Help promoting the LOTH in our parish


#1

My parish is a great blessing in my family’s life. We are privileged to have good, solid orthoodox priests. Recently the parish has been promoting personal prayer, as well as Eucharistic Adoration and other devotions. Only one aspect of our daily prayer life has been left unmentioned–that of the Divine Office–an oversight, I feel sure. I’ve composed a note to send to our senior pastor to bring this to his attention. I’d like your feedback before sending it to him. He knows who I am, although he doesn’t know a great deal about me. Any good suggestions would be welcome. Thanks all! :tiphat:

Dear Father ____________,

Good day to you. I am writing you regarding your efforts to deepen the devotional life of ______ parish. My husband Jim and I have been heartened by them and wish to contribute a suggestion that we feel will benefit many in the parish.

In all that we’ve heard and read from the parish we have noticed that no mention has been made of the Divine Office. We believe this to be a mere oversight since it would greatly enhance prayer life in the parish.

Perhaps a class or lecture could be given on praying the Divine Office, and mention made of it in the parish bulletin or in any other way you might see fit. If there is any way I could help promote the practice of praying the Divine Office in the parish, I’d be happy to do what I could.

All the best to you, and the whole staff at _________,

Me


#2

I think it’s a great idea to promote the Divine Office; I myself have prayed it daily for many years and can attest to the spiritual benefits of doing so.

My only suggestion would be to keep the letter completely positive. I’d be inclined to re-write the second paragraph to say:

“My husband and I have received great spiritual benefit from praying the Divine Office every day, and we were wondering if sharing this devotion with others wouldn’t also help to enhance the spiritual and prayer life of the parish?”

This way you’re not sort of saying he made a mistake (even though I think it is a mistake to leave out the Divine Office!), but generally just adding another suggestion.

The rest is great and I think it’s equally great that you volunteer. Nothing helps to get things moving like investing of yourself for it, and I for one am greatly in favour of increasing this devotion everywhere.


#3

Thanks for your good suggestions, OraLabora. :slight_smile: I have changed the 2nd paragraph along the lines you cited.

Every other major devotion has been mentioned and promoted at our parish, so it’s mystery to us why the DO has had no mention. Knowing the benefits we want other to enjoy them too.

I’m not sure what our pastor might ask us to do, if anything. He’s really great at promoting whatever he thinks good for the parish. I have little doubt he’ll want to do something positive about this, as well.


#4

I emailed my proposal and have already had a reply. Father thinks it would make a great Lenten series. I offered to help in any way I can.

Having received so many benefits from praying the DO, I believe it should be promoted much more than it is in our parishes. It’d be great to see a diocesan wide promotion of some kind. Any suggestions for that? :slight_smile:


#5

It may have been that he simply felt that it was too complex.

And that would not necessarily be out of the realm of possibilities. Other threads about LOTH have people responding who are obviously enthusiastic, but don’t seem to understand how overwhelming it can be to have either the one or four volume set as a starting point (since that is what they seem to suggest).

Shorter Christian Prayer is an excellent starting place if one wises Morning, Evening and Night Prayer; the Magnificat booklet has an even more reduced format with Mass and other materials, and if one wishes to print off from the Internet, there are materials which are slightly modified to avoid copyright matters with the formal one; these allow group recitation without each having to invest in a book.

Good luck!


#6

For starters, try to survey parishes to see how many may have someth8ing in place. You might find some pleasant surprises. From there - eh, a bit beyond me, but that could give you a foundation that it is not some “pie in the sky” idea.


#7

Excellent suggestions, so far.

I’d like to suggest something our priest did at our Parish. You might think about this further down the line.

He announced:“I’m praying the Divine Office at XX:XX time in the Church, after Daily Mass. (On Saturdays, it was before Daily Mass.) Join me if you’re interested.” He made the one announcement after Sunday Mass, then, word spread by the interested people. Also, he prayed the Divine Office everyday, during the workweek, with the office staff. Everyone knew if they stopped by the Parish Office at XX:XX, they could pray the Divine Office with Father.

By no means was there a crushing crowd, the crowd was small enough, he did some teaching. Surprisingly, mostly our young people.

A priest wouldn’t have to do this, either, any layperson familiar with the LOTH could do this.


#8

Yes, praying the DO requires some instruction, especially if one uses a book. One alternative that I use most days is the website: divineoffice.org/. But people should be instructed how to use Christian Prayer and Shorter Christian Prayer since those are specifically for lay people and are the easiest to use.

[quote=otjm]For starters, try to survey parishes to see how many may have someth8ing in place. You might find some pleasant surprises. From there - eh, a bit beyond me, but that could give you a foundation that it is not some “pie in the sky” idea.
[/quote]

Great suggestion. I’ll have to give it some practical thought. :slight_smile:


#9

Excellent, glad to hear he took your suggestion!

Not sure how to help diocese-wise. We have local Benedictine abbey (that I’m an oblate of) that of course prays one of the Monastic varieties 7x per day. The cathedral in the next diocese (I live right on the border) prays it daily as well. A small but steady number show up. The Gregorian schola I sing with does Lauds or Vespers in Gregorian Chant at the cathedral from time to time, usually during Advent and Lent. Kills two birds with one stone, my love of chant, and of the Divine Office :slight_smile:

At my own parish, on days when there was no daily Mass they would have Lauds; not sure if it’s still done as I usually attend liturgies and Mass at the abbey. But that may be another avenue to explore, if daily Mass can’t be offered for whatever reason, replace it with an Office appropriate for that time of day (Readings, Lauds, Mid-day, Vespers). It can be lay-led, which takes the pressure off the clergy.


#10

One of our “past Pastors” bought the Shorter Christian prayer books and introduced the idea to everyone at the daily Masses. We began pray it after each daily Mass.
It’s a small start, but easy and cheap to accomplish. I love the idea of a “class” to expose people to the practice. Sounds great! Good luck!


#11

St. John Cantius holds these prayers inside the Church. Public is encouraged to join.

cantius.org/go/liturgy_devotions/category/divine_office/


#12

That’s great. It’d be ideal to have that at our parish, too. Maybe Father’s actions will initiate something like it. :thumbsup:


#13

I would also suggest that you buy a few Christian Prayer books and leave them wrapped in the box. When people start to come and show interest, announce that you will sell the unopened books at whatever you paid for them. With the monies, buy replacements and keep them on hand.

This give the person a sense of ownership and makes it more likely they will return. It also is something they will take home with them and pray whenever they miss the group prayer times. Nothing like encouraging personal prayer.


#14

May I ask which parish? Send a PM if you don’t feel comfortable stating publicly.

-Tim-


#15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.