Revised LOTH Psalm Format
  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 61
    Does anyone know if the revised LOTH will continue with the strophe style for psalms? My number one priority for the revision would be to switch back to coplets!!

    I was so thankful when the Mundelein Psalter adapted the strophes back into coplets. My hope is that the revised LOTH will start printing in complets so that becomes the sung norm once again.
  • RMSawicki
    Posts: 102
    If you examine a copy of the "Abbey Psalms" from Conception Abbey in Missouri you should find your answer, as that is, in fact, the psalter that will be used in the new edition of the LOTH.

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!
    Thanked by 1avscvlta
  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 61
    Well bummer, because I have that book and yes it's still in strophes. Grrrrr!!!!
  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 61
    What I would do in the revised LOTH: Print the psalms in couplets, pointed to basic psalm tones, like in the Mundelein Psalter. Include Matins and the day offices. You could remove all the psalm prayers to make room. This would establish a common baseline of Psalm chant accessible to all. Those who wanted more elaborte settings with composed antiphons could then publish those separately.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,141
    There is nothing preventing the verses being sung in the traditional way: this is the way they are printed in the new Antiphonals (AR-I for Lauds, and AR-II for Vespers). The Psalm-prayers are an invention of the US LOTH, and are not and never have been in the Latin Typical Edition, they are optional, and, from what I've heard, are not going to be retained in the new LOTH. Remember that the Breviary is intended for the recited office, in the sung office the Antiphonale Romanum should be used.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,129
    The psalm collects are in a supplement to the Liturgiæ Horarum, according to the introduction, so they are an official resource, not just a US invention. Indeed it says in accordance with the traditional norm. OTOH only the US LOTH includes them in the main text, afaik.
    112. Orationes super psalmos, quæ recitantes adiuvent in eorum interpretatione præcipue christiana, in Supplemento libri Liturgiæ Horarum pro singulis psalmis proponuntur et possunt ad libitum adhiberi ad normam veteris traditionis, ita scilicet ut, absoluto psalmo et aliquo silentii spatio observato, oratio psallentium affectus colligat et concludat.
  • Breviary is intended for the recited office, in the sung office the Antiphonale Romanum should be used.


    Assume, for the moment, that this statement is true -- I'm sufficiently out of that circle to have a fact-based disagreement -- and introduce to it the idea that the Ordo of Paul VI is the unique form of the Roman Rite? It's not a stable form if the Office can be prayed two different ways. [Please note, singing the Office and saying the Office aren't two different ways if the same texts are used in either case.]
    Thanked by 2MatthewRoth tomjaw
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,141
    CGZ: I look at it this way: use the 1961 Breviarium Romanum as the basis: if I am part of a group chanting the office I alternate verse by verse, following the Liber or Antiphonale; if I am saying it privately, it doesn't really matter whether the Psalms in the Breviary are arranged in singles, or as a strophe, or just as a block of text, because I am saying it all myself anyway.

    The Problem with the way the LOTH is currently implemented is that there are two books that bear little resemblance to each other in matters of layout: the four-volume Breviary (by which I mean the actual, physical printed book) which is designed for private (or common) recitation, without note; and the Antiphonale Romanum which is designed for the public, sung, celebration of the office. When the vernacular office is sung it should be sung according to the model found in the Antiphonale, unfortunately, because the liturgical books for the music of the Novus Ordo office weren't printed until the early decades of the 21st century, 60 years too late, people invented new musical forms (e.g. Meinrad tones) to match the printed form of a text intended for private [spoken] recitation. I blame Gelineau.
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 312
    If I recall correctly, the British Divine Office books keep the strophic arrangement, but also include the asterisk and dagger, so the psalms can be sung according to the traditional tones. I hope our new edition of the LOH will adopt that arrangement since (and I know this is a subjective judgment) dividing the psalms by strophes works better when the Office is recited in common, but makes singing nearly impossible.

    And I have it on good authority that the psalm prayers will not be cluttering up the psalter in the new edition. Plus the traditional Gloria Patri ("...as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen) is back. So that all sounds good.
  • Salieri,

    Yes, I think you're correct that there is one set of books for the sung office and another incompatible book for the spoken office. How can this do anything but undermine the concept of a single Roman rite: even in the official form, there are two forms.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 312
    one set of books for the sung office and another incompatible book for the spoken office.


    Having never set eyes on the Antiphonale, I'm a bit confused. Are the two books actually incompatible, or just different in format? Is there some radically different version out there for when the office is sung?

    FWIW, I know of numerous religious communities (e.g. the friars at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington) that simply sing the office right out of the LOH. I get the impression that the lack of music in the book is made up for by the fact that they sing it so often that they just remember how the psalm tones fit the text.
    Thanked by 1LauraKaz
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 924
    Having never set eyes on the Antiphonale, I'm a bit confused. Are the two books actually incompatible, or just different in format? Is there some radically different version out there for when the office is sung?


    Not, it's an exaggeration. The Antiphonale Romanum gives the antiphons from the Gregorian repertoire that go with the for the Psalms and the Canticles. All the rest (Psalms, hymns, lectures, short responsories, etc.) are exactly the same.

    Even more, the Antiphonale gives common tones on which the lectures, orations and prayers can be sung. If you're interested in singing the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin with Gregorian chant, you should get hold on a copy the Antiphonale (I & II).
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    Only an exaggeration if you think that people can get ahold of the Latin office and that episcopal conferences are uniformly interested in creating a vernacular antiphonal based on the vernacular book.

    The difference which CGZ highlights is that the pre-conciliar breviary has divisions and rubrics which only make sense in the choral context. One can either sing parts recto tono or to the tones that don't fit Gregorian modes, usually the case at Matins, or one can memorize the Gregorian tones and, if need be, not sing the antiphons if for whatever reason one has just a breviary instead of a full antiphonal or Liber Usualis. The dagger placement is admittedly not identical. But the book still makes sense for singing in a way that the LH doesn't.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Deacon Fritz, Matthew, Salieri,

    I have around here somewhere a copy of a book I was supposed to use when I was a newly-minted Catholic, but I haven't used it regularly, and now use exclusively the Breviary from 1962, so (as I remarked at the beginning) I don't have a fact-based objection except as presented here by others. If (as I understood Salieri) there are two books designed to accommodate different celebrations of the Office, then how they are different is extremely important. If the distinction is (as Deacon Fritz suggested) that one is in Times New Roman and one in Comic Sans Serif, this is not a serious problem in terms of their interchangeable use. If (on the other hand) one has antiphons set to music and the other has completely or even significantly different antiphons to be used when the office is spoken, this makes the texts incompatible, even if the psalter and the Chapter are identical.

    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 924
    In the Netherlands (where I live), the Psalms in the vernacular edition of the Getijdenboek are printed in a way that you can sing them to psalm tones very easily (to traditional or simple modal tones). I have no idea how the Psalms are printed in the English edition, but from the discussion above I get the impression that it's quite different.

    As for the Latin Liturgia Horarum, the Antiphonale and the Latin text are completely compatible, except for the antiphons. All the rest is identical. That difference alone between sung and spoken office is not significant enough for me to call them incompatible. It's exactly the same office.

    Is it unfortunate and would it be better if the texts of the antiphons also match? Absolutely! Did it take way too long for the Antiphonale to be published (we only have the books for Sunday Lauds and Vespers right now)? Totally!
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,426
    I see reasons number 10,952 to 10,968 above, for continuing to follow the Divine Office according to Divino afflatu.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    Yeah, I'm not a fan of the reform — its flaws become particularly conspicuous when you pray Matins to Compline on a day where you say ps. 116 or 147 in the morning only to say it again at I Vespers of a feast — and we should mourn the fact that new antiphons were created even for psalms which had remained in their original place, such as three of the five psalms of Sunday Vespers; however, they had an antiphonal ready within a year of the publication of the new office.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 312
    the Antiphonale and the Latin text are completely compatible, except for the antiphons.

    Thanks. This makes things clearer.

    It seems that there is an analogy between the LOH and Antiphonale and the Missal and Graduale--i.e. in both cases the former has antiphons that often do not match up with the latter, and which seem to have been devised with the intention that they will be spoken.

    I guess it's a judgment calls as to whether this constitutes "incompatability." I would be inclined not to apply that term. But I will say that I don't really understand why there was any need for a difference. Surely anything singable is speakable, so why not have the same for both?
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,141
    I don't really understand why there was any need for a difference. Surely anything singable is speakable, so why not have the same for both?

    Because the Good Idea Fairy payed a visit to the Consillium one day in 1967.