Liturgical Texts Introduction - 312 

city of Rome. Thus the form of the Divine Office used by the brothers may have remained free-flowing and open-ended. The significance of this directive of the Earlier Rule, however, lies in the fact that Francis chose the Office found in the churches of the clergy rather than in the choirs of the monks.

With the promulgation of the Later Rule in 1223, the liturgical life of the brothers took a new turn: “The clerical [brothers],” the third chapter states, “shall celebrate the Divine Office according to the rite of the holy Roman Church, except for the Psalter, for which reason they may have breviaries.” This new insertion into the Rule was in many ways an important change. One form of the Divine Office from among the many, that “according to the rite of the holy Roman Church,” required uniformity and specifically of the clerical brothers.8 Developed during the time of Innocent III and distinct from the Divine Office celebrated in the Lateran Basilica and other churches in Rome, it was abridged and simplified for the convenience of the papal household.9 Unlike other forms, it consisted of one portable volume, the “breviary.”10

The process of implementing this prescription of the Later Rule, however, required several years. By the time of the General Chapter of 1230, a sufficient number of copies of the breviary had been produced at the new scriptorium in Assisi. The General Chapter ordered them sent out to the nearly twenty provinces in order to be further copied and distributed throughout the Order.11 These breviaries became known as the Regula breviaries or Breviaries of the Rule.12 The brothers, however, found the Regula breviaries with rubrics intended for the papal household too hard to copy and too complicated to use. The attempt at uniformity also caused confusion. Later, after the General Chapter of 1239, four masters of theology,13 in their Exposition of the Rule, lament that liturgical texts were scarce and in disarray. The four masters insisted that the missal should be in agreement with the breviary and believed that liturgical confusion was one of the disciplinary problems of the Order.

This prompted the Minister General Haymo of Faversham14 at the General Chapter of Bologna in 1243 to bring some order into the liturgical practice of the brothers. He presented a new Ordinal, a ceremonial that in the ritual of the Divine Office and the Mass gave order to both the “action” to be performed and the “speech” or texts to be read; and these rites and texts were “in accordance with the custom of the Roman Church.”15 However, unlike the earlier Ordinal drawn up at the papal curia upon which the Regula breviary was based, that produced by Haymo was more in accord with the simpler needs of the brothers. Into this Ordinal Haymo inserted The Divine Office of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer together with the compositions of Gregory IX, Thomas of Capua and Ranieri Capocci. However, he did not insert a choir legend for matins on the feast of Saint Francis. Some suggest Haymo was waiting for the choir legend by Thomas of Celano, but it did not arrive before his death early in 1244, less than a year after the General Chapter of 1243 that had approved his Ordinal. This suggests




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 312