Lancelot Andrewes Press

Lancelot Andrews Press (LAP) may be the most interesting Christian publishing ventures around. It is an Orthodox press which reprints Catholic books translated by and for Anglicans. Alright, maybe their situation is a bit more “nuanced” than that. After all, they did publish a very detailed (and lovely) edition of The Book of Common Prayer calibrated for use by Western Rite Orthodox (WRO). (However, I see no reason why a Catholic could not use it for private devotion after making a few reasonable modifications to certain texts.) Then there is also the St. Ambrose Prayer Book which, with the exception of the mutilated form of “The Mass of St. Gregory” the WRO enjoy, would be usable by any traditional Catholic.

While I have never been a big user of their books (though I own a few and have borrowed some others), I find little reason why a Catholic, understandably ill-disposed toward the Liturgy of the Hours and unprepared to recite either the Breviarium Monasticum (BM) or Breviarium Romanum in Latin, couldn’t pick up LAP’s Monastic Diurnal — a mostly faithful translation of the BM — and begin to recite the traditional daily office. Sure, it may be necessary to find the propers for a couple of feasts that are not properly represented in their full doctrinal maturity (e.g., December 8 for the Immaculate Conception), but that’s a minor matter in the grand scheme of things. Once familiarity with the diurnal is accomplished, then there is always their much more challenging, but exceedingly rich, Monastic Matins edition to add to one’s daily rule of prayer. Some might point out the St. Michael’s Abbey Latin/English edition of the Diurnale Monasticum as a superior option for Catholics. To some extent they would be right, though one advantage of the LAP edition is that it presents the full monastic office as it stood prior to the needless abbreviations inflicted upon it in the 1960s.