Liturgy of the Hours: I'm not a fan


#1

Is it okay to not be a fan of certain devotions? I’m not a fan of the LOTH just because it just seems a little impersonal


#2

You need not ever have any private devotion of any type or kind. However, as you grow in faith, one or two will gradually become attractive.

You want a powerful devotion?

Adoration of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Miracles proceed from it because its very foundation is a miracle.


#3

It’s not meant to be personal. It’s liturgical. That’s why it’s called the LOTH.


#4

I have a problem with the prayers after the Psalms. But I love the Psalms. (Except Psalm 45)


#5

Unless you are a priest, deacon, or member of a religious order (including the secular branches of some), you are under no obligation to pray the LoH. So there’s no reason to worry if you’re not a fan! :grinning:


#6

Catechism

1174 … Celebrated in “the form approved” by the Church, the Liturgy of the Hours "is truly the voice of the Bride herself addressed to her Bridegroom. It is the very prayer which Christ himself together with his Body addresses to the Father.


#7

One of the most important aspects of the LOTH is that “it’s not all about me”. It is the prayer of the Church, for the entire Church, regardless of the particular mood of the one praying it.

It’s about solidarity with everyone in the Church, including those who are sad when we are happy and vice-versa.

I’ve been praying it for something like 17 or 18 years. It takes a long time for it to grow on you and become a habit.

And yes there are still some days I just rip through it as if on autopilot, and other days, where I can really savour an Office or a particular psalm.


#8

The intercessions, the Scripture readings, or the Benedictus or Magnificat?


#9

As noted, LOTH is not a devotion. It is the other official Liturgy of the Church.

I first started the LOTH when I entered college seminary, and that was 10 years before the publication of Shorter Christian Prayer, the simplest (as far as I know) version of the LOTH. We had Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer.

While I still say it, what I find I miss the most is saying it in community. I truly miss that.

I don’t know how long you have been saying the LOTH, how often during that time, or what parts. I can understand that some of it may come across as impersonal, but if you have the book (or look it up on the internet), go to Friday morning. I certainly don’t find Psalm 51 to be impersonal. And for Week 2, look at the next canticle from Habbakkuk: “Oh Lord, I have hear your renown, and feared, O Lord, your work.” To me, that does not sound impersonal.

I would not suggest beating yourself to a pulp over it, but it takes time to become familiar with the Psalms and Canticles. My suggestion would be to maybe give it a break, but with a sincere intent to try it again after a while. You do not say how much of it you have said (that is, what of the 7 hours); it is possible to overwhelm yourself by trying too much, and likewise, possible to try too little or for too short a time. I would suggest as a start in the future, to maybe say only Morning Prayer, or Evening Prayer, but do it consistently for a month. Then review how it fits with your prayer life. Reciting it out loud is also something I would recommend.

Hope that helps.


#10

Yeah, it is a bit like attending Mass. After 50 years I finally figured out that I have ADHD, which explained volumes. Truly volumes.


#11

The prayers after the Psalms (e.g., after the first and third in Morning Prayer) are not a necessary part of the liturgy; you can skip from the doxology to the antiphon.


#12

Yes! This exactly. For the OP: unless you’re a priest, deacon, religious, etc., you’re under no obligation to pray the LOTH. It’s your choice to pray it, and if it’s not something that you like, that’s okay. However, it’s highly efficacious and bears much fruit, especially being the official prayers of the Church. There’s a reason why priests are required to pray it. When I first started, it was dry sometimes and difficult to persevere in. Now it’s my favorite form of prayer! So if you’re willing to give it some effort, it can be very beneficial for your spiritual life.


#13

Is there a form of prayer that you are particularly fond of?


#14

I honestly can’t think of any prayers more “personal” than the Psalms! They express an incredible intimacy with God and so many heartfelt emotions. I love the LOH in that it has allowed me to memorize so many Psalms that my heart repeats all day long.


#15

Of course it’s okay , but we must take care not to be critical of the authentic alternatives .


#16

Sure, it’s fine. I’m currently not big on LOTH either. It feels very disjointed to me. (I have a similar issue with the readings at Mass where it seems like we get random snippets rather than any sort of progression straight through the Scripture.)

I may try it down the road but not right now.
If others like it and benefit from it, fine.

With respect to joining with the Church in public prayer, right now I try to go to Mass daily, so I figure that checks my “joining with the Church” box sufficiently for now.


#17

I think we can, if our criticism goes like:
I don’t like because of this and that, and not, that’s pure garbage and it’s not worthy.


#18

Of course it is ok. No lay person is required to say the LOTH. I think it’s safe to say the vast and overwhelming majority of Catholics have never said the LOTH.

However, the church teaches that participation in The LOTH is profitable. It is the prayer of the church.

BUT, you can make it personal by diving deeply into the Psalms and/or taking some aspect of the scriptures into your personal prayer time. I have sometimes found some part of the scriptures so moving that I return to them in Lectio Divina.


#19

Reading the LotH does kinda lose something. Chanting it is better, chanting it in antiphonal choirs is great, and chanting it with all the getting up and kneeling down is very good stuff.(But I am a singer, so of course I like singing more than talking.)

Also, the old Latin hymns, even in translation, are more impressive than the replacement LotH hymns.

But sheesh, of course no devotion is for everyone. That is why we have so many. Having a devotion that you can and will do regularly is more important than which one you pick.

There are a lot of action-oriented or exercise-like devotions, btw, and they are sadly obscure today. A lot of stuff is more popular in one area than another, or in one time than another. If you have a favorite saint, and especially if you both seem to have similar personalities, you might look into the devotions that he or she liked.


#20

Correct, they were added to the LOTH by a Spanish Benedictine monk, at the time the LOTH was being put together by the Commission working on it (contrary to popular belief among many who don’t like the modern LOTH, they are not an ICEL invention!)

Many editions of the LOTH do not have them.

French LOTH: no
Christian Prayer: yes
French Monastic LOTH: yes
Latin Editio Typica: no

So unless your edition includes them, there’s no option but to skip them!

A big challenge to the LOTH, or any other liturgy, is to have a seamless flow. It certainly something that one has to work at with the LOTH. Some editions are easier than others. In French, we have the 4-volume “Liturgie des Heures” with all the readings, and it works relatively well. Our French equivalent to Christian Prayer, the one-volume “Prière du temps présent”, is a bear and I hate using it for the reason you cite.

For chanters like me, 10 years ago the communauté St. Martin in France released a beautiful 3-volume diurnal antiphonary for the LOTH called Les Heures Grégoriennes, noted for Gregorian chant, and with Latin on one side and the official French liturgical translation on the other. It is extremely well laid out, so you only need to have one volume in hand at any given time, and the flow is set up logically so when you do have to change sections, it’s a natural progression from temporal hymns to psalmody to proper of the season, or from proper/common of the saint, to psalmody, and back to proper/common. But it’s still one ribbon short… :smiley:

It makes for a very fluid liturgy which in chant is fairly important. On the monastic side, due to the much longer psalmody and the more developed propers and commons, it’s nowhere near as user-friendly though the monks manage to pull it off… practice makes perfect I guess. It’s been joked that a monk is ready for monastic profession when he can finally navigate the Divine Office on his own :wink:

I do use the monastic when I’m feeling particularly perky, but the LOTH antiphonary is very, very, tempting to use do to its layout.


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