"Perhaps we should stop seeing the office of readings as “that really long liturgical hour with those two long readings” and start thinking of it as “that really compact, efficient daily prayer & study time that makes it possible for me to pray, read scripture, and read the best of the writings of the saints, all in less than half and hour”. Because that it what it is. Perhaps, looking at it this way, more people would be eager to try it. "
-from The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours
Time for one of my (mercifully) infrequent posts on the progress of The Book. Chapter 5 had discussed every individual element of the LOTH, from antiphon to psalm to reading to canticle, etc. Now I'm finishing up chapter 6, which discusses the unique character or personality of each of the hours. E.g. I pointed out how all the psalms that talk about morning and sunrise appear in morning prayer,and how daytime prayer is about taking a short rest from our daily duties and gathering the grace to see them to completion.
I got a little stuck on the office of readings, since it doesn't have that specific "time of day" character. It's middle of the night in monasteries but can be any time for the rest of us. Could be a vigil on the previous evening. Could be the prelude to morning prayer. Could be any time at all.
So I'm describing it as the "wisdom" hour. The only hour where praise (psalmody) is not the main event, but the warm up act. The main event is to drink deeply from the well of the Word,and then to sit at the feet of our elder brothers and sisters in the faith as their disciples.
If you are a fan of the office of readings, please share your enthusiasm in the comment box below.Tell me why you really like it. You might remind me of some angle on the OOR that I should mention in the book. This is the chapter where I hope readers will be persuaded to go beyond that one-volume Christian Prayer. Any and all insights would be appreciated!