Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Breviary, the ecclesiastical name given to the volume which contains the daily offices in the Roman Catholic Church, as distinct from those contained in the Missal, the Manual, and the Pontifical (q.v.). The recitation of the Breviary is at present imposed on all beneficed clergy, all persons in holy orders, and all "religious men and women, professed for the duties of the choir." Pope Gregory VII., in the eleventh century, is said to have been the first to settle the compilation of the Breviary, but since then it has undergone various changes. In 1536 a reformed breviary by Cardinal Quignonez superseded the older one, and it is on this work that the English Prayer Book of the present day is, to a large extent, founded. In 1568, however, Pius V. imposed a reformed edition of the old Breviary, and this is still generally in use in the Roman Church. The Breviary services are all in Latin, but an English translation has been made by the Marquis of Bute. The services consist of readings from the Psalms, the Old and New Testament, the Fathers, hymns, prayers, confessions, creeds, etc.