The names of the offices

Why does the LOH use such silly names to name the hours?

Office of Readings, Lauds, Terce, Sext, Nones, Vespers, and Compline, in my humble opinion, are much better monikers then mid-morning, midday, and mid-afternoon.

What’s silly about them?


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“Morning Prayer” and “Evening Prayer” are silly names?

I have a feeling the OP is referring to the Latin names.

No, the OP specifically said the Latin names were “much better.”

Yes, and he added that after my reply. His original post has been edited.

Feel free to use the Latin names or their vernacular translations.

The French LOTH uses both.

I am curious. What are the names of the hours in French.

Office des lectures, Laudes, Tierce, Sexte, None, Vêpres, Complies.

They are very close to the Latin and Italian

What English names would you have selected?

I would call each Office by its name.

OK - but my question is, what would that be in English? The whole issue here is that the modern LOTH changed the names to English, and you’re unhappy with the translation chosen. So, how would you translate them? (My point is, no one altered the Latin, even in the current LOTH.)

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is not silly ? it’s just a language you don’t understand. :joy:

I have a preference for the names Matins, Lauds, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline. I think it is simply a matter of taste. I certainly prefer saying, for example, None as apposed to ‘Prayer during the Day in the Afternoon’.

I think, however, it should be noted that Matins, Lauds, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline are not the Latin names of the offices but are anglicised forms of the Latin.

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So, you’d prefer that we translate these into English as “Joy”, “First”, “Third”, “Sixth”, “Ninth”, “Evening”, and “Completion”?

More to the point, you prefer we say Terce when we mean 9 am, Sext when we mean Noon, Nones when we mean 3 pm? (Or something different from the exact times stated, like 10 am or 2:30 pm)

The names derive from an ancient time keeping system. There is no practical reason to reintroduce and the possibility of much confusion if we do.

How did nones ever become noon = midday, anyway?

I may be mis-reading but I think he’s OK with Lauds, etc., but is referring to some LOTH books referring to the Offices as Morning Prayer, Mid-day Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night prayer.

While those names are descriptively correct, I do have to agree that Lauds, (Terce), Sext, (None), Vespers and Compline have a more poetic ring. And their equivalents in other languages. In my Latin Office books, it is “Ad Laudes matutinas”, Ad Terciam, Ad Sextam, Ad Nonam, Ad Vesperas, Ad Completerium.

However apart from Lauds (which means the same in English, praise), the other Hours simply mean “at the Third Hour,” “at the Sixth Hour”, “at the Ninth Hour”, “in the Evening”, and “upon completion”. So in reality those are very prosaic terms that would apply to any activity taking place at those times “I went out for lunch with my friend at the sixth hour (ad Sextam)”, or “Man what a day at work, thank God evening (Vesperas) is here”. They only sound more poetic because of the unfamiliarity of the language, and their translations hark back to that unfamiliar language.

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My point was a bit tongue-in-cheek. It’s like the old story of “at least let them have the Kyrie in Latin” :joy: The point being, no one changed the names for the Latin; they’re still Lauds, Terce, etc. It’s just that we now have an English translation. I completely agree; the Latin sounds better for liturgy, but the premise of the question is a little off… in English, what else can we call them? You make a valid point… 3rd Hour Prayer or evening 9am Prayer doesn’t seem like an improvement over Midmorning Prayer. I guess we could say Prayer Betwixt Sunrise and Apex.

The Kyrie is not Latin, it’s Greek.

English borrowers lots of words from all other languages.

“The Liturgy of the Hours” Liturgy is from Greek and hour from Latin. Leaves you with “the of and the”.

When you say Lauds the meaning is to give praise and glory to God.

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