Rorate Caeli

Divino Afflatu centennial - II:
comparing the Psalter orders before and after St.Pius X

In this second commemorative post on the first centennial of Divino Afflatu, of Pope Saint Pius X, on the reform of liturgical rubrics and the alteration of the order of the Psalter in the Roman Breviary, we take a closer look at the latter.

The changes in the order of the psalter were, by far, the most noticeable consequence of Divino Afflatu. For the first time in centuries, the order of psalms of most hours was changed - and the holy Pope explained why:

Even at present the psalter should be recited in its entirety within the week were it not that owing to the changed condition of things such recitation is frequently hindered. ... More than once serious complaints have been made by prudent and pious men about this omission, on the ground that owing to it those in sacred orders have been deprived of so many admirable aids for praising the Lord and expressing the inmost feelings of the soul, and that it has left them without that desirable variety in praying so highly necessary for our weakness in supplicating worthily, attentively, and devoutly.
...


No wonder, then, that a great many bishops in various parts of the world have sent expressions of their opinions on this matter to the Apostolic See, and especially in the Vatican Council when they asked, among other things, that the ancient custom of reciting the whole psalter within the week might be restored as far as possible, but in such a way that the burden should not be made any heavier for the clergy, whose labors in the vineyard of the sacred ministry are now increased owing to the diminution in the number of laborers. ...

In fulfillment of the charge entrusted to them they elaborated a new arrangement of the psalter, and this having been approved by the cardinals of H.R.C. belonging to the Congregation of Sacred Rites, we have ratified it as being in entire harmony with our own mind, in all things, that is, as regards the order and partition of the psalms, the antiphons, versicles, hymns with their rubrics and rules, and we have ordered an authentic edition of it to be set up in our Vatican printing press and then published.

Based on the good work done by a well-known website, Rorate composed the following table, comparing the two orders of the psalter of the Breviarium Romanum.

Some changes are immediately noticeable. The limitation of the traditional psalms for Compline only to Sunday (and the feasts in which Sunday Compline is recited) and the recitation of Psalm 118 in the minor hours also only on Sunday opened up wide spaces for the better allocation of the great numbers of psalms which were before piled up in Matins.

The rubrical changes, which limited considerably the supersession of the psalms of each day by the festive psalms of feasts, octaves, and vigils, allowed, for the first time in centuries, for a regular recitation of the entire psalter each week by those bound to the recitation of the Divine Office.

In the table below, then, the psalter of an ordinary week (and first order for Lauds - remembering, though, that, in the centuries immediately preceding Divino Afflatu, the recitation of the psalms proper to each day of the week could be quite rare):

 

1568
S. Pii V
1911
S. Pii X
Dominica
Matutinum
94
I: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
II: 15, 16, 17
III: 18, 19, 20
94
I: 1, 2, 3
II: 8, 9a, 9b
III: 9c, 9d, 10
Laudes
92, 99, 62+66, Dan, 148+149+150
92, 99, 62, Daniel, 148
Prima
53, 117, 118a, 118b
117, 118a, 118b
Tertia
118c, 118d, 118e
118c, 118d, 118e
Sexta
118f, 118g, 118h
118e, 118g, 118h
Nona
118i, 118j, 118k
118i, 118j, 118k
Vesperae
109, 110, 111, 112, 113
109, 110, 111, 112, 113
Completorium
4, 30 (1-6), 90, 133
4, 90, 133
Feria secunda
Matutinum
94
26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37
94
I: 13, 14, 16
II: 17a, 17b, 17c
III: 19, 20, 29
Laudes
50, 5, 62+66, Is, 148+149+150
46, 5, 28, David, 116
Prima
53, 23, 118a, 118b
23, 18a, 18b
Tertia
118c, 118d, 118e
26a. 26b, 27
Sexta
118f, 118g, 118h
30a, 30b, 30c
Nona
118i, 118j, 118k
31, 32, 32b
Vesperae
114, 115, 116, 119, 120
114, 115, 119, 120, 121
Completorium
4, 30 (1-6), 90, 133
6, 7a, 7b
Feria tertia
Matutinum
94
38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51
94
I: 34a, 34b, 34c
II: 36a, 36b, 36c
III: 37a, 37b, 38
Laudes
50, 42, 62+66, Ezech, 148+149+150
95, 42, 66, Tobit, 134
Prima
53, 24, 118a, 118b
24a, 24b, 24c
Tertia
118c, 118d, 118e
39a, 39b, 39c
Sexta
118f, 118g, 118h
40, 41a, 41b
Nona
118i, 118j, 118k
43a, 43b, 43c
Vesperae
121, 122, 123, 124, 125
122, 123, 124, 125, 126
Completorium
4, 30 (1-6), 90, 133
11, 12, 15
Feria quarta
Matutinum
94
52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 65, 67
94
I: 44a, 44b,. 45
II: 47, 48a, 48b
III: 49a, 49b, 50
Laudes
50, 64, 62+66, Anna, 148+149+150
96, 64, 100, Judith, 145
Prima
53, 25, 118a, 118b
25, 51, 52
Tertia
118c, 118d, 118e
53, 54a, 54b
Sexta
118f, 118g, 118h
55, 56, 57
Nona
118i, 118j, 118k
58a, 58b, 59
Vesperae
126, 127, 128, 129, 130
127, 128, 129, 130, 131
Completorium
4, 30 (1-6), 90, 133
33a, 33b, 60
Feria quinta
Matutinum
94
68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79
94
I: 61, 65a, 65b
II: 67a, 67b, 67c
III: 68a, 68b, 68c
Laudes
50, 89, 62+66, Moses, 148+149+150
97, 89, 35, Jeremias, 146
Prima
53, 22, 118a, 118b
22, 71a, 71b
Tertia
118c, 118d, 118e
72a, 72b, 72c
Sexta
118f, 118g, 118h
73a, 73b, 73c
Nona
118i, 118j, 118k
74, 75a, 75b
Vesperae
131, 133, 134, 135, 136
132, 135a, 135b, 136, 137
Completorium
4, 30 (1-6), 90, 133
68, 70a, 70b
Feria sexta
Matutinum
94
80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 93, 95, 96
94
I: 77a, 77b, 77c
II: 77d, 77e, 77f
III: 78, 80, 82
Laudes
50, 142, 62+66, Habac, 148+149+150
98, 142, 84, Is (45), 147
Prima
53, 21, 118a, 118b
21a, 21b, 21c
Tertia
118c, 118d, 118e
79a, 79b, 81
Sexta
118f, 118g, 118h
83a, 83b, 86
Nona
118i, 118j, 118k
88a, 88b, 88c
Vesperae
137, 138, 139, 140, 141
138a, 138b, 139, 140, 141
Completorium
4, 30 (1-6), 90, 133
76a, 76b, 85
Sabbato
Matutinum
94
97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108
94
I: 104a, 104b, 104c
II: 105a, 105b, 105c
III: 106a, 106b, 106c
Laudes
50, 91, 62+66, Moses, 148+149+150
149, 91, 63,Ecclus, 150
Prima
53, 118a, 118b
93a, 93b, 107
Tertia
118c, 118d, 118e
101a, 101b, 101c
Sexta
118f, 118g, 118h
103a, 103b, 103c
Nona
118i, 118j, 118k
108a, 108b, 108c
Vesperae
143, 144, 145, 146, 147
143a, 143b, 144a, 144b, 144c
Completorium
4, 30 (1-6), 90, 133
87, 102a, 102b

17 comments:

Brian said...

"The changes in the order of the psalter were, by far, the most noticeable consequence of Divino Afflatu."

Only for those saying the Breviary. The most noticeable change would have been the sight of green vestments for Mass on most Sundays rather than red or white.

New Catholic said...

It is certainly the most visible, Brian - another reason to celebrate Divino Afflatu and the rubrical changes made at its behest. The most noticeable, in the sense of being worthy of notice, is almost certainly the psalter order change.

David said...

The reason the entire psalter was frequently not said was that the psalter "of the day" would often be superseded by a "festal" psalter. The only true solution to that problem was to reduce the number of feasts which had a festal psalter. Which was done.

However the additional change of the psalter arrangement had nothing to do with this, strictly speaking. The new arrangement merely reduced the length of the office for a given day. (as is shown in the table above)

These two changes ought to be evaluated separately. The recitation of the complete psalter could have been accomplished without changing the arrangement --- as Pope St. Pius V did in 1568.

A Sinner said...

Not to make myself "my own Pope," but there were some things about the 1911 Psalter I think were good, and others I think were bad.

Specifically, limiting the endless repetition of the 118-divisi at the Little Hours and shortening Matins for the secular clergy seem good to me. (Making the psalter "free-floating" rather than being constantly superceded by the festal psalms was of course the best part of the reforms).

But there was NO reason to touch Vespers AT ALL. THAT would probably be my biggest complaint: keep your hands off Vespers!!

In close second-place in terms of bad elements would probably be the utterly inelegant and artificial-seeming and needlessly complicating existence of "Lauds 1" and "Lauds 2."

There wasn't really any need to touch Compline or Lauds at all either, frankly. Getting rid of SOME repetition, okay, but to slavishly adhere to a principal of virtually NO repetition strikes me as untraditional given how much there was previously.

Also, Matins probably should have kept the ancient number of Twelve even if it became divisi rather than whole psalms (and even if the weird 18-on-Sunday thing were done away with).

To this end I created my own "more moderate" proposal of how the psalter could have been reformed:

http://www.mediafire.com/?gdyj2imzy1y

Basically all it involves is clearing the Little Hours of 118 on weekdays, and then dividing the Matins psalms into their divisi (using the Pius X divisions; a few are "put back together" into just one psalm, however).

I also then added the new "Lauds 2" canticles to Prime instead (so that Prime would have 4 things in a manner "balancing" its partner Compline), and strove to keep as many of the Matins psalms as possible at least on the same WEEKDAY (even if now at the Little Hours instead of Matins) as they were prior to the reform.

A Sinner said...

I would also like to point out how expansive (and unexplained) the changes to the Antiphonary were.

I was very surprised to learn originally that the antiphons of the psalter were butchered and confused in an entirely arbitrary seeming way under Pius X, with little or no explanation; so I did a little research and made some charts comparing.

Pre-1911, there were 141 unique antiphons in the psalter. Post-1911, there were 220. Yet, when compared, only 62 antiphons are recognizably the same between the two sets; and even then, several are of those changed by expanding them, adding words, or removing words or clauses.

And many of the overlapping ones are just the ones for the special seasons (Advent, Lent, Passiontide), not the per annum ferias.

So there were 79 antiphons unique to the pre-1911 Breviary that were simply lost, and 158 unique to the post-1911 Breviary that were simply introduced to the liturgy with no explanation as to their origin. This should be re-examined!

Where the old music went or where the new music came from for these antiphons...is even more mysterious. In total, between the two psalters, you can find 299 unique antiphons (just in the psalter; not counting Propers and Commons, which thankfully didn't change).

All this massive change disturbs me. I've seen the Pius X changes deconstructed and critiqued, but the massive changes to the psalter antiphons (which in the chanted Office form a significant part, hence the "Antiphonale")...I've never seen discussed.

The traditional Roman antiphonary seems quite destroyed by 1911. The Invitatories for the various days of the week were switched around a bit too, randomly, as are a few versicles.

I suspect it may have something to do with Solesmes and the manuscripts they were using for their musicology during the chant "restoration."

There was, of course, the Ratisbon antiphonale in three volumes from the late 19th-century, which could be consulted to see the old melodies for these old texts, but they are very rare books, and anyway would not be restored according to Solesmes, which changed the chant in such a way that many melodies were interpreted very differently anyway (NLM had an article about this with "Simile Est" as an example in 2008).

Though I'd tend to agree with most people that this musicological restoration by Solesmes was for the better, I wonder if this really necessitated such huge changes to the Roman Antiphonary in terms of TEXT itself.

Here are some charts:

An inventory of antiphons pre-1911:

http://www.mediafire.com/?n2mzmrjzycn

A chart of those antiphons pre-1911:

http://www.mediafire.com/?m0dbn2nhnnn

An inventory of antiphons post-1911:

http://www.mediafire.com/?u2jdmyyr0ml

A chart of those antiphons post-1911:

http://www.mediafire.com/?ymm2yiq2rgz

A chart comparing the antiphons unique to pre-1911, unique to post-1911, the ones that overlap between the two, and on which days they fell:

http://www.mediafire.com/?v0vjuxuj0ym

Tripudians said...

I recommend the analysis of this change by the late prof. Laszlo Dobszay as found in the 3rd chapter of this book:

http://musicasacra.com/pdf/dobszay-bugnini.pdf

Of course, the rest of it is also verz much worth reading.

Ryan Ellis said...

Because no one seemed to take the bait, let me be more clear what I am getting at:

Many, many "rad trads" in the Catholic blogosphere proudly proclaim themselves to be what I would term "1954 people"--people who prefer the Roman Rite before the early Bugnini changes to Holy Week and the Office.

Yet this completely ignores that the biggest change to the Roman Rite in the 20th century (besides the Novus Ordo) was the re-ordering of the psalms in Divino Afflatu. Bigger than the 1955 Holy Week changes. Bigger than the transitional rubrics of the 1960s.

Yet these same people have no problem praying their "debased" psalters while declaring themselves exempt from the dirtiness of 20th century liturgical degradation. What gives?

Call me Ishmael said...

Ryan Ellis:

They do not say that they are free of any 20th century changes, but those of the destructive Vatican II era. They do not believe St. Pius X changes were "destructive" at all, and are fine with it.

What you did is called a "strawman" argument. It means you build up a case that doesn't exist and attack it (all of 20th century) instead of what is true (Vatican II).

New Catholic said...

Thank you.

Please, send all your suggestions to Pope Saint Pius X.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Ryan. The rad trads you rip in here and on your Blog are deserving of better from you.

If you are really worth your salt, you will try and display a bit of compassion for those who have fought the good fight and have been well-wounded in their souls fighting for Tradition.

It was not so long ago that everything - every damn thing - appeared to be evaporating before their eyes.

Sobieski said...

"I don't begrudge the Church her right to alter liturgical books. Others that do tend to live in a glass house with their breviaries, is my main point."

As I've mentioned before, I don't have an extensive background in Catholic liturgy and its history, so I am finding this discussion enlightening. I wasn't aware of issues concerning changes made to the Office under St. Pius X. That said, I am failing to see Mr. Ellis's argument. It seems to me that the charge is that traditional Catholics are being hypocritical. If one is against the principle of change in liturgy per se, then having questions about the new Mass while adhering to the 1911 breviary might indeed be hypocritical. But it seems to me this is not an apples-to-apples comparison. However infelicitous the changes to the Psalter arrangement may have been in 1911, it seems to me that traditional Catholics are not only concerned about the diminishing, removal or rearrangement of items in the post-Vatican II liturgy, but also about the seeming changes in both the theology of the Mass and Catholic praxis since that time. (Something this website details often.) There has been a change in theological emphasis and praxis in the Church since Vatican II, a seeming rupture. St. Thomas was marginalized, for example, and churchmen embraced other types of theology despite the overwhelming endorsement of St. Thomas by previous popes and councils. One need look no further than the writings of Cdl. Ratzinger himself (with all due respect), now Pope Benedict XVI, the same pope who said Gaudiem et Spes is a "counter-syllabus." The new Mass seems at best based on a defective or at least inferior principle, namely that of accommodation to the modern world and heretics, rather than Catholic tradition and faith for its own sake. In addition, we have a deemphasis on the ministerial priesthood in practice if not in fact, and a new emphasis on the Mass as a supper (vs. a sacrifice). There have also been unprecedented novelties put in place like the use of female altar servers, communion in the hand (as practiced today), removal of the use of Latin and traditional sacred music, interreligious prayer gatherings with representatives from non-Christian religions, etc. The list could go on. I think traditional Catholics are concerned about these items as much if not more than merely liturgical change. So in sum, I think one could consistently use the 1911 breviary, recognizing its possible deficiencies, while having problems with the NO Mass to the extent of not wanting to attend. Change in liturgical practice is probably legitimate, but the question is what kind of change? Did the changes made under St. Pius X result from or in radical changes in Catholic theology? What about Vatican II and its consequent liturgical changes? In defense of traditional Catholics, it seems to me that one could argue that changes made in the former case were unfortunate, while holding that changes in the latter were much more deleterious or problematic. Alternately, one might also argue that the principle of change was applied legitimately in one case and infelicitously in another because the abuse of a legitimate principle in certain situations does not prevent its use in others (i.e., as when St. Pius X changed the breviary).

Sobieski

Alex Ferrara said...

Sancte Pie, ora pro nobis. Also pray that the only custom of the traditional Office which was observed by Our Lord Himself in the synagogue, the daily singing of the Laudate psalms, be restored to general use in this very year, the centenary of its abolition.

New Catholic said...

If you are a layman, just use the Breviarium Monasticum, and you can get your measure of Laudate to the brim... And, if you are bound to the uses of the Roman Rite, just pray them out of the Office: you know, it is not forbidden to pray even the entire psalter every single day...

NC

Stephen said...

New Catholic, you've yet to address the use of Papal power and authority in rolling out all the Bugnini changes to the liturgy, in spite of the constant stream of content you post that reveals its impact. Don't have the intellectual stomach for it?

New Catholic said...

So, you set the tone of what we should write and/or of how we should think?... The gall!

Jordanes551 said...

Stephen, please cease your unwelcome and prohibited repeated attempts to take almost every opportunity to introduce your anti-Petrine, anti-Catholic Eastern Orthodox propaganda here. I've seen you play that game at the weblog of Father Zuhlsdorf, and we're not interested in playing along. You apparently have nothing else to contribute here except for comments in which you seek to undermine faith in the divinely-revealed doctrines of papal primacy and papal infallibility. Since that is the case, you really should not bother commenting here at all.

Tracy Hummel said...

I'm sure many of you have read Dom Alcuin Reid's The Organic Development of the Liturgy: The Principles of Liturgical Reform and Their Relation to the Twentieth-Century Liturgical Movement Prior to the Second Vatican Council. He discusses this question of the Pian reform of the Breviary but what I found surprising and disturbing was his mention, en passant, that St. Pius X was also looking into changes to the liturgy of the mass. Does anyone know exactly what he had in mind at the time? The bigger issue here is the debate over to what extent the popes have the authority to make substantial changes to the liturgy at all. Is there any documentation of the changes Pius X contemplated?