8.10.2007

The Liturgy of the Hours

When one hears the term "Liturgy of the Hours", the thought of a priest praying at morning, noon, afternoon, evening, and night comes to mind. However, since Vatican II the Church has tried to bring the praying of the Hours to the entire faithful. It is the prayer of the Church, for the Church.
In days past it was common to see a priest walking around dressed in cassock and biretta with Breviary in hand. However, in the modern world in which we live today, the many demands upon the normal parish priest have escalated so much that he is now a CEO of the parish, as well as the minister of sacraments. (But that is a topic for another time.)
As was the Jewish practice of reciting prayers to God at specific times of the day, the early Christian church founders kept the tradition for the harmony in the life of Christian converts. As time went on the practice of the faithful praying the Hours, fell to the side. The priests, however, vowed at ordination to keep the Hours as a rule. The Liturgy of the Hours consists of psalms, prayers, canticles, readings and antiphons.
If you have never prayed the Liturgy of Hours I have posted a link on the top of the right column. When clicked it will take you to Universalis.com once there look for Office of Readings, then next to that choose either Morning, Evening or Night Prayer. It is great to know that in this technologically advanced age the Hours are only a click away for those who desire them. It is also great that you don't have to flip through the confusing pages of the book, too.