Catholic Prayer Book?

Is there a standard Catholic prayer book? I am familiar with morning/evening prayers in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, so I am wondering if there is something similar or equivalent.


Yes. It’s called the Liturgy of the Hours. Much like the Book of Common Prayer, it revolves around the Psalms and includes canticles from the Old and New Testaments, antiphons, readings, intercessions, hymns and collects. It covers seven times of the day: matins, lauds, terce, sext, none, vespers and compline.

This is the official prayer of the Catholic Church. Its standard edition is in Latin and its official North American English translation is in a modern English vernacular according to the dynamic-equivalence principle. A project is currently underway to retranslate it accordig to current norms and in a more formal-equivalent style consistent with the translation of the Mass. It’s still several years away from completion.

I highly recommend “Blessed be God.” It has more prayers so far than any Catholic prayer book I found. It is pre- VII so it is in the old church English. Look it up on amazon. It is pricey at around 50.00 or so, but I love it, and I have several prayer books. I use it every day.

Thanks for the tip!

You may find that one cheaper on Ebay. I seem to recall paying $15 for my copy. And yes, it is a wonderful prayer book.


While I wouldn’t know definitively, but if you happen to be in the market for one, I recently purchased A Simple Prayer Book on Amazon, which is published by the Catholic Truth Society. It’s a neat little book that could nearly fit in your pocket. It contains an abundance of prayers so I’d recommend it.

Is there a standard Catholic prayer book?

Probably the most common Catholic prayer book, at least in traditionalist circles that celebrate the old Latin Mass, is the Roman Missal. Similar to the Book of Common Prayer, the Roman Missal contains the canon of the Mass, as well as the readings for each Mass of the year. Most Roman Missals also have a whole array of prayers - morning and evening prayers, etc.

The pre-Vatican II version of the Liturgy of the Hours is called the Divine Office. Baronius Press re-introduced this version to the public a few years back, and its content aligns with the calendar used by those that adhere to the old Latin Mass. The Liturgy of the Hours is post-Vatican II, and follows the Novus Ordo calendar.

As far as Missals, there are many versions. The most complete pre-Vatican II Missal is probably the St. Andrews Daily Missal, but there are several other versions as well, including those that adhere to the Novus Ordo.

The standard prayer book of the Catholic Church is the Liturgy of the Hours, as porthos said above. There are countless compendia of Catholic prayers, including some that are quite comprehensive, but if you are looking for a Catholic “equivalent” to the Book of Common Prayer, the LOTH is probably it.

Three good ones…
Manual of Prayers, Rev. Msgr. James D. Watkins, Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church, Washington, DC[/LIST]
Handbook of Prayers, Rev. James Socias, priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei; Executive Vice President
Midwest Theological Forum.[/LIST]
*](the aforementioned) Blessed Be God.

PDF samples and reviews of these gems can be found…

Has morning and evening prayer at no charge. Can subscribe for the full hours.

LOTH + Roman Missal. The BCP also contains their mass as well, AFAIK. The LOTH is only one part of the Church’s liturgical prayer, the summit of course being the Mass. But you knew that of course :wink:

Here is the Traditional Roman Breviary online…

The book form is expensive but you can set this up for PC or mobile device. There is an app that sets it up nicely on android devices.

Or print them out.

You are correct. The Book of Common Prayer includes the rite for the Communion, but it’s less extensive in propers compared to our Roman Missal.

With respect to the other posters, the OP was asking specifically for the equivalent to the Anglican Daily Office from the BCP, so as well-intentioned as their answers are, devotionals like Blessed by God and Handbook of Prayers—excellent though they may be—are not it. The answer is the Liturgy of the Hours, insofar as he asked specifically about morning/evening prayer and the “standard”, aka “official”. The Liturgy of the Hours is the official Catholic office just as the Book of Common Prayer is the/an official Anglican prayer book including its office (among others of course).


…actually, yes, I did know that. The fact that I gave an incomplete answer occurred to me about ten seconds after the time during which post editing is possible had come to an end :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the clarification :thumbsup:

The Daily Roman Missal has readings for the Daily Masses as well as for the Sunday Masses. It also has a section with common Devotions and Prayers.

Many Catholics do pray the Liturgy of the Hours with its own set of books.

There are other simple books containing the prayers that are common to Catholics. These can often be found in the vestibules of churches.

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It’s not really the traditional Roman Breviary. It is the breviary that traditionalists (licitly I should point out) use. The more traditional Roman Breviary would be that of Trent, which lasted some 500 or so years before being abrogated by Pius X. Alas he made no provisions to allow for the older breviary to be used, unlike Benedict XVI with Summorum Pontificum which spelled out the licit right to use the pre-conciliar breviary. It logically aligns with the EF Mass and its calendar. But a bit heavy, IMHO, for lay use if you’re a family/working man/woman.

It’s actually a modern, 20th Century breviary, and one that broke with 1000 + y.o. traditions such as saying all three Laudate psalms at the end of the psalmody of Lauds, and the use of psalms 4, 90 and 133 at Compline every day. It also introduced new divisions of the psalms to create Offices of equal length (e.g. Vigils every day of more or less the same length of time), which played havoc with the antiphonary.

The most traditional breviary is the current Benedictine one, which has as its core the psalmody specified by Saint Benedict 1500 years ago. It exists in both pre- and post-conciliar forms.

Of course if one really wants to get nitpicky, the Desert Fathers prayed the entire psalter in one day… :eek:

As for the Roman Breviary, it was reformed many times, for instance introduction of hymns in the 13th Century (which already existed for 5 centuries in the Benedictine breviary), the breviary of Trent, a couple of failed attempts such as the Quinonez Breviary (around the time of the Reformation), the Pius X major changes of 1910, the Holy Week changes of the early '50s, some minor rubrical changes and feast reclassifications in the 50s/early 60s, and now the 1970 LOTH, plus some more modern post-conciliar monastic breviaries (schema B, 150 psalms in a week, and schemas C and D, the psalter spread over two weeks). The Roman breviary has always been far more dynamic than the Monastic breviary.

Thank you for all of your replies!

It appears I have some reading to do. I am partial to the old English language that is found in the BCP, but I have also started to read through the LOTH and find the use of the modern English quite appealing as well. I will definitely be checking out the other suggestions as well.

It’s also worth noting that for Catholics who came from the Anglican tradition via the Ordinariates, their Missal is in Tudor English (known as Divine Worship: The Missal) and includes elements from the Book of Common Prayer.

Their Divine Office is not yet complete, so in the meantime, they use an interim Office book called the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham. It draws on the Coverdale Psalter and Book of Common Prayer, with references to the Liturgy of the Hours. As an interim book, however, its use is merely tolerated. It is expected to fall into disuse once the Divine Office for the Ordinariates (Divine Worship: The Office?) is promulgated. I expect such an Office to use Tudor English and follow a system similar to the Book of Common Prayer while retaining harmony with the Roman Missal and the Liturgy of the Hours.

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