The Liturgy of the Hours

6 November 2006

When I began this, I expected to ‘blog a lot about the Liturgy of the Hours, but I’ve barely mentioned it.  It’s an important part of my daily routine, but I’ve had a hard time finding much “bloggable” material in that part of my life.

Tripp sent me a link to a Publishers’ Weekly article on the Liturgy of the Hours.  I really want to pick up these books, but I’ll have to wait until after Moby Dick.

What “fixed hour” practices do you have out there in the ‘blogosphere?

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5 Responses to “The Liturgy of the Hours”

  1. Scott Says:

    I’m a Benedictine oblate and have this vague idea that I can keep a monastic prayer discipline (all 150 psalms in a week? pray four or more times a day?) and still keep my day job. I struggle with which office to use (BCP 1979? monastic version of same? something Roman Catholic?) and end up actually praying very sporadically and some days not at all. I’m fascinated with the books and forms but get a sort of ADD when it comes to settling down and being satisfied with highly attentive prayer in one particular form. Scott–a bad oblate!


  2. If one is going to take up some form of the Liturgy of the Hours at all, I recommend as a minimum the Morning (“Lauds”) and Evening (“Vespers”) hours.

    Vatican Council II says of those two:
    “In keeping with the ancient tradition of the universal Church, Morning and Evening Prayer from a double hinge of the daily Office and are therefore to be considered the principal Hours and celebrated as such.”

    Of course, the ideal would be what you describe as “highly attentive prayer.” However, it has value even when one is distracted. Just think what human interaction would be if we chose to never speak our automatic “ThankYou” or “Please” or “I’m Sorry” to anyone merely because we never managed to say it in a “highly attentive” manner but only automatically.

    The ideal, as I said, would be to offer up the Office (Latin officium, “duty”) in a highly attentive manner. Attentively or not, the goal entails offering it up anyway.


  3. Scott,

    I would recommend Benedictine Daily Prayer, put out by the Liturgical Press of St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. It’s manageable while still providing all the hours except for Prime.

    Father Stephanos,

    When I don’t have enough time to say all the hours, I focus on Lauds and Vespers, because they are the “hinge” hours; their respective characters —praise and thanksgiving, paired with beseeching— are essential to our relationship with God.

    I also rarely go to bed without praying Compline, which I find to be the most beautiful hour.

  4. David Says:

    I am in my third year at seminary, actually on my internship year, and several fellow classmates who are also away on internship observe the Daily Offices. My ritual is to follow the orders of Matins, Sufferages, and Compline as time allows. I know that “as time allows” does not necessarily mean strict observance, but I do what I can and find it meaningful.

    I have enjoyed your blog and I hope you don’t mind that I put a link to it on my blog. Stop by from time to time. Your comments would be welcome.


  5. If you like to pray the Divine Office you should totally check out http://divineoffice.org

    There is a free of charge audio podcast of Liturgy of the Hour every day and an iPhone / iPod touch application that allows you to download and listen to the Liturgy while you’re on the go 🙂

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