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What Is the Breviary Online?

The Official Prayer of the Church

Next to the Holy Mass, the Divine Office (or Breviary) is the most important prayer offered to God. It is offered by the Church and, in the name of the Church, conferring multifold graces and blessings on those who recite it worthily, attentively, and devoutly. Normally the domain of priests and religious, the Church has continued to recommend her official prayer to the faithful. However, until now, the complexity of the rubrics and a lack of suitable translations have deterred many.

Now Accessible to the Layman

With the help of modern technology, it has become easier to overcome the problems of complexity and accessibility. The result is the Roman Breviary published online in Latin and English by the Guild of St. Peter ad Vincula. No knowledge of the liturgy is required. All you have to do is click on the feast day, and then on the Canonical Hour, you want to say. 

The rest is just like reading a book—everything is laid out for you in order according to the rubrics of the day. No more flicking through the ribboned sections of a weighty volume. No more apprehension that you are forgetting some obscure rubric. Every Hour of the Office is laid out in its entirety, in order, every day.

Learn More About the Breviary

If you want to deepen your knowledge of the Breviary and would like to make the Church's official prayer a part of your own daily prayer life, this website is intended to provide you with all the help you need to get started. Here you will find a short history of the Breviary, instructions on when to recite which Hours, a brief commentary on the psalms, and much more. And for those who would really like to understand the rubrics in greater depth, we provide in our bookstore a detailed electronic manual entitled How to Say the Breviary. We hope to expand this website regularly with more information, so check back frequently. And may God reward your prayers by bestowing on you all those spiritual favors that come from a devout reading of the Church's Divine Office.

Easy Format

Maybe you already have a hardcopy edition of the Roman Breviary and are wondering what possible advantage it would be to pray the Office online instead of from a traditional book. One major benefit we provide is that absolutely no prior knowledge of the rubrics is required to recite the Office, and there is no frantic sorting out of ribbons, and no lengthy searches for the next words. Instead, each Hour is provided in its entirety on a single page. This is not only a time-saver for priests and religious who use our site but actually makes the Divine Office accessible to the average layman for the first time in the history of the Church.

Chant and Polyphony

Another major advantage of our online edition of the Breviary is the availability of music at the touch of a button. No matter where you are in your daily Office, you will find examples of traditional plainchant and polyphony in both Latin and English, sung by the monks and nuns of Europe and the great cathedral choirs of English, to uplift your spirit as you pray. 

Traditional English

We have used many sources for our English translation of the Breviary. Our aim has been to preserve the aesthetic beauty of the ancient English texts while maintaining at the same time, the accuracy of the Church's official translations. We hope the result will elevate your mind and soul as you read the Office.

Artwork and Photos

Our website contains literally thousands of images, mostly paintings by great masters and photographs of locations pertaining to the associated text. The inclusion of images is one of the greatest advantages of our online Breviary over the limitations of a hardcopy edition, and we hope it will help your understanding, enjoyment, and, most of all, spiritual insight into the text of the Divine Office.

Latin and English

The texts of the Online Breviary are provided in a parallel two-column format, with the original Latin text on the left and the English on the right. This is convenient for priests who might like to confirm now and again the meaning of a complex Latin phrase, and laymen will also find the Latin column a useful reference when attending the Divine Office in the choir.

Works on All Devices

Almost all the features of the Breviary Online function correctly on all computers, tablets, and smartphones that have access to the Internet. You should have no problem accessing the benefits of our website no matter what your operating system, browser, screen size, or device.