I’ve read a little bit about the Divine Office, and I’ve found a few resources that give the prayers for a particular day, but I’m having trouble learning how these prayer sets are actually figured. Could anyone give me an explanation? It doesn’t have to be custom-made for me; a link would be plenty nice.
Did you want to know how to arrange the calendar to determine who you should celebrate, or where to find the parts (like psalms, antiphons, etc.) for different days, or both?
I think both.
The prayers of the day are proper to either the liturgical season that we’re in, or to a particular saint’s day. So, during Lent, most of the days you would say the Divine Office for say the Tuesday of the 3rd week of Lent, but on March 19, you would say the Divine Office for the Solemnity of St. Joseph. Hope this answers some of your question.
Liturgical days are either feasts days or days in a particular season (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time).
Feast days are divided into 4 types: Solemnities, Feasts, Memorials, Optional Memorials
Days in seasons are of two types: Sundays and weekdays (feriae)
To arrange the calendar, first look to see if it is a saint’s day, and if so, what is the rank. Then look at which day in which season it is (e.g. Wednesday after the Third Sunday of Lent). Then use the table found here, to see which one is higher. That’s the one you use for that day.
If the omitted day is a Solemnity, then it gets tranferred to the next day (the next day that is not a Solemnity, Feast, Sunday, Holy Week, Ash Wedneday, All Souls)
Optional Memorials are just what the name implies - optional - so you can choose to observe either the saint, or the weekday
You can also use the calendar at universalis.org which will tell you the day; likewise, there are “Ordos” -small booklets giving which day it is, which Mass may be said, and what to recite from the Liturgy of the Hours.
Once you’ve determined the day, then follow the General Instruction, numbers 225-240 to know where you should take a certain part from.
Feel free to ask more questions - this is not the most illuminating of answers, I know. :o