New Translation of Divine Office for Africa

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 14, 2009 ( A new translation for Africa of the Liturgy of the Hours has been launched, as the Church continues to consider the situation of that continent at the synod under way in the Vatican.

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The new edition of the Divine Office began four years ago and was completed in 2008. It is being launched in the context of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, which is going on through Oct. 25.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments encouraged the project and asked the Kenyan episcopal conference to approve the new liturgical texts and propose them to the Vatican for the “confirmatio.”

There are a number of revisions in the new edition: Sunday Lauds and Vespers have been enriched by new antiphons for the “Benedictus” and “Magnificat.”

New saints and feasts now on the General Roman Calendar have been included, for example, the Most Holy Name of Jesus and St. Josephine Bakhita (herself an African), and Padre Pio.

The complete edition is a four-volume set and follows the layout and style of the Latin edition. A shorter two-volume version has also been prepared, particularly for seminarians and the laity.

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