Shorter Christian Prayer: How Do I Use It?!

For awhile I’ve really been wanting to pray the Divine Office, but the structure of it always intimidated me to no end. Well, at last, today as I was at the gift shop of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington I purchased Shorter Christian Prayer, as it looked like the easiest one to use. But even this watered down version is so confusing. I’ve read the guide in the beginning on using the book but I didn’t understand that very much at all. Could someone maybe give me a few guidelines on how to use this book? I very much would like to learn to pray the Divine Office but, it’s so confusing. Thank you!

There’s a book called ‘Divine Office for Dodos’ which some CAFers have mentioned and found helpful. You might want to get a gander at it.

Well, I can’t really get that book right now. Would someone please be nice to tell me what day we are on now? For Evening Prayer for tonight, the exact place. It’s just very confusing, please, someone who uses this book regularly, could you help me out?

I have been praying the Hours for a few months now and I will admit it does take a little getting used to. Once you get the hang of it you’ll have no problems. This is the one I use. I don’t know what the differences would be in the one I have and the shorter one. I just wanted to ask if you got the guide that goes with it. The Guide helped me out more than anything else. Mine came with a guide. I don’t know if they all do. If you have the guide all you need to do is go to today’s date and all the prayer #s you need are there. Here is the Guide I use.

Here are the prayers for tonight.
Here is the main site.

I strongly recommend that while you are in a learning curve you simply follow the 4 week psalm cycle day after day until you get used to the rhythm. the only flipping you will have to do is the Morning canticle on the front cover, and the evening canticle on the back cover. If you want to pray the invitatory psalm, just put a holy card in that page.

when you feel comfortable with the 4 week cycle, you can start to find the Sunday of the year, for the readings, response, and intentions, and antiphons for canticles. when you feel good about that, you can do the seasons of the year (Lent, Easter etc.) and last, the feasts. Just read the psalms, antiphons and responses, out loud is best because it keeps you focused, but silent is fine if you can concentrate.

look for a page in front of the book (mine is in the car) that tells you what week you are on after various seasons, when we go back to ordinary time (but there are plenty of websites, plus most parish calendars that tell the sunday of the year and season.).

If you are not a priest, nun or monk required to pray the hours, you can pray as much or as little as works for you. if you happen to be on the wrong page one day, don’t sweat it. Be glad you are not a monk in Benedict’s day, when a mistake in prayer would merit corporal punishment.

I happen to still have my copy of Shorter Christian Prayer, so I can tell you what to do for Evening Prayer today.

This Sunday is the seventh in Ordinary Time. So go to the Proper for that Sunday, which is on page 509. Notice the red words immediately below the title “Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time”; they say “Psalter, Week III.” That’s how you know where you should be in the 4-week Psalter; in other words, you need to be on page 187.

On page 187 you’ll notice it says “Sunday: Evening Prayer I.” The reason is because the celebration of all Sundays begins with Evening Prayer of the night before (so that means Saturdays do not have their own Evening Prayer).

You start, of course, by saying “God, come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia.”

The hymn for tonight is your choice of either no. 32 (page 595) or no. 184 (page 663).

Now go back to page 187 and say the antiphon for the first psalm, “From the rising of the sun…” and continue on to recite the psalm, “Praise, O servants of the Lord…” When you’re finished with the psalm, say the Glory to the Father. Next recite the antiphon for the second psalm, “I shall take into my hand…,” then the psalm, “I trusted, even when I said…,” and the Glory to the Father. Finally, recite the antiphon for the third psalm, “The Lord Jesus humbled…,” then the canticle, “Though He was in the form of God…,” and the Glory to the Father.

Read the reading and then recite the responsory.

Go to page 509 and recite the antiphon for the Canticle of Mary for Evening Prayer I, “If you want to be true children…” Then recite the Canticle of Mary followed by the Glory to the Father. The Canticle is on the inside of the back cover.

Return to page 191 and pray the intercessions. Recite the Our Father (without the concluding “Amen,” just as we do at Mass).

Recite the concluding prayer for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time on page 509.

Finally, say, “May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.”

I do hope this helps,
Maria

Thanks! This helps a lot for tonight, but what do I do for tomorrow?:stuck_out_tongue:

I just copied my previous post and substituted the pages, etc. for Morning Prayer tomorrow.

Morning Prayer for Sunday in Week III starts on page 191 with the invitatory.

You start by saying “Lord, open my lips. And my mouth will proclaim Your praise.”

Recite the invitatory antiphon on page 191, “Come, let us sing to the Lord…” Then recite psalm 95 (on page 22) followed by the Glory to the Father.

(The “God, come to my assistance…” is omitted in your Morning Prayer since it’s the first Hour you will be reciting; Morning Prayer only starts with “God, come to my assistance…” if you’ve already prayed the Office of Readings beforehand, which isn’t available in Shorter Christian Prayer.)

Then turn to page 192 to see that your hymn is a choice of either no. 1 (page 583) or no. 151 (page 648).

Now go back to page 192 and say the antiphon for the first psalm, “Glorious is the Lord…” and continue on to recite the psalm, “The Lord is King…” When you’re finished with the psalm, say the Glory to the Father. Next recite the antiphon for the canticle, “To You, Lord, be highest…,” then the canticle, “Bless the Lord, all you works…,” and the Glory to the Father. Finally, recite the antiphon for the second psalm, “Praise the Lord from the heavens…,” then the psalm, “Praise the Lord from the heavens…,” and the Glory to the Father.

Read the reading and then recite the responsory.

Go to page 509 and recite the antiphon for the Canticle of Zechariah, “The paralyzed man picked up…” Then recite the Canticle of Zechariah followed by the Glory to the Father. The Canticle is on the inside of the front cover.

Return to page 197 and pray the intercessions. Recite the Our Father (without the concluding “Amen,” just as we do at Mass).

Recite the concluding prayer for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time on page 509.

Finally, say, “May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.”

Maria

Ok, I think I’ve got it now. Thanks guys for the help! I really love praying the LOTH, I knew I was missing something in my prayer life and this was exactly what I needed!

I believe the psalter switches to week IV on Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday uses Friday’s Psalms and canticle, because it’s a penitential day, but after that it does go on as per Week 4, yeah. Cept that Thursday being the Feast of the Chair of St Peter the psalms and canticle are for Week 1 Sunday as all Feasts are. :yup:

Nice and easy for the newbies :slight_smile:

But I just spent my first few weeks checking every day’s LOTH with universalis and eventually I got the hang of it.

Ash Wednesday has two options. One can use the Psalter for Wednesday Week IV or Friday Week III. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are all taken from Week IV, then Sunday uses Week I.

As for the OP, Shorter Christian Prayer has its own approved rubrics, so if you’re using Shorter, just follow it for Ash Wednesday onwards. However, IIRC, even Shorter Christian Prayer will indiate Psalter, Week IV below the title for Ash Wednesday.

Go here:
liturgyofthehours.org/

Towards the bottom it says whats new on our site, let the text scrool till you see tutorial on evening prayer, then click it… It uses Christian prayer.
This should help you

Peace

Shorter Christian Prayer only covers a very few important feasts, so it doesn’t have the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. Also, although Ash Wednesday doesn’t have it’s own section/title, there is a Proper for weekly use in Lent and thus Ash Wednesday would use the Proper for a Lenten Wednesday.

At the beginning of the Psalter it says to use Week IV for Ash Wednesday and the following three days; it doesn’t mention the Friday of Week III option, obviously for simplicity’s sake.

Maria

I was wondering, should I start with the Invitatory if I only pray evening prayers?

No, the invitatory is only used before the Office of Readings or Morning Prayer.

Maria

Divineoffice.org

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