formerly Shakespeare and Company Books, now VIcarious Experience

Saint Helena Breviary: Monastic Edition

The Saint Helena Breviary: Monastic Edition As used by the Order of Saint Helena 2005. ISBN-10:0977294609. 6 1/4" x 9 1/4" 878 page Hardcover with no dust jacket. Black cloth with bright gilt lettering on front cover and spine. I really don.t see any cover edge wear. A bit of shelf soiling on the bottom tip of the page block. Very light, tiny bits of soiling on the leading and top edges of the page block. Erasure mark on the first blank page. No other previous owner markings. No tears, folds or creases to pages. Binding is tight with no looseness to pages. Not ex-library, not remaindered and not a facsimile reprint. For sale by Jon Wobber, bookseller since 1978. IE20b

"The process of revision of the Saint Helena Breviary began in the 1970. At that time, the Episcopal Church was revising its 1928 Book of Common Prayer, and the Order of St. Helena and the Order of the Holy Cross were working together to revise their worship book along the same lines. In 1976, the jointly produced a Monastic Breviary, which was in the essence the Daily Office of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer with additions and interpolations. The Monastic Breviary was used in both communities until the late 1980s, when the Order of St. Helena became increasingly uncomfortable with sexist language. By 1990, the sisters had produced (but not published) a book which introduced inclusive language in their daily worship. This book was in use in all the St. Helena Conference over the next convents for the next 10 years.

About 1998, sister Linda Julian, OSH, working almost alone, began work on a revised Psalter based on the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. She drew on resources of all kinds, especially studying other efforts to use inclusive language. Her intent was to eliminate all references to God as "he" and to greatly reduce masculine imagery, even to finding an appropriate substitute for "Lord." Thus began early drafts with inclusive language in the Psalter, which were tried in the actual praying of the Office of our convents for several months. These initial efforts captured the imagination and won the support of the rest of the sisters. By 1999, the Order officially endorsed the full revision of the 1990 book, and a committee to work on it was appointed.

The committee was directed to stay as close to the Prayer Book translation of the Psalter as possible, keeping in mind the importance of being able to continue to sing the psalms in traditional monastic chant. They were well aware of the tension between following a strict academic faithfulness to the original texts versus offering a freer translation or interpretation in order to make the psalms more accessible and also reflective of contemporary worship. It was particularly helpful to have several sisters with knowledge of Hebrew to help with his work." - from the Preface.