Friday, March 16, 2007

A Manual of Anglo-catholic Devotion

Well, what do you think of the manual pictured to the left (2001)--I mean the manual, not the office for dodos? This is quite a formidible piece of work, and yet I am not convinced die-hard Anglo-catholics would embrace it. What sort of spirituality is cultivated therein? I presume one should expect a distinctive spritiual framework from a prayer or office book. Yes, yes: prayers to our Lady, prayers for the king, and so on. But what is the distinctive background theological vision, as compared with the BCP 1662 or 1928 or 1979? I know, I know: "Take it and read; try it and see." But I have one of these things on the shelf making me feel guilty, and I cannot bring myself yet to commit to praying daily within it.

What are the alternatives? Reciting the hours with Phyllis Tickle? Or to go to an extreme perhaps, the aforementioned divine office for dodos? Again, I don't know--maybe these are viable options.

But then again, what does "viable" mean? You may know that the CoE's office for daily prayer is not approved for use here. I am not sure what to make of this bad boy : the Anglican Breviary, "a singularly American achievement" which appears to have been in completely kosher use from 1916-55 or so in PECUSA. I take it the Breviary is now outside the pale too, but I bet it would still be preferred to the Manual above in TEC's Anglo-catholic circles. Or would an apparent update with the BCP 1979 in mind do better, sc. the Anglican Gradual and Sacramentary ?

Surely somewhere out there someone has a word for the Glenstal or even the short Benedictine breviary? I know even less about these. I do know Affirming Catholicism is the premier organ of left-leaning Anglo-catholicism in TEC and the CoE. They offer the SSF's Celebrating Common Prayer, which I have never seen (alas!) and the St. Augustine's Prayer Book, of which my wife is rather fond; she's a baptized Roman Catholic who converted to the Episcopal Church.

I suppose one could just stick to the clear, canonical standards, say, the Contemporary Office Book, or its corresponding work-up in the almost impossible to find but enticingly exotic Anglican Service Book? I confess the Contemporary Office Book is what I usually use, although with little Anne-Marie (newly 2) I like the Anglican Family Prayer Book.


At 11:20 PM, Blogger Marshall Scott said...

I have used A Monastic Breviary when in community at a house of the Order of the Holy Cross. It offers four offices, with a two week cycle to complete the Psalm. It is certainly complete, if a bit cumbersome to use. I'm told the new Breviary of the Order of St. Helena is quite good, but I'm not familiar with it.

At 11:26 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...


Thanks--I had not known of these two breviaries. Is the Monastic Breviary the one of choice for the OHC?

At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use either the online Daily Office (1979 BCP) at the Mission of St. Clare, or the pocket version of Celebrating Common Prayer,

which is very handy. The scripture readings are short, but at least you don't have to flip back and forth in the book, and CCP has an interesting way of handling the seasonal cycles.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger bls said...

You might also be interested in checking out the Monastic Diurnal, published by the Community of St. Mary in Greenwich, New York. It's what they use, and if I remember correctly (I was there for a short weekend only once) there is some chant music in the book, too - antiphons on the Psalms, I think.

At 6:17 PM, Blogger RFSJ said...

You might check out Howard Galley's The Prayer Book Office. It's out of print at the moment, but copies can be had on amazon. It's based on the 1979 BCP Offices and extends them with antiphons on canticles and Psalms done seasonally and by Sunday and Feast day. Text only, alas. The Psalm antiphons usually match those published in the Plainsong Psalter.



At 2:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been using Celebrating Common Prayer for about a year now, and have found it to be really a quite excellent resource. I travel about 60-70% of the time with my job, and I find that having the book to take with me provides a very important and useful grounding in prayer each day.

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The personal breviary of the Order of St. Helena is excellent. It has many wonderful canticals and hymns for the common of saints, season, and day of the week, and more collects for the saints, and it is completely inclusive and expansive -even the Psalter - in a way that respects traditional anglo-catholic sensibilities. They have done some great work to produce this, and I think that our next Prayer Book Daily Office and Psalter revision should consider it as a model.

The website with information on how to order it is Click the 'writings' tab. For some reason they only list the monastic edition. This is the same as the personal edition, but expanded, I think, and with music, which makes it more expensive ($80). I am sure, though, that the less expensive personal edition is also still available.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Frair John said...

I'll eco what has been said about the Personal Edition of the OSH's breviery. It's very user friendly. The Episcopal Carmel uses the Indianapolis Carmel's Breviery, but I've found that it is limeted for use by it's Roman sensebilities.
I Own the Glenstal, and I found it to be nice when on e the road, but not for everyday use. Same with Celebrating Common Prayer. Both have nice, short liturgies in the back that could be used to enhance the office, but I've not found them to be that useful.

At 6:26 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Thank you for these comments.

I have wondered about the OSH breviary, and esp. its language. I am told by several people it is the very best inclusive version available, and several of these comments supprt that contention.

I have not heard of the Monastic Diuranl before (thanks bls); I take it the Carmelite Breviary Friar John referred to (thanks John) is this:
"The New Companion To The Breviary With Seasonal Supplement". There is also a "People's Companion to the Breviary" from the Camelites.

If anyone knows, how does Galley's The Prayer Book Office differ from the BCP 1979 Rite II daily office in the Contemporary Office book? Mybe just a different arrangement of material from drawing from the BCP1979? I am hoping there are no substantial deviations.

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI, "The Divine Office for Dodos" is not any sort of prayerbook at all. It is an (overly-)detailed explanation of the instructions and rubrics for praying the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours.


At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, what you have linked to as "the CoE's office for daily prayer" actually isn't. The link goes to an American publication of the British one-volume adaptation of the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours.

The current CoE office is "Common Worship Daily Prayer." There is a shorter edition, "Celebrating Daily Prayer," that is supposed to be an updating of the SSF's "Celebrating Common Prayer."


At 10:43 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Thanks Bill.

It seems then from the detail of the "Divine Office for Dodos" that the RCC has made some serious effort to draw laity into the daily office.

I think this is a link to the "Common Worship: Daily Prayer" of the CoE from 2007:

ISBN-10: 0715120735

It seems there was a preliinary edition out from 2002 (ISBN-10: 0715120638). I am not sure how these differ.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger Derek the ├ćnglican said...

Galley was one of the editors for the American '79. As a result, his Prayer Book Office essentially gives you one of the editors' takes on how he thought it ought to be done right. It's quite close to the use of the rubrics, the main difference being when the Jubilate is used as the Inviatory and a different canticle table. As I recall he always retained the Benedictus as the second canticle.

My personal preference is the Anglican Breviary but I do a traditional Rite I when time is short (and don't confuse the Anglican Breviary with the Anglican Missal--same concept, different liturgies...)

At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice that the Contemporary Office Book runs $117.00 per copy. A little rich for my blood. I suppose I can get by with a Bible and a BCP.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

True, it set me back a bunch. But not having to juggle a Bible with the BCP made it alot easier to pray the office on the go.

At 5:51 PM, Blogger jaan said...

I have been using the monastic Breviary which is the official Breviary used by the Order of the Holy Cross for about a month now. I am becoming an associate of OHC. They sent me a free copy of it and the St Augustine prayer book. I found both volumes a blessing in my prayer life. I have used a number of prayer books catholic and anglican including Liturgy of the hours, The Benedictine Daily Prayer, online versions such as, and which is probably the most complete and easy to use though it is Roman.
I would like to see the Monastic Breviary go electronic but it would take time. Anyway these volumes have been a wonderful asset to my prayer life. My second favorite has been the Book of Common Prayer which have the version with the NRSV.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger dave b said...

I've been thinking about shelling out my $100 for the Contemporary Office Book, but before I do I'd like to know what Psalter it uses. Is it the NRSV Psalms, the BCP 1979, what?

At 11:58 PM, Blogger dave b said...

Anybody home? I really would like to know if the Contemporary Office Book uses the NRSV for the Psalter or uses the crappy BCP 1979 translation.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger jaan said...

Sorry have not been on line blogging for a bit. Lately I have been using Daily office from the mission of st Clare sight which can be easily googled and has a wonderful application for android and iphone. it allows the use of both the coverdale psalter or the 1979 prayerbook psalter. To answer your question yes the Contemporary Daily office uses the 1979 prayerbook psalter which is what I use.


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