POLL ALERT! This is a nice one!


It is nice to be able to give a good poll some visibility.

Over at NLM I saw a worthy poll offered to lay people about whether or not you pray the Liturgy of the Hours, Divine Office, Breviary… whatever… or aspire to.

This poll is in the context of an interesting entry.  I point it out so that you will see at and then…

I don’t have a dog in this fight, of course… and it’s not a fight… and I don’t have any sort of dog… so…

Lay people… go vote!

Right now here are the results.   I could get the total votes in, but it is 529.  Let’s see if, with the help of WDTPRS readers, we can get a solid turn out!

NB: "the poll is for the laity; for those for whom praying the Divine Office is a choice. The interest here is seeing who has taken up this excellent practice of praying the divine office."

UPDATE 17 Jan 1845:

Total votes: 895

UPDATE 18 Jan 0255 GMT:

As I mentioned earlier, that site took down its poll and "Testimonial" page, but … but… the testimonial section is still there.

Here is the link.

Take a look!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Norah says:

    I posted ‘yes 1’ on the poll but when I attempted to post a comment saying that I only pray lauds, vespers and compline the ‘post’ button wouldn’t activate.

  2. gloriainexcelsis says:

    I can’t do the poll. Instead of the Breviary I pray the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary daily. [Sure you can. The Little Office is a fine form for lay people.]

  3. Agnes says:

    I posted Yes, semi-regularly. But probably less than once a week. I usually stick to the Magnificat publication, or the Little Office of Mary, or the Divine Office, or… that’s the fun thing about being laity. We get to mix things up! :-)

  4. ryder says:

    I tried the poll in Chrome first but it seemed to require IE, for those having trouble. For the record, my wife and I say Compline nearly every night (we might miss once or twice a month). Although it is short, it has been a regular part of our prayer life since the week we began dating. With #2 on the way now, we hope to continue the practice (and to add more of the hours as well) as our family grows. Thank you for the post, Fr. Z.

  5. Geoffrey says:

    I voted “yes”. I try to recite the full Liturgy of the Hours daily, and attempt Compline in the Extraordinary Form during Lent. I thank God for leading me to discover and love the Divine Office.

  6. Fr. Z: You need a Jack Russell Terrier to help inspire you in your “fights”:<)!
    Believe me, if he/she doesn’t inspire you he/she will make you absolutely crazy!!
    JR Terriers rock!

    [This wasn’t a fight, actually. I support this poll.]

  7. Hans says:

    That’s actually an interesting poll. Too bad there aren’t any follow-up questions.

    With about a 50% increase in numbers, the ratios haven’t changed much from when Fr. Z posted them originally. That would suggest a certain consonance between his readers and those of the NLM. Is that reasonable?

    As a member of the laity, do you pray the Divine Office (Breviary)?
    Thank you for your vote.

    Yes, I try to pray it daily. (321 votes)
    * 42.24%
    Yes, I pray it semi-regularly (i.e. at least weekly) (190 votes)
    * 25%
    No, I do not. (76 votes)
    * 10%
    No, but I want to. (173 votes)
    * 22.76%
    Total Votes : 760

  8. ray from mn says:

    I’ve investigated it a few times. It seems very complicated to me. I’ve watched a priest do it during a Holy Hour. He constantly was flipping back and forth.

    I’ve asked seminarians about it and they say it does take some time to learn.

    I did purchase the “Prayer of Christians” (1971) some time ago at a used bookstore. It seems somewhat like the Divine Office. It was published as an interim breviary before the post V2 Divine Office was published. It is complicated, too. It does not include all the “readings” but could be used with a bible.

    Is there a manual for beginners?

  9. JARay says:

    I posted on this poll before you started it here.
    I say the Divine Office daily, in that I have the three books which were given to me, but I generally don’t get beyond The Office of Readings and Morning Prayer and also Vespers. I get to say the office of the hours during the day when I take part in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament once or twice a week.

  10. Magpie says:

    There is a good introduction to the Liturgy of the Hours at the following webpage:


  11. o.h. says:

    On an earlier LOTH discussion on NLM, someone suggested My Daily Psalm Book: The Book of Psalms Arranged For Each Day of the Week, published by the Confraternity of the Precious Blood, as a good starting point for beginners. I bought it (it’s cheap!) and love it. It’s perfect for a housewife with insufficient chunks of time for the LOTH; and if I don’t even have time for a complete psalm before I’m interrupted, I sit the importunate child next to me and read the rest of the psalm out loud with her (which always pleases).

  12. Jbuntin says:

    Being a convert, I had no idea what the LOTH are. I became aware of this prayer because the Priest that brought me into the church, incorporated the morning prayer with the daily morning mass. So I learned to pray from the Shorter Christian Prayer book. I fell in love with it, and bought one for myself. I then bought the Christian Prayer because it had the office of readings and also the prayer for the dead.
    I wish I could say that I pray it always, but it runs in spirts. I do know that when my prayer life is in the can…I can jump start it by praying the hours. It’s a wonderful gift from the Church. It takes my mind off of me, and puts my prayer back in the right perspective.

  13. Jbuntin says:

    That would be spurts not sprits..No one will ever accuse me of being a good speller.

  14. AnnaTrad51 says:

    I was lucky enough to be given the 3 volume Divine Office in the EF with Latin and English. I have fallen away a couple of times over the years but when I return it is like been embraced by an old friend. As my state in life makes it impossible to do the hours as they should be I work around them as best I can and unite myself with God when I say them.

  15. Jillian says:

    Does anyone know where can I find a good traditional Latin/English copy of the Divine Office?

  16. MikeM says:

    I say the compline most days and I often do the Office of Readings. I would lie to do the rest, but that’s more difficult to manage schedule wise, so it’s pretty rare that I do.

  17. AnnaTrad51 says:

    The EF form of the Divine Office as of now are very hard to find, but I hear that there are several publishers that are going to be printing the 1962 Divine Office but this has been in the works for quite a while now.

  18. AnnaTrad51 says:

    I should say the ones in Latin and English

  19. Allan S. says:

    I have often started it, but I really don’t understand it. I can’t even figure out the guide books. When Baronius gets the new-old one out, I thought I might try it again. Maybe one hour a day or something. But I just can’t figure out what gets prayed and I totally lose myself in the flipping around. Then I give up.

    I mean really – who thought this thing up? All the flipping around I mean? Was the idea to make it as difficult as possible? They succeeded beautifully….

  20. TKS says:

    I use my iPhone to say it so I always have it with me. I say it everyday but not always all of it.

  21. TKS says:

    Allan S: try it online. They pull it all together for each day. I have the MD but couldn’t get the hang of it so tried this.

  22. Totus Tuus says:

    I’ve been praying Lauds, Vespers, and Compline for about a year and a half and the full seven Hours for about a year now. I’m a student, so I’ve found the trick for me is to say Lauds immediately upon getting up, then Terce right before leaving for classes, Sext during my lunch break, and None right after classes. Then I just need to say the Office of Readings sometime between that and evening Vespers (although on a really hectic day, I might have to combine the Office of Readings with Vespers. And then of course, Compline right before bed.
    For some reason, I’ve never really had a problem with the flipping around. It all seemed to make sense to me.
    Also, I just recently received an Ordinary Form Latin Lauds and Vespers, so I’ll begin incorporating some of that, especially for the larger feasts.

  23. Hans says:

    There is a story about St. Frances of Rome, o.h., that might inspire you. As I remember it, when she was still married she would often be interrupted from her prayer by the needs of running her household, returning to prayer when next she could. One day she returned to her psalter to find the lettering had turned to gold.

    I don’t know more about the story than that, but it has helped me in praying the Liturgy of the Hours for many years now. I don’t expect my psalter to turn to gold (I would probably have more difficulty reading it that way than I do now!), but when my wife needs something, to talk to me or to have me do something or some other need arises, I do it contentedly and return to my prayer as soon as I can afterward.


    The reason for all the flipping about, Allan S., is surely to keep the books as compact as possible, so that there is as little repetition as possible and because (I think – I’ve never worked it out carefully) the weeks in the psalter don’t always mesh exactly the same way with the weeks in the calendar every year.

    I would suggest you ask someone go through it with you. Be patient and keep trying; I very much doubt that God will be upset with you for not doing it exactly as intended. Don’t try to do the whole thing every day from nothing. You’ll get frustrated and quit, which is worse than not starting I think. Start with one and build as you get used to it. Be willing and do your best. As St. Thérèse said, willingness to do something to please God is as pleasing to him as the actual doing of it.

    Alternately, as Agnes suggested, the prayers in Magnificat, or some other shorter form, could be a good way to start. It’s shorter, so it can fit more easily into a busy schedule, and it’s all laid out for you in order. That way you can get used to the rhythm of the prayer before you move on to something longer. That’s how I started, anyway.


    My Latin’s not so good, so I couldn’t comprehendingly pray either form in Latin, which seems important to me with a prayer I pray by myself mostly, but there are certain prayers I know or have learned in Latin that I say in Latin, such as the oft-repeated Doxology minor, the Pater noster, the Ave, Regina, and the Nunc dimittis. It helps keep me paying attention to what I’m saying, rather than let my mind wander off on everyday concerns.

  24. Invitatory, Lauds, Vespers, Compline… Matins! Can never get enough of the good stuff.

    Also looking for LOTH in Latin. Anyone have any leads?

  25. beez says:

    Since I am still, technically, a lay person, I voted “yes.” I started to pray the Breviary (Lauds and Vespers) six months before I entered the seminary.

  26. Jillian says:

    I know Baronius Press is working on it, but it’s slow going; so I wondered if anyone had any other ideas for a Latin/English traditional Breviary.

    I suppose I will have to make do with the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin until Barionus Press finishes up.

  27. Totus Tuus says:

    For those looking for a Latin version, the Amazon page for the Latin OF Lauds/Vespers I got is here;
    (Sorry, I don’t know how to embed links).

    It has Latin-English side-by-side, and the English translation is in my opinion (surprise, surprise) far superior to the ICEL. But the English is unfortunately not currently an approved translation, and therefore not the public prayer of the Church (but the Latin is, as it is the original text). Still, having the English there does help with understanding.

  28. Rachel says:

    That darn poll forced me to admit the truth that I no longer pray the Divine Office daily, but only semi-regularly. Perhaps I should remedy that…

  29. Dr. Eric says:

    What do you more learned people think about the Universalis website?

  30. ppojawa says:


    Liturgia Horarum books show up on eBay from time to time.
    Here’s one current auction:

    There is also the standard (extremely expensive!) source, http://paxbook.com.

  31. Agnes says:

    For the Divine Office, I use a slender little book put out by Angelus Press. It has Lauds I & II, Prime, Sext, Vespers, and Compline for Sunday and just Prime, Sext, & Compline for the rest of the week. The Latin and English are side by side. It’s really a nice, easy book and does the trick for me. I have no inclination to buy a multi-volume set.

    ISBN 1-892331-08-X
    Copyright 2001
    Angelus Press

    I’m not one of the very learned, Dr. Eric, but I prefer opening the pages of an actual book to scrolling down the Universalis website. Though if I had nothing but my laptop handy, it would do. I don’t think Kindle will every really excite me.

  32. irishgirl says:

    I said ‘sometimes’.

    When I was in two Third Orders-successively-I did the Liturgy of Hours because it was stated in the Rule.

    Nowadays, when I do some form of the Office, I say the Little Office of Our Lady, using the older version which I got from the Fraternity of St. Peter.

    It would be nice to do the older form of the Office, but the book is too expensive for me!

    nazareth priest-I love Jack Russell terriers! My last dog was a Russell/hound mix. She was a mischievous little girl by the name of ‘Tia’. I had to put her to sleep four years ago next month after she contracted a blood disorder with a long Greek name. I still miss her-she was my girl!

    What’s your Russell’s name? Is that the dog with its head covered that I’ve seen on some other blogs you comment on?

  33. worm says:

    It’s great to see so many praying the LotH. I would love to see a return of solem Sunday vespers to parishes. But this poll clearly says more about the people who read the blog than about layity to pray the office.

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