Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ever Pray the Hours with a group? Q&A plus weekly welcome!

A warm welcome to new blog followers Julie, Michelle, Monica, David and Emily, who now bring the official blog followers number to 201! I can't tell you how much this cheers my little numerological heart.

And welcome to others who use feed readers whose names I may never  know. As always, C&C is your forum to share both your questions and your comments about the Liturgy of the Hours.

Today an anonymous reader asked an interesting question in the comments section on the "About" tab:

"Has anyone experimented with online or local groups for recitation of LOTH? I am a home worker with a lot of flexibility and am lucky enough to have a nearby parish where Morning Prayer is recited by a few people before Mass every weekday - but how about the other hours? I have seen Rosary groups via Skype but never LOTH groups. No monasteries nearby, sadly. Glad to hear of any experiences."

Since the majority of laymen who pray the LOTH daily are doing it mostly on their own, at home, with at most a spouse or older children to share the experience, I don't tend to write a lot here about group recitation of the hours. And that may be a defect, since, after all, praying in community is the ideal. The Church's instructions on the LOTH say that in a number of places. The very nature of these prayers is communal, and they are set up for dialog. (antiphons, response, strophes, etc.)  Even when praying alone we should try to be conscious of praying with the universal  Church. But if there is an opportunity to pray literally, physically, with others, we should take those opportunities when possible. 

Here at my parish Morning Prayer is offered after 8am mass on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Scott, another blog follower, responded to Anonymous' request with this:

Here in Chicago, Daytime Prayer and Evening Prayer are recited in Holy Name Cathedral before the 12:10pm and 5:15pm Masses respectively, Monday through Friday. The Evening Prayer group is quite large sometimes. They're led by two leaders, one standing on each side of the front pews. The psalms are said alternating sides, strophe by strophe. They use (and provide copies to borrow) Christian Prayer published by the Daughters of St. Paul.

The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius chant the LotH publicly in church daily at St. John Cantius Parish:
Copies of Shorter Christian Prayer (published by Catholic Book Publishing) are provided for borrowing.
As to the second query about "community" recitation via Skype or a Google Hangout: I have no idea? Does anyone out there do such a thing? Would anyone like to try?  Being on the (relatively young and cool, but still.) end of the baby boom generation, I'm not well versed/comfortable enough to run such a thing myself. But if any of you want to do something like that, feel free to use the space here to get to know who might be interested.

So--tell us when and where if at all, you pray any of the liturgical hours with others, and what you might know about online venues for same.

Or just ask any other question you may have about the Divine Office.

PS. This week's National Catholic Register has a feature article about the Liturgy of the Hours by journalist Celeste Behe, and I am quoted frequently  therein. So far this has only  appeared in the print edition. I'll let you all know if and when it is posted online.