Friday, April 02, 2004


The Orlando Sentinel published a very nice article about The Divine Office, and it's interesting to note that non-Catholics are embracing this timeless tradition of prayer as well. I began praying the LOTH last year, and my prayer life has been enriched as a result. Available as both a single volumed edition (which contains I believe just the morning and evening prayers, as well as nighttime prayers) OR the 4-volume set (which I picked up one at a time as they each retail for around $35), the LOTH follows the Liturgical Calandar of the church, is a great way to spend time each day in prayer and reflection, AND is also available online. I cannot recommend it enough.

Bonomi is among a growing number of Christians who are discovering a practice that, for centuries, was largely relegated to Catholic monasteries. Now it's showing up in popular books, in Protestant evangelical churches and, of course, on the Internet.

The Hours consist of specific Scripture passages -- drawing heavily on the Psalms -- combined with hymns and traditional prayers for each time of day and each day of the year. (While there are eight specific times for prayer, most lay practitioners pray less often, maybe once or twice a day.)

The Hours predate Christianity, having evolved out of the Jewish practice described in Psalm 119:164: "Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws."

St. Benedict wrote a manual for monks in 525 A.D. that explained the practice of praying the Hours. When the Vatican wrote the first official breviary, or prayer book, in the 11th century, the Hours became popular among literate medieval Christians.


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