But now I have a set that does everything. The new edition, from Nova et Vetera, a new German publishing house, is quite lovely. The cream-coloured paper is thin, but opaque, and thus the book is (Deo gratias!) lightweight, lying easily in the hand. The typesetting is clear and easily readable, despite the fact that it is printed in relentless double columns throughout. The rubrics are not really ruber, but rather a shade of brown; this may have been a mistake; a typesetter forgetting that what looks one colour on white paper looks different on cream, or in fact it may be deliberate, for it looks very attractive—just different. It is bound in black leather (real!) and the edges are gilded all round—what a pleasure to have to blow the pages apart for the first time of use.
I can detect no mistakes in the Latin so far—well, all right, only one, a small one. At Matins this morning (Advent Sunday II) we had a 'hedo' rather than a 'haedo', and the mediaevals wouldn't have thought it a mistake anyway. And there was no antiphon for Prime or Terce, though the antiphons suddenly reappear for Sext and None. This is not a disaster as long as one knows that the antiphons are simply those of Lauds in turn. A reminder to say the Pater Noster before the readings of the Nocturn would be a good idea, though anyone familiar with the traditional breviary would know this anyway. Prime is a little confusing; the changeable bits and the unchangeable bits are all in the same size, spacing and typeface, which means that, again, you need to know where you are going. So what I'm trying to say is that I, as a habitual reciter of the traditional breviary, find this new set a real delight. I'm not sure that a newcomer would find it so easy to use at first.
But, beyond any doubt, Nova et Vetera are to be congratulated on producing not just another traditional breviary, but editing it from scratch, and coming up with a version that knocks all other available versions into a cocked hat, new rite or old.
The breviaries cost me E198, and I was able to order alongside them a set of US propers (there are, alas, none for the UK yet) and, mirabile dictu, a booklet with the original versions of the hymns, something I blogged about a few months ago.
Update: having been away for a couple of days, and having taken my little Pustet with me, I have realized that Nova et Vetera have simply copied the Pustet arrangement—a sensible thing to do, on the whole, since, as I said, the Pustet is very elegant. It's a pity they didn't improve on the Pustet's shortcomings regarding clarity and ease of use.