The Divine Office
Sing or recite liturgical prayers for different times of day, weeks, and seasons. Also called the Liturgy of the Hours or Daily Prayer.
Since the earliest days of the Church, there have been fixed-hour prayers. Prayers of Psalms, scripture, petitions, and praise have been rising since the prayers of Jesus, and the disciples. Every day since, the Church has faithfully prayed. Praying the Divine Office adds your voice to the chorus of voices rising up today to the Kingdom of God. For this reason, the Divine Office is known as the prayer of the Church.
Each day, there are seven prayers. This embodies the words of the psalmist in Psalm 119, who wrote, “Seven times a day I will praise you.” The rhythm of prayer in the Divine Office is the scaffolding of monastic life. Each day of the Divine Office embodies a lifetime, every week the life of Christ, and every year the life of creation. Every voice that joins the chorus is imbued with prayer.
Every day hangs on the major offices of the morning and evening. Born anew every morning, we can choose to let the first words of this new day be “Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will proclaim Your praise.” To live a day of praise until the day passes away. Closing out Compline, we pray, “Grant us a peaceful night, and a perfect end.” A perfect end is a gentle turn of phrase for our death. That our days and lives would end peacefully in the Lord’s perfection. The Divine Office invites us to let scripture be a scaffolding and structure for our days, and for life itself.
The Divine Office is known by a few names.
- Divine Office (Officium Divinum)
- Liturgy of the Hours (Liturgia Horarum)
- God’s Work (Opus Dei)
- Daily Prayer
It is similar to the Book of Common Prayer within the Anglican Communion. There are some structural differences, but the spirit is the same. We choose to use the Divine Office because of its close and unending relationship with monasticism.