Need assistance for my penance!


I went to confession Thursday and the priest told me to set asid a day (I chose Sunday) to pray the Liturgy of the Hours at 9am, 12, 3, 6, 9pm as mt penance.

The only problem is I have never prayed the LOTH and I have no idea how to do it:confused:
Do these hours correspond with Vespers and Compline or something?

Could someone help me with how to do this?

I dont have a prayer book that contains them so I will most likely have to print them off from the internet.


I find this kind of a difficult penance to assign to an ordinary lay person, especially one who doesn’t know how to pray it and doesn’t have the books. Of course you can find the prayers each day online but how would you know that unless someone told you about it. Vespers is Evening Prayer and Compline is night prayer… I would have asked the priest to show you how to do it since he assigned it to you.


If you’re assigned a Penance you can’t do, you can and should tell the priest and request a different penance, especially something like the LOTH. Not many lay people know the LOTH or have a copy. Some use the Roman Breviary from 1962. If you can’t do this penance, any priest can release you from it and assign a different penance.

Vespers and compline are two parts of the LOTH. Vespers is traditionally recited at around 6 pm and compline is traditionally recited at around 9 pm or right before bed.




One may seek a change in ones penance from the Priest. Or even another Priest in confession.


If you can’t follow the penance, do as you’ve been instructed above…

However, if you can, give it a shot. There’s many good sites and apps you can use if you have access to a computer or smart phone. It’s really an awesome prayer.
[the ibreviary app on apple or android]


To elaborate, based on the times given, he probably had the following in mind:
9 AM - Terce (mid-morning prayer)
12 PM - Sext (mid-day prayer)
3 PM - None (mid-afternoon prayer)
6 PM - Vespers (Evening prayer)
9 PM - Compline (Night prayer)

It is also possible that he intended you to pray Lauds (Morning prayer) at 9 AM - but I doubt it as that is a bit late for Lauds. If you can’t ask the priest to elaborate, I would go with the above. If using a website, as recommended above, Terce, Sext, None, and Compline shouldn’t take you more than 5-10 minutes a piece to pray quietly to yourself…Vespers might take closer to 15-20 minutes, depending on how quickly you read.


This site gives it all, and specific to the day also. The liturgical cycle starts at sunset with the Evening Prayer (Vespers), then Night Prayer before bed. It continues with the Office of Readings before sunrise, followed by Morning Prayer. Then at 9 AM (3rd hour), 12 Noon (6th hour), 3 PM (9th hour) are the final three. The times are approximate and sometimes the day prayers are combined.

The Jerusalem Bible is use in this version. You can connect your phone to this site using WAP.


Thanks for the help! I wish I would have seen this before Sunday.
I actually talked to the priest in my hometown and told him him situation and he gave me a different penance!


You are welcome. I am glad you got this resolved.


it actually is a great penance. I have a breviary which we orderd from a Catholic book store and it is of great spiritual benefit to me praying the daily prayers of the Church.


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