OK to deviate from the General Instructions for the Liturgy of the Hours?

I discovered the LOTH several years ago during a retreat. I really enjoy it, but I’ve always wondered if it is OK for the laity to alter the format of the Office for devotional use (e.g. omitting the hymns, reciting Morning Prayer in late morning, etc…) or to pray the office without moving the lips. My concerns stem from the fact that the Divine Office is Liturgy and not a personal devotion, therefore I am curious how much latitude the laity have in deviating from the General Instructions. Thanks.

Dear Mike,

If you are praying from the Liturgy of the Hours privately, you may recite only parts of it. Personally, I don’t know why one would not want to pray it as it the Church prays it, however–because it is so much more than merely a private prayer!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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