Tuesday, 22 March 2011


...I beleue in Jhesu Cryste
Which suffred deth and harrowed hell
As I have herde myne olders tell.

It was my 23rd birthday on Wednesday last, and apart from indulging some worldly pleasures, I came into possession of a Diurnal on Sunday - a real one too, so I can finally recite the Divine Office according to the Roman Rite without making deference to the authority of Pius X to turn 1500 years of Tradition on its head by tearing the Psalter apart. I was too busy on Sunday to properly go through it, but spent a good deal of time studying it yesterday. It is from 1882, and therefore has Leo XIII's Votive Offices, but suffice to say, unlike lazy Roman clergy, I won't be bothering with any of that. I must say that I had good fun today reciting Vespers for the first time in my life before Noon, and it worked out quite well for me as I spent the afternoon with some girlfriends.

You know I think I have found the pearl of great price? I have found liturgical orthodoxy and reckoned for myself a healthy equilibrium for the decent ordering of my life. I have known the bishop of Rome, and now safely reject and repudiate everything he says and does with the uttermost disdain. I've stopped reading most blogs, and even bothering overmuch with this one. I shall go to the grave with my liturgical convictions, but perhaps thinking less about them will make me happier, or a better person. At any rate I shall devote the rest of Lententide to the reciting of Divine Office, reading Tolkien and trying to perfect my Latin. These things seem worthier than ranting on the Internet.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.


  1. Wonderful, Patrick. Getting that Diurnal is the best thing you could have done! The Office stills the soul. I've been praying in my Monastic Diurnal published by St. Michael's Abbey Press (Farnborough). It was my birthday present to myself a couple of years ago.

  2. I am glad you have finally found a Diurnal which is to your liking, but until you tell me that you recite the entire pre-1911 Divine Office (including Mattins) every day digne, attente ac devote, and that you manage to combine this with (a) full time secular job or (b) a full time clerical appointment involving the cure of souls, I shall continue to treat your assertions about the “lazy Roman clergy” with the scepticism they deserve.

    I regret to say that your rants (your own word) about the liturgy, and the ecclesiological position it has led you to, are a tragic, if salutary, warning of the dangers of deriving one’s knowledge of liturgy mainly from books and believing that the spiritual life is limited to participation in the liturgy. This is particularly unfortunate since I would agree in principle with much of what you say. Our faith does not oblige us to give real, or even notional, assent to the prudential judgements of the Roman Pontiff, and there are perfectly respectable grounds for believing that the reforms instituted by Pius X and Pius XII were based on principles which were only imperfectly understood. In fact, I would even be willing to entertain a doubt as to whether the Liturgical Movement as a whole was a good thing. But even though the liturgy may be in a fairly squalid state, there is no excuse for separating oneself from communion with the See of Rome, or for making uncharitable and libellous statements about those whose views do not coincide exactly with your own. If you do this, then no amount of liturgy, however perfect or perfectly executed will do you any good whatsoever. It certainly won’t make you a “happier or better person”.

  3. Hi Patrick,
    The Diurnal sounds interesting. Could you tell me a little more about it and where I might perhaps lay my hands on a copy? I usually recite my daily office using the Book of Common Prayer, but I am open to change (there being no canonical obligation in the Church of Ireland to say the office & therefore no regulations as to what form one must use).
    God bless,

  4. Fr Levi, my Diurnal was a present from someone for my birthday (the best I got it has to be said). I have been after a pre-1911 Breviary since 2006 but the only complete set I found was way beyond my price range. This Diurnal was bought 20 years ago for a mere £4. I would say, though, that keep a look out on abebooks or ebay.