Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's News! Help Wanted!

O marvellous exchange! Man's creator has become man, born of a virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity. (evening prayer I, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God)

We Catholics are so fortunate to begin our New Year with thoughts of the great Mother of God, and the mystery  of  Christ's two natures, which this title of Mary imply. 

So much better than using this day to fixate merely on dieting, exercise, home organization,financial goals and whatnot. 

Welcome, new blog follower Karee, and all new anonymous followers who have recently added Coffee&Canticles to their readers. Feel free to ask any questions about the Liturgy of the Hours at the end of any post. 

I've been asked to write a feature about the Liturgy of the Hours for a 2013 issue of Catholic Digest.  (For which I'm super grateful to editor Danielle Bean.)  Danielle suggested that the article include short quotes from ordinary Cathoilcs who pray the LOTH.  

That's where you come in. If you want to help and feel inspired, please add a comment below, answering one of the following "inerview" questions:
-Why do you like the Liturgy of the Hours? How has it improved your spiritual life?
-What is your favorite litrgical  hour and why? OR
-what is your favorite element (psalms, antiphons, readings, etc.) and why?
-how do you manage to fit the liturgical hours into your busy schedule? 
-any special advice or tips to those who are just starting out with the Liturgy of the Hours?

I need these quotes as soon as possible, so if you plan on commenting please do so in the next 36 hours. 

Unless you tell me otherwise, I will quote you using whatever first name you give me. If your username does not look like a normal first name, I will make something up.

Thank you in advance to everyone who participates. 

Watch for an upcoming blog giveaway. 



  1. In "Prayer Primer," Fr. Dubay highly recommends for laypeople to pray the LOTH. But you probably already know that! I haven't started the practice myself, tho.

  2. Being a protestant Pastor, I discovered this practice this past quarter while at a Protestant Seminary, Ashland Seminary in Ashland Oh. I did not care that it was a catholic practice, nor does it bother me that i am not catholic. This practice is one that has inspired me and has helped me realign myself each day under the grace of the Lord not to mention unify me with my catholic brothers and sisters. I look forward to each prayer hour and eagerly anticipate each psalm, reading, prayer, and antiphon. since beginning this practice I have experienced a renewed awareness of the His presence that has refreshed literally everything I do. It is completely true that the Liturgy of the Hours sanctifies the day.

    My favorite prayer time is the office of Readings because of the indepth nature of its contents. I love praying this at the traditional midnight hour. As far as tips... be patient, take it slow, and refuse to allow your mind to go in auto pilot! Embrace each word and prayer slowly and think it all through. God bless!! Thank you Daria for the blog!

  3. Daria:

    First off I want to wish you and your family a very Blessed and Spirit filled New year. Your work here is very much appreciated. As I have mentioned previously after praying the Hours for over 30 years one can get into a rut. Your blog has helped me view the Hours in new light and has refocused my attention to prayer.

    As for your questions:

    1) I like the LOH because when praying it I know I am praying with same words that Our Lord, His Mother and saints and all those before me have prayed. Knowing that while I am reciting the psalms today there are millions of others around the world praying the same prayers---I get a true sense of One Church. Even knowing that non-catholics are praying the LOH--such as the Benedictine Oblates of which many are Protestants. The LOH has improved my spiritual life in that praying the psalms has taught me to not fear expressing my true feelings while conversing/praying to Our Lord. I have learned to truly be myself. The Lord loves me as I am.

    2) My favorite hour is the OR because not only do I get a dose of daily scripture but I also get to read and learn from the Fathers of the Church. The hour is like a mini-retreat. Because the hour can be prayed at anytime during the day I try to plan it so that I have at least 30minutes so as to meditate and even use the hour as a small bible study/lectio. I do this by using a study bible to read chapters that come before the assigned daily reading. Reading the notes etc can be enlightning. Doing this I not only pray but am also learning God's word and how to apply it to my daily life. The readings from the Fathers/Saints help me see the thread that has come down thru the ages.

    3) The Fathers of the Church is my fav element. For those of us who have the 4 volume edition---what a library we have in our midst. Now with Milton Walsh's book we can use it as a concordance to enhance our reading of the cathecism---tying in what the Fahters have to say and support what is in the cathecism.

    4) As for fitting in the hours in my day I get up a little early so as to do morning prayer. Daytime prayer is worked in during the weekends. Evening prayer is said after dinner along with compline. After workand before dinner I do the OR.

    5)Helpful if you can get started with a friend or someone in one's parish. Like everything else we do we need to learn it and look up the rubrics. I find it interesting that people take time to read reviews of books, movies, and instructions manuals on how to use appliances etc but seem to try to take short cuts when it comes time to prayer--be it learning the hours or just giving time for Our Lord.

    I hope you find the above useful.

    Lenny V.

  4. -any special advice or tips to those who are just starting out with the Liturgy of the Hours?
    1. I love the tradition of the Liturgy of the Hours, the fact that, when I pray it I am praying with the whole Church around the world and I love how it incorporates a little bit of everything.
    2. I say the Morning Prayer but include the readings from the Office of Readings. I couldn't do both completely, so I do Lauds but insert the Scripture and Reading between the Canticle of Zechariah and the Intercessions.
    3. My favorite element has to be the psalms, prayer and poetry beautifully interwoven.
    4. It isn't always easy to manage my prayers with many small children, but I've learned to be flexibile about it. If I have to pause and come back to it, its okay. I'm not in a cloister and its okay if my prayers reflect that.
    5. For those who are just beginning to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, be patient with yourself and don't be afraid to just do what works for you. If you can only do one hour, just do one hour. If you don't get to finish that day, it's okay, let it go - others have finished for you. Prayer is communion with God, not being able to say you said each word. And if some part of an hour speaks to you, don't hesitate to pause and let it begin a deeper conversation with God.

  5. I couldn't have said it better than Lenny,Noah, and Katherine!! all of their comments express my feelings,too. I love praying with God's earthly Kingdom united all around the world. I love the psalms-they often are my sentiments,too. I most appreciate the OOR and the historical writings that teach me so much about faith,life,holiness,prayer,discipline,the Trinity. i Love the fact that I can read something written in the 1st,2nd or 16thC- it reinforces the continuity of the Church and the depth of spiritual life found by those who seek sincerely. i fit Morning prayer and OOR most consistently, and add Evening and night prayer when i can. i work Midnight shift 7pm-730am 3 days a week and do morning prayer and OOR when i wake up at 3pm!!! other days I do it in the am either before or after morning Mass.
    Praying the LOTH is a learning curve and takes time to love and appreciate.Having someone teach and pray with you is the best. i did stop for years because it was frustrating and I found it dry...so it also depends on where you are spiritually. I always appreciated it, but didn't pray it well. I always find one word or prayer that speaks to me for that day...Thanks be to God!!

  6. Hi Daria,
    Happy New Year to you and your family. Thank you for giving us (readers, followers, and practitioners of LOTH) a chance to express and share our thoughts.

    -Why do you like the Liturgy of the Hours? How has it improved your spiritual life?

    The Liturgy of the Hours focuses my thoughts and my faith all day long. From morning to night, I can keep my feet in this world as my eyes look toward Heaven.

    -What is your favorite liturgical hour and why?

    My favorite liturgical hour is the Morning Prayer. It sets the right tone for the rest of my day.

    -what is your favorite element (psalms, antiphons, readings, etc.) and why?

    I enjoy the readings, since they offer an opportunity to become acquainted with, and to reflect on, issues that the Fathers of the Church have reflected upon and shared.

    -how do you manage to fit the liturgical hours into your busy schedule?

    I work from home, so I have the luxury of making/finding time to pray pretty much whenever I want to.

    -any special advice or tips to those who are just starting out with the Liturgy of the Hours?

    Read what you can, when you can. Set up a schedule that is convenient with your day, but don't get frustrated if you don't get all the hours in or if the readings are difficult to understand. It isn't about quantity, it's about quality. If even only one line from a morning psalm makes an impression on you and becomes an occasion for deeper reflection, meditation, or prayer, consider that a gift and accept it.

    I hope these answers help, Daria.

  7. I like saying the Liturgy of the Hours because it makes me feel closer to God. It reminds me that God is definitely a part of my life and that there is always a special time for Him alone. I say my prayers every morning and it makes me feel good and blessed every time. I go out of the house with a smile and a happy heart.

  8. I love that I cannot exhaust all the scripture, songs and prayers that the Church provides for me throughout the day. It is beautiful that I get to connect with the prayers of the entire Body of Christ, and that even when I am not faithful in keeping up with morning and evening prayers, I can always jump back in and try again.

    Frequently the Office of Readings has a sermon from an early Church father and I do a double-take because it could be preached from any pulpit today. How God's word and truth transforms hearts has not changed since Jesus started the church and will continue until He returns!

  9. I am a lay person and I pray the Office for an unknown priest who has stopped praying his Office. Each morning before the Invitory I ask God to let me pray in the place of a priest who has stopped praying and to give the graces received to the priest.

  10. I pray the Morning and Evening hours - the morning hours prepare me mentally for the day to give to my family, my work, my community. The evening hours close the day for restful sleep. It has been about 2 years since I've regulary prayed the LOH (hard to figure out how to do so first) - I have become more oriented to God, to daily prayer and reflection. To silence. My favorite part are the psalms - they are a human voice crying out to a loving God, in all the human emotions - joy, despair, anger, hope. I fell a commection to the entire church where these prayers have been said world wide for thousands of years and are still new. KIM

  11. I have been praying the Liturgy of the Hours for nearly a year and although I have not always had perfect "attendance" so to say, I nearly every day pray the Invitatory, Office of Readings and Morning Prayer before beginning my day, and then Evening Prayer and Night Prayer some time before bed. (I used to pray them all, but have found it most difficult to fit in the mid-day Hours. I do find the time some days, but it is rare.) When I miss some of my regular Hours, most often because of unusual busy-ness or just poor scheduling by me, I long to return to the rhythm of the prayer of the Church. It feels like conversing and spending time with my Love, and I greatly miss it and Him when I don't make the time! As a busy homeschool mom, I have found the divineoffice.org app on my Kindle invaluable. My spiritual director has given me the green light to "ora et labora", work and pray. I bring the Hours with me as I fold laundry, empty the dishwasher, drive to Mass -- any mundane task. If I couldn't listen to pray the Hours, I would not be able to be as consistent! I am so grateful to have finally made the time for the LOTH in my life. And, I am grateful for you blog, Daria! :-)

    1. I forgot to sign my name -- not that you will need it :-).

      God bless, Michele

  12. As a Benedictine Oblate, I have prayed their Ordo(adapted version of LOTH) for several years. However, I always preferred singing it in community compared to reading it alone at home. In wanting to learn more about the Divine Office, I recently(09/2012)came across the divineoffice.org website on line. Much to my delight, there are songs, musical responses and reading aloud, so I can pray and sing along with others. I start my LOTH on the website with the Invitatory Psalm; then listen to the hymn in the Office of Readings while I read the 2nd Reading-homily, lecture or treatise; then Morning Prayer. This could be anywhere from early morning to mid-afternoon, depending on the day. Am still experimenting with incorporating other online 'hours' into my day. I feel more connected to the universal Church, past and present, as well as being part of a community. Thank you for your ministry, Daria. Elizabeth

  13. I have been praying Morning & Evening prayer for about 5 years, at first with a great parish, and then with a third order community. There were many times where I stopped and had to restart, more than I can count. The LotH has been a great blessing in my life. It is the Holy Spirit teaching me to pray as I did not know how--to praise, to thank, to implore. Psalm 95 incorporates not only praise but teaches me to trust the Lord, unlike the Israelites in the desert. I can't tell you how many times a psalm I have prayed over and over suddenly "comes alive" with new meaning after a personal event. People may wonder if discipline in prayer means excessive regimentation, but I have found that this disciplined prayer actually encourages more spontaneous prayer. It is also a joy to pray with the entire Church around the world, even if I feel like I am saying it by myself.

    1. HI!
      I want to quote some of this in my article. May I have a first name only so that I can attribute it to someone other than "anonymous"? Or, if you don't reply, I'll assume you're okay with me making up a name.