Rorate Caeli

Reminder & Review: the Baronius Press Latin-English Breviary is back in print

The Baronius Press edition of the Breviary of 1961, the only Latin-English edition of it to be produced since 1970, is back in print. While based in its form on the 1963 Collegeville Latin-English Breviary, this edition is by no means a mere “reprint”, since the the scriptural translations were remade. 

Of greater interest to our readers would be the Baronius Breviary's use of the traditional Vulgate (Gallican) Psalter of St. Jerome rather than the “Bea Psalter” briefly in vogue in the 1950’s and used in the Collegeville edition. This reflects the current consensus of the Traditional Catholic movement about the greater sonority and usefulness of the Vulgate Psalter, and its irreplaceable value due to the immemorial lived tradition of singing the Psalms from it. The translations of the Psalms have been revised for this edition, ensuring both readability and a high level of linguistic elegance.

The first 1,000 or so pages in each of the three volumes are largely the same, containing the Propers and Commons needed for the Divine Office regardless of the time of year. While adding to the overall bulk of the complete set (which has more than 6,000 pages all in all) this allows anyone who wishes to say the Breviary to have to carry around only the appropriate volume for the time of year.

The publication of this Breviary brings to the fore an aspect of Summorum Pontificum that is far less known than the liberty it gave to the Traditional Latin Mass. We refer here to the permission granted to all clerics of the Latin Rite to satisfy their obligation to “say their Office” by saying the Roman Breviary of 1961. The Breviary is therefore not restricted to those who already know Latin. The fulfillment of the traditional Office is of course limited to its typical text - but, with its English and Latin text, the Baronius edition can be a crucial step in allowing for the gradual but continuous promotion of the Breviarium among the clergy.

We hope that the demand for this Breviary will reflect the large interest in praying the traditional Divine Office. The costs of preparing and producing such large liturgical works is substantial and it will be an important sign of the vitality of the traditional Roman liturgical tradition in the English speaking world should such a work remain in print.


Note: As always regarding our reviews, Rorate (or this poster personally) has neither asked for, nor received, compensation from Baronius Press for this review-reminder.