Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome, New Folks.Any New Questions?

Welcome and thank you, new followers Tamara, Cam, Russ,Karyn, Alana and Robert.

Although questions are welcome any time  in the comment boxes of any post, this is the Official Weekly Post that specifically invites questions. Any questions, so long as they are at least tangentially related to the Liturgy of the Hours.

Maybe you aren't sure you're using the right prayers each day. Maybe you want to know what is this Office of Readings I'm always babbling about. Maybe you're wondering what the difference is between a memorial and a commemoration. Maybe you can't decide between praying the daily rosary and the Divine Office, don't have time for both, and want some guidance. Although we've already covered that one so you can just look it up.

 And don't forget, there are no stupid questions.


  1. Thank you! Trying to follow the St. Joseph Guide to Christian Prayer... I've been consistent with MP and Readings, but must settle in and do NP!! (Rosary, Daily Mass & Divine Mercy are habits now, too...+JMJ+)

  2. Daria, I'm glad I found your blog--thank Jen for her 7QTF posts. I was in a monastery for about 2 yrs where we prayed the full office. Now I am a caretaker for my mom w/ alzheimer's. I still pray OOR, MP, & EP. I didn't full appreciate all the liturgist did for us. We had a sheet and just had to find the right spots in our books and follow along. I use the St. Joseph guide, but my question much of the commons do we use on feasts and memorials. It seems like sometimes in the monastery we used the antiphons, but prayed the daily psalms not Sun 1. Is it okay to use Sun. 1, even if it's not in the guide, when we have a particular devotion to a saint. For example, I still consider myself Dominican, even though I can't become a third order due to distance and being a caretaker, but on some Dominican saints feast days, like Dominic, Thomas and Albert, I do Sun 1. Thanks so much for your help. Karyn@daysofgraceandstumbling

  3. Hi Karyn,
    I'm glad to know those 7qtf posts do some good--so many people participate, one is lost in a crowd. I rarely check more than 2 or 3 at random each time.
    You might know things that I don't given your monastic experience, so feel free to comment any time on what I post, especially if you think I'm wrong!
    As to saint's feasts--I was just thinking of writing a post on this. Your basic instinct is correct. If its only a commemoration or memorial, the St. Joseph guide goes with the general calendar, and goes with the weekday psalter plus the saint's concluding prayer, and even that is optional, I think, for an optional memorial/commemoration. But the General Instruction states that religious orders or groups or individuals that have a particular attachment to the saint may use the full office for the saint with the psalms taken from the commons. Today, for example, after mass we used the common of pastors for St. John Neuman, because he was a. an American and b. worked in Pennsylvania, so he is very special to us here in PA. But it would not have been wrong to just use Thursday of week II for the psalter, which is what ibreviary did.

  4. what is tipo and tempo? i am glad for this site because I often have questions about the daily readings when it is Saints days and Holy Days. I am glad to have a place to clarify. Also, I work 12 hr midnights from 7p-730am. I pray morning prayer when i wake at 3pm and usually don't do evening prayer or night prayer. When i am ready for bed at 8am, i am way to tired to pray the office... i could just recite the words, but my heart wouldn't be in it. How do you think I can modify this or should I just be happy with this time table. Dinner and my husbands arrival home from work and my getting ready all interfere with EP. I would love to get it all in but sometimes life and my own weaknesses interfere. I keep blaming my schedule. Even when i am off for 4 days i miss doing i know it s not entirely my schedule.

  5. Thank you so much for this blog. I am brand new to the The Divine Office. I use the I try to pray the morning prayer and the night prayer. Are you supposed to pray the invitatory psalm and the office of the readings before you start the morning prayer? I do enjoy singing the hymns too!

  6. @acw:Tipo and tempo are Italian for "type" and "time" ibreviary is based in Italy, so some things on the widget remain in Italian. Type means: is it a feastday or an ordinary weekday on the church calendar and "tempo" means what liturgical season we are in (advent, Christmas, ordinary time, lent, etc.)
    I admire you trying to pray the Office at all given your work schedule. I guess what you are doing makes sense:I don't think there's any rule in the General Instruction about what hours to pray given a night time work schedule. Somewhere in the world it really is morning when you are praying MP at 3PM, so your morning prayer is united to theirs.
    I wouldn't feel bad about not getting EP in, whether or not you are working. The Church wants us to adapt the DIvine Office to the needs of our state in life and this is what you have done. God does not expect us to read the breviary when we're too exhausted to appreciate it. But here is one idea--do you have a cell phone plan which includes inexpensive internet usage? If so, sells an app which includes audio podcasts of the hours. I know people who use this to listen to Evening prayer on their commute home. So for someone like you (if you have such a device) this would be a way to listen to evening prayer as you drive.

  7. @Robert: the Invitatory Psalm is to be said before the first hour you pray each day, which for most people is Morning Prayer. The Office of Readings is a "floating" hour which you can pray any time of day if you want to do it, but that is for you to decide. Traditionally people who use the Office of Readings most often pray it either the night before (after the previous day's evening prayer--sort of like a vigil that anticipates the coming day--or else they pray it before Morning Prayer. Personally, I do it before Morning Prayer, but occasionally after. The Office of Readings is longer, as you can see, so requires more of a committment than the other hours. Some people just do the readings without the psalms if they don't have time for the whole thing. In any event, Office of Readings is totally separate from Morning Prayer. Don't add it unless you really want to and have the time.

  8. acw,

    You said: "When i am ready for bed at 8am, i am way to tired to pray the office... i could just recite the words, but my heart wouldn't be in it."

    I've found that there has been value for me in just reciting the words even when I'm too exhausted and my heart isn't in it. Especially in those seasons when I'm in the first trimester of pregnancy or just home with a newborn I am almost always too tired to pray. The exhaustion is just crippling and every time I sit down to pray I pass out. Even so, I have found that if I make the token effort and open the book and try to pray as much as I can there are graces and spiritual fruits as compared to when I give up and stop praying altogether. God doesn't demand perfection and sometimes the greatest sacrifice I can give him is just showing up for prayer and then passing out. My gift to him is a willing heart even when my body doesn't have the physical capacity to follow through on my intentions.

    The fruits of my prayer at these times are not insights into scripture or any feelings or spiritual consolations. I really don't feel anything and often I wonder if it is worth the effort. And yet when I do give up and stop praying I notice that everything else becomes that much harder. God feels that much further away and my heart grows colder and it becomes even harder to pray when I'm not quite so tired. I'm convinced that even really bad prayer when I'm totally distracted and falling asleep is better than no prayer at all.

    (And now I'm going to go take my own advice, which I've totally been failing to do in the past few weeks.)

  9. Melanie made a very good point, making this a "both/and", not an "either/or" question. We've actually had a recent post or two here titled "worth doing badly". Also--another idea might be to not worry about Evening Prayer for now, but focus on Night Prayer. It's shorter, and since you are at this point of your day looking forward to going to bed, it's appropriate.

  10. Thank you Daria and Melanie. I have been so alone in this struggle and am reassured by all your encouragement. I do not have a phone for apps, but I will definitely embrace NP for my morning sleep time since I am so totally reversed when I work. Melanie, you are so right and i never saw it that i do drift further from Our Lord when i don't even make the effort. I am renewed by all the insight. It took me a while(i am new to this site) to find the responses!! Thank you and i am so excited. I have been trying to do the MP and EP because it is a discipline of the Carmelites and am always discerning 3rd order. I know I'll be ready when i can manage to be faithful to the required prayer times. It is not now! I have many friends who encourage me often to start the process. So that had been my goal. Now I will relax and embrace the prayers I can pray. Happy and Blessed New Year. I look forward to many interactions at this site!

  11. I'm glad that Melanie and I were able to help. Will look forward to more of your comments in the future.
    We have a third order Carmelite follower here. She has a blog you might like. It's called Carmelitemom.

  12. acw, Glad my words were able to give you some encouragement. My dad is a secular Carmelite and he's the one who got me into praying the office. So I guess it's kind of fitting that I keep finding myself encouraging Carmelites and would-be Carmelites even if I don't feel called to join, I still feel like all Carmelites are family by adoption.