19 March 2009

A letter to the publisher of BDP

Dear Liturgical Press:

I very much appreciate your publication of Benedictine Daily Prayer: A Short Breviary, and as a Benedictine oblate, I find it very useful in keeping my promise to pray the Divine Office. My question: Are there plans to publish an updated or possibly expanded edition of Benedictine Daily Prayer and/or make available an ordo or guide to using BDP?

I know that the Short Breviaries published by you in earlier decades were at least at one point available in an expanded edition that included all 150 psalms; I think there would be many people interested in a complete-psalter edition. I believe this could be done by adding more weeks of Vigils psalms.

There's a real opportunity to make the BDP an ideal resource for Benedictine oblates and others who wish to pray according to the Rule of Benedict, and indeed I just read about a professed Benedictine monk who uses the BDP as his travel breviary; I'm sure there are quite a few Benedictine monks and nuns who do this.

So I'm writing to request a second edition of the BDP featuring:

1. A complete psalter achieved by adding weeks of Vigils psalms, perhaps making a total of four weeks that could be used as a four-week cycle at Vigils or could be doubled up as a two-week cycle of two-nocturn Vigils, with the second nocturn of psalms being prayed between the two readings.

2. More guidance for what to pray from the BDP each day, in the form of an ordo (could be a Web page or available for download).

3. Correction of typographical errors and omissions.

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy this very useful prayer resource, and I thank you for publishing it.


John said...

Yes, yes. Well done. I wrote to them last year just on the need for a companion guide to the BDP. Your letter looks at the much bigger and better way for Liturgical Press to take the very needed next step with this excellent book.

Scott said...

Dear Scott,

Thanks for your interest in the BDP and for your suggestions for making it even better.

The very short answer to your question, in the short term, is “no,” but we are studying various options and will add your voice to the recommendations we have received from other users.

The following link is to a brief orientation to BDP on our website: http://www.litpress.org/bdp.html which you may be familiar with already. We have discussed adding or providing an ordo before, but it is tricky to do so as we do not offer the full four-week Psalter in the BDP. To make the full four Psalter is a possibility but requires quite an effort and possibly turning it into a two-volume product which may lessen its appeal to many.

I hope this helps.


Hans Christoffersen
Editorial Director
Liturgical Press

Charles said...

I have emailed a bit with Dr. Maxwell Johnson, the primary editor of BDP. My primary suggestion to him was to provide more traditional translations of the canticles (particularly the Te Deum, Venite, Benedictus, and Magnificat). The translations offered in the BDP feel a bit trite when one is used to praying the Office from the 1979 BCP, or even the post-Vatican II Liturgy of the Hours.