Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I had sent for the Little Office of the Virgin from a Book Store (we don’t have much here in this small town Parish gift shop – mainly rosaries, medals and things for visitors/tourists). I was told it would not arrive until Dec. 2nd, but it came about 1/2 hour ago. I do have a single volume copy of the “Liturgy of the Hours”, which I used in the Convent, but get confused as to what section to read & pray daily. Has anyone here used the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin? I’m excited to get this, and want to do it correctly. Can you give me any advice or tips? I am extremely devoted to the Blessed Virgin, and planning to also make my Consecration to Jesus through Mary in the next few weeks.

Is this “Little Office” easier to use than the “Liturgy of the Hours”? (It is certainly a lot smaller!) Any help appreciated.

God Bless you all, and Happy Thanksgiving for the gifts of our Good Lord!


I’d give a twofold answer:

Yes, it is easier to learn to pray than the full LOTH or Roman Breviary. There is less flipping around between sections, fewer variations based on the saint’s day or the season, and on the whole it just is easier to figure out (hopefully the instructions in the book you got should help you with this, if you read them closely.)

On the other hand, once you get to the point that praying your daily office is second nature, then the situation can reverse: the Little Office of Our Lady risks becoming repetitive, whereas the full Office, precisely because of its complexity and variability, can seem richer.

That said, the Little Office of Our Lady can be prayed with infinite depth, just like the Holy Rosary (an even more ‘simplified’ prayer) can–but it depends on how much we bring to them. If they start to get stale, it’s our responsibility to find homilies, Bible readings, and saints’ writings that can fire our imaginations and breathe new life into these prayers. With the full Office, such outside initiative is less necessary, because the Office is pretty free-standing as far as supplying variety and new perspectives throughout the course of the year.

That’s a long reply, but if you already find the full Office complex (and who doesn’t, at first!), then the Little Office of Our Lady is a great prayer practice to turn to. If, a year or two down the road, the Little Office starts to seems ‘too simple’ (and what would God think of that criticism?), then that will be the time to decide (maybe under the direction of a spiritual director) whether it would be better to “move up” to the full Office, or to deepen one’s prayer of the Little Office by focusing on different aspects of it.

Long-winded answer, hope it’s helpful!

Who publishes it? If it is Baronius Press then your in luck because I have that volume. First off, it it much shorter and easier than the liturgy of the hours. There is no difficult page turning or flipping around, just smooth sailing from Matins to Compline. My suggestion is try praying Lauds and Vespers and maybe an extra office if you feel confident. What you need to do is open to Lauds, and begin reciting the office as it is written. Make sure to make the sign of cross when there is a Red Cross. It is very simple, you recite the black and do the red. Overtime you can do all the offices or most of them if you wish. If you got the Baronious press version they have a nice section about the office in back after the Gregorian chant. Also they have the litany of loreto and the angelus and the Regina caeli in the back. Super simple to use! Let me knowif you have any questions!

No, some of my other devotional books are from Baronius Press, but this one is from Catholic Book Publishing Corp.; compiled & edited by John E Rotelle, O.S.A. It does have the extra prayers at the back, just as you said the Baronius Press book does. So far it seems easy to follow, but the hours are noted in Latin: (i.e., Matins, Lauds, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers & Compline), however it is easy to follow. I think I will enjoy it very much. I found the LOTH more difficult to follow, although I did follow it for a long time, but now it seems too complex, and I wanted an Office specifically for the Blessed Virgin, and found this right away.

Thanks for the offer of help. I will probably still use part of the LOTH on occasion, but not until I’m thoroughly familiar with this Little Office. Since I’m a devout follower of the Little Flower (St. Therese), it seemed to me that the Little Office would suit me better, especially since I’m also doing the Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort in preparation for the Consecration to Jesus through Mary.:gopray:

Ah I see! Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. I usually recite both offices, the Divine Office and the Little Office, I think the Carthusians do this. I too am doing the consecration, the LOBVM is very helpful.

I have a question about the Little Office, as I have a LOTBVM book. Does it basically only consist of a different Morning and Evening Prayer that is on a one-week cycle? Everything else in my book is a selection from Daytime Prayer, Night Prayer, and the Office of Readings that is from the regular Liturgy of the Hours.

Yes, that is basically what the LOBVM is – a recurring weekly cycle, but there are alternate selections for the Morning & Evening Prayers to vary it, and also alternates in some of the Daytime Prayers, plus my copy has additional prayers to the Blessed Virgin in the back of the Book. Combined with Scripture readings you can select yourself, and a Daily Rosary, the whole combination is the Daily Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is on a weekly cycle with alternate readings for each day, rather than a 1 year or 3 year cycle, as the regular Office is. I find it very easy to follow, but also very rich after using it even for several days. I expect to find more spiritual riches by using it for a year or more. I used to use the Divine Office, but it eventually became too complex for me, and with my eyesight weakening, too difficult to follow. I am particularly devoted to the Blessed Virgin, and find the Little Office of immense spiritual benefit, combined with Lectio Divino and the Rosary. Try it for a year, and see how it helps you. God Bless!:signofcross:

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