Want to pray the Divine Office? Here is a step-by-step guide for those starting out.
The Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office, is a beautiful and ancient tradition in the Church that is not reserved for priests and religious, but can also be prayed by the lay faithful. The Second Vatican Council highly encouraged the laity to “recite the divine office, either with the priests, or among themselves, or even individually” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 100).
The foundation of the prayer is simple, praying the Psalms, but in practicality can be quite difficult. If one chooses to purchase a physical breviary (the book that contains the Liturgy of the Hours) it can be challenging especially if no one is there to show you what to do. However, after an initial introduction to praying the Liturgy of the Hours, it becomes much easier and soon it will be like clockwork.
Today, we will give you a step-by-step guide through the most common prayer book lay people can pick up to pray the principal hours of the divine office: Christian Prayer. There are other publications of the Divine Office, including digital versions, but for the purposes of this article we will only cover the most common one.
Christian Prayer contains: Morning, Evening and Night Prayer, with an abbreviated section for the Office of Readings and Daytime Prayer. It is designed for the everyday lay person who wants to deepen their prayer life by immersing themselves in the Psalms.
Let’s begin our walk-through. Click on the pages below to start the step-by-step guide.