Divine office question?

Greetings,

I would like to begin praying the Liturgy of the Hours but am not sure when to do so. At what time of day are each of Hours prayed?

  • Office of Readings (Matins)

  • Morning Prayer (Lauds): sunrise?

  • Day time Prayer: noon?

  • Evening Prayer (Vespers): sunset?

  • Night Prayer: before bed?

Thanks and God bless,
ZP

[quote="ziapueblo, post:1, topic:185119"]
Greetings,

I would like to begin praying the Liturgy of the Hours but am not sure when to do so. At what time of day are each of Hours prayed?

[/quote]

It depends on what time your community gathers to pray them. At my parish, we gather at 8:30 am for Morning Prayer (Lauds) and 5:15 pm for Evening Prayer (Vespers).

We don't gather for any of the others since those are more intended for members of Religious orders, and priests.

If you're doing it by yourself, right after breakfast would be the time to do the Morning Prayer, and right before dinner would be the time to do Evening Prayer. For the rest, just kind of space them out through the day when you have natural breaks in activity. :)

It all depends on how you want to do it if you are doing it alone.

In my community we do Morning Prayer with Mass at 6:45am during school days (work days) or 8:00am. Evening Prayer at 5:15pm.

Night Prayer can be before you go to bed or, when we did it in community, we did it at 9:00pm.

Day time prayer can be anytime during the day as there are three options available, Mid-Morning (9:00am), Midday (noon), or Afternoon (3:00pm). At least those are the times I have heard for them.

Office of the Readings you could do at any time. In the Novitiate we did it before Morning Prayer then had 30 to 45 minutes of private meditation (depending on how long the readings were) then Morning Prayer.

Hope that helps.

Thanks for the replies. They are very helpful!

God bless,
ZP

Despite the set up in Byzantine Daily Worship, Byzantine practice does not separate Matins from Lauds.

[quote="ziapueblo, post:1, topic:185119"]
Greetings,

I would like to begin praying the Liturgy of the Hours but am not sure when to do so. At what time of day are each of Hours prayed?

  • Office of Readings (Matins)

  • Morning Prayer (Lauds): sunrise?

  • Day time Prayer: noon?

  • Evening Prayer (Vespers): sunset?

  • Night Prayer: before bed?

Thanks and God bless,
ZP

[/quote]

When I was in novitiate we prayed the Liturgy each day:

morning: before 7:00 AM Mass
noon: optional
evening: 8 PM in chapel
night: optional

+*A Benedictine perspective . . . today’s posting . . . *

I pray Matens when I get up and follow it with Morning Prayer. Daytime prayer around noon, Evening 5 or 6 and night prayer before bed.

+There seemed to be a little confusion about the terms “Matins” and “Lauds” in your first post . . . and the terminology can be confusing because of the history of the use of these terms . . . perhaps the below information might be of some help here as you are starting out on your journey praying Divine Office . . . the prayer of the Church . . .

**A little history . . . **

Prior to the Blessed Holy St. Benedict and his Holy Rule of St. Benedict for Monasteries . . . there was a wide and great array of varying methods of daily and night prayers being said both in cathedrals and churches and in monasteries for the religious . . . after St. Constantine the Great’s conversion (fourth century) . . . these prayer times . . . (morning, evening, and the middle of the night) . . . became common in all the cathedrals throughout the empire . . . in the West these services came to be called . . . Matins, Vespers, and Vigils . . .

Eventually the morning service . . . most often called “Matins” . . . in early sources often came to be called “Lauds” instead. For an excellent scholarly history of the Liturgy of the Hours please see the link below:

:compcoff: Link: yale.edu/adhoc/research_resources/liturgy/hours.html

Later the **Blessed St. Benedict of Nursia **(sixth century). . . **the Father *(Patriarch) ***of Western Monasticism . . . Patron Saint of Europe . . . laid out the specific guidelines for the celebration of the "Work of God" or “Opus Dei” . . . which we now know as the Liturgy of the Hours/Divine Office. To this day The Holy Rule of St. Benedict is the most common and influential Rule used by monasteries and monks, more than 1500 years or so after its writing . . . and St. Benedict’s Order of St. Benedict (O.S.B.) . . . the Benedictines . . . are renown as the servants of our **Wonderful Triune God **for the evangelization of Europe . . . and even today those following the Benedictine Rule are the largest group of religious in Western Christianity. Below is a link to the **Order of St. Benedict O.S.B **website if you would like more information:

:compcoff: Link: osb.org/

The Holy Rule of St. Benedict in its entirety . . . including its liturgical system of prayers . . . the **Night Office **and the Daytime Office . . . and devout use of the Book of Psalms in Sacred :bible1: Scripture . . . is meant for every class of mind and every degree of learning . . . it is written and framed not only to instruct and bless the educated and for souls advanced in perfection . . . but it organizes and directs a complete life which is adapted for everyday folk in all walks of life . . . for the observance of the Commandments and for the beginnings of goodness. "We have written this Rule", writes St. Benedict, "that by observing it in monasteries, we may shew ourselves to have some degree of goodness in life and a beginning of holiness." Below is a link re the Benedictine Order:

:compcoff: Link: newadvent.org/cathen/02443a.htm

[INDENT][INDENT]But just as the planets rotate about the sun, the hours of the Divine Office revolve around the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, sanctifying every hour of the day and night. … The Divine Office unceasingly chants the Davidic Psalter and joins the ceaseless singing of the choirs of angels. - St. John Cantius Parish Church, Chicago, Illinois[/INDENT][/INDENT]

[INDENT][INDENT][INDENT]“From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfills the Lord’s precept to pray :gopray2: without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.” *** – Office of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship.***[/INDENT][/INDENT][/INDENT]:compcoff: **Link: **divineoffice.org/liturgy-of-the-hours/how-to-pray-the-liturgy-of-the-hours/

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You Dear Lord+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Mary+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Church+
[/RIGHT]

[quote="ziapueblo, post:1, topic:185119"]
Greetings,

I would like to begin praying the Liturgy of the Hours but am not sure when to do so. At what time of day are each of Hours prayed?

[/quote]

  • Office of Readings (~Matins) Officially anytime, traditionally early morning (this is what monks would pray starting at 2-4 am)

  • Morning Prayer (~Lauds): sunrise, before morning Mass

  • (Prime) Not in the new version of the LotH: still early morning,

  • Day time Prayer (~Terce, Sext, None): Actually three 'Hours' make up daytime prayers, current usage is to pray them midmorning, noon, or midafternoon (the 3rd, 6th, or 9th hour according to Roman reckoning, that is sun rise)

  • Evening Prayer (Vespers): sunset, generally between 4 and 8.

  • Night Prayer (Compline): before bed, or following EP, "completes" the day

The LotH favors Morning and Evening Prayer, followed by the Office of Readings and Night prayer if you are gradually introducing yourself to praying it (highly recommended unless you have a community, eg.: a monastery, to pray with).

If you want a little bit more at night and have trouble finding time to do the Office of the Readings for the day you can anticipate the Office of the Readings, that is do the next days Readings at night, and then pray the Night Prayer afterwards just before bedtime.

There are plenty of days when I wish I had become a religious. This is how a middle-aged female corporate manager prays the LOTH (Christian Prayer edition).

5:00 a.m. Morning Prayer started
5:05 a.m. deal with the cat (fed, let out, meowing, etc.)
5:08 a.m. Morning Prayer continued

2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Daytime Prayer, subject to IMs and visitors to my office

6:00 p.m. before starting to cook dinner Evening Prayer

8:00 p.m. OOR - better reading than any bedtime novel or mystery!

followed by Night Prayer if I'm still awake

The major hours are morning prayer and evening prayer – if you were only able to do those two “hours” thoughtfully on a regular basis, that would be a great start. Maybe start there and add others later?

[quote="ziapueblo, post:1, topic:185119"]
Greetings,

I would like to begin praying the Liturgy of the Hours but am not sure when to do so. At what time of day are each of Hours prayed?

  • Office of Readings (Matins)

  • Morning Prayer (Lauds): sunrise?

  • Day time Prayer: noon?

  • Evening Prayer (Vespers): sunset?

  • Night Prayer: before bed?

Thanks and God bless,
ZP

[/quote]

Office of Readings can be said at any convenient time of the day, or used as traditional Matins (Vigils). I do the latter, and pray it typically at 4 am, then I go back to sleep. If for some reason I can't get up (too tired, forgot to set the alarm) then I recite it as soon as I rise at 6:30 am. The office takes me about 20 min.

At 7 AM, I chant Morning Prayer. Sunrise is appropriate, but early morning will do. On Sundays I sometimes sleep in and will chant it at around 8:30 am. After morning prayer, I read the Martyrology for the day, and a commented chapter of the Rule of St. Benedict. This takes me about 30 min.

Day time or mid-day prayer can be said at any one of the canonical hours of Terce (around 9 am), Sexte (noon, my practice), or None (around 3 pm). You can also say the other canonical hours for the times other than the time you used for mid-day prayer, using the Complementary Psalter (the Gradual Psalms). It consumes about 10 min.

Evening prayer, or Vespers, is usually in the evening. I use it to transition from my work day to my personal time and chant it at 5 pm, but any time from say 4:30 pm to about 7 pm would be valid. Time, about 20 min.

Night prayer or Compline, is supposed to be your last activity before bed. For me that works out to about 9:45 pm, and I retire at about 10 pm, so as you can figure, it takes me about 15 min.

I am facilitated in all this that I work from home and have a small oratory in my office/library/cell.

I thank all of you for these fantastic and thoughtful replies!

God bless,
ZP

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