I don't know how to pray the Divine Office.. It comes with no guiding pamphlets/instructions in it.. Would someone give me instructions or the BEST website regarding how to pray thr Divine Office? Am discerning religious life and I love praying the Divine Office.. :)
Yes, it can be a challenge to learn the DO. First of all, what series do you have? The Mundelein Psalter, the four volume set, or the Book of Christian Prayer? I have the four volume set and when I first began praying, I always checked myself against the DO website that lists the page numbers on the top of each office. The website is: divineoffice.org/
I don't know what type of DO that I had bought.. I actually saw people praying DO but I prayed it for the first time this evening with a Friar.. I'm still confused.. :( But I'll look into the website you gave me later.. :)
Does the book say Christian Prayer? If not you probably got the redish book that has a roman numeral II on it which is for Lent and Easter and is the second of the 4 volume set.
I know my local Catholic bookstore has the one for the four volume set and it's pretty cheep.
You will likely get better advice if you let us know exactly what version you are using. Is it the four-volume, modern one?
In the United States of America the term "Divine Office" is most often used by Traditionalists to describe pre-Vatican II versions of it, but I believe in much of the rest of the English-speaking world the old term is still in use more than "Liturgy of the Hours" which is the ordinary title for the post-Vatican II version in America.
This brings another question to my mind: is your version in English or another language?
Personally I've found the St. Joseph's Guide very helpful, but I don't know if it is available in your country or for the specific version you are using.
Sorry you guys.. The book is in Indonesian language, not in English.. The title says 'Ibadat Harian' which literally means 'Divine Office'.. Nevermind then, just give me links of helpful websites that can guide me through the DO.. I guess I need to pray the DO with the local friars more often.. :)
Yes, the best way is to pray it with those who know how to pray it. However, In the English version, there is a section called the ordinary, which is the basic framework and does have instructions as to how to proceed through each of the hours.
These three websites all set out each office for “today” as well as yesterday and tomorrow.
The first one suggests where you put your ribbons in the USA versions of the books.
The best thing is to start with just part of the prayer.
Morning and evening (Lauds and Vespers) prayers are considered the “Hinge” of the Divine Office, and most recommended. Prayed at the start and end of your working day… Then comes Compline (Night Prayer/ prayer at bed-time)
After that the Office of Readings is of importance due to it’s content. It can be prayed at any time of the day or night. It replaces “Vigils” which was prayed in the middle of the night between the first and second sleeps. (A sleep pattern rare where there is artificial light easily available)
Then comes the 3 “small hours” of prayer in the day.
For Morning and Evening Prayer which are the most important hours, and often the most complicated, you do the following:
- Get the ribbons into the right places in your book, and put thumb-tabs at the places of the “Frequently used texts”
- a Ribbon at the “Proper of the seasons” for the time of year. We are currently in Easter Tide, so a ribbon goes in the relevant page
- a ribbon at the proper place in the Psalter. Today is a Wednesday, so it would normally go to “Week 1 Wednesday”. But today is the feast of St. Joseph the worker, so there’s another place for todays special feast.
- a ribbon at the calendar date for the general calendar, and a cross reference to the national calendar. Some days of the year are special feasts or memorials or optional memorials. These have alternative prayers or for major feasts have the normal Psalter replaced for that day.
I would recommend when you are new to the prayer that you could ignore the calendar except for major feasts like today. - but don’t ignore the proper of the seasons.
Start to pray:
For the first prayer of the day you pray:
C/"Oh Lord Open My Lips"
R/"And my tongue shall announce your praise"
C/ "Glory be to…"
R/ “As it was in the…”
all/ Invitatory Antiphon (From the Proper or the Psalter as appropriate)
then the cantor and respondants alternate verses of the Invatatory Psalm. The Antiphon is used as a response by all after each stanza.
every psalm (unless otherwise stated) is followed by the “Glory Be…” and concluded with it’s antiphon.
For later hours the opening is
C/"Oh God Come to my Aid."
R/"Oh Lord make haste to help me"
Then you follow the Psalter or alternative for the Hour you are praying.
For Morning Prayer that is
Canticle from O.T.
Benedictus Antiphon (varies by Proper for the season and special feasts)
Benedictus (Gospel Canticle) (Stand and make the sign you make at the announcement of the Gospel at mass)
Intercessions (various options permitted, suggestions in Psalter, and for major feasts & memorials)
Closing Prayer (Varies with options as before)
(If no priest of deacon present this is:
“May the lord bless us and keep us from all evil and bring us to ever lasting life. Amen”
Evening prayer is almost the same format but the psalms canticles and intercessions are different.
The Canticle is from the New Testament, as is the Reading. and the Gospel Canticle is the Magnificat.
the lesser hours during the day are shorter and omit the Our Father, reading and intercessions.
The office of readings adds 2 longer readings, one from the Scriptures and one from the Fathers of the Church, (read after the psalms and a canticle) on a 1 year cycle, with an optional 2nd year cycle available.
Use one of the websites: Divine Office or Universalis as a guide, but use your own language breviary to pray in your own language and double check the calenders.
If possible try to make it to where a Friar is praying a few times to get a better feel for it all.
Thanks guys for all the materials..! :)
I want to start pray divine office in Latin because I went to a course on how to serve the Low mass and we prayed chanted Compline