Tag Archives: Novus Ordo

The Glory of St. Patrick and the Tragedy of Ireland

The 17th of March as most know is the feast of St. Patrick in the Catholic Church. The story is well known, that Patrick was a Roman in Britain, who did not take the faith seriously and dabbled in various adventures, which led to him being caught by slave traders and sold into slavery in Ireland. He became more devout, went back to England persevered in the faith and was made a Bishop. From there he returned to Ireland and evangelized the whole of the emerald isle. Dom Prosper Guéranger has this to say about St. Patrick:

There are some who have been entrusted with a small tract of the Gentile world; they had to sow the divine seed there, and it yielded fruit more or less according to the dispositions of the people that received it: there are others, again, whose mission is like a rapid conquest, that subdues a whole nation, and brings it into subjection to the Gospel. St. Patrick belongs to this second class; and in him we recognize one of the most successful instruments of God’s mercy to mankind. Continue reading

End of the Reform of the Reform

CaravaggioEcceHomoThe family split in the Matt family, which formed the two different conservative newspapers, the Wanderer and the Remnant respectively, is perhaps a microcosm of conservative movements in the Church here in the United States (in Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere, it is similar but different in many respects, e.g. European traditionalists I have known find the American Traditionalist obsession with women wearing skirts and veils puzzling. Thus not all issues are the same. So what I am going to say here is only intended with reference to the situation in this country).

Continue reading

The Glory of Small “t” Tradition

One of the most disturbing things to me is the belittling of “t” Tradition by virtually every neo-conservative apologist. There is a current which runs in the neo-conservative mainstream to downplay the importance of the little traditions. This is done primarily when they incorrectly define them. One will say “Big ‘T’ Tradition stays the same always, and is of the utmost importance, but small ‘t’ Tradition is here today and gone tomorrow. It is not important and we shouldn’t get wrapped up in it.”

This is basically the position of the so-called mainstream of defenders of the New Rite, separated from historical Catholicism by the modernism pervading the Church since the Council. In a minute I will define what I mean by historical Catholicism.

Now, let us take a proposition, such as I have continually advanced, and will advance until I am put to death, that the Novus Ordo is inferior to the Traditional Rite. As soon as I say such a thing the aforementioned will claim that I am propagating a heresy. They will say that you can not say one Mass is better than another, Tridentine, novus ordo, Divine Liturgy are all fine and good and all equally pleasing to God. It doesn’t matter how we wrap the essentials, etc. etc. etc, blah blah blah. Boo hiss!

First of all, this is something which I would consider contrary to Catholic liturgical theology, namely minimalism. It is purely the minimalist approach to liturgy, and this is where the denial of small “t” Tradition flirts openly with heresy. It is the small “t” which protects, defends, reinforces and teaches the large “T” tradition. While it is technically true that you can eliminate the small “t” tradition and maintain the integrity of the faith, when you do eliminate it the faith begins to disappear. This is because man is not a pure spirit, he is a body soul unity, how the faith is presented to man determines the manner in which he receives it. We all accept that bad preaching, bad style, bad demeanor of the presenter can present a barrier to how one receives the grace of the Gospel. Almost any neo-con will accept that. However, be that as it may, when it comes to the liturgy they suddenly reject it. It suddenly doesn’t matter that a hideous neo-teric chalice is used in place of a beautiful Gothic chalice collecting dust in the sacristy, or crappy polyester vestments are worn with rainbows and/or hideous art on them. The apologists will tell us well, it isn’t the best, but it is still Jesus.

I just want to take them by the neck and say get a hold of yourself man with a thick Scottish brogue! What does a cheap polyester vestment say about the faith? How does it cheapen the faith? How does a glass wine claret used for sacred Communion weaken belief in the real presence?

Secondly, the main objection, that all liturgy is the same, fails to distinguish between the intrinsic nature of a thing, and its extrinsic nature. If we are speaking Intrinsically, then of course any valid Mass, that is a Mass which gives adoration to God the Father by making represent the one sacrifice of Calvary in an unbloody manner at the hands of the priest, is in fact the same. You can not have a valid Mass which is intrinsically evil, since the main object of the Mass, to offer adoration to God, is impossible. Yet the intrinsic is an inadequate dimension by which to judge liturgy in its totality, and to reduce it to such is minimalism which would be detestable to every age of Catholics until 1965. We must also consider liturgy offered in an extrinsic manner. What is the extrinsic? If the intrinsic refers to the liturgy in itself and what it accomplishes ipso facto, then the extrinsic is the manner in which it is accomplished.

A Tridentine Mass is offered, but rubrics are intentionally broken, portions of the liturgy are skipped wholesale, etc. Intrinsically, if you had a valid consecration, you had a valid Mass which accomplished its aim. Extrinsically, it is not as good and does not communicate as much grace as the same liturgy where the ceremonies are said correctly. Let us take another example: a liturgy said by heretics and schismatics with valid orders. Such a liturgy is said outside of communion with the Church and technically wrong. That impedes grace. Let us even take a Novus Ordo celebrated with obscene abuses. There is no shortage of idiots who will insist that there is no difference between that and a “reverent” novus ordo (which as far as I’m concerned is an oxymoron), because if done validly “Jesus is there”. Even if that is true, the grace which He imparts through the sacrament is impeded, it is not as powerful as one celebrated in union with the Church’s intention. Now there is yet another consideration to make, whether the rites in the Traditional Liturgy are more dignified and coming from apostolic tradition, better impart the faith than a liturgy created by a committee of left leaning priests and bishops in the late 60’s completely from scratch? I’ve never seen anyone try to claim that the new liturgy imparts more ritual than the old. Even if they were, a simple reading of text and rubric would smash such an argument.

Lastly, there is also more scripture found in the ordinary of the Mass in the Traditional Liturgy, the propers contain more scriptural usage all with their own chants, and essential teachings on sin, repentance and hell are not optional. Rituals call to mind the Jewish offerings of sacrificial animals, bringing sacrifice to the forefront, they represent Christ burdened with the sin of the world, and unmistakably condemn modern theology. The rites and the meaning they embody are superior to the Novus Ordo in every way, and consequently it is a better Mass in terms of the grace it imparts.

Some people will still say, “I like the Novus Ordo better”. Well there is nothing I can say about that, because what people like is subjective and not governed by objective principles of beauty and meaning. Some people like modern art, some people like rap music. To me it is all basically the same thing. If you look at the normal person at the Novus Ordo, not the exceptional case, you find people whose liturgy tells them nothing about the doctrine of Catholicism, but is tailored to make them feel good. Even in the Latin, if you have someone who understands Latin. If you look at the normal person at a Traditional Mass, not the exceptional case, you will find someone who at the very least understands what the Church teaches on major issues concerning his salvation, on his responsibilities toward his neighbor, and on the presence of his God at his liturgy. Every liturgical sign points to it, the kneeling, the adoration, the incense, the multiple signs of the cross, the reverence and beauty of everything required for each celebration. Small “t” tradition protects so-called big “T” tradition, and wherever the former is protected, the latter is upheld. Look at the eastern Catholic Church in our midst. The same cultural problems affect them which affect us, the same secularism, the same throw away culture, but not the same loss of doctrine and reverence for the Eucharist. Why? Because they have small “t” Tradition protecting their Apostolic Tradition.

This all brings me back to the original point of this post, namely what is that historical Catholicism which modern apologists seem disconnected from? It is characterized by a universal expression of “t” Tradition which had guarded and protected the true faith for over a thousand years. Very few real traditions had actually changed in that time, and for good reason, they protected the faith. People in every country were familiar with the universal “t” Tradition, whether French, or German, or Polish or Italian, or English, or Spanish, there was a universal “t” Tradition that was common to them all. The same was true of the Eastern Churches, and a Latin Rite observer could have seen the same traditions in the Eastern rite, even if they had a different form from the West.

I have read people claim they are not part of a “bloggersterium”, that they follow the Pope. I wonder if they would acknowledge the danger from the “apologeticsterium”? Let us look seriously. Who lives or dies by what someone writes on a blog? If anyone does he is an idiot. But there are people who conform their worldview to what this or that apologist writes. Consider those who remained completely in favor of the Iraq war, just as the mainstream of neo-conservative apologists were, when their hero, John Paul “superstar” condemned it? You get a situation where I, one of the late Pope’s critics, agree with him, and your ever faithful apologists opposed him! Yet no claims of disobedience arose, and when confronted with it they will ignore you or say they just cut the Pope some slack by not criticizing him. Seriously, is that not private judgment? To decide that the Pope’s consistent and impassioned pleas against the war have no merit because we trust our elected leaders? The same ones who enabled abortion contrary to the late Pope’s message of a gospel of life?

On the whole, I am perfectly willing and happy to acknowledge where apologists have done good, or even great work. Yet the ministry of lay apologetics is precarious at best. They are filling a void which our Bishops and Priests ought to be filling in terms of real and true teaching, but which the latter are happy to let someone else do. The problem and the danger, not unlike what everyone is always whining about with blogs, is when they get looked upon as a counter magisterium. Mind you, not when they try and usurp that for themselves If I’m wrong on a medium which requires patience and thought (while sighting sources), I can be corrected or refuted. What do you do about thousands of Catholics who don’t know any better and follow this disconnect from historical Catholicism that the self professed “mainstream” propounds? This is to me something highly problematic, even where the thinker is technically a good Catholic.

Objections to the Traditional Latin Mass answered: The Lectionary

In commentary after commentary of defenders of the Novus Ordo, from liberals to so-called “conservatives” (who are preserving the liberal revolution), they always point to the supposed superiority of the lectionary of the Novus Ordo to that of the Traditional Latin Mass.

The argument goes “Since the majority of the bible is read in the course of 3 years, Catholics are exposed to more scripture now than in the Traditional Liturgy with its narrow selection of readings”.

We’ve heard this for years, and I’ve refuted it for years, but it won’t go away. To be fair, I’m not concerned with issues of translation. The best arguments against the Novus Ordo are against the Latin Novus Ordo, not the ICEL translation. Defenders of the new rite can always appeal to a bad translation to explain away the endless problems with the fabricated liturgy of Bugnini’s Concilium. They might also refer to Bishops changing the banal and doctrinally questionable translations in favor of traditional ones. It is simple enough to go back to the source. Forget the ICEL monster. This I do here, and have consistently done when criticizing the new rite.

The argument is essentially flawed because it relies upon numbers and the mere quantity of something as the sufficiency necessary for correct evaluation. Thus, to put it another way it seeks to implement the liturgical reform the way governments try to reform things, by throwing more of something indiscriminately. In this case it is scripture. Just as truly as government throws money at education, or defense in the desperate hope that things will get better, so the new lectionary throws as much of the bible at the layman as possible, indiscriminately, in the hope that he will leave the Church knowing something about the bible. However, the Traditional Lectionary’s effect is qualitative, focusing not so much on how much of the Bible the man in the pew hears, but rather what the man in the pew hears.
In the Traditional Liturgy the lectionary was tailored to match the breviary and lead the faithful to a certain idea through its collects, antiphons and other propers, the lectionary of the Novus Ordo often makes use of antiphons and propers that do not match any liturgical objective, that are given just for the sake of it.

The next problem with the argument is that there are many texts of scripture, which are present in the Traditional Rite of Mass but are omitted or made optional in the new lectionary (which, if all the endless options and alternative texts were gathered into one book the thing would plummet to the center of the earth). The text of the great apostasy predicted in 2nd Thessalonians is present on the ember Saturday of Advent in the Traditional Rite, but absent in the new lectionary. Another example was pointed out by Cardinal Stickler speaking on the text of I Corinthians XI:27-29:

Apart from the pastoral difficulties for parishioners’ understanding of texts demanding special exegesis, it turned out also as an opportunity-which was seized-to manipulate the retained texts in order to introduce new truths in place of the old. Pastorally unpopular passages-often of fundamental theological and moral significance-were simply eliminated. A classic example is the text from 1 Cor. 11:27-29: here, in the narrative of the institution of the Eucharist, the serious concluding exhortation about the grave consequences of unworthy reception has been consistently left out, even on the Feast of Corpus Christi. The pastoral necessity of that text in the face of today’s mass reception without confession and without reverence is obvious. (Online source)

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, a writer for Latin Mass magazine, had this to say in an October article on the New Lectionary:

There is the basic human problem of having more than one year’s worth of readings. A single year is a natural period of time; it is healthy, pedagogically superior, and deeply consoling to come back, year after year, to the same readings for a given Sunday or weekday. This has been my experience. You get to know the Sunday readings especially; they become bone of your bone. You start to think of Sundays in terms of their readings, chants, and prayers, which stick in the mind all the more firmly because they are both spoken or chanted and read in the missal you are holding (more senses engaged). In this way the traditional Western liturgy shows its affinity to the Eastern liturgies, which go so far as to name Sundays after their Gospels or after some particular dogma emphasized. In the old days, the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost had a distinctive identity: Protector noster was the introit, you knew its melody, and the whole Mass grew to be familiar, like a much-loved garden or a trail through the woods. Nowadays, who knows what the “tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time” is about! It’s anyone’s guess. Online source

The New Lectionary has a cold and meaningless feel about it. First of all, let us suppose a Latin Novus Ordo where the propers were used, and not replaced by this or that hymn, something which is rubrically incorrect even in the NO. There is no theme, no attempt to unite the psalms sung with the readings. Sometimes they are consistently repeated throughout Sundays of the Year. Second, while the Sunday readings are on a “3 year cycle”, the weekday readings are on a “2 year cycle”, which is completely nonsensical. If they match up at all to what is read on Sunday it is a pure accident occurring around the time when the planets align. And, who can remember all of these readings? I have known priests who say the Novus Ordo who haven’t a clue of the general order or pace of the readings beyond the Sunday they are in, and one back as well as one forward. It becomes a dead letter and we move onto the next one. And if we consider Lent and Holy Week, in some instances the readings match up and follow a progression, but there is no overall theme matched by the Mass propers or the Divine Office. In Holy week you only hear two passion accounts, on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, where as in the Traditional Liturgy you hear all four, Matthew on Palm Sunday, Mark on Tuesday and Luke’s on Wednesday, while Monday contains a prophecy of our Lord’s death and resurrection.

The whole of the lectionary for the Traditional Mass is contained in the same book as the Missal, and it comprises a modest size book. As I said above, if one was to take the entire Novus Ordo with all of its options, extra prayers, and the lectionary with its endless options and substitutions, it would fall through the altar and wind up in the center of the earth (a good place for it if you ask me, and good riddance!)

Another problem is the fact that the lectionary was arranged by exegetes with sociological leanings (which could just as easily be written socialist), while the ancient Roman lectionary was arranged by St. Jerome one of the greatest of ancient doctors apart from Chysostom and Augustine, and apart from changes and modifications for the saints or new feasts, the propers for the year are unchanged. If we lined up the Traditional Lectionary with the calendar of the Eastern Church (or even that of the Orthodox), one will find striking similarities. Only one epistle reading, not two as in the Novus Ordo. A one year cycle, is unique to both calendars, and to liturgical tradition. The concept of a three, or two year lectionary is a novelty east and west and not even suggested by Vatican II. Sundays after Easter are called “Sundays after Pentecost” by both calendars, and the propers which must always be sung in a Divine Liturgy match up to the epistle and Gospel reading. Lastly, the readings must be sung in the Divine Liturgy, just as they must at a Tridentine High Mass. The Traditional lectionary is linked with and grew out of the common heritage of liturgical development which in spite of different cultures, locations and circumstances, share characteristics coming form ancient practice.

Therefore, for both practical and liturgical reasons, the New Lectionary is a complete and useless novelty, inferior to Catholic tradition, just like everything else in the Novus Ordo. Yet one may ask, how could one reform the Traditional lectionary? There are several Masses for different types of saints, and when there is no regular reading for the saints, the regular readings from the Mass Os Justi, or some such Mass will be used over and over again, sometimes within the same week. So texts could be found which would match the life of the saint, while this is often not done in the Novus Ordo, and as Dr. Kwasniewski notes in the article I linked, the readings for St. Therese in the Traditional Mass make sense, whereas the ones in the new rite follow the baneful 2 year cycle and have nothing to do with her.

There is but one more consideration. At the average Traditional Mass, one will hear more scripture than at the Novus Ordo if one is to take the whole of the liturgy into account. The Mass begins with Psalm 42, many of the responses are actually quotes from the Psalms (Adjutorium nostrum…Psalm 69, etc.), a good portion of the offertory prayers are from scripture directly, including all of Psalm 25, many parts of the canon and the priests communion come directly from scripture, not to mention the Last Gospel (John 1:1-18) and the fact that the propers are never skipped, while in the Novus Ordo encoutnered by 99% of Catholics in the world they are generally skipped, and or are repeats from a series of options while in the Traditional Liturgy they are different every Sunday and saints day.

Like all things, the simple fruits of tradition are better than the ugly creations of modernity.

Thoughts on the Divine Office

Originally published as “More thoughts on the divine office” , 18 December 2008.

Already on a few occasions I’ve written about the breviary, but I want to go in a different direction without rehashing too much of what I’ve already thought.

As I’ve written before, and as one could guess, I do not like the new Liturgy of the Hours in any way shape or form. I just fail to see it as an expression of prayer akin to what has always been adopted by the Church, east and west, from the most ancient times. It is modeled after the Quignonez breviary, which had 3 psalms for every office, and was suppressed because it made the prayer of the Church too short and placed psalms without regard for their historical replacement or the tone of the psalm with the time of day. The 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia, drawing on the consensus of liturgical judgment, said concerning Quignonez:

In the light of tradition and of liturgical principles the only possible verdict in that Quignonez’ Breviary, being constructed on a priori principles, violating most of the liturgical rules, must be condemned…. Every hour had three psalms; and in consequence of this severe regularity, there disappeared the deep and historical motive which gave to each hour its own characteristics. (source)

It wasn’t because Quignonez was evil, he was in fact a great churchman, and effected the release of Pope Clement VII from Charles V’s de facto imprisonment. Moreover, he resisted the trends of the time to restore Latin to pagan usage in order to conform with antiquity. Rather, it was condemned because he made a “Novus Ordo” of sorts with the breviary. We don’t even have a breviary quite as good as his for the Novus Ordo and on top of that it doesn’t even have all the psalms. The concept of vigils, or Matins, as it existed in the ancient breviary which made it through the middle ages, was wrecked in the Quignonez version, and likewise in the 1970 version. Three psalms scarcely carries the ancient tradition, although it should be admitted, the two readings in themselves are about the length of the readings of the 2nd and 3rd nocturnes which are divided up in the traditional schema.

The principles of the divine office, the liturgical laws and the characters of the hours were of ancient usage. When St. Benedict laid out what was to become the Monastic Breviary in his rule, he himself was drawing on ancient tradition, particularly Roman tradition (and ironically, is the only breviary today which maintains the ancient Roman Tradition.) This is one reason of course why I pray the Benedictine Breviary, the division of Psalms is roughly the same as St. Benedict laid out and as his early monks prayed. Though it has changed and suffered additions over the years, it is substantially a product of ancient tradition. Akin to praying the ancient form of Mass, there is something both humbling and inspiring about praying the same breviary as ancient and medieval monks did. Another benefit to the Benedictine Breviary is they did not modify their hymns during the reform of Urban VIII, and hence have maintained their ancient style. Moreover, it did not suffer any changes to the psalter during St. Pius X’s reforms, so many features which it drew from the Roman office, such as the Laudes psalms (148-150) are still said at the end of Lauds (from which that hour gets its name), and the use of Psalm 50 every day. The length of psalms in the Benedictine and pre-Pius X Roman Breviary are interesting. The Benedictine breviary for example begins Lauds every day with Psalm 66, and then Psalm 50 are prayed. Two psalms and the canticle differ each day, and then the Laudes Psalms are said. The only difference in the Roman breviary is Psalm 66 was not said. So the hour generally has 8 psalms, and more on Sunday (although they’re short). Vespers in the Benedictine is generally only 4 Psalms, unlike 5 in the Roman. Matins was 12 Psalms in the Roman Breviary and 12 in the Benedictine, which was then followed up by 4 scriptural canticles.

Another interesting thing is that Compline was the same every day, and the tone of those psalms was always defense in the night. The little hours in the Benedictine breviary are exactly the same Tuesday through Saturday, and after a while you start to memorize them. This allows one to better meditate on the thought of the psalms (plus, only monks are going to have the time).

The Pius X reform of the Roman Breviary starts a trend which ends up in the Novus Ordo, though St. Pius X could scarcely have imagined it. First off, while changes had been effected to the breviary throughout time, the Roman Psalter was thought to be in its integrity even older than the Canon of Mass in its current form. The idea of permanence in the liturgy was impugned, and it opened the door to further changes on the principle that Pius X had changed the breviary. However while the change in the distribution of Psalms ought to be a concern, the character of the hours largely remained the same, although now somewhat uniform. 5 Psalms for Lauds, 5 Psalms for Vespers, only 9 for Matins, while all the readings remained the same. The little hours now received psalms that were once said at Matins or at Lauds, so that they would change every day. All of these were motivated by pastoral changes. Yet these rubrics left in place a very important pastoral principle, that the priest could divide up the hour of Matins (which is very lengthy) so as to better accomplish the work of a parish priest. According to a good priest I know, one of the changes made by Bugnini when he served in the congregation of rites before Vatican II, was to eliminate this rubric and require priests to say the whole of Matins in one block and not divide it. Functionally, this meant that priests had to lock up a whole hour of prayer into the divine office. That is one thing for a monk or a country priest, but a priest in a large parish of many souls could have a problem.

This had a practical affect: to create disdain amongst the clergy for the office, which is exactly what Bugnini wanted. That is why when the Novus Ordo breviary rolled around, so many priests willingly accepted it because now: 3 psalms and 2 readings which can be anticipated the day before in the evening or said later in the day!

And if we look at the Novus Ordo breviary, the 1974 liturgy of the hours, there are some very unsavory things about it. Like the Quignonez, ever hour now has 3 psalms (except Compline which has one but inexplicably 2 psalms for Saturday and Wednesday). Moreover, one of the biggest problems with the Pius X psalter, that Psalm 50 is not said every day as is customary, is included. Unlike the Pius X psalter which required Psalm 50 during penitential periods, the Novus Ordo does not, except for Ash Wednesday, require Psalm 50 to be said on a day other than its placement, which is Friday every other week. This bothers me on a number of levels. A friend of mine who was recently ordained, in discussion on this topic, exclaimed “If you stop praying for mercy in the morning, what is going to happen in terms of pride during the day?” Like so many other things, you will stop getting it. It is the same with the Leonine prayers after Mass, or the use of additional collects praying for the Church before Bugnini suppressed them. If you stop praying for the defense of the Church, or from liberation against persecution, can you guess what is going to happen? You will stop getting defense, you cease to see even effective leadership bringing discipline from within. Ask and it shall be given, but what happens if you don’t ask?

This is the problem with many of the changes in both the breviary and the Mass.

Another problem with the Novus Ordo Liturgy of the Hours, is the new Vulgate has no decree behind it of infallibility in faith and morals. The Vulgate most recently promulgated under Pope Clement VIII on the other hand, has that guarantee both from the council of Trent and the Popes on document. John Paul II never extended such authority to the new Vulgate promulgated under his reign. Therefore if you are praying the LOH or the Pius XII psalter, your text is not even assured to be free from error in faith and morals as the traditional breviary and clementine psalter is! Imagine praying the new Vulgate for 4 weeks, shudder!

A lot of people complain about the four week psalter, but this doesn’t present a problem other than its novelty. There is nothing wrong in theory or even per se in practice with saying a four week psalter, except that the Fathers of the Church east and west when they required the faithful to attend the divine office being sung in the Churches, chose a one week psalter not a four. What is important about that is the early Bishops intended it to be done by lay people who had to work as well as pray, and they chose to accomplish the psalms in one week. The reason for this was so the faithful would be familiar with the Psalms and incorporate their prayers into their day. What better prayers are there than those which are scriptural and inspired by the Holy Ghost? It is for this reason the Traditional Mass incorporates so many of the psalms into the Holy Mass, many more than in the Novus Ordo.

The worst element about the Novus Ordo breviary, is the bidding prayers contained at Lauds and Vespers. I’m generally of the opinion that they are worse in Latin than they are in English, because ICEL polishes some of them up. There you have lame, dated, social justice petitions included in a banal manner in the Church’s official prayerbook. Contrast that with the breviary petitions formerly said on certain days at Lauds and Vespers (not every day), with prayers for the Pope, prayers for the Church, prayers for conversions, for defense from unjust persecution, etc. A holy priest I know looked at that in Seminary and questioned his vocation, because in his words “I could not say that nonsense every day of my life, whereas when I looked at the Traditional Breviary, I knew I could do that.”

Thus, even with the problems of the Pius X reform, I would still see that breviary accepted rather than the 1970 Liturgy of the Hours, which is just a mess of liturgical experimentation (replete with “original texts” in various languages not included in the editio typica). The solution in my view, is to permit a certain amount of freedom in which edition of the breviary that priests pray. In other words, allow them to go back to earlier forms of the Roman breviary, or to the monastic breviaries of different orders. Ideally of course, one would want the Bishop to regulate it according to the breviary which he prays, but the result of that is “well, pray the LOH that I pray.” If he does that is. I was invited once to a vocations get together at a chancery, and the Bishop’s breviary was at a table in a hallway. What sparked my curiosity was the fact that it was the wrong color for the season (as the LOH is multi-colored). I moved it, and a sharp outline of dust surrounded it. Told me everything I needed to know!