What turned out to be a gremlin in the Router has kept me silent for over a week (the posts between Xtmass and Jan2 were already published with a post-dated dates). The blog's technical officer, like any decent civilised Christian man, had gone off to a Foreign Capital for the week, to enjoy the opera ballet museums Art Galleries Restaurants (O utinam); so not till today did we get a Man in to sort matters. (We also asked him to sort the irritating slowness which seems to have developed; but, if anything, it's now slower!). So I'll do the outstanding emails etc over the next few days. And I have not been able to give my views on a liturgical question which is at the moment the great talking point among Anglican Catholic Bishops and priests (notice that, following a peremptory instruction from the Apostolic Administrator, I no longer use the phrase 'Catholic Anglican').
Liturgia Horarum or Breviarium Romanum? To be honest, I hedge. The LH has advantages. It was a brilliant idea to make the Office of Readings something that could be flexibly disposed of at any time of day (the General Instruction actually allows it after Vespers of the day before); and so to make it less of a burden to those who are not required by monastic discipline to rise in the middle of the night. And I always felt that Prime cluttered up the start of the day for a secular priest, suitable though it is for the monastic way of life. And Terce, Sext, and None were always difficult for those with a mobile lifestyle. Breviaries, even if small enough to cram into a pocket, are quite a weight to lug around (I would have liked the Vatican II revisers to provide an even more simplified form of the Middle Hour, so that it could be a wafer-thin booklet that would not weigh down any pocket). The plain fact is that the old office never worked for the secular priest. This is shown by the fact that, de facto, he said it in amalgamated lumps, without any regard to the Authenticity of Time. And if you belonged to the right priestly associations, you even had faculties to say Lauds at midday the day before. The Office was regarded as a Legal Obligation To Be Fulfilled and not at all as the sanctifying of each hour by its proper Liturgy. Vatican II taught us that it should be both.
But LH has its difficulties. The main problem is the usual one: the Bugninides were never content to go for a minimalist organic evolution and improvement of what we inherited. Once they felt the wind in their sails, like all Committee-liturgists (they're just as bad in the C of E, where the chief Fiddler and Tinkerer has been Bubbles Stancliffe, soi disant Bishop of Salisbury) they couldn't stop just cramming in all the 'good ideas' that everybody round the table dreamed up. So the psalms at Lauds and Vespers were reduced from five to two; contrary to the immemorial tradition of the Roman Rite, 'New Testament Canticles' were crammed in; those dreadful 1960s-style intercessions were confected.
I use the LH, but for Vespers on Sundays and Festivals, I say the BR. That is one service which survived almost unchanged the redistribution of the psalter under Pius X. For he it is that presaged the liturgical attitudes of Bugnini and Co; Urban VIII with his classicisation of the texts of the hymns being the first villain. As I have often said in previous posts, the impetus for this approach to liturgy was the invention of printing, which made it possible for any liturgical innovator, whether Cranmer or Pope Urban, to impose radical novelties, his own Good Ideas, overnight. 1962 Sunday Vespers is the only surviving Office in an authorised form of the Roman Rite which S Benedict or Augustine, Anselm, Lanfranc, or Pole or S Edmund Campion, would comfortably recognise.
So, illogical and messy though it is, that's what I do.