Liturgy of hours


can anyone give me some info on the liturgy of the hours? i know almost nothing about it. is it like roayers that you say evryday??? where can i get the books? which ones do i buy? can anyone prray this alone? where did it come from? any info really…


online liturgy of the hours, it is the prayer of the church and YES you can pray it alone. There is instructions on the website. God Bless


The Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of the Church. It is designed to sanctify the day. When I was ordained a deacon, I made a promise to pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day for the rest of my life. Every bishop and priest prays them daily. Many deacons, religious communities, and even many lay people also pray the Office.

It has many different names that all refer to the same thing: Liturgy of the Hours, Office, Breviary, LoH.

It’s not really like the Rosary at all, I’m afraid. The only similarity is that there are 150 Psalms, and prior to the additional Luminous Mysteries, there were 150 Hail Marys prayed in a full 15 decade Rosary. The idea behind the Rosary was so that “common folk” who were illiterate could pray the 150 Psalms with the literate priests and monks. This isn’t a problem anymore.

The LoH is divided up into five “hours,” or offices: the Office of Readings, Mornign Prayer, Daytime Prayer (which is further divided into three sub-hours: Mid-Morning, Mid-Day, and Mid-Afternoon), Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer. Of these, Morning and Evening Prayer are the most important. There is a four week cycle of Psalms that are prayed, such that, if one were to pray each office for four weeks, he would pray almost all of the 150 Psalms. It’s not quite all of them though, as some are omitted.

Certainly anyone can pray the LoH, either alone or in a group. However, a word of caution…it can be quite confusing the first few times you do it, because things change depending on what the date is, which liturgical season you are in, and other things. Once you do it a few times, it’s a piece of cake, but the first few times can be confusing. If you’re just starting out, I would recommend starting with Night Prayer, as it is the shortest hour and the easiest to learn. It only takes about five minutes to pray. Even the long hours only take about 15 when sung.

As for where to start, you can pick up a one volume version of the LoH called Christian
Prayer, but it will not have everything in it. If you want to do everything, you will need the four volume Liturgy of the Hours. There are also a number of apps available. The one I recommend and often use is iBreviary. I think it’s free, but it might be a dollar or two.

Happy praying!


i think im going to buy the full 4 volume set when i get the money! can’t wait to start and thanks soooo much for the information!


[quote="MaeganFlinchum1, post:4, topic:300413"]
i think im going to buy the full 4 volume set when i get the money! can't wait to start and thanks soooo much for the information!


The four volume set comes with the Office of Readings and other things required for priests and religious. I would recommend get the single volume for private usage.





As someone (a layman) who has been praying the Office for about 18 months now, I can tell you that it is very rewarding to know that you are joining with the universal prayer of the Church - whenever you say the Office, you can all but guarantee that somewhere else on earth people are saying it with you. The sun never sets on the Church and it’s praise for God.

I would avoid the full breviary for the moment. There are a good few books which include Morning and Evening Prayer (and are often named that), and they usually include Night Prayer too.

It can be difficult, as has been said, to follow at first, what with parts of the prayer changing for the day and season, but you will soon pick it up.

It can also be difficult to stick with at times, particularly early on; perhaps some clergy (who are obligated to say at least part of the Office) could shed light on how they deal with any difficulties. As I’ve said it is incredibly rewarding once you are in the habit - for example I say Morning Prayer in my school chapel every weekday morning (I’m a teacher) and it is a wonderful way of sanctifying my day.

All the best



Thanks for the information, I think I’ll ask my priest about it :slight_smile:

#9 makes it easy. It costs a couple bucks a month but just click on the office for the time of day and it has all readings right there for you in Douay-Rheims style of language. Some like it, some not so much. Has the Latin as well!


It takes a while to get the hang of saying the Office, especially alone, but it’s not that hard. Instructions come with whichever version you buy (-one volume or the four-volume set.) Take your time. It’s not a race. It may feel odd at first but that’s okay. Just stick with it and soon you’ll be very glad you did. Start with Morning and Evening prayer. The most important thing is to establish a routine you can keep. And if you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up over it, just start back the next day.


The other thing that you should know is that, just like the Mass, all of the other liturgical rites in the Church are being retranslated in English. The new Grail Psalter is done, so I’m told. Many of the other prayers from the LoH coincide with what has already been retranslated from the Third Edition of the Roman Missal (the new Mass translation), so you might hold off on buyin a four volume set just for the simple fact that a new translation will almost certainly be published in the next five to ten years or so. The Church moves kind of slowly on these things, so it’s hard to say for sure when it will be published, but just know that it is coming.


True, but a person saying the Office for personal devotion----not out of an obligation, such as being a member of the clergy—can use any approved edition.


If you're just starting out and want a little jump start, I'd recommend subscribing to "Magnificat" ( - a little monthly magazine that has abbreviated versions of the Morning and Evening Hours for every day of the month, plus as a nice bonus, some interesting articles and extra readings.


I thought I heard that the hours were being revised, but perhaps that was just a rumor. If it is so, I’d wait until the revised version comes out.

Anyone know if this was a rumor or perhaps a mistake? I thought I read a post on it somewhere in the CAF.


Agree… and yes, the Revised Grail is already

I own the singing version myself.


It is true. Father Z has posted on it… I believe it is actually on the USCCB website somewhere.


I would say, just buy it anyway. There isn’t even a timetable yet so there’s no point in waiting. If one wants to pray the Office of Readings, invest in the 4-volume, one volume at a time if need be. Otherwise, get a copy of Christian Prayer and just get started.


ALL of the english liturgical books are being revised because of liturgam authenticam. It’s when, not if.


Here’s what I did, and recommend to people if financially feasible.

First buy the one volume “Christian Prayer” book, and learn the LOTH like the back of your hand. Use it, use it a lot if you can.

If you want to start praying office of readings (you can look at them at to get a feel for what it’s like), then go and buy the 4 volume set, and give/sell yours to a friend who would like to learn, and teach them how to pray it as well. Now all my friends pray LOTH too, because of this technique, along with some of them asking for breviaries for Christmas/birthdays.


I agree. I just would have felt bad if someone were to go out and invest $150.00 or so in a four volume LoH, only to have it be obsolete. I just wanted to inform and then let the OP make up his/her own mind about to whether to go ahead with the purchase.

Also, from my experience, the one volume is much harder to learn for a beginner. The four volume is considerably easier, JMHO, though. As others have said, if you desire to pray the Office of Readings, which, personally is my favorite office, you will need a four volume set as it is not included in the one volume.

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