These pieces have demonstrated that there is a an auctoritas* problem about LH. As Cardinal Ratzinger wrote, the idea that a Pope can muck around as he likes with the Liturgy if he has the mandate of an Ecumenical Council, is mighty dodgy. Even more flawed is a reform which was not mandated by a Council, and which in many respects went contrary to the explicit words of a Council: I mean the instruction that "There must be no innovations unless the good of the church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing". No innovations, indeed! Certainly, indeed!
It seems to me that, ideally,what we need is a revision of the Breviary which evolves organically from what was in place before the Council in the ways mandated by the Council. Ideally, it would go behind the revision of the Psalterium by Pius X and of the Hymnarium by Urban VIII, and would reconsider elements of the rubrical changes under Pius XII in 1955 which built on those of Pius X. However, to hope for this would, at the moment, be optimistic and beyond the realms of any likelihood. What would be comparatively easy for Authority to provide would be a decree which enabled one to use preconciliar books to say the Office in broadly the way mandated by the Council. In my view, this should leave Lauds and Vespers basically unchanged; diminish the obligation to recite the lesser hours in accordance with SC; and reduce the length of Mattins while permitting it to be used, as the Council suggested, at any hour by those not bound to say it in choir. Perhaps it would also permit ad lib the use of the Lentini Hymnarium. I recall once reading a comment on this blog the effect that there is a 1960s Decree broadly along these lines. Can anyone pin it down for me?
Are there practical ways ahead which the individual can take while remaining within the bounds of what is lawful? I would also remind readers that there is nothing illegal in saying some hours from the LH and others from the Breviary. This is in effect what happens in the English Oratories, and there is already an established praxis in those places, or in some of them (details?), of adapting the old form of Vespers to the modern calendar. (I am not sure whether one would describe that as contra legem or praeter legem.)
I admit that there are problems (mostly arising from diversity of Calendar) about - for example - saying Lauds and Vespers from the Breviary, and the rest of the Office from LH. But might it not be the best interim measure, or at least a viable option, for a generation or two?
*I hope to return to what I mean by auctoritas.