- Series: Divine Office
- Leather Bound: 1984 pages
- Publisher: Collins; Har/Bklt R edition (July 3, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007210892
- ISBN-13: 978-0007210893
- Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 2 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Divine Office Volume 1 Leather Bound – July 3, 2006
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The backbone of the office (all three volumes) is the four-week psalter, combined with the office of readings. The Office also comes with a very rich selection of readings, prayers and intercessions for the propers of seasons (i.e Advent, Lent, Easter) and also for the Propers of Saints. This edition of the office also comes with some very handy aids, such as the General Instruction for use issued by Pope Paul VI, an index to the Psalms used in the office, and a beautiful selection of hymns at the back.
The office contains a veritable feast of material for all kinds of prayer, which is enhanced by the office of readings taken from the Fathers, Doctors and Saints of the church.
There are few drawbacks about the Office, the main ones being its formidable complexity and considerable expense. A sensible recommendation is to get one of the simpler forms of the office (such as 'Christian Daily Prayer) or pray using an online version before you leap into the full three-volume edition. This is extremely expensive and also takes a while to get used to. However, the Office represents a magnificent treasury of prayed theology and spirituality that is only surpassed by the Roman Missal and the Mass in importance. The Office represents a wonderful way of praying and as the Benedictine tradition rightly emphasizes, nothing should come before the 'Work of God.' However, the Office can be easily adapted to many forms of Christian spirituality and even can appeal to non-Catholics.
I would also recommend purchasing a companion volume such as 'An Introduction to the Divine Office' by John Brook. Brook, who converted from evangelical Christianity after using the office, gives an excellent overview of the Office and its value as a form of universal prayer for whole church. Ron Rolheiser's excellent articles on the office should also be read if you plan to purchase these volumes.
What is the same?
-The psalms are the Grail Psalms.
-This is a 2006 reprint of the first 1975 edition. Thus, the calendar is 1975 just like the LOH.
What is different?
-Some Hymns are different.
-The Bible translation is New Jerusalem not New American Bible (NAB)
-Second readings are translated differently than the ICEL LOH.
-Antiphons are translated differently.
-Responsory are translated differently.
-Intercessions translated differently.
-Concluding prayers translated differently.
-Canticle, Psalm cards translated differently.
Additional material, different poems, hymns, saint calendars for UK countries. Book is leather covered cardboard, so sometimes it is described as hardcover and leather both are correct. Fine white paper, ribbons, black and red type, easy to read.
The LOH is translated to reach more people with a lower comprehension level (6th grade?) verses the Divine Office (10-11th grade?). Therefore, the words have more depth: "showed himself" verses "manifested himself." Excellent book set about the same price as the LOH leather edition, well worth buying for private recitation.
The translation is very nice, with a bit more linguistic flair than the US LOH, but it is hardly any more difficult to read, which makes me wonder why the different translations exist in the first place. It still uses the Grail Psalms, so that's no different, but the intercessions, antiphions, collects, and so forth are all slightly different. The scripture readings also use a variety of translations instead of just the one.
Overall I think this is a really nice translation of the Office. I have been using a more complex version called the Monastic Diurnal for a few years, and was looking for something simpler, and I seem to have found it, even if the book is five times thicker (and in three volumes instead of one.) I will use this book in my private recitation for years to come.