Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Breviarium Romanum

Even after baptism, the soul of man is afflicted with three obnoxious evils, namely the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life.

Well the concupiscence of the eyes has definitely been aroused in Melancholicus since his discovery of this marvellous resource, namely a brand spanking new two-volume edition of the Breviarium Romanum — new in the sense of newly printed and bound, not in the sense of liturgically ‘renewed’, which means it’s safe for Catholics to use. It is the Johannine (1960) edition, of course.

Melancholicus already has the two-volume set of the traditional Roman Breviary given him by the FSSP on the occasion of his tonsure in October 2003, bearing the imprimatur of James Timlin, then bishop of Scranton. He has sometimes wondered if he ought not to part with it and donate it to some needy seminarist who will make more extensive use of it than Melancholicus does himself. But those two volumes are filled with such personal significance and so many memories (some of them good!) that Melancholicus cannot see himself ever returning them to their source. He will bequeathe them to his grandchildren, or if God wills that he should sire a son who will one day receive sacred ordination, he will be honoured to pass his breviary on to him. Besides, this edition is apparently now out of print, which fact makes its retention doubly desirable.

But now a new edition of this venerable liturgical book is about to be released by the German publisher Nova et Vetera. If, gentle reader, you visit their website, be warned. There are lots of pretty pictures of the new breviary and its contents and if, like Melancholicus, you have a weakness for beautifully-appointed liturgical books, you may find yourself placing an order.

At least Melancholicus has not done so himself... he will restrain the concupiscence of the eyes on this occasion, not least because the new edition costs nearly €200 and he is supposed to be saving for his wedding. His fiancée would not rejoice over such an unnecessary outlay.

H/T to Fr. Finigan, on whose blog Melancholicus first discovered this treasure.

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