Friday, September 19, 2008


For just over a month, I've been praying the Divine Office also known as the Liturgy of the Hours, specifically morning prayer (Lauds) and evening prayer (Vespers). I've found myself not always faithful, because there are mornings when I wake up and forget and there are evenings when I do the same. As a lay person, I'm not obligated to pray the Office, as it's often called, but it is a wonderful experience that in my own way, I'm participating with the prayer of the Church. I've pretty much gone through the whole ordinary time psalter. I have the one-volume Christian Prayer rather then than four-set breviary that priests and religious and others use. It took me a while to figure it out, but I think I have. I've forgotten some of the feasts or memorials though.

When I met with my priest to talk about prayer he suggested this for me to try. It's formal, which makes it easy for me to actually do, formal prayer is something I'm already used to but it's also different for me to actually sit down and pray. Praying the Office, requires me to sit quietly, think and reflect on the psalms, the gospel canticles and the readings. I've noticed that the prayers of intercession sometimes, just hit the right mood or moment, or the other psalm prayers seem to really reflect on what is going on in my life, which Father said might happen. Of course this doesn't always seem to happen, but it's nice to stop and give pause in the midst of the prayers.

One day, I'd like to find a Vespers service at either a local monastery or perhaps even the local Carmelite convent to witness it in all it's glory. Till then, I'll keep on praying as often as I can. Meanwhile, here's a good live journal community which posts the prayers and readings. The whole Liturgy of Hours can found and prayed from here at universalis. and this is another resource for the Office. It's actually a link back to the badge in my sidebar.
And here are a couple of other resources. The St. Thomas Moore online tutorial for evening prayer. This website offers detailed instructions for praying the LoH.

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