Q: Liturgy of the Hours - Combining Hours


Good morning!

I have a quick question regarding combining hours for the Liturgy of the Hours. Paragraph 99 in the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours specifically discusses combining the Office of Readings with other hours, but what if, due to time constraints, it becomes necessary to combine other hours, such as Morning and Daytime, Daytime and Evening, or Evening and Night?

Should I follow the practice in para. 99 for combining these hours, should I pray them each in their entirety, or is there another practice that’s followed?



Those aren’t “normal” combinations because they wouldn’t respect the verity of the hours. Thursday is the local abbey’s recreation day, and Vespers is celebrated later, and Compline immediately after. There’s a brief pause between the two but they’re celebrated as two distinct offices. What is also possible is combining one of the hours with the Mass except the Office of Readings and (I think) Compline.


Thanks. That’s always been my gut feeling, so I’ve generally prayed them separately, even if immediately back-to-back.


Relax…you might be making prayer just too difficult. Satan does that to us, to distract us from the truly important part of prayer - talking and listening to God by our free will.

The Hours, and other liturgical prayers are to lift our hearts to the Lord, not break our back with rules.

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Peace and all good!


To which I would add, if you are laity, LOTH is discretionary and if one does not follow it exactly, it is still valid prayer and is within the aspects of private devotion. One certainly may choose to follow the correct liturgical practice, but what is important is praying; whether it is done as a private devotion or as part of the liturgy of the Church is secondary for laity (subject to being in a 3rd order if there are requirements due to that).


If you don’t say the conclusion of Vespers (Dominus nos benedicat, et ab omni malo defendat, et ad vitam perducat aeternam) before starting the opening prayer of Compline (Deus, in adjutorium meum intende), God will not listen to you, the Saints will frown deeply at your prayer, and the Angels will cover their ears because you obviously are out of sync with the Universal Church.

Besides, priests in the “good old days” before Vatican II always said their Office at the appropriate times ;);):wink:

Seriously, I don’t promote deviations in the liturgy, but it seems that combining offices as mentioned above are real world occurrences and, while not ideal, should be dealt with by doing what is most logical: combine the offices to meet the obligation (if it exists).


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