It is known by different names for different forms-Divine Office, Liturgy of the Hours, the Roman Breviary etc. and one form or another has been my constant prayer companion for the last decade or so. The Office is the “other” liturgy (besides the Mass) of the Church few people are familiar with though it has been an integral part of the Church’s spiritual life for time immemorialI truly believe the Office is a woefully underused form of prayer in the Church today by laypeople though I have seen some greater popularity than I had before I went to the seminary. Priests and Religious are typically bound to recite the Office to some degree according to their particular state in life or charism. Lay people are welcome to also pray the Office but obviously there is no obligation to do so. The Office is comprised of (to make a long story short) a grouping of Psalms and prayers split up into sections called “hours” that are typically prayed at different parts of the day. This serves to help sanctify the day by coming to a few moments set aside specifically for prayer, and doing so knowing that one is joining their prayer to an official prayer of the Church.What the Office has taught me, besides persistence, is to live liturgically. The Office celebrates all the feast days of the Church in concert with the Mass and by always calling to mind the saints, the various mysteries of our Lord and Lady’s lives (As an aside, the Rosary ‘Our Lady’s Psalter’ and the Office are intimately connected. The 150 Hail Marys from the 5 decades of each of the 3 traditional came from representing the 150 Psalms in King David’s Psalter which were once all recited in a week in the Office.) the various other celebrations of the Church year as they come year after year. It helps make the Faith an integral and abiding part of you instead of something you just happen do on Sunday and big events. It’s a great blessing to be able to dip into, as one is able, the vast spiritual current of both the Church Militant and Triumphant by participating in a actual Liturgical prayer of Holy Mother Church. God bless!
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