New LOTH monthly/Word on Fire
  • RMSawicki
    Posts: 122
    In connection with the anticipated "Liturgy of the Hours. Second Edition", I am pleased to see Bishop Robert Barron has started a subscription-based monthly "breviary-ette", complete with hymns, through his Word on Fire publishing house. I say "in connection with" because I've told many a lay person who wants to take up the praying of the office that it might not be worth spending the money on actual office books that are expected to be completely obsolete by 2025 (and actually already are obsolete in many ways). Something of this nature might be a cost-effective, as well as easy-to-use and almost self-teaching alternative until then. Jes' sayin' is all.

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!
    Thanked by 2Kathy CharlesW
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 432
    Does it utilize the Abbey Psalms and Canticles and the revised collects/prayers (at least those that were already re-translated as part of the current Roman Missal)? As much as I despise throwaway booklets for liturgical use, I agree that it could be a good "stopgap" at least until the new books are published, and in general for those who would like to pray the Hours in general. I'm just curious to know if Bishop Barron/Word on Fire is able to use the newer texts in this publication or if they have to use the older texts.
  • I have a serious suggestion:

    If the "actual office books" are going to be obsolete (again, sigh), why not just use the Latin of the Divine Office until those who are trying translate it and organize it in a new way get their act together.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,730
    @CGZ The repeated reorganisations are a feature not a bug... I will continue to use the Ancient Divine Office, in its various forms.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    CGZ—that requires one to be sufficiently proficient in Latin. I’d suggest that most of laypeople are in sufficiently equipped to do it all in Latin.
  • lmassery
    Posts: 412
    The hymn section in the back of this resource is quite good actually
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • RMSawicki
    Posts: 122

    Because we're talking about a resource for people who are NEW to the whole idea and/or experience of praying the office, neophytes who likely not only don't speak or read Latin, but are only just learning what the office is. One step at a time...we'll "get them there". ;-)

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • RMSawicki,

    The Office is much, much easier to use than you all are making it out to be.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    I think it is easy for us to forget how high the barrier is for the uninitiated. This applies to the liturgy, to chanting, Latin (specially for people who have never studied any other language!) and to the liturgy of the hours.
    Thanked by 2Elmar Kathy
  • Serviam,

    I grant that unguided use of the Divine Office can be a challenge, but how often is one praying the Office alone without having the chutzpah to accept the challenge?
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 542
    The nice thing with the WoF books is that you can give them to a confirmand, penitent, catechumen, prisoner, hospital patient, etc. and tell them to read out of it in the morning and at night, and that’s all they need to begin praying with the universal Church every day. That seems to me to be more likely to help people than explaining

    1. There is a Divine Office.
    2. You should pray it.
    3. It changed at V2.
    4. The old one is cooler.
    5. You must buy 4 books.
    6. They are very expensive.
    7. Make sure all 4 are from the same time period, or else they won’t work together.
    8. Now you need a fifth book to tell you what to pray each day, but it has to be compatible with books of the vintage you bought.
    9. Oh also the liturgical calendar is completely different and doesn’t agree with what you already know at all.
    11. Now write down verbatim these instructions for navigating the rubrics and actually praying, or else you will be very lost.
    12. Oh also….hope you know Latin. You can look at the translations, but it doesn’t count for praying if you’re a priest, and you won’t ever pray it in English in community.

    Encouraging someone to pray with the WoF book is an easy 20-second conversation. I just do not have the amount of chutzpah it would take to convince a grouchy 12-yo confirmand on the spot to drop $400 on antique books in an unknown language, and to master an arcane set of rules about their use. I could tell him to go to DivinumOfficium and scroll every day, but I for one don’t think people (especially young people) are greatly helped by more screen time in 2022.
  • Not so nice thing about WoF.....

    Thanked by 2LauraKaz PaxTecum
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    It could be worse: at least no one is calling it the "WoF LOTH" yet.

    I use the 1960 Divine Office, and I will agree that there is a learning curve in dealing with liturgical books of all types, both for the Vetus and Novus Ordines; it's not unsurmountable, but it can be off-putting to the uninitiated. But, to be honest, I'm not sure that I know that many people willing to take the time to acclimate to using a Breviary. Thankfully, in the Novus Ordo (in the U.S., at least) there is the one-volume "Christian Prayer", which is basically a diurnal for the LOTH, which means that one doesn't need to shell out over $400 for a four-volume set, I think my copy was only about $60, especially if one is only likely to use Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer. But now is not the time to buy it or the LOTH with the impending revision of the American books; it's also not the time to purchase a Daily Missal, either, with the impending revision of the American Lectionary. As much as I would like people to use permanent books, the ever-changing nature of the Pauline Rite isn't amenable to it. The WoF LOTH does fill a certain void, for private recitation by individuals or small groups: but it shouldn't be used for sung celebrations because, annoyingly, the LOTH breviary doesn't match the Antiphonale Romanum II.
    Thanked by 2ServiamScores tomjaw
  • The fundamental problem with the "We'll get there" philosophical presupposition is that one must begin on that journey in order to reach the destination, which some of you here seem unwilling to do (something about a grouchy 12-yr old confirmand).

    Most of us were, at one point, newcomers to the Divine Office and the TLM. Some of us didn't even grow up Catholic. There are many stories (some even available on the internet) of people who found their first experience of the proper way of doing things off-putting, but those stories also demonstrate how such discomfort has been --- more and more frequently -- overcome.

    The fact that the discomfort can be overcome, and is being overcome more and more, explains why the lies have to be told: if you believe that the Mass is all about you, then you think the priest should be talking to you, facing you, the whole time (and, if it were true, you would be right), and you'd think he should be speaking a language that is easy for you to understand right now because you've got to understand everything just as if it were an English assignment in a public school and.... and...

    The same thing goes for the Divine Office. If you think God is easy to understand, except those hard teachings which medieval men imposed on your grandparents, then praying in a language you don't yet understand to any appreciable degree seems quite stupid. If you think everything is an intellectual exercise, and so words only matter, and sentences should be short because your attention span is short, then beautiful Latin texts and melodies seem pointless, needless barriers to "authentic" prayer. Of course, you would also be living in a fantasy world.

    Our parish is getting younger. More and more young people are being attracted by God to the traditional forms, and this is as surprising as that the sun came up this morning.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • RMSawicki
    Posts: 122
    Gamba: Thank you so much. My thoughts exactly. I have seen many a person's entire prayer/spiritual life changed for the better with exactly that kind of approach.
    Chris: Maybe for people like you and me, for whom the sacred liturgy of the Church is integral to our whole lives, learning the Office is "easier" than others make it out to be, but we are the exceptions! Many people I know, who now say the office devoutly, found a genuine "learning curve" that has to be endured, but were happy to do so. I would hope that this enterprise of WOF could be seen for what it is and taken on its own merits. This is, I sincerely believe, something to rejoice in.

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!
  • RMSawicki, Gamba,

    First, the Divine Office doesn't cost $400 in four volumes. I have two volumes, for two distinct parts of the year. I don't know exactly how much they cost, because they were given to me by a dear friend. If, Gamba, you want to impress that grumpy, grouchy 12 yr old of the importance of the Divine Office, maybe you give him a two-volume set? Maybe you invite him to pray the Office with you, or just part of it?

    Of course there's a learning curve! My own soon-to-be-twenty-six year old son had both of us on a steep learning curve when he was born. (My wife has 7 sisters, so she had to adjust to boys, and I am the younger of two with no babysitting experience). One can't get to the top of that curve (or, as C.S. Lewis memorably said, something about overcoming the terrors of Greek to discover the beauties of Greek) if one doesn't begin.

    Thanked by 2Paul F. Ford tomjaw
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 542
    Sorry, I am recovering from the plague and fairly foggy. I mixed up the 4-volume LOTH I pray and the 4 old Breviaries I keep on the same shelf (I think one from 1925, two from the late 30s, and a 1961). I obtained all of them at once, free, when a defunct parish was cleaning out. However, the Baronius 3-volume set with parallel translation is $399, an amount I would not willingly spend to give someone something they may not use.
  • Paul F. Ford
    Posts: 860
    (or, as C.S. Lewis memorably said, something about overcoming the terrors of Greek to discover the beauties of Greek)

    I love it!

    An enjoyment of Greek poetry is certainly a proper, and not a mercenary, reward for learning Greek; but only those who have reached the stage of enjoying Greek poetry can tell from their own experience that this is so. The schoolboy beginning Greek grammar cannot look forward to his adult enjoyment of Sophocles as a lover looks forward to marriage or a general to victory. He has to begin by working for marks, or to escape punishment, or to please his parents, or, at best, in the hope of a future good which he cannot at present imagine or desire. His position, therefore, bears a certain resemblance to that of the mercenary; the reward he is going to get will, in actual fact, be a natural or proper reward, but he will not know that till he has got it. Of course, he gets it gradually; enjoyment creeps in upon the mere drudgery, and nobody could point to a day or an hour when the one ceased and the other began. But it is just in so far as he approaches the reward that be becomes able to desire it for its own sake; indeed, the power of so desiring it is itself a preliminary reward.

    The Weight of Glory, second full paragraph

    by C. S. Lewis

    Preached originally as a sermon in the
    Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford,
    on June 8, 1941: published in
    THEOLOGY, November, 1941,
    and by the S.P.C.K,
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,155
    The current edition of the Liturgy of the Hours is available from Catholic Book Publishers as a 4-volume boxed set for $148.00 or a 4-volume leather-bound boxed set for $189.00. Individual books can be bought for $40.00 apiece (one of them is $42.00).

    The one-volume Christian Prayer ranges from $39.00 to $49.00 depending on the binding.

    The 4-volume 1961 Roman Breviary from Baronius Press is $399.00.

    Or, you can download Universalis for around $40.00 and get the Hours for the day, the Mass readings for the day, the Order of Mass, a spiritual reading for the day, Lectio Divina for the day's gospel reading, an article about the day, and a Catholic calendar.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    This is a "stepping stone" experience, meeting folks where they are and helping them to move "further up and further in" (Lewis again). I feel that stepping stone experiences are crucial to the Church's mission and are truly pastoral in the best sense of that word.

    Doubtless many people will move on from their initial entry point to discover further liturgical riches. That's probably what happened to most of us. It's a feature, not a bug.

    Full disclosure: I'm largely responsible for the hymn section of these booklets, so I'm not impartial. But I'm pretty sure I would still agree with the spoonful of sugar approach if I weren't involved.

  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    Universalis is a pretty svelte app, actually. I quite enjoy using it.