Online Liturgy of the Hours


#1

The two ‘online’ versions of the Liturgy of the Hours I can find are substantially different – that at ‘Universalis’* has the distinct Little Hours of Terce, Sext and None (Prime, of course, was suppressed in Article 89 (d) of Sacrosanctum Concilium) and different hymns** to that at ‘DivineOffice.org’***. The latter also refers to ‘Mid-day Prayer’, which is not the Little Hours. Is there a reason for this difference? I assumed the latter was an

*www.universalis.com

** e.g. Today, Morning Prayer/Lauds

Universalis:
Creator of the earth and skies,
To whom the words of life belong,
Grant us thy truth to make us wise;
Grant us thy power to make us strong.
Like theirs of old, our life is death,
Our light is darkness, till we see
The eternal Word made flesh and breath,
The God who walked by Galilee.
We have not known thee: to the skies
Our monuments of folly soar,
And all our self-wrought miseries
Have made us trust ourselves the more.
We have not loved thee: far and wide
The wreckage of our hatred spreads,
And evils wrought by human pride
Recoil on unrepentant heads.
For this, our foolish confidence,
Our pride of knowledge and our sin,
We come to thee in penitence;
In us the work of grace begin.

Divine Office:
When I depart this earth, where I’ve been blessed since birth
It won’t be a day for heartache and pain.
So when its time to leave
This world so bitter and sweet
A joy I’ve never conceived
Will be waiting for me.
Chorus:
You said eyes haven’t seen
No heart could even dream
Of everything you’ve prepared that’s waiting for me
I’ll see the brightest light
Your love that pierced the night
The moment I prayed and gave you my life
I’ll finally put a face
With your mercy and grace
That would always erase my sorrow and strife
Chorus
So when it’s time to leave
This world so bitter and sweet
A joy I’ve never conceived will be waiting for me

***divineoffice.org/

PS: Which of these is the text in the published Liturgy of the Hours? I am going to purchase a set promptly.


#2

Since we are in the season of Lent, there is a selection of hymns available in the Propers. You may use any of them. The online versions choose one for you. The fact they chose different ones is not surprising.

I have both the single volume Christian Prayer and the 4-volume Liturgy of the Hours at home and some sometimes there is not one hymn common between them in the Propers.


#3

[quote="PJKG, post:1, topic:316461"]
The two ‘online’ versions of the Liturgy of the Hours I can find are substantially different – that at ‘Universalis’* has the distinct Little Hours of Terce, Sext and None (Prime, of course, was suppressed in Article 89 (d) of Sacrosanctum Concilium) and different hymns** to that at ‘DivineOffice.org’***. The latter also refers to ‘Mid-day Prayer’, which is not the Little Hours. Is there a reason for this difference?

[/quote]

Universalis uses its own translation of the Office, while divineoffice.org uses the official version.

The 3 daytime hours is actually correct however. The Midday Prayer is Sext (Terce is Mid-Morning, and None is Mid-Afternoon).

[quote="PJKG, post:1, topic:316461"]

PS: Which of these is the text in the published Liturgy of the Hours? I am going to purchase a set promptly.

[/quote]

Neither in fact. Like I said above, Universalis uses their own translation which includes their own hymnal. Divineoffice.org does use the official translation (same as the books) except when it comes to the hymns, where they often substitute some other hymn (it might be because of the audio, they probably want a recording of something sung).


#4

The only mandatory day hour (for those bound to the Office) for the LOTH, is mid-day prayer, which can be said at any of the three canonical times of Terce, Sext, or None. Normally you pray mid-day at one of those times, at your discretion.

Those however bound to choir (religious communities), should pray all three hours. For that purpose, in the LOTH, there's a "complementary psalter" that includes the Gradual Psalms to be used at the two other hours, depending on when mid-day prayer was done. Those psalms are invariable from day to day, which has a precedent: in the Monastic Liturgy of the Hours from the time of St. Benedict, those hours were invariable from Tuesday until Saturday. The reason being that they could easily be memorized and recited by monks working in the fields.

On Sundays and Mondays, Ps. 118(119) was broken up and spread over those hours (including Sunday Prime).

Prime was abolished as noted, by SC. It was more or less redundant, with Vigils (Matins), Lauds and Prime running into each other, making for a very long morning and leaving little time for lectio divina which was typically done at that time of the day in communities. Vigils would typically take an hour to an hour and half, longer even on solemnities and major feasts, Lauds another 40 minutes, and Prime 20 minutes, after which would be the proclamation of the martyrology, and then Chapter, where the monks would gather for a reading of the chapter of the Rule, followed by a brief commentary by the abbot.


#5

[quote="OraLabora, post:4, topic:316461"]
The only mandatory day hour (for those bound to the Office) for the LOTH, is mid-day prayer,

[/quote]

I have never heard this before. Can you cite where I can find this instruction? Thanks.


#6

By the way, there is a really awesome iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad app that has an audio version of Compline, complete with music...and it's free!!! If you look up Compline or Liturgy of the Hours, I'm sure you'll find it.


#7

You can't get the official one online (legally, anyway) because it's copyright ICEL and costs (a lot of) money.

FYI, the old Latin office is also online, and it's free.


#8

[quote="friarpark, post:5, topic:316461"]
I have never heard this before. Can you cite where I can find this instruction? Thanks.

[/quote]

From General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours (also found in the front of the 1-volume Christian Prayer, or the first volume of the 4-volume Liturgy of the Hours)

Chapter II-V. Daytime Hours

  1. Following a very ancient tradition Christians have made a practice of praying out of private devotion at various times of the day, even in the course of their work, in imitation of the Church in apostolic times. In different ways with the passage of time this tradition has taken the form of a liturgical celebration.

  2. Liturgical custom in both East and West has retained midmorning, midday, and midafternoon prayer, mainly because these hours were linked to a commemoration of the events of the Lord's passion and of the first preaching of the Gospel.

  3. Vatican Council II decreed that these lesser hours are to be retained in choir. [14]

The liturgical practice of saying these three hours is to be retained, without prejudice to particular law, by those who live the contemplative life. It is recommended also for all, especially those who take part in retreats or pastoral meetings.

  1. Outside choir, without prejudice to particular law, it is permitted to choose from the three hours the one most appropriate to the time of day, so that the tradition of prayer in the course of the day's work may be maintained.

My bold.


#9

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:7, topic:316461"]
You can't get the official one online (legally, anyway) because it's copyright ICEL and costs (a lot of) money.

FYI, the old Latin office is also online, and it's free.

[/quote]

Actually, divineoffice.org has a license from ICEL to publish the official english translation online.

So does iBreviary, who has free apps for iPhones/iPads (I often see priests using iBreviary actually). iBreviary is put together by the Custody of the Holy Land (the Franciscans). They've even started including propers from various Orders (Jesuits occasionally for example).


#10

[quote="curlycool89, post:9, topic:316461"]
Actually, divineoffice.org has a license from ICEL to publish the official english translation online.

So does iBreviary, who has free apps for iPhones/iPads (I often see priests using iBreviary actually). iBreviary is put together by the Custody of the Holy Land (the Franciscans). They've even started including propers from various Orders (Jesuits occasionally for example).

[/quote]

I use DivineOffice,org on my Samsung Galaxy. I wouldn't know one LOTH from another, but this one is easy to use.

One time in church I must have hit the play button on the touch screen and the selection began playing very loudly. I couldn't find how to turn it off and ended up running out of church to turn the sound off. lol Now I have figured a way this cannot happen. I allow the text to download, but then put it immediately into airplane mode, that is, turn off the downloading. In this way, the playable pieces (audio files) never get downloaded, so I can't make a mistake and activate them.

But all in all, this LOTH is easy to use, and on a tablet it works well when they turn the lights off after Mass if you want to stick around and say your prayers.

I have a question. It's difficult for me to observe the several times of day, so I have said all the prayers from morning to night prayer at one time. Is this kosher? lol Maybe I should at least break it into morning and night. What is an acceptable practice? And what is the minimum parts that a priest recites in his daily office?


#11

Thank you all very much - I know why Prime was suppressed, but thank you for citing it again and for giving a more thorough explanation - I am very much aware of the reforms of the Liturgical Movement in the Breviary, but it's always good to get another explanation. As for explaining the differences between the online texts, I was merely curious.


#12

[quote="JamesCaruso, post:10, topic:316461"]
I have a question. It's difficult for me to observe the several times of day, so I have said all the prayers from morning to night prayer at one time. Is this kosher? lol Maybe I should at least break it into morning and night. What is an acceptable practice? And what is the minimum parts that a priest recites in his daily office?

[/quote]

I have been instructed to use the Hour appropriate for the time of day. The Office of Readings is moveable, and runs easily into one of the Hours.

The point about returning to them throughout the day is that we turn to the Lord throughout the day. Praying once a day is great. But praying several times a day is better. It is like correcting the steering, keeping on course.

Monastic communities often use a two-week psalter. But I know one where they use the four-week psalter in order to share with lay brothers and sisters. When in their religious houses they gather for the Office of Readings at 4am, return to their cells till 6:30, then assemble again for Morning Office, Mass, Mid-morning Office (using complimentary psalms) before breakfast (about 8:15). Away from the convent or monasteries they fit in with whatever works, perhaps asking, discreetly, "Would you care to say Midday Office with me?"


#13

[quote="curlycool89, post:9, topic:316461"]
Actually, divineoffice.org has a license from ICEL to publish the official english translation online.

So does iBreviary, who has free apps for iPhones/iPads (I often see priests using iBreviary actually). iBreviary is put together by the Custody of the Holy Land (the Franciscans). They've even started including propers from various Orders (Jesuits occasionally for example).

[/quote]

I love iBreviary. It has the missal and all the readings for Mass as well.


#14

[quote="Columba_Tom, post:12, topic:316461"]
I have been instructed to use the Hour appropriate for the time of day. The Office of Readings is moveable, and runs easily into one of the Hours.

The point about returning to them throughout the day is that we turn to the Lord throughout the day. Praying once a day is great. But praying several times a day is better. It is like correcting the steering, keeping on course.

Monastic communities often use a two-week psalter. But I know one where they use the four-week psalter in order to share with lay brothers and sisters. When in their religious houses they gather for the Office of Readings at 4am, return to their cells till 6:30, then assemble again for Morning Office, Mass, Mid-morning Office (using complimentary psalms) before breakfast (about 8:15). Away from the convent or monasteries they fit in with whatever works, perhaps asking, discreetly, "Would you care to say Midday Office with me?"

[/quote]

Well, I do understand the need to pray throughout the day, and if I were in a monastery I would have no trouble saying the LOTH at the appointed times, since there everything is designed to fit around it. In the world, there are factors that sometimes make it impossible to conform to strict hours, for example, if one had a duty or work assignment that was mandated for the very hour one wished to pray. That does not mean that I do not pray throughout the day, but not always in this formal manner. I agree that if at all possible, it's better to recognize several formal prayer times throughout the day. But my thinking is, if this is not possible, what would be an acceptable second best solution, all the prayers at one time, or maybe, half in the morning and half at night? Surely, some prayer is better than none. And now I think I've answered my own question, but I don't mind if someone else wants to chime in. :)


#15

[quote="Joannm, post:13, topic:316461"]
I love iBreviary. It has the missal and all the readings for Mass as well.

[/quote]

Thank you, I downloaded it into my tablet.

The iPieta is also a useful program, with nearly all the Catholic prayers imaginable. I use it for my Legion of Mary Tessera prayers, and many others. It even contains all the works of St. Louis de Montfort and many other saints, for example, St. John of the Cross. Oh, and the Bible, too.


#16

[quote="OraLabora, post:8, topic:316461"]
From General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours (also found in the front of the 1-volume Christian Prayer, or the first volume of the 4-volume Liturgy of the Hours)

My bold.

[/quote]

That particular paragraph also specifies to use the prayer appropriate to the time of day. This seems to me that you have to choose one of midmorning, midday or midafternoon depending what time you actually pray. There's nothing there that states that midday prayer only is to be used.


#17

[quote="porthos11, post:16, topic:316461"]
That particular paragraph also specifies to use the prayer appropriate to the time of day. This seems to me that you have to choose one of midmorning, midday or midafternoon depending what time you actually pray. There's nothing there that states that midday prayer only is to be used.

[/quote]

I believe if you do only one, it's supposed to mid-day prayer, and if you do all three, one should be mid-day prayer, but you have the flexibility on which of the three hours to say mid-day.

Otherwise, you'll miss out on some psalms during the 4-week cycle like Ps. 70, and most importantly (for a Benedictine), the majority of Psalm 118(119) (verse 116 of that psalm is the renewal of our oblate promise... or for monks, their profession; it's Wk 3, Thursday).

Moreover one should probably move mid-day around from canonical hour to canonical hour, if you pray all three hours. In particular, during Week 3, if you pray Sext from the complementary psalter, you'll be repeating two of the psalms at Vespers on Monday (122, 123) and one on Tuesday (124); also if you pray None that week from the complementary psalter, you'll be repeating 125 and 126 at Vespers which is the next hour.


#18

[quote="OraLabora, post:17, topic:316461"]
I believe if you do only one, it's supposed to mid-day prayer, and if you do all three, one should be mid-day prayer, but you have the flexibility on which of the three hours to say mid-day.

[/quote]

I think you mean Daytime Prayer. Midday Prayer is Sext.


#19

[quote="JamesCaruso, post:14, topic:316461"]
Well, I do understand the need to pray throughout the day, and if I were in a monastery I would have no trouble saying the LOTH at the appointed times, since there everything is designed to fit around it. In the world, there are factors that sometimes make it impossible to conform to strict hours, for example, if one had a duty or work assignment that was mandated for the very hour one wished to pray. That does not mean that I do not pray throughout the day, but not always in this formal manner. I agree that if at all possible, it's better to recognize several formal prayer times throughout the day. But my thinking is, if this is not possible, what would be an acceptable second best solution, all the prayers at one time, or maybe, half in the morning and half at night? Surely, some prayer is better than none. And now I think I've answered my own question, but I don't mind if someone else wants to chime in. :)

[/quote]

I don't know if I can help (I'm a schoolboy, not a working man, so I have much more spare time) , but that's more or less what I do - The first two Hours before I leave for school, the Little Hours run together at the lunch break, Vespers after dinner and Compline before bed. I',m sure that, as neither of us are monks, we are not bound to the times we pray the Hours (nor do I think priests are - I think Father just prays his Hours when he can. Apparently, it's often done pacing up and down outside!


#20

Translation fail. In French we call it “Heure médiane” or “median hour”. I don’t use the English LOTH :stuck_out_tongue:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.