Friday, October 21, 2011

Bungling Through the Breviary?

Man Confused Sad Clip Art

Lurching throught Lauds? A little Vague on Vespers?

This is a recurrent weekly feature where readers may ask any question they have about praying the Divine Office.
Maybe you haven't even started because you aren't sure which breviary you should buy. Maybe you're bouncing back and forth among online breviaries and don't understand the differences among them.Perhaps you know you can't do the entire Liturgy each day, but want advice deciding which hours you should pray.

Maybe you are a seasoned  pro at this breviary business, but want to compare notes on the finer points of praying the hours. Or you want to start praying it with someone else and do all the correct gestures and postures for community recitation.

I don't promise to be the final word on every single question, but what I have for you is 30- some year's experience saying the Office alone and with groups. Also, and more important, I have the complete General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours with me,  and will be happy to look things up when magisterial backup is needed.

So please, ask anything you want in the comment box. And anyone out there who knows what he's doing may comment on the comments if you have anything to offer.


  1. I have a question for my husband: When is it appropriate to read the Office for the Dead? He asked because he ended up doing vespers from it yesterday at a funeral visitation. He says "I always see it there, but I don't know when I could possible use it." We wondered if it was just for funeral occasions.

  2. Hi!
    Got this same question a week or so ago. The Office for the Dead is a votive office, which means it can be used whenever appropriate. The wake was definitely a good use of it. One might also use it on the day of a loved one's funeral, on getting news of a friend's death, or on the anniversary of someone's death. Of course,it should not be used in place of the regular office for a Sunday, Solemnity, or obligatory feast. The Office of the Dead is also used for All Souls Day.