Liturgy of the Hours

We pray together Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours (also known as Divine Office) the days and times vary by the semester; see the calendar for the current schedule. These prayers are published in multiple formats:

General Format

Those praying the Hours divide into two groups which alternate reading the stanzas. A designated leader (who is also in group I) reads some of the prayers and the antiphons the first time they are read. Here is the format for each psalm

Leader: Antiphon text

I: Reads a stanza

II: Reads the next stanza

etc..

I*: Glory to the Father...

II: As it was in the beginning...

*If group I read the last stanza, group II reads “Glory to the Father...” and group I replies with “As it was...”

From the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours

The witness of the early Church teaches us that individual Christians devoted themselves to prayer at fixed times. Then, in different places, it soon became the established practice to assign special times for common prayer, for example, the last hour of the day when evening draws on and the lamp is lighted, or the first hour when night draws to a close with the rising of the sun.

In the course of time other hours came to be sanctified by prayer in common. These were seen by the Fathers as foreshadowed in the Acts of the Apostles. There we read of the disciples gathered together at the third hour. The prince of the apostles “went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour” (10:9); “Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour” (3:1); “about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (16:25).

Such prayer in common gradually took the form of a set cycle of hours. This liturgy of the hours or divine office, enriched by readings, is principally a prayer of praise and petition. Indeed, it is the prayer of the Church with Christ and to Christ.

Read the full text at EWTN here.