Sunday Vespers with the Dominicans
The complete and official Evening Office for the Four Sundays of the Psalter sung by Schola at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. Produced and recorded by the Immaculate Conception chapter.
Available at the National Shrine Bookstore (1-800-333-4411) or from the Dominican Bookstore.
The Liturgy of the Hours is published in several versions. The simplest is the Shorter Christian Prayer, which includes the four week Psalter for the morning and evening office and the Compline prayers. If you are new to praying the office, this may be for you. The Shorter Christian Prayer is inexpensive and simpler to use than other versions. It includes the “hinges” of the daily Office and some may find that this is the only version they ever need.
The next is the one volume Christian Prayer. It includes all that included in the Shorter Christian Prayer and many – but not all – of the Office of Readings.
The Liturgy of the Hours is a four volume set that includes all the hours and all the readings.
The bookstore at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception always has a complete stock of the various editions as well as the indispensable St. Joseph Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours, an inexpensive booklet that lists the readings and page numbers for each day of the year. The Shrine Bookstore is located across the street from the Dominican House of Studies. Call Lee at 202-526-1287 or toll free at 1-800-333-4411 and they can ship your purchase to you, if you are not in the area.
The Vatican Council for Social Communications approved an iphone/smart phone application that brings the daily office to your cell phone. Versions are available for iPhones, Blackberrys, Androids and other platforms. iBreviary was created by Italian priest Fr Paolo Padrini.
Newcomers to the breviary will appreciate the simplicity of the application. The daily office is downloaded as a whole in a beautiful, easy to read presentation and you needn’t be concerned about all the page flipping required in the bound versions.
This is a wonderful introduction to the office and even those experienced will appreciate the portability of the application. I especially like being able to read the office at work without having to pull out my bound breviary.
Finally, the application is free versus the hundred plus dollars for the 4 volume bound set.
DivineOffice.Org and Divine Office App
Another wonderful resource is http://divineoffice.org/. You can visit this site to find not only the approved texts for the Office of the day, but audio recordings of the office as well. If you’re new to the Liturgy of the hours, this would be a good place to start.
The organization also offers the Divine Office App for iPhones, Androids and other smart phones. It includes texts and audio files for the office, including chants and music. The office was originally done in chant, sort of a call and response format. If you can’t sing the office in community, this is the next best thing.This app has become my morning commute companion. Currently priced at $14.95.
If you don’t own either a bound copy of the Liturgy of the Hours or a smart phone, it may be reasonable to buy the Shorter Christian Prayer instead of the 4 volume set, and use the money saved to buy a smart phone and get one of the breviary apps.