Liturgy of the Hours - Office of Readings


I have been praying the Liturgy of the Hours privately from my Four Volume Set recently. I find that when reciting the Office of Readings, it can be hard reading aloud the readings individually.

Is it acceptable, in accordance with the rubrics, to simply read the scripture readings in your head for private recitation - may any other parts of the canonical hours be recited in the head rather than aloud, when praying privately?

Thank you very much for your help and may God reward you for it.

I think it is acceptable to read the scripture readings in your head. In fact, that’s what I have always done. God looks at the heart rather than whether or not you say something in your head or out loud. I don’t think He minds whichever way you choose to pray. I think God is already happy with the fact that you have been praying and reciting the readings!


I recommend using “Christian Prayer,” a condensed version of the Daily Office. I use this book myself.
“Christian Prayer” follows all the liturgical seasons and gives the full readings for morning and evening prayers.


Thank you for your response, but I already own the four volume set - I enjoy praying it as it contains the full set of canonical hours rather than an abbreviated version.

But I thank you for your kind suggestion.

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Thank you, @BriannaBanana. I think it may be a good idea, especially with the long scripture readings and Church Father readings, to read them in the head. I am able to better understand them when I slowly read though in my head.

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The LOTH’s were designed to be prayed with a group

Individually, it’s not necessary to say the prayers or readings verbally out loud, nor is it necessary to sign the hymns, but this has been debated in CAF. My OCDS advisor said it was not necessary when praying the LOTH’s individually.


I like to do the hours by mouthing the words… not aloud, but neither completely in my head.

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are clergy required to pray the LOTH out loud when they are alone?

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I know multiple priests who do not, so I doubt audible recitation is obligatory.

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No. The obligation is to pray it, and out loud obviously makes sense when with others. On my own, not so much…


Thank You Father.

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Consider this. Daria Sockey (an expert in her own right), discusses this query to the CDW.

For myself, in the days I recited the divine office, I would say it ‘aloud’, although this was often audible only to me. I typically chant the hours nowadays, so not as much of an issue.

@catholic03, I think here has been some great comments here. The only thing I will add was shared with me by the deacon at my home parish when I entered formation for the diaconate. He told me not to worry because God’s not keeping score. He’s overjoyed that you are praying the Office. So don’t get too worked up over it and just do the best that you know how.

Peace and blessings to you!


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