Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Editions of the Divine Office Online

Rather frequently I am asked the question, "I don't have a breviary but would like to try pray it. Where can I recite the divine office for free online?" This has come up again in recent weeks.

The answer to that question is that you can get it in quite a number of places depending on the medium you hope to use and which version of the Divine Office you are speaking of.

The advantage of these online editions of the Divine Office, of course, is that they are an easy, unintimidating way for people to get started into the Office, both for the reason that they require no initial outlay of money to try it out, and also because they take one through the Office without having to first learn how the Office is structured; you just read along. (These online editions are also useful for situations where having the actual books is impractical, or where they are quite simply not at your disposal.)

That said, one will ideally want to get the books and learn the structure of the Office of course, but even then, these online editions will still serve the neophyte as a useful reference as you learn how to follow your breviary.

Now, with all that said, let us look at some of what is out there. (And please note, I am not suggesting I have gone through each of these with a fine tooth comb, but this might serve as a starting point for your search for what is right for you.)

1. - Monastic and Older Roman Breviary

This particular site is rather interesting insofar as it gives a number of options as to the particular form of breviary. What I would highlight, however, is that one can come here to pray either the Monastic breviary or the older Roman breviary -- and it is usable from any web browser. (I've only just now noticed that it also has an interesting "compare" feature.). The texts are available in Latin, English or Hungarian. Site:

2. - Post-Conciliar Liturgy of the Hours

For those who wish to pray from the modern Liturgy of the Hours, seems to have some good options from what I can see, both explaining how to setup an actual breviary for a particular day and office, while also giving the full text of the particular Office itself for those who would simply wish to pray online. The text appears to be available in English only -- at least on the website. Site: (Various versions are also available for iPhone, iPad, Droid, etc. but at a cost.)

3. - Post-Conciliar Liturgy of the Hours

Universalis follows the modern Liturgy of the Hours in what appears at a quick glance to be the English translation used within Great Britain. Site:

4. Breviarium Meum - Older Roman Breviary

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate have released this free iPhone app which will allow you to follow along and pray the older Roman breviary on your iPhone. It is available in Latin with the ability to turn on a parallel translation in English. For more on the app, read the WDTPRS review recently done. Site:

5. - Post-Conciliar Liturgy of the Hours

One of the most widely publicized ventures in making the Divine Office digitally available is iBreviary created by Fr. Paolo Padrini. There are versions for smartphones as well as a web-based version, iBreviaryWeb. Site:

7. Liturgia Horarum - Post-Conciliar Latin Edition of the Liturgy of the Hours

For those who want to recite the Liturgia Horarum (2003 edition) in Latin, this is it. You have a choice of menus in English or Spanish. Site:

8. - Post Conciliar Latin-French Edition of the Liturgy of the Hours

Latin and French of the modern Roman Liturgy of the Hours with a parallel French translation. Site:

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