Larry posted a comment to this blog asking a question about the “Benedictine Daily Prayer — A Short Breviary” and “The Monastic Diurnal.”
Larry thinks that "The Monastic Diurnal" has a better translation and seems more in depth than the BDP. I agree with Larry.
However, the BDP has Vigils (which the MD does not) and for Vigils the BDP has excellent readings many of which are from the early Church Fathers. And in the BDP section on saints, there are also readings from early Church fathers.
When only comparing the elements that are mostly the same in both books, “The Monastic Diurnal” is more to my liking. But in addition “Benedictine Daily Prayer — A Short Breviary” also has Vigils and readings from the early Church fathers and saints which the MD does not have.
If you like the type of readings in the BDP, then I suggest that the order of getting the books is BDP first and then the MD. On the other hand if not having the readings in your breviary is OK or you especially prefer the beauty of the language in the MD, then I suggest getting the MD first and then maybe get the BDP.
To help you make your own decision, here is the new Breviaries page on the Oblate Spring web site with three examples of the readings from the BDP and a link to excerpts from Thursday Lauds from the BDP and the MD. Here is a direct link to the PDF page containing the two excerpts.
Thank you Larry for a super question. I have been wanting to make a page for comparing the BDP and the MD. Your question is what caused me to do it tonight.