So, today I heard that a friend of mine passed from this world into the next. I actively pray the Liturgy of the Hours, so I was wondering if it’d be appropriate to pray the Office for the Dead (found towards the back of the books, I believe) and, if so, what guidelines I should follow when doing so. I looked at the General Instruction for the LOTH, and couldn’t find anything about it.
I’m mostly curious about information regarding the post-conciliar breviary here, but anyone with knowledge of the pre-conciliar Divine Office needn’t feel shunned just y’all don’t start a whole debate on the positives and negatives of the respective offices
While I’m not absolutely sure myself, I believe you can recite the Office of the Dead any day a Mass for the Dead is permitted, so this would include weekdays (and since you received the news today, today would be suitable), the day of the burial, and the first anniversary of the death (the latter being permitted even during obligatory memorials). It’s probably not appropriate to recite the Office for the Dead on Solemnities which are also Holydays of Obligation, and during the Sundays of Lent, Easter, Triduum and Advent.
Outside of the receipt of the news of the death, the burial and the first anniversary, the Office of the Dead can probably be recited during weekdays in Ordinary Time and optional memorials.
And also remember that even on days you don’t recite the Office of the Dead, you can always offer the office of the day for the intention of the soul of your friend.
These are only my opinion and are based on n. 381 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Given that the Mass and Office are intimately tied, it’s probably a reasonable guideline.
I would think it would be covered by a combination of GILH 243 & 245 and the instructions (as said above) for what Masses may be said on what days. I.E. It would seem that one should not pray the Office for the Dead on the following days, any other days being permitted. No Office for the Dead on: solemnities, the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and Easter, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, the octave of Easter, and 2 November (although 2nd November is the Office for the Dead anyway).
Apart from that, go for it! You can pray either one Hour or a whole day’s hours as you choose, or even several days’ if you want.
Remember that there’s a partial indulgence for praying Morning or Evening Prayer for the Dead, and for praying the De Profundis.
Prayers for your friend, and all who mourn him/her.