Tom here survey’s the history of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary and its reformed in the 20th-century. Many think that the habit of changing the liturgy from Rome (top-down) begin in the 1960s, but there was already precedent for doing so in the Pontificates of Pope St. Pius X and Pius XII.
Excerpt in quotes
“Catholic laity and clergy involved in the preservation, restoration and cultivation of the Latin Church’s liturgical heritage have been increasingly open to critically revisiting the liturgical reforms of popes like Pius XII and St. Pius X. Despite their just reputation for being stalwarts of Catholic orthodoxy, these popes’ tinkering with the liturgy set the stage for the abstract, mechanistic and top-down view of the liturgy that has enabled the wholesale papal-postconciliar recreation of the Roman Rite between 1965 and 1971.
It is encouraging to already see at least one prelate, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan, calling for a revision of Pius X’s breviary reform, and a restoration of what the bishop called “the breviary of all ages” — or what I would less sweepingly refer to as the older Roman tradition with a significantly longer pedigree of usage.
Laypeople, clergy and religious who are devoted to the Little Office of Our Lady as a form of liturgical prayer have an opportunity to move in this direction by considering the re-adoption of these longstanding traditions, especially that of saying all three Lauds Psalms (148-150), in their daily prayer life. Let us re-plant and tend to these seeds of liturgical continuity with our past, and pray God for the increase for our posterity’s sake.”
St. Bonaventure Publications’ Little Office
Even as I continue working on a more substantial follow-up to the liturgical normalcy post and the three anecdotes I shared, I will take a more technical detour below, and return to the topic with which I first started this blog: the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary — not least because I have a strong sense that in any future restoration of liturgical normalcy in the western church, Our Lady’s Office will have some important role to play.
I own a copy of St. Bonaventure Publications’ 1999 reprint of the complete Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary as it stood in 1904 (excerpted from Fr. Francis Xavier Lasance’s Prayer-Book for Religious).
Given its original date of publication, the content and rubrics predate the beginning of the major liturgical reforms of the 20th century, which commenced with Pope Pius X’s significant overhaul…
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