Wednesday, July 20, 2016

English vs. Latin-ish names for the liturgical Hours

One of the most confusing things for newcomers to the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) is that there seem to be more than one term for all sort of things. (See preceding sentence.) So for those of you who are still at the trying-to-figure-it-all-out stage, here's a handy list of equivalents:


Lauds=Morning  Prayer   Derived from Latin word for "praise"

Terce= Mid Morning Prayer  from the Latin for "three" because 9am is the third hour of the day when your day begins at sunrise or approximately 6am.

Sext= Midday Prayer...from the Latin for" six." (Noon is the "sixth hour.")

None= Midafternoon Prayer...from the Latin for "nine" because 3pm is the "ninth hour."

Vespers=Evening Prayer ...from Latin "vespera" which means "evening."

Compline= Night Prayer...from Latin "complere" which  does NOT mean "night" But rather "to fill or complete." With Night Prayer, your liturgical day is complete.

Update: A reader just reminded me that I left out: Matins=Office of Readings

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