What is the Liturgy of the Hours?
The Liturgy of the Hours (also known as the Divine Office) is the richest single prayer resource of the Christian Church. It provides prayers, psalms and meditations for every hour of every day. It has existed from the earliest times, to fulfill the Lord’s command to pray without ceasing.
The five hours of the Divine Office are the Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Daytime Prayer (including Midmorning, Midday and Afternoon Prayer), Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer.
The website Universalis.com has many good resources to simplify this devotion which contains some 6000 (yes, thousand) pages of small print in 3-4 volumes. The complete books are called the Breviary.
How do I get started?
A good way to begin is to read about the structure of the Liturgy here.
Descriptions of each Hour can be found by clicking the links on the left side of that page. (This is only a description, not the readings for the day.)
Next, read about which Hours to recite here.
Finally, guidance on how to recite the Liturgy can be found here.
Where do I find these readings?
One way is to bookmark this webpage and return here for the readings for each Hour every day.
Office of Readings (with Invitatory)
Morning Prayer (Lauds) (with Invitatory)
Midmorning Prayer (Terce)
Midday Prayer (Sext)
Afternoon Prayer (None)
Evening Prayer (Vespers)
Night Prayer (Compline)
A second way is to click the banner with today’s date at the top of this page. It will take you to the Universalis site to the Readings of the Day for daily mass. Each of the Hours can be prayed from the links on the left (or top) of that page.
Finally, there are apps available for Apple and Android devices, as well as MAC and PC. Search for “Universalis” in your app store or click here to read about the different options. Free monthly trials are available.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all cirucumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)