The Divine Worship: Daily Office

Over the past few years the three Personal Ordinariates established in accordance with Anglicanorum coetibus have been gradually editing and publishing a whole series of liturgical books. I have a copy of the latest book Divine Worship – Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying and I intend to post a review of it on PrayTell in the near future. Communities within these Ordinariates are permitted to use these liturgical books or the Ordinary or Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite as they see fit in any given pastoral situation.

The newly produced books are not simply Catholic versions of earlier Anglican or Episcopalian books, but are newly composed rituals that contain a mixture of material from the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, various Anglican/Episcopalian liturgical books (principally but not exclusively the different editions of the Book of Common Prayer) and newly composed material. This mix is not immediately apparent as all of the prayers are presented in a form of Tudorized English.

Today I was surprised to hear that the Ordinates have announced the immanent publication of two different editions of their Divine Worship – Daily Office to mark the tenth anniversary of their establishment. This version of the Liturgy of the Hours promises to be one of the most significant contributions of the Ordinariates given the importance of the Anglican/Episcopalian tradition of parochial and cathedral prayer of the Hours.

While all of the earlier liturgical books are common to the three Ordinariates (Great Britain, North America and Oceania), the two versions of the Daily Worship are according to the geographic region with a North American version, published by Newman House Press and a “Commonwealth” version published by the Catholic Truth Society (even though Canada is part of the Commonwealth communities there will use the North American edition). Both versions will use the Coverdale translation of the Psalter and use Ignatius Press’ second Catholic edition of the Revised Standard Version for the rest of the readings. The Bulletin onDivine Worship of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham explained that “Morning and Evening Prayer [are] from the prayer book tradition, together with optional office hymns and antiphons for use with the Benedictus and Magnificat. The ‘bookends’ of Matins and Evensong will be enriched by the provision of the Lesser Hours of Prime, Terce, Sext, None, and Compline.”

The North American edition is expected in Advent 2020 and the Commonwealth edition is expected a year later in Advent 2021. Not all details are available yet, but it seems that both are one-volume editions. The “Commonwealth” version will contain all the Scripture readings needed and be a bigger book, whereas the North American edition will require users to pray using the new book and look up the longer Scripture readings in their Bible. It also seems that different cycles of readings might be available in the different editions. A tudorized translation of the hymns of the Ordinary Form of the Liturgy of the Hours will be included in both versions, with a wider selection in the US edition.

5 comments

  1. It will be interesting to see what non-scriptural readings end up being included in the Ordinariate Office. The preliminary 2012 Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham had a fairly wide range of lessons including many from Non-Catholic sources, so I’m keenly waiting to see what of those might be getting permanently integrated into the Catholic tradition.

    1. The lectionary for the Ordinariate Office does not include non-scriptural readings, but it is permitted to replace one of the readings with the second reading from the Office of Readings.

      1. John,

        So the non-scriptural lessons from the Customary didn’t make the cut – It just falls back onto the normal Roman Office of Readings? Hmmm, interesting.

    2. I find the Customary oOLW has so may options I cannot find my way through it. Though it is a source of interesting material, and I would like to have these readings available for public use beyond the Ordinariate in some way.
      But I think I see, and approve, the new DW:Daily Office standing firmly in the BCP tradition of reading the whole of scripture in the course of one year. The BCP works in a parochial context, whereas the Roman Office derives from monasteries and has never really worked without a dedicated community to sustain it. Indeed many communities have reduced versions or Little Offices.

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