Saint Helena Breviary

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Church Publishing, Inc.
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I guess I was a little disappointed in the St Helena Breviary. The Order of St. Helena is an order of women closely related to the Order of the Holy Cross for men. Back in the 70s the two orders produced the Monastic Breviary which I used for personal devotions. One of the things I liked about that breviary was that it included the Psalter within the services as it was read by the Orders in a two week cycle. It also included hymns, antiphons, and other enhancements to the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, the basis for the Monastic breviary.
That Breviary is now out of print, and needed to be updated. It was my hope that this new Breviary by the Sisters of St. Helena would be an improvement on the older one and in some ways it is. They have added a number of Biblical canticles as well as a number based on the writings of such mystics as Julian of Norwich. The Psalter has been revised to be less masculine and more inclusive. Many of the collects for the saints have been reworked to be more specific to the saint's hagiography.
My disappointment is that the two week reading of the Psalter is not included within the Service. Instead, they have printed the Psalter in the last half of the book much the way it is found in the BCP and in the back of the book they have included a table of readings for the seven week cycle next to the lectionary. While this gives three options to read the Psalms (lectionary, two weeks, and monthly), it is difficult to do the two week cycle because of the way one has to jump from Psalm to Psalm in the back of the book each day.
In short, what I was hoping for was to have the Psalms implanted in the Services for the Day than in the back. To have the Psalms in their canonical order I would simply use their excellent Psalter.
As is typical of most prayer books, they could have easily doubled or even tripled the number of ribbons, and I would have liked to have seen them different colors. That being said, the type is good (much better than the older Monastic Breviary)and pleasant to look at. The book is well bound and should give years of service.
From my points this Breviary has its good points and its bad points. For those who are looking for an expanded, inclusive BCP Daily Office it has much to recommend it, but for those of us seeking to replace our Monastic Breviary it leaves something to be desired. (It should be noted that this is the Personal Edition; there is also a "Monastic Version" which may be more in line with what I was looking for).

Selected pages


The Sundays and Special Weekdays of the Season
Ordinary of Christmas
Epiphany and the Sundays Following
The Day of Pentecost
Trinity Sunday
Corpus Christi
Propers 328
The Last Sunday after Pentecost Proper 29
The Common of Saints
The Collects for Saints and Major Holy Days
The Psalter

Shrove Tuesday Ash Wednesday and the Sundays of Lent
Holy Week
Easter Season
The Ordinary of Easter
Acknowledgments and Background History
The 2Week Distribution of Psalms
Daily Office Lectionary

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