The Liturgy of the Hours, Finally Makes Sense!

Posted on July 28, 2019

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Growing up as a cradle Catholic, you would think that I would know everything there is to know about prayer, but honestly, I only recently even heard of the Liturgy of the Hours. What little I did know (or thought I knew) about it was that it was prayed only by the priests and deacons, and it was prayed throughout the day, but that was about it!

Well, the mystery of this beautiful Liturgy is uncovered in the new book by Father Timothy Gallagher, O.M.V., A Layman’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours. Let’s answer some basic questions, and get a head start on this form of prayer.

Is it only for priests, deacons and monks?

Well, for fifteen hundred years it was almost exclusively prayed by priests, monks, and nuns. It was designed to help them focus and to live a life of prayer. The Church is now very clear on its stance: NO, it is not just for the ordained or religious. In fact, during Vatican II the Council wrote, “the laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office, either with priests, or among themselves, or individually” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 28).

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