Is it OK to just pray the Invitatory Psalm? I just can’t get the hang of the whole thing. Too overwhelming. Or is there another part you would recommend I pray? I’d like to participate in a small way.
My favorite is Night Prayer or Compline.
Invitatory, hymn and Office of Readings. Early in the morning. I pray all of the Divine Office, but that’s my favourite Office, first thing in the morning.
Are you using the 1962 breviary, or the Liturgy of the Hours? The latter is much easier than the 1962 Office. for laity and secular clerics. It was designed with secular use in mind.
I’m using the online version at universalis. Maybe I should do the office readings. Those look pretty do-able.
What I like about that office is the long scripture reading, and the long reading from the Church fathers (or in the case of the saints, a hagiography of the saint). They are truly rich food. Plus it is the vestige of the old night Office (I pray it at around 5:30 in the morning), so it is a participation in the traditional “night watch” or prayer vigil for the entire Church. A few monks have told me they consider it the most important office of the day.
Lucy pray any way you wish to. Laity do not have an obligation to pray in any formal manner. If you are a member of a Third Order, you will be taught how to pray the Office correctly.
I love reading the Psalms, they are my best and favourite parts. I also enjoy the Office of Readings.
Your topic title is not clear so I will give two answers. For me, the best part of the Divine Office is the psalms. Alternatively, if you meant the best Office that for me would be the office of Compline (Night Prayer). I particularly like the invariable form used by Benedictines.
I think the first thing to remember is that you are not bound to the Office. Second on a lot of websites I’ve seen or books I’ve read about the Office it is often recommended you start with Compline. There are a number of reasons for this. It is a short office. It is relatively straightforward even if you choose a form where it varies. As a general rule many of us have more time free at the end of the day. In the mornings we are often rushing around unless you can make yourself get up early enough. (I just can’t. I’m definitely a night owl rather than a morning lark.)
Another option you could consider, especially as you are not bound to the Office, is to try the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Funnily, enough I only skimmed through my volume of it yesterday. It is much less daunting than the full Office and may help you to establish a regular practice of saying the Office.
Thanks, I will have a look at the Little Office
That’s the form I use as well. I can say most of it from memory, at least in French (as well as the Latin hymn, responsory and Marian antiphon). I’ve experienced it in a monastery, with the monks chanting it from memory in the dark, a moving experience.
A little known rubric in the current Liturgy of the Hours is the option to use the Sunday Compline psalms every night. I’ve seen it done with the Saturday evening psalms week I, and the Sunday psalm week II, or all 3 psalms every night, Benedictine-style. I use the latter, directly without antiphon as Benedictines do.
If one invokes this rubric, no psalms are lost as all the Compline psalms are repeated elsewhere in the LOTH.
My wife and I use iBreviary. We both like the evening and night prayers. I love the Psalms in the Divine Office.
I know of this rubric. It is quite clearly there with the rest of the rubrics but it is also my experience that many people seem unaware of it. Of course, if you follow this rubric it does enable you to practise that ancient tradition of reciting Compline from memory.
Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer are considered the “hinges” of the Divine Office. If you can pray them, you’re participating in them in a very meaningful way!
For me, though, Night Prayer is particularly meaningful and soothing. So, if you can’t commit to “Morning and Evening”, perhaps you might consider thinking about commiting to “Night Prayer.” Relatively short, and profound!
The version at Universalis makes me scratch my head. It follows a different form than that to which I’m accustomed. I like to use the version in the LotH books, which is also the same as the version I see in the iBreviary app and the DivineOffice.org website.
Lots of people use the booklet Magnificat which gives a daily brief form of Morning and Evening prayer, along with other good content. You can order it online.
I recommend getting the book for Night Prayer
The book costs under $10 and this office takes less than 10 minutes to do. Also, this book discusses the psalms that are a part of this office, and has a glossary for terms related to the LOTH in general.
Additionally, the rest of the offices are really expansions of the format used for this one, so once you get it down, you’ll have a sense of how to approach the others if you ever decide to go that route.
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