Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why I Don't Say "Liturgy of the Hours", and a Golden Oldie

I've been asked why I use the term "Divine Office" more often than the Vatican II-encouraged "Liturgy of the Hours".  My preference has nothing to do with preferring traditional over modern terminology.As a matter of personal taste, I actually prefer  "Liturgy of the Hours" for its superior descriptive qualities.  But "Liturgy of the Hours"   is a mouthful to say and a handful to type.  "Divine Office" is just the more efficient way to go. Trust a lazy woman to find the quickest way to do anything.

I'm going to start  the occasional rerun of older posts, especially those that were written when this blog had between 0 and 5 followers. So, to most of you, it will be new material. Today--just a few of my favorite reasons for praying the Divine Office.

1. You get some daily Scripture reading and prayer done at the same time.

2. It takes less than ten minutes  each for the hours of morning, evening, and night prayer if you're reading it by yourself rather than chanting it in a monastery. (An "hour" never went by so quickly!)

3. If you can't get to daily mass it's the best substitute because just  like the Mass the Divine Office is also the liturgy of the Church.

4. By praying the Divine Office you are joining in the universal prayer of the Church being offered by your brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world.

5. You will be praying the  exact same prayers Pope Benedict prays every day.

6. You will be  participating in a tradition that is old as the Church itself. (In the book of Acts, the apostles went to the temple to pray at specific hours of the day.)

7. If you pray the Office on a regular basis, you will find that you have memorized lots of the psalms and other scripture passages painlessly.

8. Once you are accomplished at flipping about in a breviary, your fellow Catholic geeks  will be impressed.

9.You will acquire a cool vocabulary that includes words like breviary, vespers, Te Deum, compline, and antiphon.

10. You will be praying "with the same words used by Jesus, present for millenia in the prayer of Israel and of the Church." (Pope John Paul II)