Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Insecure on the Invitatory? Taking Questions.

Man Confused Sad Clip Art

It's time again to invite questions from anyone who prays the Divine Office but is not quite sure he's doing everything right.

Or maybe you are sure, but just have an academic question about options for celebrating a feastday. '

Or maybe you have seen a new type of breviary out there, and want a second opionion on its merits before buying.

Whatever  your question, this is the place to ask.

As to my title, the appropriate use of the Invitatory Psalm (95) can be a matter for confusion. So here's a distillation of what the General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours (GILH) tells us about it.

1. Psalm 95 is to be said before whichever hour of the liturgy begins the day. This would be either The Office of Readings, or Morning Prayer depending on which one you use to begin the day.  (If you sleep til noon and start your day with daytime prayer, or if the only hour you pray each day is Evening Prayer, then you would not say the Invitatory Psalm.)  The invitatory begins with the verse Lord, open my lips/ And my mouth will proclaim your praise. While saying this, trace the cross over your lips with your thumb. Then say the invitatory antiphon as found in the psalter or the proper of seasons, and then the psalm, Glory Be, and antiphon.
2. However, the Invitatory Psalm may be omitted before Morning Prayer. So if you don't feel like praying it, or are short of time, just begin Morning Prayer with the standard opening, "O God, come to my assistance"
3. As an alternative to Psalm 95, Psalms 100, 67, or 24 may be substituted.
4. If you are praying the office with  a partner or a group, it is recommended to repeat the antiphon after each strophe.

For what it's worth, my custom is to pray the Invitatory psalm, without its antiphon, as I'm getting out of bed in the morning (after you've prayed the Divine Office for a while you know Psalm 95 by heart) and then later, after the kids have left for school and I'm sitting down with my coffee, to do Morning Prayer or Office of Readings with the standard opening. If my husband is home and we do Morning Prayer together, we follow #4 above.


  1. You mentioned previously that you are able to get the daily prayers on Kindle. Could you provide direction on how to go about doing that? Thank you.

  2. Okay. I assume you know how to get on the internet with your Kindle: Menu>experimental>launch browser. This should get you on the internet. Hit menu again, and then "Enter URL"Then enter the following web address:, and enter that. Once it takes you to the ibreviary homepage, go to you menu agian and hit "bookmark this page", so that in the future you can just go to your bookmarks to get on rather than entering the address every time. What you should have on your homepage is the same ibreviary menu that appears on the left on this blog. Select whatever paryer you want to say and bingo! The only problem with ibreviary is that it changes to the next day's prayers by 6pm, so if you don't do evening prayer before that, you have to go through a long process to move the date back. If you still have any problems, write again.

  3. I often do the same saying the Invitatory without antiphon from memory as the small ones are hustling me out of bed in the mornings. Interesting how us moms all end up discovering the same hacks.


    Is that correct? Does not seem to work. I am able to get on the internet with the kindle and I can get to main page...but not the above url.


    Misspelled it in previous post. Still same issue though.

  6. Can you write about praying with your spouse? I'd love to do this, but my husband doesn't share the same enthusiasm.

  7. johnnyc: I'm sorry that didn't work. I was just giving the URL that appears on my Kindle. Maybe this will work: go to the ibreviary homepage as you suggested,change the language to English, and scroll halfway down the page. In the middle is a little white sign that says "the app for prayer--click here and pray." It looks like that should do it. If this works, make sure to bookmark for the future.

  8. re: praying with spouse.
    I'll do a post tomorrow,but don't know if I can tell you anything you don't know already.

  9. Hi Daria,

    I did as you suggested and that works great. Thanks!

  10. Where do find the antiphon for the Invitatory psalm? I can't seem to locate it. Thanks!

    1. What edition of the Breviary are you using?

    2. I can't find it either! I'm using the 4-volume edition (1975). The Ordinary fails to give specific info.

    3. The antiphon for the invitatory psalm appears on each weekday of the psalter at the beginning of the Office of Readings.