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Little Office: Booklets for Prime, Terce, Sext and None

January 27, 2012

Here are four booklets for singing the little hours from the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to the 1961 Roman Breviary.  I have assembled these mainly by referencing the 2008 Baronius Press version and the Liber Usualis, but sitting by the computer are also: Antiphonale Romanum 1949, Nocturnale Romanum 2002, Roman Breviary 1964 (Benziger, English trans. of the 1962), Breviary Romanum 1914 (pars aestiva), and a Latin/English dictionary.  These are there partly to make up for the fact that I haven’t yet got hold of an actual 1961 Breviary, and partly because I have also been thinking about and starting on the rest of the hours.

As I write this, I am satisfied with the layout, content, etc. and have high hopes that these are accurate as well as consistent with each other and their sources.  However, if you happen to find any sort of mistakes, or think that I have done something jumbucky  (> jumbuck, a kind of wild sheep in the song “Waltzing Matilda”)  please do leave a note in the comment box, as I am planning to keep working on the rest of the Little Office.  I could also, if necessary, correct these booklets. 

Ad Primam. Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis.

Ad Tertiam. Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis.

Ad Sextam. Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis.

Ad Nonam. Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis.

For mp3’s of these hours as sung Post Nativitatem, see my useful stuff page.

  1. Tripudians permalink

    Thank you for your work. I’ve been singing the little for some time now (not praying it very regularily, but when I do, I usually sing) and I managed to learned most of the music by heart now, so I only sing from the text version – less stuff to carry around – but these come very handy when I want to sing the office with someone else.

    I only sang through the sext so far, however, here are some typos/mistakes I noticed:

    page 2, down: Tempore Paschali autem ad Primam etc. copy/paste oversight? 😉
    page 4, ps. 126, v. 4: Cum dederit dilectis suis somnem – should be somnum

    I personally preffer not to use Urban VIII hymns, afaik even the pre-VatII liturgical books already gave the option of using the the older, originaly versions. For the little hours you can see the older version along with the changes made for example here:

    I’ll have a look at the rest and let you know if I find something weird.

  2. Tripudians permalink

    Oh well, please ignore all the typos, extra- and missing words… Still too early in them morning I suppose :/

  3. Excellent, or rather, bother; the T. P. ad Primam error occurs in all the non-Prime booklets – Terce, Sext, and None. In the event that I should finish booklets for the remaining hours, I intend to see what can be done towards making a complete book for singing the Little Office. The older versions of the hymns would then be good as an appendix, as they are for example in the Antiphonal 1912 which I have in pdf from musicasacra.

  4. Tripudians permalink

    Well, if you can think of some way how I could help you finish the remaining booklets, let me know. Do I remember correctly, that you generate the pdfs from gabc online and do the rest of the work in microsoft word? I could write at least some .gabc files and send them over, which wouldnt mess with your work process…
    Also check out (also available as plugin for chrome web browser), Very useful scripts that can serve as a front end for writing gabc, point psalm verses, etc.

  5. Jordan permalink

    Dear Jonathan,

    In a spirit of audacity I thought I’d ask if you were going to make any more recordings from the Little Office from the rest of the year? 😀

    • (Never tried replying to a comment by e-mail before…) Recordings have been even more on hold than work on the booklets/eventual book, but I might consider doing some more if it was useful to someone. Is there anything particular that you need? Jonathan

  6. Tripudians permalink

    Well, as for usefulness, I’m happy to report I’ve been using your little hours booklets (and recently, the pdfs in my smartphone) for quite some time. 3 short psalms is just about the right lenght for my little 2 years old toddler toddler it seems 😉 I was planning to do the rest myself for ages but other things with higher priority keep coming up. I would be very grateful for completorium (that one out of all the ones missing would probably see most use).

  7. Wonderful resource! Your Terce booklet will be used by our school! Do you have Lauds/Vespers/Compline in the works?

    • Ben George,

      I’ve got the entire Little Office done, fully bilingual, at 400 pages long.

      The chants from Matins are from the Liber Responsorialis & Processionale Monasticum of the 1890’s.

      Currently I’m working (not always very rapidly) on various items which could “possibly” go in an appendix.

      I also hope to have a calendar, etc. in the front, but have not started on this.

      Vale in Domino,



      • Jonathan-

        I have been using your booklets for Prime, Terce etc (and Veronica Brandt’s booklet for Compline) and I am finally able to get a grasp on the Little Office. Thank you for this,

        According to your comment above you have finished the entire Little Office. If so, is it available for purchase anywhere? This would literally be an answer to my prayers!

        Either way, thank you again for the booklets,

      • I am not finished with the project yet, and rarely get around to working on it. E-mail me at, I could send you my current draft.

  8. In the booklet Ad Sextam, for Psalm 123, vs. 3 & 4, the word beginning the second half of these verses should be corrected to “forsitan”.

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