WDTPRS POLL & QUAERITUR: Do laypeople who use the older Breviary participate in the Church’s prayer?

There is a WDTPRS POLL at the bottom of this entry!

From a reader:

Summorum Pontificum art. 9 sec. 3 explicitly grants ordained clerics the faculty to use the Roman Breviary in force in 1962, but makes no mention of the laity or the non-ordained. Since many of the laity have taken up the habit of praying the Divine Office, is a layman praying the older Breviary still participating in the Church’s public prayer, or must he use the current Breviary for this?


Yes.  And No.

Yes, lay people (who are not religious) participate in the prayer of the Church when they use the Breviarium Romanum.

No, lay people do not need to use the Liturgia Horarum to participate in the prayer of the Church.

Lay people who are not religious can do whatever it pleases them to do insofar as the office is concerned: say it, don’t say it, say part or all… whatever.  If the lay person is not a religious or consecrated virgin, he or she is not bound to pray the office.

However, Holy Church clearly considers that the use of the older, traditional form of office, as it was before and during the Second Vatican Council, is also participation in the official prayer of the Church, otherwise it would not be approved for use by those who are bound to say the office.

Therefore, lay people who say the older form in whole or in part also participate in their own way in the prayer life of the Church.

With that in mind, let’s have a little WDTPRS POLL for lay people only, excluding lay people who are professed religious or consecrated virgins.

Some lay people say part or all of the office in some form alone, or with other – for example in a parish setting before or after Mass.

Let’s get a sense of how many readers do this.  Chose an option and then give an explanation in the combox. 



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  1. Cath says:

    I have said the LOH for several years but a month ago switched to the Breviary. Its online with side by side Latin and English. Even get it on my phone when I’m away from home. I say all of it most days, but with seven kids sometimes I miss a little here and there. Fr. Z. I love the podcasts of Vespers as it helps me to learn my Latin. Thanks so much for that.

  2. Geoffrey says:

    I began praying Lauds, Vespers, and Compline (Liturgy of the Hours) during Advent and Lent in high school (1990s). For Lent 2006, I purchased the complete Lent-Easter volume and began saying the Office of Readings and Daytime Prayer. When Easter Sunday came around, I had fallen in love with the Divine Office and kept on going. I cannot imagine my prayer life without the Divine Office!

    I recently purchased the new African edition of the Liturgy of the Hours, which has the new Revised Grail Psalms. I will begin using these when Ordinary Time begins (after Vespers II of Pentecost).

    I usually pray the Ordinary (Ordinarium) in Latin, and sometimes during Lent use the Extraordinary Form of Compline.

  3. Mark M says:

    I have prayed the Breviary for some years now, even before I was received into the Church. I started with a gift of the so-called ‘Anglican Breviary’ (which is really a translation of the 1911 Breviarium Romanum) that a friend gave me. After being received into the Church I tried the Liturgia Horarum (first in English, then in Latin), but as I hard started attending Masses pretty much exclusively in the Extraordinary Form (thanks to the local FSSP Priest), there was a discontinuity in my prayer life.

    So, I switched to the Latin Breviarium Romanum. Sometimes I don’t always know exactly what I’m praying, but it fits in with Mass. Equally, I cannot abide the new form of Compline, for example, which was another reason for switching.

    We also started a Schola to sing Vespers in Edinburgh over a year ago now, and that has made the Office a real joy.

  4. RichR says:

    I used to use the LOH all the time, but the prayers were so mundane and boring that I stopped. It wasn’t helping me.

    I tried to start up again with the Monastic Diurnal (Farnsborough Abbey), but found it a lot to handle, even in parts. So, I’ve taken to praying the hour that is appropriate to the time I pick up the MD, and praying Psalms until my time is up, then turning to the Collect and finishing. The Latin/English is great, and it is extremely portable. The higher English is very uplifting, and the Collects are spiritually challenging.

    I am actually looking forward to the retranslation of the Liturgy of the Hours into better English. I think the structure of the newer office is more practical to a layman, and the expanded readings are rich. It’s just that bland language and lifeless collects that bore me silly.

    I considered holding out for the Baronius Press 1962 Breviary, but that has been postponed so many times that I never really trust them when they say, “Soon, very soon.” Even when it does come out, I will probably stay with the MD until the retranslation of the LOH. I want something that I can pray in common when possible, but also is practical for use AND is spiritually edifying.

  5. RichR says:

    Oh yeah, for those who haven’t checked out the MD, here’s a link tot he best price I’ve found on the web:

  6. DBuote says:

    When it comes to praying the old Breviarium Romanum, for those who are bound to say the office, can they just do the parts required in Liturgica Horarum, or do they need to pray all of the minor hours as well?

  7. KarenLH says:

    I say Morning Prayer with my husband whenever the schedule allows, and have been on-again/off-again with other hours on my own. Frankly, while the idea of doing it appeals to me, I’ve never been able to get into it. I have the same problem with the Rosary. It’s probably a character flaw—an inability to step out of my own head and into someone else’s words—which is why I keep trying to come back to it. So far, it really doesn’t click.

  8. torch621 says:

    I currently own the four volume Liturgy of the Hours and use it regularly. I pray the Office of Readings along with Morning Prayer in the morning, Daytime Prayer at noon and Evening Prayer after supper usually.

  9. AM says:

    I learned to say the Breviary using the rubrics in the “Anglican Breviary”. I now use the current Roman rubrics and calendar of the e.f. I used to say the whole office, but it has become increasingly difficult and nowadays I rarely say more than Lauds and Vespers. Perhaps I will return to it more fully. I say it in a mixture of Latin and liturgical English.

  10. sawdustmick says:

    Have been praying the LOH (only one of the minor hours usually) for a number of years, but like RichR, I find it a little ‘insipid’ in places. I have started using the Monastic Diurnal (again waiting for the Baronius Press Latin and English BR) for Vespers and Compline. I will start using this for Prime when I can get a Roman Martyrology (everywhere seems out of stock in the UK at present) and then for Lauds and the minor hours.

  11. I started saying the Liturgy of the Hours in the last few months, and had prayed the previous Breviary (in English) for a couple years.

    A group of students at my parish (between 18 and 25) started praying the LOH’s Vespers together before each daily Mass a couple months back as well.

  12. I want to, but I probably won’t get a chance to start until I enter seminary this fall.

  13. jrotond2 says:

    The Confraternity of St. Benedict was started to facilitate this very practice. http://www.sbconfraternity.org

    For me personally, I grew accustomed to praying some of the Office publicly during my highschool years when I was in a setting where priests and nuns prayed Prime, Sext, & Compline together daily, and Vespers on Sundays. This sparked an interest and left quite an impression which has informed my spiritual life ever since. During my 20’s, I adopted the 1962 Breviarium Romanum in its entirety daily; more recently I began to pray the 1954 Breviarium because of its richer fare, and even more recently have adopted the pre-Pius X psalter.

    Occasionally, as situations allow, I am blessed to get together with some fellow gentlemen friends from my parish (www.materecclesiae.org) and pray an Office together with them (usually in Latin but sometimes in the vernacular) at their home or mine or somewhere else outside of the church. Of course, with the Confraternity mentioned above, our small group has been meeting regularly to pray Compline (5 times a month; once with a priest) and Vespers (once a month w/ a priest in either the sung or solemn form).


  14. Orate Fratres says:

    I’ve been on and off praying the Divine Office but no trying again to and maintain discipline.

    I first started off with “Christian Prayer” (Liturgy of the Hours) and first prayed the Morning and Evening Prayer then later the daytime prayer. But since I primarily attend an EF Mass at an FSSP parish, I wanted a Breviary that was closer with the EF and picked up the Latin/English Monastic Diurnal (Farnborough Abbey) and loved it ever since!

    The downside was that the MD does have a learning curve but I found this site to be very helpful in learning the ins and outs of the MD:

    The neat thing is that although it follows the traditional Benedictine Calendar, it’s very closely aligned to the 1962 Roman Calendar and I can easily insert Roman feasts into the office (I just need a missal for the collect).

    I’m also waiting for the Baronius Press Breviary whenever that comes out =^)

  15. tygirwulf says:

    I have the Diurnale Monasticum as well, but I have no idea yet what I’m doing with it. I will check out that saints shall arise link, thank you, Orate Fratres. In the meantime I pray the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary as printed by Baronius Press. I usually do Lauds through Vespers. I am fortunate that my job is such that I nearly always am able to take the 10 minutes I need to say prime, terce and none at the appropriate times. It’s a much-needed and anticipated timeout from the day.

  16. Patikins says:

    I chose the first option though I am not consistent with this most wonderful form of prayer. I occasionally have an opportunity to pray it with others but I’m usually on my own.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    …and I recite both the morning and evening office in some form every day with my husband.

  18. Joe Magarac says:

    I pray lauds on the way to work in the morning, and vespers on the way home at night. I use public transit and have a smartphone, so it’s easy. I use the free version of Universalis, which doesn’t have the official translations but is still a great service.

  19. cnaphan says:

    I have that little abridged Divine Office from Angelus Press and I try to say the 3 hours (Prime, Sext and Compline) whenever possible, although, these days, I probably average about 0.75 hours/day.

    I’d upgrade to the modern LoH, mostly for the readings and an unambiguous liturgical calendar, but it’s hard switching to vernacular psalmody and I’ve never found a Latin-English or Latin-only modern LoH.

  20. I have been sporadic. Ideally, I will pray Compline every night. Prime every morning, Monday through Saturday. First Vespers, Lauds and Second Vespers from Saturday evening through Sunday evening.

    All using the Breviarium Romanum, of course. I have the two-volume set distributed by the FSSP, as well as the Divine Office published by Angelus Press. I use both.

    Invariably, I come away from praying the Divine Office spiritually refreshed. It is amazing. Unfortunately, I’m sometimes rushed in the morning or very tired at night, so I often let it go.

  21. Janine says:

    I have 2 of the 4 volumes of the Liturgy of the Hours, but I am not sure how to pray it, nor what the proper times are. I intend on getting the final 2 volumes that I need, but since I dont know how to pray it I have been putting it off and wondering if is something I am supposed to do.

  22. I’ve been praying part of the Liturgy of the Hours for a few years. Mainly, it’s been morning and evening prayer, though I have not been absolutely consistent and have missed either or both on quite a few occasions. Sometimes, I’ve ventured into the Office of Readings and Compline, and very occasionally some of the other hours.

    However, I am just waiting to be able to order the Bendictine Monastic Diurnal http://www.southwellbooks.com/monastic-diurnal-2177-p.asp and the Little Office of Our Lady http://www.southwellbooks.com/little-office-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-the-2125-p.asp, the latter complete with Gregorian chant notation.

    I think I will not miss the intercessory prayers because I usually find it difficult to pay attention to the prepared intercessions, and I only rarely find them particularly helpful. Sometimes I even find them vaguely annoying. It is really the same thing with the intercessions at Mass. I rarely am able to pay much attention, find them sometimes vaguely irritating, and do not miss them at all in the Extraordinary Form. Obviously, I appreciate the importance of intercessory prayer, but I am not sure that the prepared intercessory prayers always help that much, though sometimes they remind one of an intention one should be including and has left out. Perhaps it would be different if they were very straightforwardly reminding us of the really important issues, but many appear simply and inexplicably to be left out and others almost enveloped to the point of obscurity in so much semantic fog. Some of this may, of course, be an impression I am left with due to my almost chronic inability really to pay attention to them. However, I think perhaps I would be better able to pay attention and unite my prayers to them if they were more helpful. Anyway, suffice it to say that I think finding a moment after one of the hours for petitions will work better for me.

  23. Mark M says:

    Those interested in the 1962 Office on the go might like to try this link:

  24. I am actually really looking forward to receiving the Monastic Diurnal and the Little Office of Our Lady. :-) Sadly, this is not going to happen before I order them. :-(

  25. Geoffrey says:

    “When it comes to praying the old Breviarium Romanum, for those who are bound to say the office, can they just do the parts required in Liturgica Horarum, or do they need to pray all of the minor hours as well?”

    I wondered this as well, specifically in regards to Prime, which was expressly abolished by Vatican II:

    “Hora Prima supprimatur (The hour of Prime is to be suppressed” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 89d).

  26. Bill in Texas says:

    I pray the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, using the Baronius Press edition, which adheres to the Editio Typica of the 1961 Breviary.

  27. Maltese says:

    Mr. Mulligan, I admire that you pray the compline, prime, etc., but, though I’m hard-and-fast when it comes to the TLM, I do not know how a lay Catholic prays these. Please inform, if you wouldn’t mind.

  28. Magpie says:

    I used to pray the revised Divine Office on and off, but lapsed due to laziness. I would like to get my act together and begin again.

  29. Well, I did not take part in the poll, as I am a secular Carmelite (OCDS), and thus am obliged to pray morning and evening prayer (and “strongly urged”–per our constitutions–to pray Compline).
    I did want to say though, that I had started to pray the LOH before I began my Carmelite journey, and fell in love with it. I have the 4 volume LOH. Sometimes I struggle to find the time, but it is always worth it.
    when I can, I like to pray the Little Hours and the Office of Readings (esp. when I wake up in the middle of the night–I finds it helps to preserve the flavor of the hour as being nocturnal).
    The second readings in the Office of readings just knock me out. I love them.

    Most of all, I love that I am breathing the same prayers as the Church, and that I am sharing in the prayer of Christ.

    If anyone is struggling to do this, I recommend meditating on the prayer of the Church, and also to purchase a yearly guide to the Office available at local Catholic bookstores, which helps to make sense of things (of course I can speak only for the vernacular edition–I don’t know if guides are available for the Latin. (Brevarium Romanum) I have prayed the Brevarium Romanum, but am less comfortable with that. Also don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake, or try to ” catch up” if you miss hours.

  30. Jeffrey Morse says:

    I pray the traditional Monastic Office (Monastic Diurnal/Antiphonale Monasticum) each day, but not necessarily ALL of it. My goal every day is to SING at least one of the hours each day if not ALL of them. Sometimes I am joined by friends in singing (I have copies of the ANTIPHONALE MONASTICUM to go around….), and just last night a good friend of mine came to dinner, so before the pre-prandial cocktails, we sang Vespers full on. I was fortunate to have studied Gregorian Chant with Dr. Mary Berry (M. Thomas More) who insisted that all of her students SING the Office as the Chant is a LIVING tradition, and so we did! It was Dr Berry who gave me HER Monastic Diurnal as I was leaving England the first time at the airport while telling me I may not always have the opportunity to go to Mass, but that the truths of the faith were expressed in the Office, and that I could do on my own. Nearly 30 years later, I am still trying my best to follow her very wise advice.

  31. marypatricia says:

    I’ve been using “Morning and Evening Prayer with Compline from The Divine Office” (First published in 1976 by Collins) for over 10 years now–started with Compline and then added Lauds and Vespers.

    Parts of it get on my nerves a bit–eg whenever there is a Feast or Memoria they always refer you to the psalms for Sunday week one–it can get a rather monotonous. Presumably in the full version there is more variety than this.
    I also have started to skip over the intercessions. I totally agree with what Catholicofthule says in relation to them.
    Someone in another post mentioned that some of the hymns /songs are not very inspirational–I was interested to learn that there are set hymns in the breviary for various occasions.

    It’s very heartening to read that others are having similar experiences to my own.

  32. Romuleus says:

    I pray the Breviarium Romanum in Latin daily alone. In addition, I use the new (2005) Martyrologium Romanum when praying Prime.

    Sometimes, I get to St. Francis De Sales in St. Louis early before the 0800 Mass and pray Lauds with the priests and seminary candidates of the Institute of Christ the King.

    I used to use the FSSP Breviarium Romanum; however, last week, I purchased and received the Nova et Vetera Breviarium Romanum. These are beautiful liturgical books! A little pricey (with air shipping, I paid $330.00+ US for the two volume set with inserts for some of the Propers for the USA and a nice leather slip cover). The books are small and thin enough to fit in a coat or jacket pocket. It would be nice if Nova et Vetera would print a “travel size” 1962 Missale Romanum of the same quality and size.

  33. Sid says:

    Worth noting that almost all of the writebackers above who use the Breviarium Romanum don’t pray all of it, or even most of it. How can they? Who has the time? Proof that the reform of the Office, the Liturgia Horarum, with its four week Psalter, was wise.

    For the record, I pray from the Liturgia Horarum all the offices daily, though sometimes I miss Night Prayer. I use the Latin 4 vol. editio typica, 2000, with the Textus inserendi for newer saints; and otherwise the 3 vol. UK Divine Office.

    For the Office of Readings, for the readings themselves, I use the 8 vol A Word in Season, which has a 2 year cycle. In this edition, for The Bible readings, the Bible texts are only cited by book, chapter, and verses, the editors assuming that most folk have a Bible already. The 2nd readings in this series are quite good.

    When praying the office, I often use other translations than the Grail for the Psalms and Canticles: the RSV, the NEB, the NJB, and Robert Alter’s translation.

  34. Agnes says:

    I’ll adjust my answer to be “I sometimes recite the Office alone or with others, usually Compline, sometimes Lauds.” Sporatically. Sometimes. Vernacular. Once in a while. Good thing I’m not a nun.

  35. trespinos says:

    Try to be faithful about praying Morning and Evening prayer. Would like to add Office of Readings because they actually look more engaging than MP and EP, but am a poor manager of time and therefore haven’t done so yet.

  36. Flambeaux says:

    I used to be much better about praying the Office but I let it go for a while. I found my spiritual growth suffered and my spiritual director exhorted me to take it up again. I’m presently teaching my wife and children to sing Compline in the Benedictine manner (so Sunday is sung everyday) using the 1934 Antiphonal for the pointing and the 1962 Diurnal republished by St. Michael’s Abbey in the UK for the text. When that is well-established, I’ll introduce sung I and II Vespers for Sundays and Feasts.

    I’m hoping that someday we’ll be able to add sung Vespers to our parish life, but it may take some time to cultivate that. Until then, we’ll do as we can within the domestic church.

  37. Karen Russell says:

    I started praying the LOTH back in 1973. All that was available then was an “interim” version, which used a pre-existing British translation. I prayed it faithfully for several years, then life got busy (young children, aged mother, husband in poor health) and it mostly sat on the shelf. I did usually manage at least Morning Prayer during Lent. I lost my mother in 1998 and my husband in 1999. By about 2000 it was falling apart (it was never meant to last so long).

    I then bought the 4-volume LOTH and for awhile used it regularly–but the banality of some parts of the translation started to get to me. I tried going back to the remnants of the interim version for the intercessions and closing prayer, but that became a hassle and I stopped using it.

    At some point during that period, I found the 1964 Benziger Brothers English translation of the Roman Breviary in a collection of second-hand books in our local Catholic bookstore and grabbed it, knowing that I would eventually want to look into it further.

    When Pope Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum, I took it off the shelf and started in.

    No, I have not always prayed it consistently or completely, but at present it is going well. I find the daytime hours are short enough that I can fit them into my schedule most of the time. I do have to make a deliberate effort to keep up with Matins; my (utterly subjective) impression is that it is as long as all the others put together.

    I’d love to learn to say it in Latin, but that is a much steeper learning curve, and so far I’ve only tackled Compline.

  38. JonathanZ says:

    I was recently reading John Miller’s Fundamentals of the Liturgy (1959), and regarding lay recitation of the Office he cites Mediator Dei to say that while the laity is encouraged to recite the Office, it still can only be considered an official prayer in the name of the Church when led by “priests and other ministers of the Church and by religious deputed for this by the Church.” However, he explains that it remains the Church’s perrogative to delegate this power to the laity if she so chooses as some time.

    So my questions are:

    * Since the writing of that book in 1959, has the Church officially given authority to the laity to recite the Office “in the name of the Church” (opposed to the Church’s encouragement of the laity to recite the office for the laity’s personal spiritual benefit), and if not,

    * What precisely is the nature of the difference between a lay-led recitation of the Office and one led by a priest?

  39. Andrew says:

    I checked “alone or with others” but it has been mostly alone and rarely with others.

    For many years now I’ve used the four volume Liturgia Horarum in Latin and I’ve never used or even seen a vulgar translation of it. What I like about it especially that it has Latin on both sides of the page.

  40. newyork says:

    I am privileged to have “discovered” the Liturgy of the Hours many years ago and know it to be a great means of leading me toward the Lord. I particularly value the times on retreats and pilgrimages when I can join in prayer with my confreres in the Order of Malta, but mostly I pray alone.

  41. Liz F says:

    We have the blessing of having a seminary nearby so we sometimes attend Sunday Vespers. We don’t say a whole lot of the Divine Office on our own, but the prayers are very beautiful.

  42. I have been tremendously blessed over the years in having access to a defunct seminary library. Over the years, I have bought various breviaries from their extensive collection and used them. For the longest time, my Divine Office was the 1930 Breviarium Monasticum from Desclee with its magnificent engravings and large, well done text.

    Lately, however, I have switched to a Little Office of the VIrgin Mary printed in “The Dominican Sisters’ Office Book.” It’s almost exactly the same as the one printed by Baronius, but includes commemorations for various Dominican saints throughout the year and prayers to Sts. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena immediately afterwards. I strive to pray it on a daily basis, but I rarely succeed.

  43. papist says:

    I would like to pray the office (the Little Office of Mary in particular or perhaps even the 1962 Breviary) but unfortunately don’t know how.

    For those of you who recite the extraordinary form of the Breviary or the pre-Vatican II office, do you guys pray in English or Latin? And if in English is it still considered the official prayer of the Church or private devotion?

    Any advice for a beginner on where to begin?

  44. Mark M says:


    The laity cannot be expected to pray all of it, though I must say I know many friends who pray it all, and I pray all of it (excepting Matins occasionally). It’s not that great a burden for the Priest, to be honest.


    You might want to check out that link for the Confraternity of St Benedict:

    –or, use Laszlo Kiss’ excellent website, which generates the Office on the fly, and you’ll start to pick it up:

  45. Tradster says:

    I use the ’62 LOBVM and will add the full ’62 Breviary when Baronius releases it in a few months. I pray nearly all of it in English and, yes, it is as completely valid liturgical prayer as the Latin for us laity.

  46. This past academic year, some friend and I took to chanting Compline in Latin according to the old Breviary. Some used the Liber Usualis, some bought the FSSP’s little blue book for Compline, etc. It was very nice.

  47. Agnes says:

    I’m pretty religious (sic) about praying the Magnificat publication every morning. I also enjoy the Little Office of Mary at times.

  48. Rellis says:

    I started out haltingly praying the LOTH in English during college. The pattern asserted itself which remains to this day: easier done on weekends than weekdays, day hours hardly ever done. I started with Christian Prayer, and moved my way up to the LOTH. I was blissfully-ignorant at the time (late 1990s) of the banality of the translation and the relative (to the older breviary) impoverishment of the structure. I thought I was quite the monastic :)

    After dropping it for years, I took it up again when I was engaged (my now-wife played along, but she checked out when I started leaving the LOTH). I then switched over to the three-volume Latin-English BR published by Collegeville Press in the early 1960s. In so doing, I use the modern sanctoral calendar, but the extraordinary form proper of season. There’s a few cats and dogs by way of exception (especially when it comes to Sundays), but that’s 98% accurate.

    I’ve now migrated over to the Anglican Breviary. I really enjoy the extra prayers (Paters, Aves, Credos, etc.) It’s more like a prayer book than either the 1970 or 1962 variety, which seem more concerned with didactics. Still, I use the new sanctoral/old seasonal. All the neat commemorations, vigils, and octaves make it interesting, to say the least.

    I now have two children and two jobs, so it’s challenging to find the time. I can usually manage all seven (eight) of the canonical hours on a Sunday. I can do several on a Saturday or day off work. During the week, I at least try to read the Matins lessons and propers.

    Time-wise, I tend to concentrate as many hours as possible in the evening (Vespers, Compline, Matins, Lauds). In so doing, I don’t fight my night-owl nature. This has the added advantage of being when the kids go to bed. I highly recommend this approach for people with young children.

    I supplement my AB with things like Universalis (very rarely, or maybe if I’m in the mood for Daytime Prayer), Laszlo’s excellent Divinum Officium, and the Yahoo Group on the Roman Breviary. I highly recommend getting plugged into all three of these.

  49. Supertradmum says:

    I use The Monastic Diurnal, as used at Clear Creek Monastery and in some places in England. However, I do not do all the hours,and sadly go days without saying it, especially if I have been ill, as one must concentrate on the prayers to make these worthwhile. Before that, I used the LOH from England and Wales, a beautiful translation, superior to the American version in translation,cadence,and poetry.

  50. Supertradmum says:

    By the way, some seminarian friends of mine were discussing the different translations among themeselves with some priests.One priest stated that he could not remember the last time he said his breviary and he is a spritual director of seminarians. Is it not a canonical rule for a priest to say at least the three main hours everyday? The young men were shocked.

  51. Supertradmum says:


    I remember the beautiful workshops of Mary Berry about 25 years ago. What a blessing she was to the laity of England.

  52. Fr. Z.,

    This might sound silly, but I was delighted that you mentioned consecrated virgins specifically. :-)

    After I was consecrated, my Dad actually started praying the Morning and Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. I gave him my old copy of “Shorter Christian Prayer,” which he’s been using for about a year, and I’m planning on giving him a new copy of the regular “Christian Prayer” for Fathers’ Day. (He doesn’t read this blog, so I’m safe in saying this!)

  53. Elly says:

    I voted for never said any of the office and probably never will. I guess maybe someday I might look into it but until I get the rest of my life under control and get into the habit of Daily Mass and a daily Rosary, I can’t see trying to add one more thing. And right now I’m single but hopefully will get married within the next year, so I suspect I’ll have even less time.

  54. Felicia says:

    I was first introduced to the Liturgy of the Hours in High School in the early 1980s. One of the teachers had a copy in his office, and I used to sneak a peek at it. My parents got me the full 4-volume set as a High School graduation present. I go in bursts of saying it quite regularly, then doing something else. For example, whilst I said the LOTH during Lent, lately I’ve been saying the Rosary instead.

  55. joan ellen says:

    Thank God for the above information/experiences. And links. I have been asked by my spiritual director to say the LOH from the 4 volumes. I have Christian Prayer and usually say the morning prayers before Mass with the priest who leads us.
    I have been wondering about whether I want the LOH or RB, and now see some other choices as well. Before I make my purchase decision, have been trying to offer more daily Rosaries and Chaplets of Divine Mercy in lieu of the prayer of the Church (except for morning prayer.)
    It’s also very encouraging to know that so many WDTPRSers have tried, are trying, or doing the prayer of the Church. Thanks for this Fr.

  56. irishgirl says:

    I’ve been sporadic in saying the Liturgy of the Hours down through the years. When I was in the Third Order Franciscans-a/k/a ‘Secular Franciscans’-the members of the fraternity I was in didn’t even do the ‘official’ Divine Office. We said six Our Fathers, six Hail Marys and six Glory Bes instead. I learned to do the Divine Office on my own, with the help of a Third Order member of a fraternity in another parish. It was ‘trial and error’ trying to figure it out at first, but I managed. Mostly it was on Third Order retreats and Congresses that the Divine Office was done.

    After I left the Franciscans [walked out of a meeting, but I digress] I joined the Third Order Discalced Carmelites. As MaryAgnesLamb states, the Office was part of the Rule. So I was pretty regular in saying it during my time with the Carmelites. When I attended the monthly meetings, the Office was chanted, with the members splitting into two groups. That was cool.

    I’ve used the one volume Liturgy of the Hours book. I have the larger one-volume and the smaller ‘skinny Breviary’ [a/k/a ‘Shorter Christian Prayer]. Never had the money to buy the four-volume set.

    I’ve said the Office in church before Mass, leading the congregation in it. There have been a couple of prayer groups I’ve been part of that use the ‘Shorter Christian Prayer’ book. And in the early 2000’s I used to pray Evening Prayer from the larger one-volume Liturgy of the Hours with a small group of people I knew.

    Nowadays I’ll pray a few times a week the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, using the older version that is put out by the FSSP’s Fraternity Publications Service. When I pray Lauds from the Little Office, I’ll alternate between Latin and English in the prayers-I love saying the “Benedictus” [Canticle of Zachary] in Latin!

  57. Thomas in MD says:

    I am on again off again with Angelus’ Divine Office. I have the 4 volume LOH in English, but it never really clicked for me. I also read “In Conversation with God”, which dovetails with the daily Mass readings.

  58. Salome Ellen says:

    Our family (six kids) has been saying Evening Prayer as a family since just before #5 was born almost 20 years ago. There is a priceless photo of our #3 daughter (now 22) excitedly holding up the copy of “Christian Prayer” she had just gotten for Christmas, age not-quite-six. (She has just “inherited” the four volume set from an elderly priest friend.) My husband has also been doing Morning Prayer solo all this time, and Ash Wednesday 2009 I began doing the same. Our eldest married daughter and her husband do both with their kids. What I find most marvelous is the amount of Scripture we all now have at the tip of our tongues, just from hearing it over and over.

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