Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Does the Anglican Breviary contain all the historic daily offices?
A. Yes, the Breviary contains the full services of Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline for every day of the year in one volume.
Q. What language is used in the Anglican Breviary?
A. Traditional, “Elizabethan” English.
Q. What Kalendar does the Anglican Breviary use?
A. The Roman Catholic Kalendar in effect in 1955.
Q. How does the Anglican Breviary relate to the Roman Breviary?
A. The Anglican Breviary is a direct translation of the pre-Vatican II Roman Breviary, “put into English in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer.”
Q. What does that mean?
A. That there is almost a negligible difference. The Psalms and scriptural readings are from the Book of Common Prayer and King James Bible. The Sunday Collects and those for major feast days are from the Book of Common Prayer as well. Propers are given for one or two particularly Anglican feasts. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, an Anglican essay on Our Lady’s spotlessness is substituted for the Papal Bull.
Q. How else does the Anglican Breviary differ from the Roman?
A. The Anglican Breviary also provides elements from other western Rites or Uses. For example, the Roman Breviary contains no distinct Common for the feast of a Doctor. Since other western Uses of the Divine Office do have this material, the Anglican Breviary includes it.
Q. Does the Anglican Breviary differ in any other way from the pre-Vatican II Roman Breviary?
A. No. Many Roman Catholics use the Anglican Breviary, finding its translation better than those few English translations of the old Roman Breviary. In addition, many Roman Catholics enjoy having elements from other western Catholic Uses (such as the Dominican, or Sarum) in the Divine Office.
Q. Has the Anglican Breviary been officially approved by the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Church?
A. Not officially. However, certain priests of the Roman Catholic Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter have recommended the Anglican Breviary to their laity as an acceptable form of the Divine Office. In addition, the western rite of the Antiochian Orthodox Church uses the Anglican Breviary as well. While the Anglican Breviary probably shouldn’t be used for public recitation of the Office in Roman Catholic churches without the permission of the bishop, it should be perfectly fine for private devotions since it contains nothing contrary to the Catholic Faith.
Q. How does the Anglican Breviary differ from the Monastic Diurnal?
A. As its name implies, the Monastic Diurnal contains only the “diurnal,” or “day” offices. The Anglican Breviary contains all eight historic offices, including those traditional said at night. Only the Anglican Breviary contains the full Divine Office in complete form.