Can you help regarding the Liturgy of the Hours?

May the penitential rite be used during vespers when praying the Liturgy of the Hours?

We are incorporating evening prayer into our parish worship. I have been trained by the diocese to be the lay leader of this prayer. I’ve noticed that the penitential rite is used in compline or night prayer. May the penitential rite only be used in the night prayer? It would seem appropriate for any of these hours, particularly when celebrated as a parish community. Thank you for your help.


No; each liturgical hour is designed for the particular time of day that is its focus. The penitential rite is appropriate in preparing for Mass and again for preparing for sleep. It is not the practice of the Liturgy of the hours to have such a rite for the other hours. If it were, there would be a statement in favor of this in the directives and there is not.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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