What is the Divine Office?


Hi everyone,

I’m reading this book about the Crusades, and part of it is set in a monastery, and they keep mentioning the Divine Office. I’ve also read about it in other books and heard it refrenced to a lot. I know it’s a set of prayers that are said at certian times of the day. But, what exactly is it? Could someone clear this up for me?



The Divine Office or Liturgy of the Hours is built around what is called a “psalter” which is the 150 psalms that have been prayed for centuries by the Jews and then adopted by the early followers of Jesus who formed the Catholic Church. With the rotation of the 150 psalms during a four week cycle if one prays all the “hours” you will have prayed all 150 at least once and many of them several times. With the psalms you also have readings from Sacred Scripture, a responsory, then at the major hours of Laudes and Vespers you will have a Gospel Canticle (Maginificat or the Beneditus) preceded and followed by an antiphon taken from the theme of the week or the day, Intercessions follow this and then the Our Father is said or sung and all the hours are concluded with a prayer (some taken from the Holy Mass). It is an obligation for all priests and religious to pray at least Laudes and Vespers, and for most religious more hours are required. Along with Laudes (Morning Prayer) and Vespers (Evening Prayer) and The Office of Readings (which used to be called Matins and was prayed in the middle of the night), then there are three what they call minor hours for day time prayer called Terce (Midmorning), Sext (Midday), and None (Midafternoon), and then Night Prayer or Compline is prayed just before retiring for the night. For more of an explanation you can visit the following website: ewtn.com/expert/answers/breviary.htm



Unless you want the Latin, that’s up there somewhere too.


Well here I thought I could lend a hand, but Sister G’s description is full and complete. The Divine Office is also the “Official Prayer of the Church” which always makes me wonder why more people don’t know about it.

There is a four volume set, and the “breviary” which is one volume.

Speaking of the Office, I need an Ordo! I’ve been wanting to get back to praying the office but I can’t find an ordo. The religious bookstore where I used to get them in my area closed.

Can I order them online? **I NEED AN ORDO! PLEASE HELP! **


This makes a lot of sense. Thanks. I’ve heard some Vespers set to music, they are simply beautiful.



Typically, Vespers is sung within most communities and the Laudes on Sundays. It can be very beautiful with the chanting and singing! Truly a heavenly experience!

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