For the production of liturgical books only the best has been considered good enough. Therefore no costs and efforts were
spared in order to publish these beautiful and precious books. Following this tradition, we are very happy to present an edition
of the breviary that fulfills our high expectations and standards.
We can say that our edition of the breviary finally incorporates all that could or should have been included in any edition in
the year 1962, but which were not by any publishers at the time. A Vulgate edition of the 1962 breviary did not appear then
mostly because of the expectation that the psalter to be used ought to be the new one translated for Pope Pius XII (the so-called
“pian psalter”). We include:

  • intelligent and user-friendly divisions and organisation of the various sections of the breviary,
  • use of the traditional Vulgate psalm translation,
  • according to the rubrics of Bl. Pope John XXIII,
  • the traditional two columns for text,
  • premium quality illustrations and vignettes,
  • the most important litanies and blessings of the Rituale Romanum, found in the appendix next to commonly said prayers,
  • a set of 8 separate prayer cards (two of which are folded, with four pages each) and
  • innumerable minor details which have been adjusted in order to alleviate strain or fatique while using the volumes.

When you click on a thumbnail picture you will be able to download a pdf-file with several sample pages to illustrate the accompanying text.

How the text is arranged

All the texts for this edition have been prepared completely new and checked and double-checked several times for any possible errors. And even after this careful internal inspection within our own publishing house, the whole text was examined at least three more times, sometimes up to five or even six times by outside experts.

The organisation of the breviary texts follows the classical order:
- at first is the Proprium de Tempore, (the Proper of the Seasons) followed by the Ordinarium (the Ordinary), the Psalterium (the weekly Psalter) and the Proprium Sanctorum (the Proper of the Saints).
- Before the Appendix is found the Commune Sanctorum (the Common of the Saints)

The numbering of the pages is constant and consistent throughout the entire breviary. Only the sections containing the Commune and the Appendix have their own sequence of page numbers.

Structure of the breviary

The fundamental idea of breviary and therefore the most important goal of a publisher is to design and structure all the text and the prayers that have to be said over the entire Church year within two easy-to-handle volumes, with the volumes both as thin as possible and as comprehensive as necessary. A breviary is well structured if the texts are arranged in a user-friendly manner.

So we followed the excellent practice, in this new edition, of placing the many recurring texts, not in the Proprium de Tempore, but in their correct place in the Psalterium itself. You can notice this with such texts as the Invitatory, the seasonal hymns and most of all with the antiphons. Doing this eliminates unnecessary page flipping or browsing back and forth between the Proprium de Tempore and the current day of the Psalterium. For example, you would not need to turn to the feast of Epiphany just to find the one antiphon that is to be used. This indeed is a major accomplishment that every user will value and never want to do without again.

Fonts and Settings

It took several days just to create the font for this edition. Some letters required in a Latin breviary had to be designed because they were missing in modern font collections. Then all letters were revised and improved until there was a harmony in its appearance.

Old breviaries often tried to put as much text on each page as possible. In contrast, here we value a well arranged and balanced layout. For example, on every page appear at the most two different font sizes (both in text and rubrics), with clear spaces between different parts of the text. These, along with other details, are effective in alleviating eye strain.

Another feature that benefits the eyes is the line spacing. After experimenting, a spacing was chosen that is a bit larger than what was commonly found in older editions of liturgical books. Furthermore, attention has been given to justification of the text (evenly filling the lines with text). This further enhances the harmony of the typeface.

Illustrations and vignettes

In order to decorate the volumes, 33 illustrations and several vignettes have been added to the pages.

These vignettes mark the beginnings of not only the Psalterium and the Proprium Sanctorum, but the beginning of major chapters or important feasts a well, within the Proprium de Tempore or Commune Sanctorum.

The illustrations and vignettes were engravings used in various breviaries or missals since the end of the 19th century until the 1940's. They have been overhauled, improved and enhanced, an elaborate and time-consuming process, but well worth the effort for the overall positive enhancement of the books.

Appendix and Indices

In the Appendix, we find not only the common prayers ‘before’ and ‘after’ the Mass, but the various prayers, the Preces diversae and the most important litanies. Next to the Itinerarium (the blessing for travellers) and the Benedictio mensae (grace at table) there will be in addition some fundamental blessings from the Rituale Romanum, e.g. for a crucifix, holy pictures, rosaries, etc. At the very end of each volume are found the so-called Formulae brevissimae.

At the end of the Appendix of each volume there are comprehensive and clearly arranged Indices (hymns, feasts, psalms by first line or by its number, etc.), that make it easy to locate any part of the breviary.

Prayer cards, the Invitatory Ps. 94, etc.

A big help for the user is that commonly used texts are easily accessible. This edition has a few pages of heavier paper both at the beginning and the end of both volumes, where you find these texts.

The breviary comes with an unusually large number of separate prayer cards (eight in total). This includes two folded double cards.

On some of these are the same texts as on the special front and back pages, such as the Te Deum, Psalm 94 (the Invitatory psalm), the Benedictus, the Magnificat, the final Antiphons of Mary. Besides these, you will find
- Psalmi ad Laudes pro festis (Feastday psalms for Lauds).
- Absolutiones in Officio trium vel novem lectionum,
- Antiphons and Orations for the Easter octav,
- the so called O-Antiphons for the Advent and
- the Orationes for the sundays after Pentecostes.

The front and back pages of the book, as well as these prayer cards, make it easier to access these texts, without laborious browsing through the Proprium de Tempore. Thus helping protect its thin pages and making it more durable.

So the cards last, they are laminated on both sides. The corners are even rounded to match the rounded edges of the book itself.

Special details

This edition includes a liturgical calendar (Tabella temporaria, known as the table of movable feasts) until A.D. 2047.

Those who use the breviary will notice much that will benefit them, to minimize fatigue, unnecessary page turning, searching, eye strain. Another example is when a psalm ends at the bottom of a page, there is a mark indicating that the Gloria Patri is needed. (You don't need to turn the page to determine that). There is also a footnote that no Gloria Patri is said during the Sacred Triduum.