Monday, May 9, 2011

Well, I've done it.

I traded in my old breviary for the four-volume set of the Liturgia Horarum. When I went home for Easter, my mom, brother, and I went downtown for the day, and we went into a used and out-of-print book store just to browse, originally to look at some purported early volumes of DBZ. But, on the second floor, they had the 1973 Liturgia Horarum, leatherbound, with some damage on the covers from labels having been removed. It was a steal: The whole set cost three-fourths of the price that a single volume usually goes for. My mother knew I always wanted one, so she, my brother, and I put our money together to get it. (Thanks, mom!)

I'm overjoyed with it.

First, they're small little volumes. The lent and easter volume (which is always the largest in sets of the breviary) only runs 1,779 pages. In the official English version, it runs 2,365 pages. Even the advent volume shows a significance. (And this is always the smallest in the sets.) In the first printing of the Latin edition, it only runs 1,298, while in the English edition, it runs 1,716.
Besides the good fact that they are all much smaller, and therefore, easier to bring around, they also have quite a few little things that are just helpful: The inside front cover has a little flap to hold the (Included) Cards with the festal psalms and common texts (Aperi Domine, Ps.94, Te deum, Benedictus, and Magnificat) The kalendar has the explanation of the Littera Dominicali at the front,and after the commons and before the Office of the Dead, they even have a table of commemorations.

It's also a handsome little volume. Something tells me that the designers of the Monastic Diurnal might have seen these, since they are both very similar. Unlike the ugly American edition, these volumes are actually attractive: It is bound in nice,soft leather, and like the Diurnal, the covers have been stiffened with some card to make them hardbound.They have five raise bands on the spines, with the title and volume number in gold, and on the front, the title again. The endpapers are a nice deep burgundy. The edges are plain, but I plan to have them dyed red. There are six woven ribbons sewed on. (Even though I'm not a fan of woven ribbons- the fraying is too much to bear.)

All in all, while I'll never completely give up the breviary my Dad bought me, this one does have the convenience of having all the hours, and each volume is small and compact. It also looks beautiful.

No comments: