Revised Liturgy of the Hours News

Monica on June 22nd, 2018 | 26 comments

Dear Community,

In text below, which belongs to website you will find useful information on the progress that has been made concerning the next round of translations for the next English-language edition of the Liturgy of the Hours: “Liturgy of the Hours: Proper of Time.”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Fort Lauderdale, FL, June 13-14. Among their agenda items were two liturgical entries: first on texts relative to liturgical celebrations for St. Mary Magdalene, St. John XXIII, and St. John Paul II, and, second, on the next round of translations for the next English-language edition of the Liturgy of the Hours. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta and Chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, presented the items to the body of bishops on June 13. A transcript of the presentation and discussion about the Liturgy of the Hours, minimally edited for clarity, follows. The entire discussion can be viewed on-demand at the USCCB website,

Archbishop Wilton Gregory: Dear brothers, you have before you an action item from the Committee on Divine Worship, the “Liturgy of the Hours: Proper of Time.” As you know, in 2012 we approved a scope of work that outlined a plan for producing a new edition of the Breviary. That plan is starting to come to fruition. We’ve already approved components of that book, namely, new translations of the Psalter and the Canticles that are at the heart of the Liturgy of the Hours. Meanwhile, ICEL [International Commission on English in the Liturgy] has been busy working on new translations of the non-scriptural parts of the Breviary, and we have the chance to review and comment on the early drafts of this material. ICEL has now finalized several groups of texts for a new edition of the Breviary, and the Committee on Divine Worship is bringing them forward for the vote of the full body of bishops.

Your documentation contains translations of most of the Benedictus and Magnificat antiphons and the intercessions for the seasons of the liturgical year. Future votes will focus on other material, such as the hymns, the Proper of Saints, and the Commons. We anticipate that all the voting might be completed by 2020 at the earliest. The bishops of the Committee on Divine Worship feel that the translations are more precise than the texts we are currently using, and also that ICEL has done a very fine job of making them conducive to recitation and chanting. The action item is amendable and approval of this text requires an affirmative vote by two-thirds of the members of the Latin Church members of the USCCB and subsequent confirmatio of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Archbishop Gregory then took questions about the action item from the floor.

Bishop Donald Trautman (retired Bishop of Erie, PA): I do not rise to question any of the translations, but I was wondering if the committee will take up a more basic question, the present format of the Breviary. I contend that the present format of our Breviary is intended for monks, for monasteries, and that parish priests are unable to carry out this format. Parish priests need a prayer book, but the present texts do not help them in their spiritual life. We should have a rewriting, I think, of the book of readings. So, I’m asking a more basic question: will the committee take up the present format of the breviary and give parish priests a Breviary they can use?

Archbishop Gregory: Your Excellency, I think this touches on one of the [main] issues, namely, that the Holy See asks us to issue books that conform to the Latin editio typica. It’s certainly possible that, after we have approved the official texts, we or another agency could put together, based on the approved texts, a more parish priest friendly edition [of the Breviary]. But I think right now we’re obliged to translate and put things in the order that the Roman editio typica has laid out. We can modify, and sometimes that has happened, those texts once they are officially recognized.

Bishop Robert Baker (Bishop of Birmingham, AL): Just following Bishop Trautman’s comments, I think there is a validity to what he asks. My question would be on the hymns. I know you’re going to revise those, and I just wonder if there is possible input on that ahead of time. In other words, what are we going to put in place of those [present] hymns? I think that might be problematic for diocesan priests.

Archbishop Gregory: Bishop, we will be sending in a future transmission the hymnody that has been laid out. We are also working on an appendix of hymns that might be available at the back of the Breviary. But we committed ourselves to using the hymns that are in the Latin texts [i.e., in the Latin typical edition], but we are also looking at additional hymns that we could use as part of an appendix.

The Latin Church members of the USCCB would vote the next day 175-6-2 in favor of the ICEL Gray Book translation of the Liturgy of the Hours: Proper of Time for use in the dioceses of the United States.[1]

[1] Source:

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission by Surgeworks, Inc for the Divine Office Catholic Ministry. website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2019 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

26 thoughts on “Revised Liturgy of the Hours News

  1. Thank you so much, Sister Valerie, and all of you who have been praying. He has so many mental issues, and it’s an ongoing thing. He’s in another hospital now. He’s so confused, and confusion is of the devil. That confusion creates such waste out of such good, and I’m so tired of watching that happen to his life. Please pray that I will have wisdom to know what to do for him because I really don’t know what to do.

    • Sue ~
      Rest assured of my prayers for your dear son.May Our Lord give you the strength necessary to endure this troublesome time. Call on your guardian angel as well as your son’s angel
      for help.

  2. As a lay person, I have never known much about the history of the LOH. I realize that there were several small Divine Offices – of the BVM, etc that I guess were popular with some laity ages past. I first became a user of the divine office during the interim version that was only one book and I believe it was called the Prayer of Christians (not to the confused with the current one volume – Christian Prayer).

    Thank the previous poster who gave link for older versions of the office. I went through a 1st hour and noticed that it was longer. I looked over the 2nd hour (MP) and noticed it was also longer.

    I have been able to pray the LOH much more faithfully with the help of this DIVINE OFFICE MINISTRY. It has all the work done — I understand how to pray with the 4 volumes but why would anyone use those anymore with this ministry available. No ribbons needed with this ministry. Buy a tablet or whatever. I pray it either on desktop, tablet or smartphone.

    We are a small Christian Community and have prayed Inv, MP and EP for over 10 years. Most recently we have added Night Prayer since we no longer add our own form of NP to the EP.

    I’m a bit disappointed to hear that the ICEL is making revisions to the 4 volume. I personally had a hard time with the changes in the Mass of 3-4 years ago. Mainly because we all knew that the Mass of Paul VI wasn’t a good translation of the latin. It was obvious in the Confidetor. I was upset because it took the church over 40 years to admit it was a bad translation and I feel that it was translated poorly because they made the English version say what they wanted it to say – to heck with faithfulness to the Latin.

    Oh, well, I’m extremely thankful to the Divine Office Ministry which has helped me tremendously so that I have been able to make the Divine Office Inv, MP, EP and NP a daily part of my prayer life.

    • Messiha Brothers :- when you mentioned OLH did you mean Our Lady of Hope. ? I began that few years ago as a tribute to Mother Mary for the Souls in Purgatory. Encouraging people to recite the Rosary faithfully daily. I pray it daily from Lourdes in France I enjoy reciting it in French, MESSIHA BROTHER what name are you called that we can continue to speak and pray for each other. Bless your Community Fr. Gill

  3. I have not been able to open the Invitatory. I can only start with the Office of Reading and the Morning pryer. Have something changed or is there a problem with the podcast.

    Peace be with you

  4. I would invest significant money in books that were truly user-friendly. I know that would require a LOT of duplication, but I honestly would prefer a 12-volume set where every day I could just open the volume containing that day and see every word, in order, from the first word of the invitatory to the last word of compline.. Imagine having LOTH books that only needed one ribbon! I suppose I would be ok if the hymns were in a different book…

  5. I am an old Deacon and have been using this present breviary for over 25 years. Has any of these bishops ask the priests and deacons what they think? I suggest that they ask others, not just their “yes-men” Priests and Deacons Sounds like a make work ;project to me.
    Deacon Mike
    Diocese of Phoenix

  6. In reading the excerpts from the Bishop’s Conference, the question on the Breviary that the priests use, is more suitable for monks in monasteries, rather than for diocesan or parish priests, had me wondering a little. The present form of the Breviary has been in use for centuries, hasn’t it? Then why are the Bishops taking issue with it now?

    • If I recall history correctly, the current form of the Liturgy of the hours has been in use since after Vatican II council. The Divine office is a work which has evolved over time. The form we now use is simplified from what was prayed in the middle ages. Catholic worship is it seems always a work in progress, always changing and evolving. May it always bring us closer to our great God. Blessings, Deacon Justin.

    • June,

      I dont want to undermine Monica and this website as she and it are faithful as possible to the Litugy as currently structured, however the Divine Office (DO), like much of the intent and results of Vat 2, radically changed the DO and many think for the worse. In fact, many would argue that like the Mass itself, the DO was “inorganically” changed and reduced without reason or just cause, but I digress.

      The Old Rite DO can be found here in it’s mother tongue, Latin, and its vulgar language, English:

      As can be seen with just a week or so of praying the old office and comparing it to the same days and time of day to the new office, the old is deeper and contains the more sacrificial selections of pslams and scripture. And, Monks, Diocesan Priest and Laity alike prayed essentally the same Liturgy for centuries despite its length and time requirements.

      I do praise the Coucil for its encouragement of the Laity to pray the DO in it documents, but in my opinion it removed and revised past what may have been needed to accomidate Diocesan Clergy that were only being enriched by the DO that had been thier obligation for more than a millennia.

      Vive Christus Rex!

  7. Will you need volunteers for inputting the newer prayers? If so, please know that I would be happy to help in any way. You have so blessed us with this ministry and it will be a labor intensive initiative. Thank you again.

    • I would be happy to help with the input of the new prayers as well. I realize it probably won’t be for a while yet, but do keep me in mind.

  8. Thanks very much, Monica. Please keep us posted. I intend to purchase the new one-volume Christian Prayer as soon as it is available. Also, once the new translations are available to, I hope that they might be included with our unceasing prayers.

  9. Thank you for keeping us informed Monica. I do hope that this and your copyright issues begin to clear up soon.

    I do wish those at The Bishop’s we’re going to be using the different version than The New American Bible. If the purpose of retranslating the Liturgy of the Hours is be more precise, then I think a more precise translation of the Bible would be in order too. Something like the New Revised Version, 2nd Catholic edition.

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Liturgy of the Hours for January 18