Monday, March 16, 2009

Breviarium Romanum Presented to Benedict XVI

At the General Audience in St. Peter's Square last Wednesday, Benedikt Trost, the owner of nova & vetera and publisher of the new edition of the 1962 Breviarium Romanum (cf. NLM report here), had the opportunity to present the Breviary to the Holy Father.

As you can see, it was a special edition of the Breviary bound in white leather as is traditional for books being presented to the Pope. The Holy Father had some warm words and was clearly delighted by the book, as was his secretary, who commended Mr Trost for his good work.

Meanwhile, this is what Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, had to say about this edition of the Breviarium Romanum:

... My compliments to your publishing house on the extraordinary high quality of the new edition. In every detail, including the organization of the text and illustrations, the paper and printing, and the gilting and binding, you have striven to give glory to God by producing the most worthy instrument possible for use in the celebration of the Divine Office. Today, there are some who say that it is no longer possible to print books of prayer and Sacred Worship to the quality in which they were once printed. You have happily demonstrated that it is indeed possible.

By making available a new edition of the Breviarium Romanum which was in use in 1962, that is, before the reforms of the Sacred Liturgy, which followed the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, you are helping many to come to deeper knowledge of the great and living richness of the Sacred Liturgy in the Church. At the same time, the study and use of the Breviarium Romanum will foster the appreciation of the organic unity of the Sacred Liturgy, along the centuries, as the living worship of the Mystical Body of Christ. What you have accomplished is surely in accord with the direction given by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in Summorum Pontificum.

Having now had this Breviary in daily use for three months, I cannot but agree with His Excellency about the quality of this liturgical book. It is a joy to use, and features like the arrangement of the text, which e.g. conveniently has all the pars specialis of the Ordinarium repeated at the appropriate places of the Psalterium, or the prayer cards with the absolutions and benedcitions for Matins make praying it very comfortable.

It also holds up to wear very well. However, in order to make it last even longer, protective leather casings in the traditional style will soon be available, a preview of which you can see below.

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