the Liturgy of the Hours?
and Evening Prayer-AUDIO
Liturgy of the Hours has a very ancient history, stemming from the
days of the first Christians. In fact, it is very similar to the way
in which Jesus would have prayed. During the Middle Ages, it was
very popular, and elaborately illuminated books were produced for
people to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, called "Hours," or "Books
of Hours." The rosary developed as a popular adaptation of the
Liturgy of the Hours, with its 150 beads representing the 150 psalms
used in the Liturgy of the Hours. Later, the Liturgy of the Hours
was called the Divine Office, and it became the exclusive duty of
priests and members of religious orders, who prayed it from books
reforms of the Second Vatican Council restored the Liturgy of the
Hours to all God's people, and encouraged all Christians to avail
themselves of this beautiful treasure of the Church. Many other
Christian Churches, most notably the Anglicans (Episcopalians) kept
the tradition of the Liturgy of the Hours through services called
"vespers" or "evensong."
The Liturgy of the Hours has the following
hour is prayed at sunrise or in the early morning. It is one of
the two most important (hinge) hours of the Office and, if
possible, should be prayed in common.
The Liturgy of the
Hours is the daily prayer of the Church which
is prayed at certain significant times of the day. It includes the
Invitatory and a number of
Invitatory ~ This is the
opening prayer of the Office and is prayed at the beginning of the
day before the first hour of the Office.
Daytime Prayer (Terce, Sext,
None) ~ In the post-Vatican II reform of the
office, it is suggested that one of these hours, that which is
most convenient for the individual, be prayed. The daytime hours
(Vespers) ~ This hour is prayed at sunset, i.e. late afternoon or
early evening. It is the second of the hinge hours and, like
Morning Prayer, should be prayed in common if possible.
(Compline) ~ This is the "bedtime" hour of the Church's daily prayer
and is ordinarily prayed just before retiring.
Office of Readings (Matins,
Vigils) ~ This is the only hour which does
not have a designated time. In the reforms of the Second Vatican
Council it was determined that, because of the varied schedules of
people today it would be better to leave to the the group or
individual praying, the ability to establish the time for the
praying of this meditative hour of reflection on Scripture and the
writings of the great spiritual authors.
To pray the Liturgy of the
Hours please visit this site: