Editorial Decisions

While I’ve tried to make the St Bede’s Breviary as user-friendly and option-open as possible, there are some things that come down to fundamental editorial decisions. I welcome questions and comments on these decisions—even if you disagree. (Who knows, if there’s enough disagreement or you make a compelling case, I may change it or add it as an option.)

Just so we’re all clear, I do use some basic principles in making my decisions.

  1. The breviary follows the intentions and rubrics of the American 1979 American Book of Common Prayer and related official materials. While I see the ’79 BCP as a legitimate heir of the Historic Western Liturgy, it has its own internal logics. As this book is the official book of my church, I will follow it as closely as possible (even in cases where I might personally have done things differently).
  2. Where not restricted by the intentions of the ’79 BCP, I prefer to retain and follow the intentions of the Historic Western Liturgy.
  3. Supplemental elements not found in the ’79 BCP will be supplied by older Anglican rites, Sarum sources, Roman Catholic sources. Where there are multiple options to choose from, I normally prefer to use Anglican and Sarum sources.
  1. William Loring
    October 5, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Going back a bit, you wrote:
    September 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm | #6 Reply | Quote
    I set up a new page for the discussion of editorial decisions like this one. The short answer is that I’m not following modern Roman practice, I’m following the ’79 BCP. It allows eves for Holy Days and doesn’t mention them otherwise. I *suppose* a case could be made that since the Days of Optional Observance are all optional, one can opt to celebrate them as you will, but I think that’d be contrary to how the vast majority of the church observes them.
    What texts are you referring to when you say “a preponderance of evidence” regarding II Vespers for Sarum Simples?
    —–
    I’ll grant that you are not basing your decision on modern Roman practice, but you are in this case conforming to it. I would hold, however that the 79 BCP allows eves for feasts rather than Holy Days, and does not specifically distinguish between Greater and Lesser ones. All these eves (Greater and Lesser feasts) are, in the same rubric, optional, but I do not really believe that I am alone in observing them, and frankly I have never seen any data as to how the vast majority of the church does pray the office (if in fact there is a vast majority that does observe it). Whilw I have no problem with your including the Sunday Collect (and Antiphon) on feasts,
    I don’t know of anyone (my sample however is small) that uses that option. Again, I can always find my choices somewhere, but I prefer to find them all in one place, and I’m too lazy to set up and not sure I can commit the time to maintain, my own web site!
    As to texts, Palmer’s version of the general rubrics suggests that simple feasts ordinarily had only a first evensong, but the Customary of Pie (Frere, Use of Sarum – online) implies that many if not all Simples did have both Vespers unless one were impeded. I may have missed something, but I don’t believe I ever found the practice of beginning a Simple feast at the chapter of Vespers in Sarum, though it was Roman practice.

  2. October 10, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Fr. Loring,

    I can’t grant your first point. The direction on p. 158 states (retaining capitalization): “The Collect appointed for any Sunday or other Feast may be used at the evening service the day before.” The Calendar section only uses the term “Feast” in relation to categories 1 through 3. Days of Optional Observance or not given this title and thus, a strict, formal reading of the BCP rubrics don’t allow for the Eve of a Day of Optional Observance.

    I’m looking into the question of Sarum Simples.

  3. William Loring
    December 14, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Sometimes I gripe too much, so this time a simple thank you for following the full English sequence of “O” antiphons.

  4. William Loring
    January 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I noticed last night that you used the alternate psalm (118) instead of 59-60 without any indication that you had changed your practice — I looked back and could not find that you had done this before. Fortunately I know the lectionary well enough to catch this and have access to another online Psalter so no real harm was done, but, as you have probably guessed I’m an old curmudgeon who wants at least the option of dashing children against stones!

  5. William Loring
    January 29, 2012 at 4:07 am

    I’ve noticed this in the past, and it is still happening: Psalm 55 breaks after verse one, adding the Gloria and with the antiphon option the antiphon after the gloria, and then starts with verse 2 as a second psalm (with antiphon also). If memory serves Psalm 55 comes up again on the Sat. after Lent I so there’s some time to check the script.

    PS. When did Aquinas get to be a bishop (or as the antiphon puts it, ‘high priest’)?

    • January 29, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Fr. Loring,

      Psalm 55 is fixed. You’re right about Aquinas–its rare in the West to have a Confessor Doctor Not-Bishop. I’ll have to look into that.

  6. William Loring
    February 2, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Another antiphon query: I was going to ask where you got tonight’s antiphons, but I actually figured that out; I’m still wondering how they got into the office for Candlemas?

    • February 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      By error… I reloaded the Sundays and Holy Days table earlier in the week to put in the Lent daily collects and it reintroduced an antiphon displacement error. It’s fixed now.

  7. William Loring
    February 5, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Ain’t computers wonderful!

  8. William Loring
    February 9, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Please give us back the complete Psalter in the ‘Lectionary’ preference! If you want to also make the alternatives available for the wimps that can’t take the idea of reducing God’s enemies (or ours) to dung heaps on the ground, that’s fine with me, but don’t make us go hunting for the full Psalter — If I wanted to do that I’d go back to Mission St. Claire!

  9. William Loring
    March 1, 2012 at 5:35 am

    I repeat my request of Feb 9; please give us the complete Psalter in the ‘Lectionary’ preference (i.e. 59 & 60 for Thursday night rather than 19 & 46 which we’ll read in a couple of weeks anyway).

  10. William Loring
    March 5, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Derek Olsen :
    Hi Fr. Loring,
    Psalm 55 is fixed. You’re right about Aquinas–its rare in the West to have a Confessor Doctor Not-Bishop. I’ll have to look into that.

    Not really all that rare, I can think of two more without checking the calendar: Jerome and the breviary’s patron, Bede.

  11. William Loring
    April 3, 2012 at 4:27 am

    I know many older (pre-Vatican II) breviaries — but never the BCP — omit Gloria Patri for the Triduum, but I can’t remember one that omits throughout the week. Do you know, or remember, something that I don’t?

    Another issue: the Tridentine books are post (not pre) Reformation; they draw on older material but are fairly substantially revised.

  12. Glen
    April 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Could you possibly make the Canticle Tables from Galley’s from The Prayer Book Office and OHC’s Monastic Breviary?

  13. Glen
    April 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Sorry for the sloppiness of the previous comment.

  14. April 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Glen,
    The Table in Galley’s PBO is exactly the same as the one on pp. 144-145 in the BCP. Thus, you’re using that one when you select the “Canticle Table from the BCP”

    The OHC is a bit more difficult as they have canticles that are not included in the prayer book. Because A Monastic Breviary is under copyright, I have to reconstruct the canticles from the N/RSV and KJV, rather than just copying them from there. Too, I have to program in the difference between the weeks as canticles alternate between weeks 1 and 2. None of this is terribly difficult, of course, it just means it’ll take me a little bit to get it in.

  15. Glen
    April 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks so much for the reply, Derek! I was under the impression that Galley recommended using the Benedictus as the second canticle in MP every day, so I gathered that he had a separate table (I haven’t been able to lay my hands on a copy). I ask because I’m trying to maintain two readings for EP while avoiding the use the Nunc dimittis; also, I don’t really want to choose the Canticles at random. Any ideas?

  16. William Loring
    June 24, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Much as I should like to observe John Baptist on his own day [and yes there is a loophole in the rubrics that sort of allows it] it would put me out of sync with my parish (I am retired and not the Rector), and most others in the USA — the C of E had more sense than to suppress major feasts in favor of minor Sundays, but alas out liturgical poobahs did not. (I was a reader for the commission and managed to change their minds on a few things, but not that one.) So where do we go for the Sunday readings?

    • June 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      Yes, there’s a tension there in the rubrics. It gives permission to observe Holy Days that fall on Sundays in green seasons. My preference is always to leave the feast on its proper day. I’ll take a look at my precedence/.transference mechanism and see how hard it would be to create an option for across-the-board transference.

      • William Loring
        June 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm

        As I said, I prefer your option but also fee that I should conform to my parishes usage. I note incidentally that while you labeled Saturday night as the Eve of John Baptist you used the ferial psalms and readings rather than the festal ones — you might want to check that part of the template for the future.

  17. William Loring
    July 22, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    We discussed this on John the Baptist also. As I said then I really wish that the Lit Comm had actually called for major feasts to take precedence over ordinary Sundays as the C of E did; but since my parish, like most of the ones I know, follows the basic BCP Calendar with its tables of precedence, I usually feel that I need to do the same; so can we find an option for the Sunday Office too?

  18. William Loring
    August 25, 2012 at 3:03 am

    Just curious on this one: In MP you rotate the Collects for Mission but in EP you (nearly) always use the first one; is there a particular reason?

    • August 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      If I recall correctly, it’s because one of these gets recycled at Compline so I did an arrangement related to that. I’ll check the code on that, but I’m pretty sure that’s why.

  19. William Loring
    August 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Yes, the second mission collect is an optional additional prayer at compline, but it should be a fairly simple matter not to assign it to both offices on the same day (If I understand the basics of your script it assigns these prayers by day of the week).

  20. November 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Derek, I did a search here and at heiligweorc, and didn’t see what I was looking for. I’m Benedictine myself, and know how deep is the tradition of Psalm 95 in the morning. However, BCP provides Psalm 100 as an alternate. By the same token, I’m aware of the roots of Suffrages A and it’s connection with Psalm 51 in the morning; but I find I miss Suffrages B, both in the morning, and especially in the evening.

    Blessed Marion of Sewanee taught what was really a six day cycle in the morning (Monday through Saturday) with the expectation that the Eucharist would take the place of the morning office on Sunday. So, Psalm 95 was M-W-F, and Psalm 100 was T-R-Sa. In those seasons when one might want to use Psalm 95 in full it fell on the traditional Wednesday and Friday “watch days.” The same held true for Suffrages: A on M-W-F, and B on T-R-Sa. My own practice, then, was to do the opposite in the evening: B on M-W-F (so as not to repeat from the morning) and A on T-R-Sa (when in the morning I’d read Psalm 100).

    I just hadn’t seen your thoughts on these things.

  21. William Loring
    December 8, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Now that HWHM provides commons for additional feasts of the EBVM, how about giving us an option for the Conception? If it is in a different Calendar Option I apologize for raising this question, but I simply didn’t feel up to going through them all,

  22. William Loring
    December 24, 2012 at 1:24 am

    I was interested to note that your use of “pre-Reformation Tridentine” antiphons — in the preferences explanation. While I prefer Sarum (and fortunately have both the Frere (Latin) and Palmer (English) editions as well as access to the online http://www.sarum-chant.ca/home version; I really wonder where you managed to find any pre-Reformation Tridentine material at all since all Tridentine material is by definition post-Reformation.

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