There is a remarkable piece of history and liturgy in my hands - indeed I have hardly set it down since I came in the door to find a fat package from the States awaiting me. It is the Anglican Breviary, saved from oblivion by one determined and persistent enough to organise its re-printing. To read more, follow this link. The price is - well, don't tell my wife - not low but not ridiculous for what it is.
It was produced in the United States, in the heyday of Anglo-Catholicism, the early 1900s, when the Anglo-Catholics were the strongest and most evangelically active wing of Anglicanism. The Anglican Breviary was an almost direct translation of the Roman Breviary, using the Coverdale Psalter, the Authorised King James Version and Keble's translations of the Breviary's hymns. Even the extra-biblical readings of Matins are translated into antique English. Following the wane of Anglo-Catholicism, and the drastic Catholic reforms of the Daily Office after the Council, the book was little used and fell out of print.
It is a beautiful book, the entire office in a single manageable volume. I am looking forward to using it in bits and pieces - the Antiphons especially - alongside the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham. I have a dream of getting together various bits of the Divine Office in English, creating a massive bank of all its parts in small media files, and then creating "playlists" for each day and feast, of Lauds, Vespers etc. for people to play (and pray) in their earphones on their way to and from work. If anyone would like to pay to commission a college choir (King's or John's would be fine) to record it all for me, I'd be much obliged.
Postscript: I have since discovered that this book was out of print since 1973 when, in 1998, a twenty-two year old enthusiast decided to fund a reprint. This was not the vanity project or hobby of a rich man - astonishingly, he scraped the funds together for the printing from a series of credit cards, and was then able to pay for subsequent reprints from the money raised from the first sale. But at the time of the first print, there was absolutely no guarantee of this outcome. Now there is a story: of love for a book and a tradition, and a lot of faith.