The Roman Breviary
The Catholic Divine Office Online

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The Traditional Holy Mass and Divine Office are the highest forms of Prayer.
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The Roman Breviary Online!


The Breviary Online

The Breviary is the book that contains the texts of the Divine Office, the highest form of prayer of the Church after the Mass itself.  It is usually published as a four-volume set, each of which covers one of the four seasons of the year.  Each volume contains the various parts of the Divine Office, entirely in Latin, and divided up according to its content.  In order to recite the Divine Office from these volumes, it was necessary to go through a long period of training, usually accomplished by a young priest during his seminary formation.  Extensive knowledge was required of a very complex set of "rubrics" or instructions, which were also published in Latin.  The average lay person had always been excluded from this highest form of prayer, not deliberately, but simply because of his lack of knowledge of Latin and of the rubrics.

This is the 21st century, and all that has now changed.  In 2001, the nascent Guild of St. Peter ad Vincula first published the Breviary online in Latin and English and according to the usual Breviary format, divided up into its many component parts.  The new website was immediately successful, as the laity was introduced to the riches of the Divine Office, and was able to enjoy the many fruits that came from a devout and attentive reading.   Extensive instructions were added to show readers how to find their way around the Breviary, and thus for the first time in the Church's history, the average layman was able to access the many benefits of the Divine Office.

And yet, something was missing.  Despite our efforts to provide comprehensive online instructions, it was still a time-consuming and frustrating process to find one's way among the many separate elements of the Divine Office.  And so in 2009 we started providing the Breviary online in a new easy-to-read format.  Now, it was finally possible to read the daily Divine Office from beginning to end, with each of the Hours of the Office available on a single page.  This opened up the Breviary to entire populations of faithful, who no longer needed any knowledge whatsoever of the rubrics,  but could simply open up the relevant webpage and read it from start to finish.

Over the years, we have embellished the Breviary Online by providing thousands of images illustrating the texts and readings and lives of the saints.  Also included are hundreds of professionally recorded musical renditions of many of the components of the Divine Office, some in Latin and some in English.  All these additions have raised the Breviary Online to an aesthetic level unsurpassed in the history of the Church, and one which cannot fail to uplift the soul and inspire the reader's thoughts, words and deeds.

The Guild of St Peter ad Vincula looks forward to providing you, our readers, with an enriching and inspirational supplement to your prayer life.  The chief aim of the Guild's prayers is the restoration of the true faith and worship to the Church, and we hope that you will join with us in praying the traditional Divine Office, that more and more people may see its value and work for its return.

This website seeks to provide you with all the information you need to get started.

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Core Features and Benefits!

  • Fully Traditional - Pre-dates modernist reforms of 1950s and 60s.
  • Easy-to-use Format - No previous liturgical knowledge required.
  • Side-by-side Columns in Latin and English - Traditional-style English translations.
  • Thousands of Images - Traditional Artwork and Photography.
  • Hundreds of Hours of Liturgical Music - Sung by the Monks and Nuns of Europe and the Cathedral Choirs of England.
  • Includes Little Office of Our Lady, Office of the Dead, the Roman Martyrology, and much more.
  • Includes the text and propers of Holy Mass for each day of the year.
  • Pray the Office from any Computer, Tablet or Smart Phone with Internet connection.

 

Liturgical Bookstore

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Confraternity Books:

Our online bookstore contains traditional Catholic literature of all kinds,
including a wealth of liturgical books and books about the Mass and Divine Office.

Liturgical Calendars
 

Traditional wall calendars with all you need to follow the Church's year. Color pictures of some of most beautiful Churches of France.  The calendar itself is color coded for easy reference each day.

Liturgical Books
 

Our Missals,  Office and Chant books are guaranteed to follow the traditional Catholic rubrics, pre-dating the liturgical reforms of the 1950s and 60s.

How To Say The Breviary
 

If you have a four-volume set of the Roman Breviary and have a hard time finding your way around, this detailed instruction manual will help you become a liturgical expert in no time.

Commentaries on the Divine Office
 

Various authors have written about the Breviary and the liturgy in general, and we have assembled a variety of works that will enable you to understand the history and meaning of the Divine Office.

Meditations on the Divine Office
 

Our wide-ranging collection of meditations based on the liturgy is sure to have something that will suit your individual spirituality.  Learn how to not just read the Breviary, but pray it!

The Liturgical Year
 

This monumental 15-volume set by Dom Prosper Gueranger is an excellent commentary and source of meditation on the Church's seasonal cycle of feasts .

Recommended Books

 
2018 CALENDAR

Hurry while stocks last! A truly superior traditional calendar, containing all the liturgical information you need to follow the Church's Year. Full color photographic images of some of the most beautiful churches of France.>>

 
DAILY BREVIARY MEDITATIONS

Traditional meditations on the scriptural readings from Matins, written by the Most Rev. Joseph Angrisani, and arranged according to the daily lessons of the Roman Breviary.>>

 
HOW TO SAY THE BREVIARY

Based on the popular manual by Fr. Bernard Hausmann, S.J., the Guild of St. Peter ad Vincula has re-arranged and illustrated this series of instructions, providing the reader with an easy but comprehensive reference to the rubrics of the Divine Office.>>

Liturgical Year

ADVENT

The Penitential Season of Advent prepares us for the Nativity of Christ.  It is a penitential season, and violet vestments are worn at Mass and the Divine Office.  Advent begins on Advent Sunday and ends on Christmas Eve, a period of about four weeks that reflect the four thousand years between the fall of Adam and the birth of the Messiah.

SAPIENTIATIDE

The last week of Advent, starting on December 17 and ending on the day before Christmas Eve.  During this period, the Office of Vespers is sung with greater solemnity with the Great O Antiphons spelling out the imminent approach of the Messiah.  The Ember Days of Sapientiatide are observed in the week following Gaudete Sunday, the 3rd Sunday in Advent.

 

CHRISTMASTIDE

The twelve days of Christmas, or Yuletide, traditionally lasts until the Vigil of Epiphany, known as Twelfth Night.  However, Christmastide actually extends well beyond Epiphany and is concluded by the joyful feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin on February 2.

 

EPIPHANYTIDE

Epiphanytide is really a continuation of the Christmas season, and is kept until Alleluia Saturday, the day before Septuagesima Sunday.  The period after the Octave of Epiphany reverts to green vestments for the Office of the Season, as we transition from the joyful Christmas cycle into the Easter Cycle, with its sombre beginnings in Shrovetide, Lent and Passiontide.

 

SHROVETIDE

Shrovetide is a period of preparation for the Great Fast of Lent.  The joyful sound of the Alleluia is removed from the liturgy, and the vestments for the Office of the Season are the penitential color of violet.  It is a relatively short season, lasting only two weeks and two days, with the names of the Sundays reflecting the approach of Easter--Septuagesima (70), Sexagesima (60), and Quinquagesima (50).  The season ends on Shrove Tuesday, on which the faithful are encouraged to confess their sins in preparation for the following day of Ash Wednesday.

 

LENT

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, with the imposition of ashes on the foreheads of the faithful, a reminder that we are dust and unto dust we shall return.  The first four weeks of Lent are devoted to the themes of penance, prayer, and alms-giving.  The Latin name for Lent is Quadragesima (40) which reflects the time spent by our Lord who himself fasted forty days and forty nights in the wilderness.  The Ember Days of Quadragesima are observed in the week following Quadragesima Sunday, the 1st Sunday in Lent.  Every day of Lent has its own proper Mass, and at Matins, a Homily is read on the Gospel of the day.

 

PASSIONTIDE

The last two weeks of Lent are called Passiontide, and our focus shifts now to the Passion and Death of our Lord.  The second Sunday of Passiontide is called Palm Sunday and introduces us into the most solemn of all liturgical weeks, Holy Week.  The liturgy loses some of its joyful prayers during this time, and on the last three days of Passiontide, the Sacred Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, the stark nature of the Divine Office is completely different from the rest of the year.

 

EASTERTIDE

With an explosion of joy on the morning of Holy Saturday, the Easter Vigil welcomes the Resurrection of our Lord.  The Alleluia and other joyful prayers return to the Mass and Divine Office, and indeed are sung with greater abundance than the rest of the year.  This season, which is also known as Paschaltide, extends for the same duration as the forty days of Lent, and ends with the Vigil of the Ascension.

 

ROGATIONTIDE

The last four days of Eastertide are also known as Rogationtide, on which we call down God's blessings on the new crops, with processions and litanies.  Rogationtide begins on Rogation Sunday, which is the 5th Sunday after Easter, and ends on the Vigil of the Ascension.

 

ASCENSIONTIDE

Forty days after our Lord's Resurrection, Ascension Thursday celebrates the end of that great period of history during which the Lord God dwelled amongst his people.  It is a bitter-sweet time, during which we join our prayers with those of the Apostles, invoking God to send us his Holy Spirit.  Ascensiontide is only nine days long, and ends on the Vigil of Pentecost.

 

WHITSUNTIDE

Whitsuntide refers to the Octave of Pentecost.  Like Easter, Whitsunday has a similar but shorter vigil at which prophecies are read and the baptismal font is blessed again.  Pentecost is the second greatest feast of the Church's year, after Easter, as we commemorate the official birthday of the Catholic Church.  The octave has a proper Mass each day.  The color of the vestments at the Mass and Office is red, commemorating the tongues of fire that descended on the heads of the Apostles.

 

TRINITYTIDE

Extending from Trinity Sunday until Advent, Trinitytide is the longest of the liturgical seasons.  The color of the vestments is green, and the season recalls the teachings and miracles of our Lord's three-year ministry.  The Divine Office maintains the theme of the Holy Trinity during this season, with many of the texts in praise of the Triune God.  In the ancient church, the Sundays were numbered "after Trinity", a practice continued today by the Dominicans.  According to Roman custom, we number our Sundays "after Pentecost".  The mood of Trinitytide darkens as we move into November, the month of the Holy Souls, and focus on the four last things, Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell.

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