Statistics on Liturgy of the Hours

Hi everyone. I’m new on the board but I’ve visited this website several times before.

I was wondering if anyone knew of any information regarding the statistics of how many people and/or parishes pray the Liturgy of the Hours. I’m doing my B.A. degree thesis on it, and was interested in seeing if there was a decline in how often it is prayed publicly (that is, as a congregation), and how many people are even aware it exists.

Thanks very much! :slight_smile:

use of the hours as public service is climbing in the Eastern Catholic Churches; in that small subset of Catholics, saturday night vespers and sunday morning matins &/or 3rd hour are extremely common. Within the Byzantine Rite Churches, Saturday Vespers and Sunday matins and/or 3rd hour are requisite for certain feasts, and normative generally.

A nice, quick form questionnaire with SASE responses is probably your best bet.

In fact, the only Roman Rite parishes I know with announced public liturgy of the hours are staffed by friars…

I don’t think parishes keep statistics on that. Your best bet is to survery the parishes in your diocese. To get statistics from asking people on a message board is not academic research and probably would not go over well in writing your thesis. You need hard facts achieved in scientific ways…like a survey instrument which you have to include in your thesis.

There are some services that allow you to generate and email electronic surveys, such as:

It will be relatively easy to get current information but more difficult to measure a decline or increase in usage in parishes. Are you aware that in its current form in the RCC, the English version was only published in 1975? So, if you are measuring a decline, what would be your reference point - the 80’s or 90’s?

Well, I know in the Diocese of Orange in California Sts. Simon and Jude parish have lauds, and the Norbertines in Silverado welcome just about anyone to their liturgies. John the Baptist in Costa Mesa also has vespers before Mass, if I recall correctly. There are probably more in this area, but I think the religious orders are more likely to pray the Office publicly with a group than diocesan priests and I don’t go out of my way to find out.

There is no way to really know how many Catholics pray this liturgy privately of course. Perhaps checking the book’s sales ratings on amazon might give you a hint as to how widespread it is.

I haven’t known of churches that offered it, its pretty rare for a parish church to open its doors for the liturgy of the hours here in the United States.

Yes, I did not intend on asking for opinions on statistics. I was wondering if anyone could direct me to a study that may have been previously done. I know that such studies exist on Mass attendance, and have not been able to find anything from my own searching online. I cannot survey people myself because, due to extremes within both my diocese and my current living address, it would be impossible for me to obtain an unbiased sample.

I do not see the data you seek on the website, but perhaps if you contact the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate they might have some statistics (or point you in the right direction)?


I suspect your best bet will be to survey the parishes for if they have public use of the divine office. Getting historical data will essentially be a matter of finding persons who know, or of parishes which maintain records of all uses.

I know, for example, that Holy Family Cathedral, in Anchorage, used to keep the weekly building use sheets (showing all scheduled events for all parish public use spaces) for at least several years, because as a volunteer, I encountered the stored back forms in storage. They might have kept them indefinitely, but I don’t know.

A simple post card questionnaire would suffice to generate the needed data. Send it to the rectories…

Something like:
Dear Pastor:
I am conducting a survey on the use of the Liturgy of the Hours.
Does your parish have public use of the Liturgy of the Hours?
__ Yes, Daily
__ Yes, Saturdays only
__ Yes, special occasions only
__ No.
Did your parish have public use of the Liturgy of the Hours in 1980?
__ Yes, Daily
__ Yes, Saturdays only
__ Yes, special occasions only
__ No.
__ Unknown.

I like Aramis’s approach, with perhaps the following changes:

Also, if you are looking for a more statistically representative sample without spending a lot of money on postage, you might pre-select a sampling of 50-100 U.S. cities, use the website , and e-mail the questions to a random selection of parishes in those cities whose parishes provide a website with an e-mail address in their contact info. (Of course, this would not be representative of all parishes, just those with easy access to e-mail contact.)

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