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Breviary Offices: From Lauds to Compline Inclusive Translated and Arranged For Use From the Sarum Book

Breviary Offices: From Lauds to Compline Inclusive Translated and Arranged For Use From the Sarum Book

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  • ISBN-13: 9781534601871
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: Jun 09, 2016
  • Pages: 390 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.88 x 9.0 x 6.0 inches


THAT a community of women should offer to the English Church a new book of Offices, appears presumptuous as well as unnecessary, unless some explanation be given of the causes which led to the attempt. S. Margaret's Sisterhood, founded by the Rev. J. M. Neale, in 1854, was early provided with a MS. Translation, abridged and simplified, of the shorter Sarum Hours, and with various other Offices, selected from Roman or Gallican uses, where Sarum was insufficient or apparently unsatisfactory. For although Dr. Neale considered the Sarum book as that of whieh the adoption was generally binding upon us, he preferred a degree of eclecticism to a servile following of the old English use, when better Offices were to be found elsewhere. Other persons, aware of our possessing many MSS., asked us to prepare a book which should supply Offices yet wanting in existing manuals, and provide abundance of materials for devotion from which they might select portions suitable for use. We have thus endeavoured to respond to their request, and the present volume is the careful, but very imperfect result of our labours, containing-, besides much supplementary matter, the Breviary Offices from Prime to Compline inclusive, Matins being already in course of publication separately. "In this compilation, our founder's plan has been retained: i.e. Sarum has been followed wherever possible. The Psalter, and Proper of Seasons exactly reproduce Sarum, with a few abbreviations and simplifications; except a few alterations mentioned below. If it be asked why the Roman books would not suffice us, and why we should try to resuscitate a use long dead, we answer that the Gallican breviaries present us with rich and varied treasures of Scriptural applications and mystical interpretations, which might be sought vainly in the Roman forms; and that Sarum far surpasses Rome in the dignity and variety of its daily office; in its absence of unseemly haste (as when Rome continually replaces longer Psalms by Ps. cxvii.) and in its sedulous and hearty use of continual intercession for living and dead. With such words the first edition of the Diurnal Breviary Offices was offered for the use of the Church. It proved acceptable beyond expectation, and a new impression was soon called for. Several men versed in the subject had now become interested in this book, and it was pointed out by them that certain alterations, bringing it into still closer accordance with the Sarum Breviary, would render it more valuable, trustworthy, and suitable for English use. The Offices for the Proper and Common of Saints had mostly been translated from French uses. Further study revealed merits in the equivalent Sarum Offices, which had preyiously been unperceived, and it was decided to remodel these portions of the book. The preface to the concluding volume of the Night Hours (that volume having been arranged in accordance with these Diurnal Offices) contains a list of the divergencies from Sarum, still retained: which also may be clearly seen by comparison with the new Latin edition of the Great Breviary of 1531, now in course of publication at Cambridge. It should be added that the Office for the Dead is indicated for monthly recitation, according to the modern Roman practice, as its daily usc after the old English manner would probably be deemed excessive; and that the Commendatory Office is Gallican and Benedictine. The Prefatory Notes to the Kalendar explain the principle on which a number of new names have been added to it. Owing to illness and absence, the original compiler was unable to finish her work. The publication of this edition has therefore been greatly delayed. We now once more send out our book, with many thanks to the kind and learned persons who have assisted us (particularly the Revs. II. G. Morse, A. T. Chapman, ,V. J. Blew, and and with the humble prayer that our Lord may be pleased to let it contribute in its small measure to Ilis honour and glory.

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