One brick at a time.
  • Michael --

    Yes, the Antiphonale has the Psalms, capitula, short RR, etc.
  • I have a parishioner who wishes to sing the Benedictus in LATIN while he prays the OF Office of Lauds. He has the Gregorian music, but would like to hear what a simple Benedictus (Canticle of Zachariah) would sound like. Does anyone know where to get something like this.

  • There should be a simple form in the Liber usualis. Free download right here on CMAA.
  • I think my parishioner has the Liber. He just would like a simple Benedictus so he can hear what it should sound like. I can't sing very well at all and I don't think we ever prayed the Benedictus in Latin in the Seminary (Magnificat- yes). Thank you again!
  • Geoff
    Posts: 22
    The proper chant antiphons for the LotH are found in the Ordo Cantus Officii, which was never published as a separate book but can be found in Notitiae 20 (1983) 244-47, 359-528 (the volume number might be off or the year, I can't remember which). It does itself contain the music for the antiphons, but it references several other books, including the Liber Hymnarius, the Graduale Romanum (1974), Antiphonale Monasticum (the 1934 one, plus some from the Antiphonale for Solesmes, portions of which are found in the recent reprint of the '34), the Psalterium Monasticum, the Corpus Antiphonale Officii, and others. It also indicates certain which antiphons do not have chants associated with them. I've looked briefly at the Ordo, and it seems that some of the antiphons are different from those found in the Latin version of the LotH (at least the first edition). Note that the Ordo does reference antiphons for both the Temporal and Sanctoral cycles.

    In short, no official Antiphonale Romanum exists for the LotH (except the parts in the Liber Hymnarius). Part of it will require new compositions, which may or may not already exist in the new Antiphonale Monasticum (2005 and onwards). Has anyone heard any news about it? Perhaps Solesmes will publish it once it has finished publishing all the volumes of the new Antiphonale Monasticum. In the meanwhile, it is possible to put something together from the aforementioned sources, and the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours states that "at a sung office, if a [Gregorian] melody is not available for the given antiphon, another antiphon should be taken from those in the repertoire, provided it is suitable in terms of nos. 113 and 121-125" (no. 274,

    It would be best if we could legally get a copy of the Ordo Cantus Officii online; then a collaborative effort could ensue.
  • I did find a good Benedictus from Holy Saturday from Solesmes. Sounds beautiful. He can follow it and it goes at a good pace. Thanks! :)
  • Geoff --

    I have the complete diurnal of the new Antiphonale Monasticum (the volume for the night office, in a two-week cycle, is due in 2010 as I understand). It does not contain all the music needed for the new LOTH antiphons, as the Solesmes monks seem to have stuck rather closely to the traditional monastic Office. I have a sinking feeling that no music will ever be composed for the secular LOTH; either it will remain an entirely spoke Office (because really, who in the Roman church is agitating for a sung Office? practically no one) or it will be swept away to be replaced by a more traditional revised Office.

    I admit, I am rooting for the latter. The new monastic Office is quite good and not too onerous (especially with a two-week vigils cycle). The secular Office could be replaced with it wholesale in my opinion.
  • Yes, a musical setting of the LOH would kind of defeat the purpose of its existence, to make it easier for priests to fulfill their obligation. I'm all for making all sung Offices the EF. I've never cared for the new Office and now that I know its history, I'm less inclined to have anything to do with it.
  • I don't want to judge too harshly the people responsible for the contemporary LOTH, but I think the worst parts of it go beyond merely wanting to reduce the obligation for priests. I know a lot of folks dislike the Quinonez-like Psalter schema, and that is an odd feature.

    But even given that goal, they could have chosen music that already existed instead of making up antiphons that have never been part of any Office. And the litanies are a bit excessive in my opinion, taking necessary emphasis away from the already-reduced recitation of the Psalms. It is not worth destroying completely the old cathedral elements of the secular Office in order to introduce changeable litanies where the old Office used only a fixed one, and occasionally at that.

    I used the LOTH for some time, trying hard to defend it against the attacks that have been mounted against it. But try as I did, I have to admit that I finally agree with those who say its revisers did not really understand the Office. Even as a private prayerbook for priests and laypeople it is seriously deficient.
  • I think it was Dobzay who did the excellent article on the rupture involved in the NO Hours. Required reading!
  • If anyone is still following this thread--see the announcement of a new LOTH Latin-French sung version (Community of St. Martin) at:

    The price tag is steep (US $310), but it looks promising ... the Latin editio typica of the LOTH is indeed beautiful when compared to current vernacular editions.

    On that note (hopefully civil?), are there any plans underway to make future English vernacular LOTH editions correspond to the new Roman Missal translation?

  • Gilbert
    Posts: 106
    ICEL had planned to retranslate the LOTH once they were done with the Missale. This was before they started translating the 2002 Missale. I'm guessing they'll start translating the LOTH once the Missal is all translated and graybooks sent to the bishops.
  • The current LOTH in Latin is a revised edition that postdates the current English translation. The updated edition corresponds to the 3-year Lectionary cycle, I believe at least with the Gospel canticle antiphons. (This is what I recall almost a year ago from a conversation with J. Michael Thompson....FWIW)

    Anyone looking to sing the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin should be interested in the Ordo Cantus Officii, which was so graciously posted as a PDF to this forum not too long ago. Previously, it was available only in print in the 1983 volume of Notitiæ, a journal that surprisingly few libraries seem to carry.

    You won’t find any actual chant in the OCO, but it makes appointments for the existing repertoire for the modern LotH, much (not all) of which can be found in CMAA’s online editions of books like the Liber Usualis.

    Now that I think of it, I believe the aforementioned 2nd edition of the LotH in Latin postdates the OCO...
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    Dobszay's article on the restructuring of the office is fascinating. When I began reading his book, I thought it was rather a waste of time to be talking about the Roman Office versus the Liturgy of the Hours. The more I read and learned, the more I could appreciate the structure of the Roman Office and its internal dynamic. It's this dynamic that's missing in the Liturgy of the Hours. I appreciate all the work of the Mundelein Psalter, the new Latin-French sung edition, etc., but it's clearly an uphill struggle to make something structured very much as a private devotion into a solid ceremonial.

    In case a reader doesn't know the book, the title is "The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform." (See the sidebar, Teaching Aids, on the main Musica Sacra page. I hate it when I don't know what book people are talking about.)
  • Just finished that section of the book (purchased a colloquium). Also a must-read. I still see no sense in using the modern LOH except where there is a need to render it in the vernacular. Those of us who are not required to recite the LOH daily may use the superior Classical Roman Office and relax.

    I have to say that I was not consciously aware of the changes in the Little Hours made at Trent. I agree with Dobzay that these could be returned to their medieval versions.
  • Gilbert
    Posts: 106
    Do antiphons in the liturgy of the hours always end on the tonic of the mode, even though the psalm tones don't?
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    In attempting to sing the LOTH, you really do need the Mundelein Psalter (or an equivalent) because all the other editions have the psalm verses arranged in "little clumps," instead of verses. Mundelein has the verses properly arranged to move back and forth between choirs (or sides of your brain, if you're doing this alone).

    However, I'm with Michael. Just use it as a source for vernacular psalms since people will have some familiarity with them.
  • Mary Jane,

    You should bring your ladies down to WPB and do a Vespers with us!
  • Gilbert, you are correct, the antiphons always end on the tonic (unless transposed) though the psalm tones might not, the repetition at the end of the psalm giving it a feeling of completion ending on the tonic.
  • HPS means Holgar Peter Sandhofe - he was a cantor of traditional Roman parish in Bonn (Germany). He dead some years ago. His main published work is Nocturnale Romanum
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    I have just re-read all the postings here to assuage my frustration at preparing a Vespers that will be within the musical compass of my neophyte schola, will not freak out anyone attending with "too much Latin," and will be worthy worship of God.

    The comparison between the LOTH and the Roman Breviary is enlightening. And thanks to Dr. Mahrt's comments above, I feel discharged from any obligation to stuff my Vespers into the structure of the Liturgy of the Hours. He shall serve as my "higher authority." I was sorry that I didn't stay for the Colloquium this year for many reasons, not least of which was Dr. Mahrt - a gentleman who combines scholarship, musicality, and grace.
  • Mary Jane,

    Don't worry about the "too much Latin" argument. Most of the people who would say that probably will not attend anyway.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    Mike - I know what you mean. One time, one of my singers overheard someone saying, "Oh that group - I don't know. They were singing weird music in a strange language."

    I'll put God first, the schola second, and the random complainers way at the end of the line of considerations.

    But, my goodness, what impoverished antiphons in the LOTH. It's more than sad.
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    To parishioners starving in the desert wastelands, the smallest morsel gives hope for salvation. Or is that 'Salvation'?

    Mary Jane - check your inbox.
  • I found, that Radio "Vatican" transmit every day (!) song Laudes, Vesperae, and Completorium from monastic communities using Liturgia Horarum. Text of the hyms, psalms and its distribution is according Liturgia Horarum, but antiphons are other. I believe antiphons are according to Ordo Cantus Officii. I decided to collect all offices of the Psalterium.
    Here is a Link:
  • Mary Jane, one day someone will say, "That schola was there at the beginning. Thank God for them."

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    I don't know how the situation is in Europe, but it has generally shocked and surprised me that the Liturgy of the Hours is held in such low regard in the U.S. Latin church. Why is that? In the eastern churches, the "Divine Praises" are part of a package with the Divine Liturgy. The hours are so important, that one can substitute attendance at Vespers for Divine Liturgy attendance, although one should do both if possible. To only go to mass on a feast day with out the preceding "hours" is like throwing half the focus, context, and intent of the feast day away. I don't get it.
  • Well the Orthodox hours were not wrecked in the 60s, like ours was.

    See Dobzay's report in The Bugnini Liturgy. Caution, you might lie awake at night after reading it.
  • Please do no idealise Orthodox Church praxis. Here in Moscow [Vsenotschnoe Bdenie] i.e. Vesperae+Matutinum+Laudes+Prima = Vigilia is celebrated in each parish every Saturday it is true. But It takes two or three hours! It is a heavy and empty office for lay majority. Main part of this oversuper "Vesper" takes so called Kanon, which is every day particular. No possibility to do something like Breviary. And this Kanon of course read in Church Slavonic language very quickly, and never is song except East. Besides that patriarch Alexis II prohibited to follow Tipicon i.d. Ceremonial (of course medieval one !!!) in celebrating thise "Vsenotschnoe Bdenie", because in some parishes doing that many people were falling down (Tipicon postulate many rites and reading so the office became more longer than 4 or 5 hours!!!) So orthodoxes have crazy cut version of it.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    I'll go with Vasily on the "all over the place" aspect of Eastern Church praxis. They didn't call it an "all-night vigil" for nothing. Every national church has its own "abridged" version. And each has different strengths and weaknesses.

    The best Saturday evening and feastday vesper/matins that I was ever involved in were in OCA parishes of some size. (OCA - Orthodox Church in America). At the same time, you can't beat the Greeks singing the Akathist to the Theotokos during Lent.

    I do wish the Catholics had someone chant some one of the Hours before Mass. One church in which I substitute on occasion sounds like a cocktail party before the Liturgy begins. I guess if you want to pray, you should stay in your car and dash in ahead of the celebrant.