The Breviary (Latin: brevarium) is the name of a book in many Western Christian denominations that "contains all the liturgical texts for the Office, whether said in choir or in private." Pope Nicholas III approved a Franciscan breviary, for use in that religious order, and this was the first text that bore the title of breviary. However, the "contents of the breviary, in their essential parts, are derived from the early ages of Christianity", consisting of psalms, Scripture lessons, writings of the Church Fathers, as well as hymns and prayers. Historically, different breviaries were used in the various parts of Christendom, such as Aberdeen Breviary, Belleville Breviary, Stowe Breviary and Isabella Breviary, although eventually the Roman Breviary became the standard within the Roman Catholic Church. Following the Oxford Movement in the Anglican Communion, in 1916, the Anglican Breviary was published by the Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation.
- Palazzo, Eric (1998). A History of Liturgical Books from the Beginning to the Thirteenth Century. Liturgical Press. p. 169. ISBN 9780814661673.
- Smith, William; Cheetham, Samuel (1 January 2005). Encyclopædic Dictionary Of Christian Antiquities. Concept Publishing Company. p. 247. ISBN 9788172681111.
The contents of the breviary, in their essential parts, are derived from the early ages of Christianity. They consist of psalms, lessons taken from the Scriptures, and from the writings of the Fathers, versicles and pious sentences thrown into the shape of the antiphons, responses, or other analogous forms, hymns and prayers.
- Lewis, George (1853). The Bible, the missal, and the breviary; or, Ritualism self-illustrated in the liturgical books of Rome. T. & T. Clark. p. 71.
The Goths of Spain had their Breviary; the French Church had its Breviary; England--"the Breviary of Salisbury"--and Scotland, "the Breviary of Aberdeen"--all which, along with many more evidences of the independence of national churches, Rome has laboured to obliterate by commanding the exclusive use of the Roman Breviary, and thus extinguishing every appearance of a divided worship, and of independent national and self-regulated churches.
- Hart, Addison H. "“Prayer Rhythms” Redivivus". Touchstone. The Fellowship of St. James. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
The Reverend Frank Gavin had himself suggested such a work as early as 1916.
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