Antiphonary for the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours)
When the Church offers praise to God in the Liturgy of the Hours it unites itself with that hymn of praise which is sung in the heavenly places throughout all ages; it also receives a foretaste of the song of praise in heaven, described by John in the Book of Revelation, the song that is sung without ceasing before the throne of God and of the Lamb. (GILH, n.16)
“Sung celebration of the Office, because it is more in keeping with the nature of this prayer and is a mark of greater solemnity, and the expression of a deeper union of hearts, in offering praise to God, is earnestly commended to those who perform the Divine Office in choir or in common.” (GILH, n.268, quoting Musicam sacram n.37)
In celebrating the liturgy singing is not to be regarded as an extrinsic embellishment to prayer; rather, it wells up from the depths of a soul intent on prayer and the praise of God and reveals in a full and perfect way the community nature of Christian worship. (GILH, n.270)
Since the Liturgy of the Hours may be celebrated in the vernacular, “due care should be taken to provide melodies for use in singing the Divine Office in the vernacular.” (GILH, n.275, quoting Musicam sacram n.41)
In order to help promote the worthy celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours for those communities that pray it in English, we offer this Antiphonary. It includes musical settings in English chant form, with organ accompaniment, for all the texts of the four volume breviary excepting the Office of Readings. The music was composed by a Trappist monk, which we have now scanned and make available online for the first time.