Liturgy of the Hours and Thanksgiving Day


In the Missal for the U.S.A there is the optional memorial for Thanksgiving Day. Can we use the collect from the Thanksgiving Day Mass when praying the Liturgy of the Hours on that day too?



If you are a lay person, you are not bound by any liturgical rules for the Liturgy of the Hours, but are free to use as a private devotional, so you can pray the LOH anyway you like on Thanksgiving Day, or any other day.

If you are a religious or ordained, then you already know the answer!

Peace and all good!


We may not be bound, but it also matters if we want to say the Office as the Prayer of the Church. If you want to pray devotionally, fine, do whatever you want. But if you want to say the Office as official prayer of the Church, bound or not, then we still stick to the rules and the texts, and there is merit in doing so.

That said, if it’s not in the Breviary, then you don’t say it. If there is no text for Thanksgiving, then there is no text for Thanksgiving, and you say the office of the day. Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, not a religious one.


I guess I’m not much of a rules guy, so is it like calling a fair catch in football, where we have to declare before praying whether we are praying the Prayer of the Church, or devotionally? Is God less joyous when we do one over the other?

Peace and all good!


You don’t have to explicitly declare, but as with all things liturgical, it goes to intention, at least virtual.

It’s not about making God joyous, but what you wish to offer. Many people intend to offer the Liturgy of the Hours as their participation in the official Prayer of the Church simply for that reason: they want to unite their prayers with the voice of the Church rising to God. This is very much a sacrifice of praise and an exercise of their baptismal priesthood, and an exercise in self-denial (because by following the rubrics and the text, they are choosing to pray as the Church prays, rather than pray as they feel). The Liturgy of the Hours is first and foremost public prayer, even if said alone. As such, it has an efficacy that other prayers don’t (just like Mass has an efficacy other prayers don’t). If we want to offer the Divine Office as the Divine Office, then we follow the rules, even for those not bound.

Devotional is also good, and this is more of a personal, one-on-one with God. This is where things like the Rosary and Lectio Divina come in.

For those who love the liturgy, rules are not a burden.


This is spot on.

The key word here is liturgy. If we pray the Liturgy of the Hours per the rubrics, then it is “liturgy”. If we pray it as a private devotional without attention to the rubrics, then it is no longer the Liturgy of the Hours. It’s just a prayer at various times of the day. The importance of Liturgy in Catholic theology cannot be underestimated; it’s entirely related to the notion of the Church being, in essence, the body of Christ of which we are all members and doing our part.

Sometimes the LOTH drives me crazy. I chant the Office so there are times that I hit upon an antiphon I don’t care for or a psalm tone I don’t like, or the mood of the psalms doesn’t match my own. As a monk says in a commented Rule of St. Benedict, the liturgy isn’t about me or my needs, it’s about the needs of the entire Church and thus has to cover the joys and pains of all Church members; the schema of the LOTH is designed to do just this. When I’m joyful and there’s a difficult psalm, I’m praying in solidarity with someone who’s not so joyful and going through difficulties. Conversely when I’m sad and praying a joyous psalm, I’m giving thanks for someone else’s good fortune. Some day it will be reversed and someone else will be celebrating with me.

Finally, though it isn’t “all about me”, I do find there is great spiritual value by persevering in this prayer. Often it is when I am most down and not feeling like praying it that once I’m finished, I feel suddenly uplifted. There are therefore graces that come from participating in the official, public liturgy of the Church.


I checked my guide for the one volume Christian Prayer, and Thanksgiving is treated as just another day.

But the antiphons ARE appropriate:

Invitatory Ant - Come into the Lord’s presence singing for joy.

Ant 1 - Stir up your mighty power, Lord, come to our aid.

Ant 2 - The Lord has worked marvels for us, make it known to the ends of the world.

Ant 3 - Ring out your joy to God our strength.

I’d stick with what in the LOTH, Country Steve!


Yep. God will assess you 15 yards if you don’t!:smiley:


Thanks for this post. I needed this.



Thanks for the reply’s!



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