Abbreviating the Breviary (i)

In this abbreviation of the Divine Office I am following the suggestions made by the late Prof. Laslzo Dobszay (The Restoration and Organic Development of the Roman Rite, p. 109-113). Though I have not followed his suggestions to the letter I have tried to come up with what seems to me a practical (simpler?) adaptation.

Three Forms of One Rite

Following Prof. Dobszay I also suggest that the one Roman Rite could be used in three different forms:

  1. Greater Form (Forma plenior): the original form and archetype celebrated (at least) by appointed communities.
  2. Common Form (Forma Communis): some minor concessions to the Greater Form celebrated by the majority of communities.
  3. Briefer Form (Forma breviour): some major concessions – without undoing the Roman Rite as such – celebrated by individual believers, and communities/parishes/clergy as necessity demands.

Each of these forms is the Roman Rite and does not – so Prof. Dobszay and I suggest – distort this ancient way of praying the Divine Office. One of my main concerns in all this is that it should remain clear and easy to see that the abbreviations of the Office are adaptations within the original Roman form. As Prof. Dobszay puts it: “The books should be edited so that the Greater Form appears as a point of reference (Dobszay, Restoration, p. 109).” In other words it should be obvious that there is adaptation of an existing form rather than the creation of an entirely new form never seen before (as was done in the “reforms” which resulted in the Book of Common Prayer and the Liturgy of the Hours). Eventually, though it lies beyond the purpose of this blog and perhaps beyond the possibilities of the Anglican Breviary, such an adaptation could be made of the Sarum Use for use by Catholic Anglicans.


About Father Gregory

I am an Anglican Catholic Priest, currently residing in Orvelte, the Netherlands.
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