of persons and places involved with the development, compilation and creation of short breviaries





Dom Michael Hanbury, OSB and Dom Sylvester Houedard, OSB, both of Prinknash Abbey, assisted in some of the translations of the En Calcat Benedictines' BOOK OF HOURS (English, 1955)  and OFFICE OF OUR LADY (English, 1962).  Several other Benedictines and lay persons assisted in both texts. Fr. Dominique Hermant, OSB, of En Calcat, was responsible for the preparation of the English edition of BOOK OF HOURS, and responsible for the compilation and preparation of the OFFICE OF OUR LADY.  The Abbey of En Calcat maintains its own home page, as well.




Esser and the St. Meinrad community were deeply involved in the American liturgical movement. His concern for the laybrothers prompted the opening of St. Placid Hall, a preparatory school for Brothers.  In addition, his interest in their liturgical life caused the compilation of a modified form of the Monastic Breviary in English in 1936 called DIVINE PRAISE, prepared as typed manuscript by members of the community.

In 1953, Esser ordered a complete translation of the Monastic Diurnal, minus daily "extra" commemorations and other texts which were eventually deleted from the Monastic Breviary,  and included a new translation of the Psalms by Eberhard Olinger, OSB, a monk of the Abbey, which was based on the new Psalter of Pius XII (1945) for the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.  (This Psalter, now included in the NAB - New American Bible -  is still used as part of today's official Missal texts).  The book, also called DIVINE PRAISE, was intended primarily for lay brothers, as well as some communities of Benedictine Sisters and Benedictine oblates. It also found use among several lay persons.  It was in use until the reform of the Divine Office after the Second Vatican Council.

Ignatius Esser, OSB (1890-1973)

Esser was elected Abbot of St. Meinrad's Abbey (St. Meinrad, Indiana) in 1930 and designated Archabbot in 1953.  He left this office in 1955.




St. John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota,
during the early years of A SHORT BREVIARY




  • Abbot Alcuin Deutsch, OSB, was one of the leaders of the American Liturgical Movement, and although at first hesitant about the printing of A SHORT BREVIARY at the abbey, permitted and then encouraged its production by the then young Liturgical Press. 

  • Julian Botz printed the first edition, 32 pages at a time [the complete book was 766 pages] -  (the printing equipment at the abbey was, at the time, limited in its capabilities). 

  • Claude Earls, OSB, while studying for the priesthood composed new melodies for the office hymns, and marked the psalms and canticles for chanting in Gregorian chant modes.  

  • Jerome Coller, OSB, assured the quality of the music and prepared copy for engraving and printing. Music was included in the 3rd edition. 

  • Paschal Botz, OSB was the first editor, and, with  William G. Heidt, OSB, and the assistance of several other monks, compiled the first edition, printed in 1941.

  • Heidt became editor after 1950 and was responsible for the addition of the "complete edition".


KLEIN BREVIER was compiled by Fr.  Stallaert and some Norbertine Canons of the Abbey of Berne;  it was published by J. H. Gottmer of Haarlem in 1950 and again in 1957, and in  several other languages, as well.   In English, it is known as The Little Breviary.

from left:  Emm. Hockx, O. Praem., from the Abbey of Berne, Fr. W. Q. Versteegen, Dr. F. Gevers, O. Praem. (also from the Abbey of Berne), Fr. Th. Stallaert, CssR, J. H. Gottmer.




Abbot Fernand Cabrol, OSB Abbot of St. Michael Abbey, Farnborough, U.K., author of several works, assisted in two texts of the office in the Vernacular:  first, an introduction to THE DAY HOURS OF THE CHURCH, (edited by the Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey) in 1921, and another was THE ROMAN BREVIARY, issued in 1935

Abbot Cabrol is seated 4th from left.

Updated 8, 2000

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