Liturgy of the Hours

Liturgy of the Hours

Comprised of readings from Sacred Scripture, writings of saints and theologians, and short reflections to be prayed at different times of the day, the Liturgy of the Hours is the daily prayer of the Catholic Church.

It is also known as the Breviary, the Divine Office, or the Universal Prayer of the Church.

This prayer has been described as an extension of the Mass which reveals how highly it is regarded.

Priests, deacons, and consecrated religious take a vow to pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day but lay Catholics can pray the prayer too.

An extension of the Eucharistic liturgy:

A rhythm of prayer throughout the day:

By tradition going back to early Christian times, the divine office is devised so that the whole course of the day and night is made holy by the praises of God. Therefore, when this wonderful song of praise is rightly performed by priests and others who are deputed for this purpose by the Church’s ordinance, or by the faithful praying together with the priest in the approved form, then it is truly the voice of the bride addressed to her bridegroom; It is the very prayer which Christ Himself, together with His body, addresses to the Father.

Pope Paul VI, Sacrosanctum Concilium, December 4, 1963

Stopping to pray seven times every day:

Sanctifying the day:

Seven times a day I praise Thee for thy righteous ordinances.

Psalm 119: 164

A type of prayer much older than Christianity:

Unending chants and praise influenced by Jewish tradition:

The Liturgy of the Hours is intended to become the prayer of the whole People of God. In it Christ Himself “continues his priestly work through his Church.” His members participate according to their own place in the Church and the circumstances of their lives: priests devoted to the pastoral ministry, because they are called to remain diligent in prayer and the service of the word; religious, by the charism of their consecrated lives; all the faithful as much as possible: “Pastors of souls should see to it that the principal hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and on the more solemn feasts. The laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office, either with the priests, or among themselves, or even individually.”

Catechism of the Catholic Chuch 1175

Not just for priests:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

He wants you to know his will:

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