Liturgy of the Hours, also called the Divine Office, is considered the prayer of the Church. Based primarily on the Psalms (the prayers known to Jesus), Liturgy of the Hours consists of a daily prayer schedule followed by priests, members of religious orders, and a growing number of lay people. Priests and deacons traditionally have referred to the Liturgy of the Hours as the breviary.
Lauds (Morning Prayer) and Vespers (Evening Prayer) are the most frequently prayed in parishes. Vigils, Day Prayer, and Compline are less common, but all have their devotees. Praying the Liturgy of the Hours requires discipline, but in return it offers the faithful the great reward of an enriched prayer life through deeper understanding of Scripture and an increased sense of Christian unity.
our related Catholic Bible study
The Turning to God’s Word Catholic Bible study Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church uses as a biblical text The Revised Grail Psalms. The study follows the cursus used by the monks at Conception Abbey, who did the translation of The Revised Grail Psalms. The 28-lesson Turning to God’s Word Bible study has been granted an imprimatur and can be purchased from our website shop.
We also have found the following Liturgy of the Hours resources to be especially useful.
- Divine Office.org features audio files of the Liturgy of the Hours prayers that include the hymns. Although the website is somewhat lacking in visual appeal, it offers a an opportunity for its visitors to experience the prayers by listening to them as they’re being sung.
- Universalis.com strength is that it provides a variety of technical options for accessing their Liturgy of the Hours written material, including e-books, daily e-mails, RSS feeds, and Twitter.
- In the blog Coffee and Canticles Daria Sockey provides practical assistance for beginners as well as interesting facts about the Liturgy of the Hours and up-to-date information about the latest online versions and print publications. This well-written blog includes examples and stories from the author’s own prayer life, as well as some personal opinion. You can watch Daria’s video about praying the Liturgy of the Hours, or you may be interested in The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours—a small, easy-to-understand book packed with helpful information.
- This monastic prayer schedule allows you to pray Liturgy of the Hours at the same time as the Benedictine monks at Conception Abbey. These are the same monks who have given us The Revised Grail Psalms, the new translation approved by the Church for liturgical use in English-speaking countries.