Review of different Liturgy of the hours - Daily Prayer books

This page will be added to to include reviews of
A New Zealand Prayer Book/ He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa
Celebrating Common Prayer
Common Worship
The Divine Office (RC)
Daily Prayer
People's Companion to the Breviary
The St Helena Psalter
Psalter for the Christian People
Office Hymn Books

Benedictine Daily Prayer

I will begin these reviews by reflecting on the Daily Prayer book that I currently use:
Benedictine Daily Prayer - A short Breviary
Compiled and Edited by Maxwell E. Johnson
Oblate of St John's Abbey
and the monks of St John's Abbey
Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota (2005)
2266 pages; 163 x 120 x 42 mm (6.5 x 4.8 x 1.7 inches); 5 ribbons included.

This is a very complete, self contained office book. It has provision for Vigils, Lauds, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline (no Prime). About half the book is composed of daily readings, two per day, mostly from the (non gospel) scriptures. [If one wanted to add a gospel reading, the daily eucharistic gospel could be a good source].

This is a book for those who are already agile in praying the office. The introduction provided is too little for the beginner, and superfluous for those familiar with praying the office. On occasion (particularly around Christmas time) there is considerable need for page flipping (more than five ribbons would help). My advice is to stay with the regular psalter as much as possible.

The psalm translation is Inclusive Grail. For those unfamiliar with this translation, it intends to mimic the stress patterns of Hebrew poetry - some tire of that rhythm. The language is people/horizontal inclusive but retains "Lord" and "he" for God. The scripture readings are NRSV. The prayers provided are broad, usually addressed to God, occasionally to Jesus rather than through Jesus. The hymns can normally be sung to any tune 8888 meter.

Terce to Compline follows the psalm scheme of the Rule of St Benedict. Vigils and Lauds have been adapted, so while for Terce to Compline there is a one week cycle, there is provision for a two week cycle of Vigils and Lauds. One option, I suggest, is Morning Prayer can be a four week cycle of Lauds, Supplemental Lauds, Vigils, Supplemental Vigils. The longer reading(s) (from the front of the book) can replace the short reading provided.

This office book has proved immediately popular particularly with those who resonate with Benedictine, Cistercian, Camaldolese, and Carthusian spirituality.

I use it with the Benedictus and Magnificat version prayed by Kopua (and Tarrawarra) Cistercian monastery.

More reviews of different office books to follow in the future.

Antiphons for the Magnificat and Benedictus (PDF) for all Sundays of the Year (thanks Tom Kostrzewa) NB. This file is 920 KB. This is intended to form a booklet 225 x 150 mm (9" x 6"). Some cutting may be needed.
Rule of Benedict psalm scheme (PDF) - (thanks Theo Keller Greek/Latin numbering.
Benedictine Daily Prayer psalm scheme (PDF) - (thanks Scott Knitter) Hebrew numbering. BDP shows both numbering systems.

You are visitor number since the launch of this site on Maundy Thursday, 13 April 2006