Are deacons bound to all the hours of the Divine Office of just Lauds & Vespers?

I recently spoke with my friend who is a deacon for the Diocese of Phoenix; a good and holy man of God. I am inquiring into the diaconate and was wondering if he took a vow to perform all tho hours of the Divine Office. He said that deacons are bound to Lauds & Vespers only, but highly encouraged to recite all the hours if possible. Is this correct?

Correct…as a deacon, my wife also says them with me but we always include night prayer as well.

What vows were you required take as a deacon?

I didn’t think saying the morning and evening prayer was a vow, but an obligation.


Can the morning and evening prayers be taken care of with the Shorter christian prayer if not could you direct me towards me a good edition that contains the required morning and evening prayers. is “shorter christian prayer” good enough or does one need “christian prayer:the Liturgy of the hours” one volume set. OR does a deacon need to get the 4 set volume to get the correct morning and evening prayers.

The Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours covers morning and evening prayer. In the OCDS group, we had members with the 4 volume set and other with the Christian Prayer, and they matched almost 100%.

However, if you’re going to be a deacon, I would think you’d want the 4 volume set. Ask for it as an ordination gift. :slight_smile:

Just my opinion of course.


There are two versions of the 1 volume LOTH…

A black one by the daughters of st. paul

and a red one I (which seems to be more common)

which do you suggest?

I need this before aspirancy starts…I am in the inquiry Phase for a year I want’ to get into the LOTH.

The Red One, by Catholic Book Publishing.

I didn’t catch if you were married. If so, you’re wife will be going through discernment with you? I would suggest getting one for your wife as well. Even if you decide not to become a deacon, you’ll enjoy praying the LOTH. Its one thing you’ll take with you from the experience that you’ll continue. Going through discernment for the diactonate is a win-win experience, even if you decide its not your calling.

My wife and myself prayer the LOTH together every evening. Morning prayer, I get up before her so, we pray the morning prayer alone.

The 4 volume set cost about $155, which is why my wife and myself have the Christian Prayers, edition, which is about $36.
I couldn’t shell out $310, at the time.


Thanks Jim, Yes with the wife and yes to the fact that we realize too that it is a win-win situation. Diocese here requires 2 years lay ministry formation then the 5 year diaconate formation program…

I will look into the red one …thanks for your advice (and prayers)

WOW, that’s tougher than our program.

We had 12 weeks discernment. Then if you decided and they wanted you, you could go into the training program, which was 2 nights of schooling per week, with one Sunday per month for conferences and work shops, for 5 years. Out of 25 men who entered discernment, they only ended up ordaining 4 men.

I went through the 12 weeks discernment, but with my job, the schedule was killing me. In fact I got so burned out, I caught every virus that was around that year. However, as soon as I realized God was not calling me, and I told the director that I was not going to continue, a great peace came over me.

My wife and myself became Secular Order Discalced Carmelites instead, and we knew immediately upon entering, this was where God wanted us.



I think the two programs about equal because our program only involves one entire weekend (friday evening - SUnday afternoon) per month only 10 months out of the year along with one weeklong summer retreat each summer. The reasoning behind it is I live in rural midwest and some of my classmates will live over 100 miles apart. The weekend training inlcludes the ENTIRE family (I have 4 small children) in the form of a Youth group format for the kids. Just living the experience is going to be worth it. Ordination is in gods hands but no matter what we (my family) win. I think dioceses are realizing that attempting to nearly kill married, family men with carreers isn’t going to get many ordained. Our program may be more years but we don’t meet weekly either.

To those of you inquiring to the Liturgy of the Hours and what versions are best…here are some suggestions:

The most widely used edition used by most priests and lay faithful are from -

(1) Shorter Christian Prayer (Beginners)
Contains Lauds (morning), Vespers (evening), and
Compline (night) $17.95

(2) Christian Prayer
Contains Lauds (morning), Vespers (evening),
Compline (night), and minor hours (sext, terce, none),
Propers of Saints, Offices for Blessed Virgin Mary,
Martyrs, Doctros, etc… $36.00

(3) Liturgy of the Hours (Intermediate/Advanced)
Includes all contained within Christian Prayer, but includes
Matins (Office of Readings) and is a 4 volume set)


Lauds and Vespers (Beginners/Inter./Advanced)
Fr. Peter Stravinskas’ re-literal translation of the psalm
antiphons, RSVCE scriptural translation for psalms/texts,
Latin& English edition, all propers for seasons. I use this
edition when in private. More faithful to Latin texts, but not
nearly as widely used as the Catholic Book Publishing
Company editions. $55.00

Unless one is a member of a religious order one does not take vows but, instead, makes a promise of obedience and celibacy (which is deferred in the case of a married deacon). And you are correct, the obligation of praying the liturgy of the hours is an obligation, not part of a promise or vow. The deacon, as part of his ordination, promises to pray “for the Church” as one of the questions he is asked prior to being ordained.

Deacon Ed

It depends what the country’s Conference of Bishops decides. From the Code of Canon Law:
“Can. 276 … §2 … 3º priests, and deacons aspiring to the priesthood, are obliged to carry out the liturgy of the hours daily, in accordance with the own approved liturgical books; permanent deacons are to recite that part of it determined by the Bishop’s Conference;”
(The Code of Canon Law: New revised English Translation, HarperCollins Liturgical, 1997, ISBN 000599375X. Another translation is at ).

So I see the deacon’s commitment as open ended. He is making a commitment of obedience. In future there may be new editions of the Liturgy of the Hours, new decisions of the Bishop’s Conference.

Don’t forget, for the ultra-advanced…

4 Volume LATIN Liturgy of the Hours for the universal church (approved everywhere)

Is there a reason you don’t list the Daughters of St. Paul Christian Prayer edition? Just curious. I use it and it’s got small little things that make it easier for me to use, plus it has a selection of office of readings that isn’t in my Christian Prayer from Catholic Book Pub.

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