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on 13 January 2013
The Customary is very similar to the American 1928 BCP, with the addition of collects for feasts that do not occur in the Anglican calendar, and of collects and short readings to make up the three day offices of Terce, Sext and None. sundays and feasts are provided with a long reading from the anglican patrimony: mediaeval writers, noted converts and anglo-catholics who remained in communion with the see of Canterbury. These readings seem well chosen give a good flavour of the contribution of the British Islands to the Catholic faith.

According to the rubrics, morning and evening prayer (matins and evensong) together constitute a complete office. With two longish readings they each take about thirty minutes to say. Compline and the day hours are provided if required. Compline is very similar to the 1928 BCP, with the ingenious addition of seasonal antiphons for the nunc dimittis (for which alternative canticles are provided at evening prayer if compline is to be said). Final anthems to Our Lady are also provided (in full rather than the truncated ones in the Roman Liturgy of the Hours).

The rubrics allow four readings from holy scripture as given in the lectionary, or one of the non biblical readings provided may be substituted on Sundays and Holy Days. Alternatively, the readings from the Office of Readings in the LotH may be used at either morning or evening prayer. Curiously, there is no mention of substituting the lections from the mass of the day, which would seem to make sense unless one is attending mass that day. The drawback is that to say the office one needs the customary plus either a bible or breviary (or missal).

Anyone used to praying the traditional Anglican office is unlikely to have difficulty with the Customary. It is slightly more complex than the BCP but easier than any version of the Roman breviary, largely due to the absence of antiphons for the psalms and canticles (though a welcome exception has been made for the great O antiphons). The psalms are read sequentially (except on Sundays when they are proper) and none is omitted, though, for the squeamish, 58 is optional (but, oddly, not 109). The Coverdale translation is used, with the familiar BCP canticles and collects, and we are permitted to say "Holy Ghost" and the traditional Lord's Prayer ("which art" rather than "who art" &c), for which much thanks.

Why do we need yet another daily office? The Customary allows members of the Ordinariates to pray the office from a volume with an imprimatur and therefore to pray with the Church. It uses translations from the Prayer Book with which many Anglicans are familiar and which are miles better than any modern alternatives, in an office that conforms to the modern Roman calendar. Other Catholic layfolk who are not bound to recite the office but who wish to do so in dignified heiratic English may also appreciate this book. Production values seem high - as they should for this price - and the non-leather binding looks durable.
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on 2 December 2012
I disagree that "this is only for the clergy". I am an expatriate Texan of the Anglican Use / Ordinariate, now living in England. I recently got the Customary, and am still getting acquainted with it. Yes, it takes a while to learn "where to go next"; but no more so than first trying to use the Liturgy of the Hours or the Book of Divine Worship, both of which I have used. (Everything when new seems to be difficult; when you get accustomed, it seems logical and easy).

The Customary is beautiful and deepens interior life even though one still fumbles. It is helpful to put a hand-written "flow chart" along with other bookmarks in it; I "cheat" by using little movable colored file tabs on the different pages with numbers written on them to facilitate flipping to the next section.

One criticism is that I need reading-glasses for the print, and the book doesn't quite have enough ribbons; so I put some of my own in. Be inventive; the book is an adventure, so make it your own with whatever helps you navigate in the beginning. It is a glorious book, especially the modern readings, many by Newman. It has considered, kept the best, and improved many of the shortcomings of its American predecessor, the BDW; but suitable for the historical and cultural sensibilites of the UK, which is as it should be.

That's not to say it's perfect -- but it is brilliantly edited and rewards the time spent in getting familiar with it. Hang in there, you will become unexpectedly fond of it sooner than you think. I do recommend making a water-proof cover for it for use outdoors.
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on 23 April 2016
An excellent book for members of the Ordinariate, but rather a lot of misprints11
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on 6 December 2014
The Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham provides a daily office of morning, evening and night prayer for those Catholics who have come from Anglicanism. It adapts the order of the Book of Common Prayer for use in a Catholic context, for instance the Litany incorporates prayer to Mary and saints and a prayer for the Pope is added to morning and evening prayer. Collects are provided for both Latin-rite Catholic feasts and feasts that are of particular significance for English Catholics and ex-Anglicans. This is an invaluable resource for Catholics who love the Book of Common Prayer and want to retain it in their private devotion, or corporate devotion in the Ordinariate.

The grandeur of Prayer Book English is mostly retained, yet occasionally concessions weaken this. For instance, Holy Ghost is changed to Holy Spirit, which having an extra syllable, does not roll off the tongue with the same dignity. Passages from Scripture are also taken from the RSV and not the King James Bible. If the KJV was unacceptable to Catholics, could the Douay-Rheims not have been used?

The page markers are useful and I like the short lectionary at the back, which is useful if one does not want to disrupt daily prayer by searching in one's Bible for passages.

This is an elegant volume and very well bound. It is sturdy enough to last many years.
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on 2 November 2014
This is a beautiful book in terms of presentation and content. For those who treasure the familiar Prayer Book Offices it is a joy to behold. As with all 'new' formats it takes time to find the war around, however, I use the Evening Office from the Customary and Morning Office from the Liturgy of Hours - they complement each other beautifully. I have only rated four stars as there are a few areas where I think things could be improved -there are a few misprints which need correction to bring the Customary in line with the Liturgy of Hours, also a lay man's guide would be useful as collects follow Time after Trinity, however, the Readings follow Ordinary Time - not to mention the Yr 1, Yr 2, 1 Year variations which can easily lead to confusion. My advice would be to compare the Customary orders for the day with the Liturgy of Hours and you can see where you should be going. Also it would be useful if there was clear indication of the days upon which the Te Deum is to be sung or recited during the morning office.

Overall I am grateful to see one of our 'treasures' being made available in this way.
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on 5 March 2015
This is an excellent resource for anyone who is even remotely interested in the story of Catholic England. A beautiful order of Morning and Evening Prayer is complemented by diverse readings dripping in English spirituality. There are sermons from Newman, tales of the early English Saints, accounts of the heroes of the reformation. I commend it heartily as a deep and enriching structure for daily prayer and devotion. It does take a little getting used to at first- but no more than any office book- so get stuck in and get praying! Guaranteed to be good for the soul!
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on 29 November 2012
Excellent work - using the liturgy and terminology that we all remember and love from many years ago - thank you.
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on 11 January 2013
I purchased this book for reference; as a member of the Ordinariate in Canada with some experience with liturgy, I was as much curious as anything. It is a very good example of a book of its type, reasonably well laid-out with generally clear rubrics. I would rather have seen all additional propers for a given day together, as there is still a fair amount of "random" page-flipping, and three ribbons might be rather strained on some days.

My criticisms are fairly straightforward and have more to do with structure than content: (1) I find the font difficult to read in large blocks, which does force concentration on the text but also makes eyestrain an issue; (2) the entire pages of red rubrics introducing the lectionary are simply brutal; and (3) the lectionary itself is a little too abbreviated - it can be difficult to follow for a newcomer. None of these issues is more than a minor annoyance, however.

Tim Smith
Calgary AB
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on 7 October 2013
For an Anglican joining the Ordinariate it is a Feast of familiar texts and cadences of sublime beauty, you will not be disappointed
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on 12 February 2015
Excellent product...great!
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