How do i use the Christian prayer 1 volume LOTH? A newbie here

ok so i got the book (its amazing and you can get it here ) so i have it and am not sure where to start. help! :slight_smile:

There should actually be a section in the book that tells you how to use it, when i first bought the book, i would also use to compare with to see if i was using the book right, God bless (:

it is exciting that you are wanting to pray this. let me explain as someone who prays the liturgy of the hours daily how to do it.

in the Church there are 7 hours Lauds (Morning prayer), 3 hours of Daytime prayer (I think its called mattens), Vespers (Evening Prayer), Compline (Night Prayer), Office of Reading.

while you don’t have to follow these times this is I think the times early communties prayed it and it was based on

6am was usually Lauds
9am was midmorning prayer
12pm was midday
3pm was midafternoon
6pm was evening prayer
9pm was Night prayer
they also sometimes had a thing called vigils but thisn’t a part of the currently the part of the Liturgy of the Hours. Now please notice you don’t have to pray the hours at these times and you really could be fine just doing at the times which work best for you. But I highly suggest you do morning prayer in the morning day time around the time they are perscribed for, and evening prayer any time after you can first have a vigil mass. 4pm in many diocese. Night prayer when the sun is down.

The way I do it is at these times

6:30am I do office of readings (this can be done at any time)
7:30am I do lauds with my brother seminarians
11:00am or so I do day time prayer midday usually
6pm/5:30pm (depending on the day) I do vespers with my brother seminarians
7pm I do compline with my brother seminarians.

I would suggest starting with just morning and evening prayer.

now to the actual saying of the prayers.

at your first our you do what you would call the invitory. In the one volume you find this directly before morning prayer. You say the antiphon and the invitory psalm which can be found in the ordinary or on one of the loose sheets.

the invitory starts with “lord open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise”

for morning prayer if it starts with the invititory you don’t say God come to my assistence.

you sing a hymn

then you do the psalter (2 psalms and 1 canticle)

you should begin each psalm or canticle with an antiphon and finish it with it to.

then you do the reading

moment of silence


Gospel Canticle


Our Father

Closing prayer.

same with evening prayer

Most of the hours have this process of antiphon psalm antiphon

hopefully this gives you a starting point for this book.

The ordinary is always a great place to do it should be in the 600s (I don’t have mine in front of you can’t tell you)

as far as the ribbons go I would suggest setting them this way

one ribbon the proper of seasons (you will see sunday’s in ordinary time and lent and easter and that kinda stuff)

one ribbon on the ordinary (atleast until you get a handle on it.)

one ribbon on the 4 week psalter. This is found directly after the Ordinary

one ribbon on the proper of saints. Just find today’s date and move your ribbon to it.

one lastly on the any of the commons, you will use these from time to time, it will be made clear on the proper of saints.

just like the other poster said check out and that should help you.

one last thing, get the second one in this link, cheep but very helpful it will tell you where the prayers are every day. Even as someone who has prayed this for over a year I still sometimes need this to refer to when I’m on my own.

please let me know if you have questions I’ll do my best to answer.

I think the easiest way to learn to pray the Liturgy of the Hours is to do it with someone who already prays that way. They can show you the ins and outs.

If you don’t have someone like that available, take a look at It has all the prayers on the screen, but it also gives you page numbers for the printed version. You can use your own book and listen to the audio version from the web site. It helps you get the routine and the rhythm. Once you know how it all fits together it’s easy and you won’t need to rely on the audio support (unless you want it).

I believe if you go to you can see the layout of the particular “hour” exactly as it should be. It also has a corresponding page number for your hard copy. It’s awesome that you’re startin out, I’ve just returned to praying the Office myself :). Good luck! :thumbsup:

Thank you so much that helped a lot. But one thing how do i know which song to sing and which office of readings to read?

Also everytime in the book where it says Canticle of Mary or Canticle of Zechariah do i pray those? And whyaawhy does the 4 week psalter start with the evening prayer???

Try this: Divine Office takes you no where.

No one has mentioned this but using the Guide for TLOH will make it much easier. This small publication is printed for each year and is available inexspensively from most Catholic stores.

the one volume has a very limited selection of readings if you want to do office of readings use the divine office website.

ok yes you do pray those The Canticle of Zechariah is for morning prayer and the Canticle of Mary is for evening prayer.

the reason the 4 week psalter starts with evening prayer is because solemnities start with evening prayer 1. Liturgically solemnities are one and a half starting at 4pm (for my diocese) and ending at 12 PM of the next day. So any time there is a solemnities (all sundays and holy days of obligation) evening prayer 1 takes place of that nights evening prayer. So for example this Saturday instead of doing evening prayer of Saturday you do Evening prayer 1 of Sunday. Also next month on St. Joseph Day the night before that you do Evening prayer 1 instead of that days evening prayer. Get a guide from the website I showed you it will help you alot to know what to pray everyday.

BTW we are in the 4th week of the psalter, you can always find out what week we are in by going to the current week in the liturgical calendar it will tell you what liturgical week we are in.

one last thing watch out for days that ask you to say sunday morning prayer week 1. Those are usually Feasts.

keep on asking questions.

but two guides to use, the ordinary which is around the 600s it will tell you lots and get at a local book store or through a guide for Christian prayer it will tell you what pages to use for each day, that will help you get to a point where you don’t need it anymore.

Honestly, the best way to get started is to get the St Joseph guide for Christian Prayer. Make sure it’s for the 1 volume, because someone tied to sell me the guide for the 4-book set an it didn’t work out. Any local Catholic bookstore should have it.

Of course, I’m operating on the assumption that your book is from the Catholic Book Publishing Company.:stuck_out_tongue:

Yep thats where its from :slight_smile: they did send ne the guide thay went with my book for free, but its the 2012 version, which threw the whole thing off.

Because Christian Prayer is very abbreviated, don’t bother trying the Office of Readings, especially given that you’re a beginner. Stick with Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer for the time being while you have this book.

On the hows, you should really take some time to study the Ordinary starting on page 686. Just like the Mass, there are parts that change and parts that do not change. Especially read the understand the red texts because those are the instructions. The black text in the Ordinary constitute things you will actually recite, but the red instructions will tell you when to recite what.

Vigils in a sense still exists, it is now called the Office of Readings. However the rubrics allow it to be used as Vigils and the old Third Nocturne canticles are included in an appendix. Many communities use the OOR as Vigils, praying either the night before, during the night, or very early in the morning. Vigils has also been called Matins; in some usages Matins was Vigils and Lauds together. In early monastic times, “Lauds” was the end of Matins, specifically psalms 148-149-150.

The daytime hours are often called the minor hours although with the LOTH mid-day prayer is more substantial. There is a complementary psalter in LoTH to do the other two minor hours.

Currently the three daytime canonical hours are Terce (or third hour, approx. 9 am), Sext (sixth hour, approx. noon), and None (ninth hour, approx 3 pm). Prior to Vatican II there was also Prime (first hour, approx 6 am) but that has been abolished.

I also recommend starting with Morning, Evening and Night prayers to get the feel of it.

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