When praying the Liturgy of the Hours is it ok to skip the hymn?

I’m a lay person, and not yet a Lay Dominican (though I’m thinking about it).

Question for priests, deacons, religious (first order, second order, or third order):

When praying the Divine Office by yourself, is it ok to skip the hymn?

If there are any Lay Dominicans out there I please ID yourself as one when answering.

Thank you & God Bless

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There is a discussion on that here:


(New) Lay Dominican in formation here!

I do not skip the hymn, nor have I heard that it is okay for us (Dominicans) to do so.


What do you mean by ok?

  • normal practice
  • sinful
  • grace wont be provided
  • less prayerful
  • other?

OraLabora provided the link to the previous conversation about this which covers nearly everything that needs to be said. I’ll simply add this: If you’re not under an obligation to pray the Office, you can do as you please. If you’re in community or praying as part of an obligation/responsibility (such as the Lay Dominicans have), you can’t short-cut the rubrics. Sing or recite a hymn.


Why would you want to do that?

Thank you!!!

Thanks to all

Thanks again!

One more question: is it ok to pray Night Prayer right before bed even if I don’t go to bed until after midnight?

I’m assuming yes, but I want to be sure.

Thank you and God Bless

It is a prayer, a devotion, not liturgy. If there is an indulgence attached to it, then no you should not skip any part. Ask yourself why you are skipping any part of it and take that cross to prayer.

I was asking because I read it was optional when praying solo (from a popular blog).

But after reading the instructions I noticed that nothing indicates it is optional.

The Liturgy of the Hours is most definitely liturgy if done according to the rubrics. If you modify it, it becomes personal devotional prayer. Either is fine depending on what you are trying to do. In addition, I believe the OP said he’s in formation with a third order so that means he should follow the instructions he’s been given.



For practical reasons, religious communities pray it at a fixed time. At our abbey, 7:45 pm. Bedtime is any time between that, and lights out which I believe is 9:30 pm if memory serves. Some communities also anticipate Vigils shortly after Compline.

But privately, yes you can pray it after midnight before retiring.

Yes, Compline can be prayed after midnight. Without going to look for where it says so in the GILH I am certain it says Compline is prayed before going to bed even if that is after midnight. So, saying Compline for Tuesday at 1.00 a.m. on Wednesday morning is fine.

I congratulate you if you do this. If for some reason I was going to bed at 1 am I don’t think I’d have the willpower or energy to do even Compline.

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Here is the relevant paragraph from the General Instruction:

  1. Night prayer is the last prayer of the day, said before retiring, even if that is after midnight.

I encourage anyone new to the LOTH to spend some quality time reading the General Instruction. Even we veterans can benefit from revisiting the GILH from time to time.


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