Did you know there is one set of prayers that the Church recommends ALL Catholics pray, every day? It’s called the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church…and it’s not just for priests. Fr. Blake and Brandon talk about this transformative discipline, and how to overcome obstacles that beginners usually face. They also share some book recommendations and tips on how to get started with these prayers.
“Pastors of souls should see to it that the chief hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and the more solemn feasts. And the laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office, either with the priests, or among themselves, or even individually.”– Vatican II, Sacrosanctum concilium, 100
- Liturgy of the Hours (4-volume set)
- The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours by Daria Sockey
- A Layman’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours by Fr. Timothy Gallagher
- iBreviary online (pray the LOTH on your computer/phone)
- iBreviary app: Apple + Android
- Video tutorial: Pray the Liturgy of the Hours using Your Smartphone & iBreviary
Wow! I just opened my email and look at your topic and watched most of the video. As a priest for over 40 years I have tried at every parish to implement the liturgy of the hours. I found it very difficult to get any consistency in people praying the hours.
Personally it is been extremely beneficial to me and I want to share that with everyone.
Thank you for making this available to everyone I will put it on my website and continue to encourage my people to adopt the liturgy of the hours.
Very good! Yes, I wish most pastors would encourage parishioners to pray the LOTH, and even join with them! I like the idea of offering Vespers one night per week as a community. It’s a relatively small commitment, but it’s a way to draw the whole parish into the universal prayer of the Church, uniting them with Christians all over the world.
What a blessing to hear from of brother priest! Thank you for your 40 years of ministry. Such an inspiration. I have found the LOTH to be a huge source of grace among our parishioners. I hope this podcast will help build up the devotion in your parish as well. God bless!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
You’re welcome x 3!
Bought I Breviary app a trying to figure out how to use it. Nothing is easy for us seniors.
Dear Father Blake and Brandon,
Thanks so very much for this great podcast on LOH. I was invited to pray Morning Prayer before daily Mass with friends from my parish. That was over 10 years ago. I have been praying Morning Prayer with the core group ever since then. It was difficult to figure out and get used to the rhythm as it was so foreign to me. Overwhelming sometimes. Even with help I was always behind. I think it took me well over a year to feel comfortable enough to even consider leading in the morning. I considered giving up many times but when I finally came to internalize these were the prayers that Jesus would have prayed to His Father in heaven, having been taught as a little child by the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, I decided to persevere. If they were good enough for Jesus, they were good enough for me:-) Morning Prayer sets the tone for the whole day. “Come let us sing to the Lord and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.” People have come and gone over the years – leaving for various reasons. Their heart was in the right place but life or frustration gets in the way of praying together. I know some have continued on their own at home. This is a wonderful podcast to introduce people to the Church’s beautiful tradition of prayer, especially those who want to begin on their own and are anxious about praying in a group. I do prefer the book but the iBreviary app makes it very easy, especially for prayer throughout the day. God bless you for your encouragement and making this information available to all of us!
Yes! These are the prayers not only of the Church today, but the Church extended through time. They revolve around the Psalms, which as you say are the prayers most often prayed by Jesus himself, along with Mary and Joseph. What could be better?
Thanks for a wonderful podcast on the Liturgy of the hours. I’ve been praying this form of prayer for the past three years since by formation in Lay Carmel. It is beautiful and contemplative and a big part of formation. May I also suggest a book entitled, A Companion to the Liturgy of the Hours, by Shirley Darcy’s Sullivan. Be blessed and stay safe.
Thanks for the kind words…and the book rec! We’ll check it out.
Hello Fr Blake and Brandon. You are doing wonderful work creating these podcasts. Love them all you did so far. They are very interesting and informative about our Mother Church. I’m learning a lot and think they are very needed. Thank you again and God Bless you.
Wonderful overview of the Litugy of the hours! Thank you so much! I just felt drawn to try to add it into my prayer life (again) and then BAM your email tagline got me and led me here! God bless you!
Excellent! Do it!
I am from Singapore. It is not a common practice here among the lay people. A group of us, parishioners, was introduced to it by a Daughter of St Paul nun. We bought Everyday Prayer from the Divine Office from their workshop. It is a 1977 edition and some newer saints are omitted. As I am now retired, I make time to do the morning prayers. I love praying the psalms and praising God. I think people do not use the Liturgy of the Hours as they do not know what liturgical day it is. I buy the Ordo to follow the days. I use Magnificat readings of morning and evening prayers too. As Singapore is on lockdown, we have daily Mass online now. After the lockdown is over, hopefully after June 2, I intend to get a new edition of the Everyday Prayer. Thank you for enthusiastically reminding me to carry on with the Liturgical Hours.
Thank you for this. I try to spend at least one hour a week visiting Jesus in the Tabernacle. Unfortunately we do not have exposition except once a month. Anyway I have been drawn to the Liturgy of the hours only doing The Office of Reading before I pray and read the daily readings to prepare for going to mass. This Lent I made an effort to add the evening prayer and night prayer. I use Laudate app and found that convenient for me. I’m still uncertain where the Office of Reading fits into the day? This podcast was very informative and I learned a lot that I didn’t know or understand. God Bless
Excellent overview! Thank you both, this is great!
A recommendation when using technology to pray the LOTH… put the phone/tablet on airplane mode after downloading the hour to be prayed to limit interruptions.
Yes! Totally agree. Great suggestion!
Incredibly blessed to have had Fr. Michael Clark forward this podcast to me today – this was so helpful, informative and encouraging. Thank you so much!! I received the LOTH books as a gift last week, and am learning my way around them. In this time of quarantine, I completely believe that God is calling us out of all of the ways our lives have been structured and returning us to structures that put Christ at the center of the day. Since our church has not been locked, I have been able to pray Morning Prayer in the church which is empty – so I have taken the opportunity to pray it out loud – and I pray that this is a foreshadowing of a time in the future where some can gather and pray the LOTH together there. As a former evangelical, I think this is a definite bridge to so many non-Catholics who have been enriched through scripture study and will clearly hear the “voice to the Father” through the writings of the ancient church fathers! Thank you for this incredible podcast! God bless you!!
I appreciate a lot this episode! Last time I prayed it (vespers) was during Easter Sunday. However, after listening to your episode I felt encouraged and decided to accompany my parish priest again today (online) during the ‘smart lockdown’ still taking place @ Netherlands. By the way… a very cool app we use for dutch language is ‘Getijdengebed’ for the Liturgy of the Hours. God bless you both for all that you are doing with this new show.
Thank you both. A layman catholic here, trying to find a spiritual solution for breaking through a very much immersed in modern secular life. I do pray regularly but I often times find myself like in a totally different dimension, overloaded with distractions and preoccupations. I constantly feel the need to be more mindful, aware of the real thing, and think this this kind of constant praying could be a solution. Does it have something to do with the sacrament of the present time?
Have you read Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s classic book, “The Sacrament of the Present Moment”? It seems precisely what you’re grasping for here.
Just last night, I just received an invitation to join a local zoom prayer meeting with the Liturgy of the Hours and then today, I received your email invite to view this video. Feels like someone is sending me a message!
Really enjoyed the video, found it relevant, informative and helpful. Fr. Blake is a good friend and thanks to both of you for these podcasts. God Bless!
Thank you Tom!!! God bless!
This is awesome ! I enjoyed it. Keep it coming. I am Spanish native Spanish speaker and often have to search for the meaning of some words when you guys speak. It doesn’t discourage me, it makes want to learn more and keep growing. I am married man with a toddler and beautiful wife trying to be more like Christ and understand more the divine plan for our world. I have shared the podcast with some of my friends and have more people in mind. Gracias ! and Bendiciones for both of you.
Thank you for the very informative podcast! I have a better understanding of the Liturgy of the Hours.
Brandon and Father Blake,
Thank you so much for this podcast. I am a Catholic convert as well, and it has been on my heart to know more about the LOTH, and to pray it. I have been praying Morning Prayer and Morning Offering, Daily offering, etc. from the iMissal app and I love it, but I have been confused as to which prayer needs to prayed at what time, etc. Thank you so much for your help in this. God is doing great things for His people. Thank you so much for your ministry and love of our Lord.
I apologize, but I do not see the links for the suggested books. Could you please provide that, or let me know where to find the link?
May God richly bless you both!
Never mind about the links….shaking my head….I just found it 🙂 Thanks so much!
I’m happy to have listened to your podcast on the Hours. You covered the topic so well! Individually, I was especially helped by Father’s comment to ‘not be duped’ by Satan’s lies about our prayers. It applies, of course, to all our prayers. I’ve been duped and hadn’t quite gotten all the way back; that is to say, I’ve been praying by faith alone for some time, and necessity has driven my prayer life (loved ones needs, esp. salvation). Today I have fully renewed hope for all my prayers. I was able to go to confession and pray in my church for 10 minutes on Divine Mercy Sunday, which set me right again as regards my general well being, and now, with lectio and your podcast, I have this conviction of very real hope, renewed. Thank you very much!
God bless you in your friendship and sharing!
Thank God! What a grace. Keep up the good work! God bless!
This was my first episode and I truly enjoyed the concise presentation of the topic as well as the interaction of our hosts. As a devotee of WOF Ministries I am familiar with each of them. I think I’ll respectfully of course, refer to it as the “Bro-shire” podcast from hence forward 😉. Y’all are wonderful to listen to. Looking forward to following up with the suggested resources so that I might learn more about this amazing Liturgy.
The Broshire Podcast! Well, now we’re going to have to redesign our logo and rename the whole thing… 😉
Thank you so much for this episode! The Liturgy of the Hours has always attracted me, but I’ve put it off because it seemed so intimidating to learn. Thanks so much for running us through the ropes!
Also, I totally relate to autocorrecting to LOTR!! Glad I’m not the only one. (;
LOTH, LOTR…what’s the difference, right? Both are pathways to God 🙂
Growing in Christ! Thank you for this post. One comment in particular helped me, but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole discussion. Thank you, and may God bless you in your friendship and sharing, all glory to God!
Thanks, Betsy! God bless you!
Thank you both so much. It was great information and I am anxious to get started. I have been wanting something to expand my prayer life. I had never heard of this prayer before.
Nice! Take it as a sign from God. Go for it!
LOTH has been on my heart for a while. I did not have a clue how or where to begin. This podcast has set a path for me. I will begin with night prayer tonight. I do have friends who are Third Order Carmelites that may be able to give me some direction. During this time of lock down my husband and I have experienced a huge boost to our decisions to pray more actively and frequently. God wastes no moments, be they good or bad, to teach lessons and to call us higher. Thank you for this timely information.
Yes! Honestly, the best way to learn the LOTH is to get friends who know it to help you. So ask those Third Order Carmelites!
I do have one objection! I’m a mother of a toddler and my day revolves around my son and his schedule. Our church does Vespers every Sunday at 5:15, but I’ve never been able to make it because that’s typically dinner time. My best friend recently taught me how to pray LOTH, and inspired by her, I bought the one-volume Christian Prayer book. The problem is I’ve been erratic with it (not praying the same prayer every day) and I still try to fit in a Divine Mercy chaplet and Rosary, as well as daily Bible reading. What are your recommendations for scheduling at least one or two of the hours, as well as fitting in devotions? I know that if you give time to God, He’ll give it back to you in greater quantities than you can imagine. But I still struggle with that. Thank you so much!
Try mid afternoon prayer during nap time
My wife and I have a 3-year old and a 10 month old and can relate to the struggle with church events not matching up with our family’s schedule. Our best advice and what we were told when we started was start with just 1 hour and stick with it for a long period of time. Night prayer often works best as its one of the shortest. So our family routine for that is 30 minutes prior to bedtime, we start with bath-time, brush teeth, etc. Then we head to our family’s little altar table (literally a workbench with a white bed sheet over it with a crucifix and candles). We say night prayer which usually takes about 10 minutes with little ones. As my son is getting older I try to keep him either on my lap as I lead it or sometimes he just lays on the floor. As long as he’s quiet I don’t make too much fuss. And then we just do night prayer. I find it helps get the kids in the “mood” for prayer and quiet by turning off the lights, lighting candles on the altar, and using a book light for the breviary.
After night prayer, we head to the couch for a quick book and then bed time.
We’ve been doing that for a little over a year and its amazing how much our son has started to pick up. We got him a little hand missal, black leather with a ribbon, so it looks like a Breviary. And, he will recite most of night prayer from memory while “pretending” to read it like Dad does out of the breviary.
Okay, let me rephrase that, when he’s not laying on the floor quietly, trying to climb into my wife or I’s lap, or goggling over his baby sister, or singing the hymn for the night at the wrong time, then he does that…. Family prayer is often loud and messy…
We are just now starting to try and integrate morning prayer into our routine. For us that is currently looking like I’m up before everyone and make coffee for my wife and I. Then I head to the family altar at roughly 7AM and start saying morning prayer. Whoever is up at the time will come and join me. My wife usually joins me, but on rough nights, (baby girl with ear infection), sometimes she shows up late. We are trying to do it before breakfast (help the kids with that pesky virtue of patience). We are not perfect at this and are still trying to iron it in to our routine. And you know, sometimes its okay to do things imperfectly. Sometimes I had to work late and wake up late and we just say the morning offering instead because I have to leave and get to work. Sometimes, my wife has a doctor’s appt and I will only pray the psalms partially (maybe 1 out of 3) so she can make it on time. I know we will get there as a family one day.
As far as other devotions throughout the day, my wife has started to do a morning rosary before really starting school or housework usually at 9. She usually does a bible reading as part of school work at some point during her day. Most days she does the Angellus at noon with the kids.
Its definitely possible and sounds like your heart is in the right place Adrienne. Keep it up!
Joshua, thank you SO MUCH! This was immensely helpful. The reminder that the intention and not the perfection is what’s important. Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed response. I saw a lot of my family struggles in your routine, and it was comforting to see that I am not alone. Especially the “Family prayer is often loud and messy…” SO TRUE! May God bless you and your family as you iron out your family routines! And please pray for me, as well!
Great Podcast! I shared a link to this on a Facebook group on which I am a member Called Liturgy of the Hours Support and Discussion. Hope that is ok. Daria Sockey is one of the Admins of the group. I started praying TLOH for Lent , 3 years ago and have maintained it regularly since then.
Nice! Way to go, Anthony.
Got the app but feel more complicated than I thought. Glad I didn’t buy the missal.
Check out this video, which will help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mo_OyMe8fk
Thank you so much for this – I am still on my journey to the Church and have longed for ways to deepen my prayer life.
Definitely starting with the night prayers tonight.
Brandon, this podcast was an excellent intro to the LOTH! It’s been one of the silver, or even golden linings of this quarantine that the LOTH is being promoted in so many forums. And thanks for the book plug. I’ve just started working on the second edition.
Thanks, Daria! So glad to see LOTH picking up steam. As you say, it’s one of the unexpected goods that God has drawn from this pandemic. And I’m excited about the second edition! Tell us more! Your book really helped get me going when I first started praying the LOTH.
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, that s me! Thank you so much for this encouragement. I have a “Little office of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. Can you shed some light on that vs the book of Christian Prayer?
Both the “Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and “Christian Prayer” are modified (typically shorter) forms of the Liturgy of the Hours. They’re related, but not the same thing.
Thank you Brandon and Fr. Blake for this informative and encouraging video about praying the Liturgy of the hours. I used to pray it years ago and, in hindsight, I remember how my spiritual life was more vibrant then and I have been struggling with getting that back. I recently prayed to The Father to know what to do to regain that deeper spirituality and your email arrived in my “inbox” today.
I remember I particularly liked reading the writings of the Church Fathers in the Office of Readings. They are so rich in faith and understanding of Jesus and His Church. I started with the Book of Christian Prayer and later bought the 4 volume set. But, I think to re-start this daily commitment, I will use “iBreviary”, regain my daily, good habit and pray that will vanquish my daily “bad habits”. Thanks again and God bless you both, JoAnn V
Excellent! So glad to hear that, Joann!
Thank you for all that information, especially that on Liturgy of the Hours. I have to admit that I’d always thought that form of prayer to be a bit robotic, mundane and designed for those who have no connected form of prayer, needing to simply read words given.
I will now take a fresh look at it and give it a try.
Wonderful! I had the same suspicion, but I found it to be untrue.
I have purchased the 4-volume set of LOTH, but having difficulty navigating the ribbons etc. Do you have any resources on that? I wish I have a seminarian/priest/religious friend
Yes! Check out the books I mentioned. Either one of them will help with the ribbons. But also, this video will walk you through it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47G1Nvrxhk0
I’ve tried a few times to start praying the Hours, but I couldn’t keep the habit. When this pandemic hit and suddenly we were all cut off from mass and a church community, God granted me this practice I’ve hoped for for years. I’m still learning the ropes and make mistakes, I’m sure. Thank you very much for extra encouragement and guidance. Thanks to y’all’s recommendation, I just ordered the book by Fr. Gallagher from Sophia Institute Press. I also really look forward to getting the actual Breviary, I have been using the Universalis app which I highly recommend (the app is free but add ons for a few dollars are well worth it). Thank you and God Bless. I look forward to sharing this episode with my friends.
Agree on the Universalis piece, Anthony, though it doesn’t follow the official translation. I have the paid subscription (1-time cost of $12.99 I think) and I especially love the fact you don’t have to have Wi-Fi once you download it and the “About Today” page.
Correction: the app offers one month free trial; then the app purchase options (with add on options). The website is limited to certain translations, but the app is allowed to have official translations by the owners of the translation copyright. (Latin options too)
The Universalis app is good, but we recommend the iBreviary app as a better alternative. The Universalis app does not contain the officially approved translation of the LOTH. So it’s slightly different than what everyone else around the world is praying, which becomes a significant problem if you ever decide to pray the LOTH with other people. So stick with the iBreviary app, which matches the LOTH found in all print breviaries.
I enjoyed the video very much. I have a question and a suggestion.
Why do you favor a book over an app? I have been using the Universalis app for several years. From the very beginning it made the Divine Office seamlessly accessible.
My suggestion is to consider shortening the length of the podcast. I would be much more likely to listen if the podcasts were 20-30 minutes rather than 50-60 minutes. I wonder if other listeners agree.
To be honest, I could listen to Brandon and Fr. Blake talk all day! I don’t mind a longer podcast if it’s good. I listen to it while I do the dishes. 🙂
Sorry Joe, I’m also a big fan of longer form podcasts. I would rather listen to it in chunks over the course of several days than have any good meaningful content pushed out due to time constraints. In my opinion, Brandon and Father Blake, please make them longer with more content! I enjoy that longer form allows deeper looks into topics instead of staying shallow on the surface.
To your question Joe, I also started the hours with the app on the phone. There is nothing wrong with it per say. However, about a year ago my mother gave me my great uncle’s copy of “Christian Prayer” (the breviary without the office of readings condensed into one book) and I began praying with a book instead of the phone. While it adds a small effort in learning how to use the ribbons (which really gets easy after you do it for a few weeks) I find that using the book is a bit more grounding for me. I don’t have to worry about someone texting me or getting a notification while praying. I also like the tangible “feel” of a physical book versus a phone. Also, I am on my phone more than I would like to be during the day. The phone or tablet is a great invention, but it absorbs much of my time (I also work all day at a computer). I enjoy having a prayerful break without having an electronic screen staring back at me. To summarize, I think there are many small “somethings” that add up to a significant “something” about using a physical book versus a phone app.
Yes, I tend to agree with Joshua. I try to pray with the book as much as possible and only use the app in emergency situations, when I forgot my book, or where I’m in a place where using the book would be unwieldy.
Thank you, Brandon/Fr. Blake!!!!!!!!!!!!! Absolutely, thoroughly awesome! I’m a deacon candidate and I vouch for everything you said, every tip you gave, etc.; I believe the only things “basics” you left out were the Ordo + how to use the ribbons. Please know my parish has been praying AM prayer every Friday for about 5 yrs (our then-pastor started it) and I’ve been promoting LOTH @ every opportunity to include as a Bible study facilitator/small group leader and as a middle school religious ed core member (made presentation @ a Confirmation Bootcamp). Praised be Jesus Christ! Now and Forever!
Ah, yes! I forgot to mention the Ordo, which would have been really helpful. But the purpose of our episode was mainly to get people excited about praying the LOTH, but then send them to other resources (books/videos) to learn how to actually pray it.
Excellent video and so useful. Let me make a few comments: (1) I was an Episcopal/Anglican priest for 34 years and in that tradition Morning and Evening Prayer are critical (although not required – very little is required even of priests) and in the more evangelical tradition can even substitute for Eucharist (with a homily “after the third collect” i.e. about at the end) – in fact one parish criticized me for never doing that and I compromised by using MP for the “Communion Forward” (i.e. service of the Word). Perhaps for this reason when by God’s grace we were able to enter the Catholic Church and I was ordained, I came to value the Office of Readings for it has the longer Scripture readings that one finds in Anglican MP and EP (important) and it has the readings from the Saints and Doctors, mostly early, but also including Vatican II. That is so formative for those of us who are playing “catchup” and will be all of our lives. (2) I may have missed it, but the fact that the Psalms are read through every four weeks (if there were no feasts, etc.) means that one is memorizing a large body of prayer, even if in only doing it every four weeks we are “slackers” (to cite St Benedict, so said he and his monks were slackers for only praying the Psalms weekly, since the Desert Fathers and others had done it daily). (3) I am by training and profession a biblical scholar so it is important to me that in Acts 2 there is a reference to “the prayers” and that “the” is important, for scholars view it as referring to the 3x daily Jewish prayers in the Temple, which were largely Psalms. In the very next chapter Peter and John are going up to the Temple “at the time of prayer” which underlines that fact. I feel very much in continuity with Judaism and especially with the Apostles when I say the hours. (4) I love chanting the Psalms (and more) and often use Divine Office (when not in my chapel) because of the music. One draw into the Church was John Michael Talbot, and he has set the Psalms of Lauds and Vespers to chant tones that are accessible to many, perhaps most, people. One can get these in PDF form from the Brothers and Sisters of Charity Domestic site. “He who sings prays twice” (Augustine out of context) but also the one who sings or chants memorizes faster. So thank you so much for that podcast. Wonderful stuff. While I am chaplain to a Priory of Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist who chant the Psalms wonderfully and have the daily discipline down (not that I am there for it, for I walk from the chaplain’s house to say mass, but I am outside the chapel listening to them before mass), I wish I could somehow entice all Catholics to pray the divine liturgy. Some Protestants are moving in that direction, I might add. Do keep up the excellent work. I have been reading the sort of autobiography of Robert Cardinal Sarah, and it was such piety as you demonstrated that drew him into the faith and then into the priesthood.
Peter, so encouraging to read all this! Thank you! And yes, we’re both big fans of Cardinal Sarah and you will likely hear us talking more about him soon on the podcast.
Thank you for this podcast. I am going to start doing the morning and evening prayers, and I want to start doing the night prayer with my kids before they go to bed. I usually do my prayers after they go to bed. Is it okay to do the night prayer with my kids and then after do the evening prayer by myself? Or do they need to be done in order?
I don’t know whether there’s formal answer to that question, but my personal advice is that it’s fine. Personally, I’d much rather have my family join Night Prayer, even if it means shifting it before Evening Prayer.
That said, you might consider doing Evening Prayer with your family (rather than Night Prayer), or bumping Evening Prayer earlier yourself so it comes before your family prays Night Prayer. Either way!
Brandon and Fr. Blake,
Thank you for this refreshing broadcast! I am not a millennial, but, even at 67 years old I am really enjoying the joy I hear in your voices! Years ago I started praying the LOTH and it was and still continues to be a little problem for me, especially with feast days, etc. But, I use the Divine Office app and that has helped a lot. Again, thanks for a new and interesting show. God Bless.
You’re so welcome, Eileen! God bless you!
Thank you, Brandon and Fr. Blake!! I was introduced to the LOTH when my father was ordained a permanent deacon in 1983. I had the single volume from the Daughters of St. Paul. When my dad died in 2005, my mother gave me his four volume which I treasure. I am also a Secular Discalced Carmelite and the LOTH is part of our daily life. I was surprised that you did not mention the guide for the LOTH. I use one put out by the Catholic Book Publishing Corp, catholicbookpublishing.com. It gives me information about feast days, correct pages, Sunday schedule, etc. I only wish I had one for my missal. Thank you again for these insightful and informative podcasts. You are both a blessing to all of us!!
Yes! Good recommendation about the guide. I know lots of people find that useful, though I’ve never used it myself. My general position is that it’s worth spending 2-3 weeks stumbling through the ribbons, figuring out the system, and then you’re good to go for the rest of your life. No need for supplemental guides after that!
Thank you for your very informative talk. I am now starting to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Can you advise if you can not make all th set times can you combine two at one time? Say 3am & 6am in the morning; 12pm & 3pm in the afternoon; 6pm & 9 pm at night? Or should you only do one at a time? Please pray that I will be faithful to this type of prayer. God Bless you both.
I have been saying the LOTH for many years and usually say the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer around 5:30am. I have not been saying the mid-day prayers, but have been encouraged to do so via this blog. (Great job and very informative!) I also say Evening and Night prayers together sometime after 4pm. I usually include the Examen in Night prayers. Hope this helps!
Maureen, the short answer is that you can pray them whenever you’d like–combine them, stretch them, it’s up to you. Don’t get hung up on the specific hours and let that keep you from praying them. I often pray two back-to-back, usually Morning+Daytime or Daytime+Evening, especially if I know I’ll be busy that period an unable to sneak away to pray.
Your podcast was such a wonderful blessing.
At our church, Catholic Church of the Epiphany, a small group of us gather before daily mass to join together in praying LOTH.
At first I noticed this group and didn’t know what they were praying.My curiosity got to me one day and I joined in.It opened a door into my soul. It really did feel like a connection to the entire church.
It’s so hard for me to explain the LOTH yo others soI am going to email this podcast to some friends.
Thank you for helping me😊❤️🙏
That’s beautiful! I’d encourage you to join that group…and grow it!
Thank you for your work on this episode with Fr. Blake. I have been personally working to incorporate LOTH in my own personal prayer life throughout the day. In addition, our family has been encouraged through Fr. Blake to start integrating LOTH into our family life. We have been doing night prayer faithfully and have been trying to integrate other hours into our lives as a family, starting with morning prayer. We also got a small chapel bell which our kids love to ring to call us to open up prayer time.
Could you perhaps go into more detail on how your family prays the hours?
Do your younger children talk and run around or do you try to reign them in quietly?
Do you have any particular rhythms that you adhere to as a family? (like we always shoot for morning prayer before X)?
Also with you working does your wife lead any hours with your children in the home?
I think people with kids could benefit from more practical particulars in regards to family life and routine. Thank you both for the podcast and the encouragement,
Love the chapel bell idea! To answer your questions:
Typically, I pray the Invitatory and Office of Readings myself, after waking, before coming out of my bedroom. Then I’ll workout or play with the kids, and around 7:30am we go into our library room (a different space, detached from our family room, which I’ve found helpful) to pray Morning Prayer. I’m almost always joined by my 11yo son and 8yo son, who each have their own breviaries and know how to pray it. In fact, they usually take turns leading Morning Prayer. On most days, we’re also joined by 2-3 of their younger siblings, who like to follow along with their own “prayer books”. Most of them time they’re just walking around, randomly flipping the pages, etc. but every now and then they’ll join in for the Canticle or Our Father, which they know.
Then I usually pray Daytime Prayer myself, before or after lunch. (Before the coronavirus started, we’d typically bring our breviaries to Mass and the two boys and I would pray Daytime Prayer immediately after Mass, while the other talked with fellow parishioners or waited in the card. It only takes 5-10min.)
Evening Prayer I’ll do at 4:45pm, right before I finish work, or I’ll wait and do it as a family before bed. We have our own nightly prayer routine (typically a decade of the rosary with intercessory prayers), and every now and then, maybe once a week, I’ll replace that with family-wide recitation of Evening Prayer from the LOTH. But it’s not consistent.
Finally, my wife and I pray Night Prayer in bed, right before we drift off to sleep. I drop my breviary on my nightstand so it’s there first thing in the morning, ready for the Invitatory and Office.
Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any follow-up questions!
Excellent podcast! I have been praying the LOTH since before entering our deaconate formation program 3 years ago and I find praying the LOTH very fulfilling. We pray the LOTH in formation and have had it explained to us, but this podcast took me to the next level of appreciation and understanding of the power of the communal, liturgical prayer of the church, and I plan to share it with my brother candidates.
Wow, happy to hear that, Bill! God bless you and all your brothers in formation.
Thank you, Brandon and Fr. Britton, for your enjoyable and instructional talk on Liturgy of the Hours. My son has been encouraging me to pray the Divine Office for about five years, now, but I could not seem to ‘relate’ to the readings (Yes, I’m guilty of using that excuse! ). But, somehow, your video has pushed me over the edge. I jumped onto Amazon and bought Fr. Gallagher’s book as soon as the video was finished. I have iBreviary already installed on my phone, and now, as the saying goes, “Just Do It!”. Thanks!
Excellent, Deborah! Yes, at least in this case, follow Nike’s advice: just do it! Stick with it and it will get easier as you go.
Wow this was awesome!! I pray LOTH at my house with my roommates! We pray morning prayer together! Thank you for such great insight!
That’s great! I wish I had discovered the LOTH when I was in college and had roommates. That’s a wonderful discipline and I can think of nothing that forges deeper, authentic community than praying together. Keep it up!
Hi Brandon, Any way you can make this available as an mp4 audio file download? Thanks, Yolande
Sorry, can’t do that, but you can stream on YouTube.
What do you think about the LOH done on the I-Phone thru iBreviary?
I like it, Fr. Blake not as much. We discuss that near the end of the episode above.
Great podcast! I’ve found the Liturgy of the Hours to be a great source of comfort, peace, and strength these past few months. I dusted my breviary off the shelf and- quite unexpectedly- re-discovered it during this time of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It really helps me to sanctify the day, as you noted in the podcast… and I find that my days are much more fruitful and peaceful when I take time to pray the Hours. Thanks for a podcast on this important topic- it would be great to explore this more in follow-up episodes if possible.
LOVE the podcast- truly an answer to prayer. Thanks, God bless, and praying for you from the Diocese of Buffalo!
Brandon, I so enjoyed your video on praying the Liturgy of the Hours. I have owned the book of Christian Prayer for a couple of years and have made random efforts to learn to pray with it. I have to say it ended up in confusion and frustration and I would abandon it until “some other time”. Your video inspired me to make a serious effort to learn. I ordered the book you recommended by Fr Gallagher and have found it to be a tremendous help. I am now looking forward each day to prayer time. I am currently committed to morning and night prayer but find myself adding evening as well. Sadly, this topic is never discussed in my parish. Thank you so much for taking it on.
Finally got around to listening to this podcast. I listened to it twice tonight. Very inspirational. Would love a follow up on it as well. I need to get started on it again. I often start and then stop because life is busy or I’m not motivated. I’ve loved it for a long time, the Psalms and the Office of Readings. A beautiful way to read a bit of the early church fathers as well.
Any chance on a podcast on the Psalms?
I may have missed it, but did you mention where to find a guide to what the readings/prayers are for the day? I use the St. Joseph guide and sometimes when I’ve misplaced it, I’ve used the PDF version on St. Thomas More House of Prayer website.
I also had a volume get water damage and was able to replace it from Ebay for $20. Really lucked out.
Love the podcast and wish they were weekly. Any chance of that?
Thanks so much for taking the time to do these podcasts.
Thank you for sharing this information. It help me realize that we are co-participants with Christ when we pray the liturgy.
Brandon and Fr. Blake, thank you so much for doing this podcast, I’m a catholic and truly embarrassed that I didn’t even know about the Liturgy of the Hours but I’m so drawn to it and especially after listening to your podcast. I’m looking for the one volume morning and night prayer version title to start as the 4 volume too big an investment just now. I’m going to try the app to start. Could you provide the title at your convenience. Much thanks and thank you for bringing this to all of us.
What book do you recommend for morning/evening only (LOTH) ?
Peace be with y’all. Two rays of Light: 1) Reference psalms: particularly enemy-related ones, it’s super helpful to equate ‘enemy’ with a particular vice/sin. In place of ‘enemy’ think ‘laziness’, ‘urge to spend money on THINGS’, ‘desire to gossip’, ‘jealousy’, ‘self reliance’. 2) Reference app: a Catholic power-punch app is Laudate which includes Liturgy of the Hours, Stations of the Cross, Order of the Mass, Daily Readings, etc. May the Spirit continue to bless you!
Thanks for your truly transformational podcast. I have listened to four episodes so far, multiple times – there is so much wisdom and richness in every episode.
My question about LOTH is how to sing/chant the hours? I have been praying Lauds, Vespers and Compline daily for the past six months or so, and would love to know more about if I should be singing any parts, and if so, how? Or just generally about how that could work, because I haven’t had the opportunity to pray the hours in a group (yet).
May God abundantly bless your ministry!
Thank you for the question. The best resource is either the Mundelein Chant tones or the St. Meinrad chants. Access them through these links:
I found the podcast on Divine Office. Nice 👍
Wonderful talk! Really enjoyed every part of it. Thanks for all the inspiring ideas. My place already does look like a little chapel. Thanks for the encouragement to keep it that way. My special take away is how to teach kids (and adults) how to “freelance” pray to God. I also took away the truth that a father is the priest of his family. God bless. Continued prayers for both of you.
Excellent podcasts. Wish I would have heard it when my family was young
Thanks for all your great work
Hi Brandon and Fr Blake,
I understand that some of the psalms/scripture passages have been removed from the cycle of readings in the revised LOH.
Could you explain why this is so?
I’m really enjoying the podcast.
Thank you for your ministry.
Great question. I assume you are comparing the current LOH to the pre-Vatican II Roman Breviary? If so, it is not that things were removed so much as expanded. The goal of the revised LOH was to include a wider breath of readings from Sacred Scripture, especially in regards to stories from the Old Testament. It also greatly enlarged the library of patristic texts many of which were only recently discovered in the 19th and 20th century.
Another great site ….. divineoffice.org
[…] — was a brilliant podcast from Brandon Vogt and Father Blake Britton. It’s called “How (and Why) to Pray the Liturgy of the Hours,” and it’s part of their awesome Burrowshire Podcast. I highly recommend giving it a […]
I never knew much about it. It was very educational and easy to understand .
Hello Father Blake and Brandon,
Thank you for The Burrowshire Podcast. I have learned so much and enjoyed so much! I love your laugh, Father; it’s contagious and I usually end up laughing – out loud – along with you.
I am feeling very “called” to begin the LOTH and am happy to hear your recommendations for getting started. I would like to begin with the Nighttime prayers but am curious if the Catholic Prayers book includes Nightime prayers.
I do not have a cell phone at all so the apps are not an option (about as “techie” as I get is an older version of a Kindle that does not accept apps, or email). As may be obvious, I dislike, and try to avoid, electronic exposure if at all possible.
If possible, could you please send a response to this question to my email (email@example.com). God Bless both of you amazing men.
Brandon and Fr. Blake,
Thank you for this awesome podcast and episode. I have loved getting to hear what you have had to share. During the episode, you shared some objections that people might have for starting the Liturgy of the Hours. I was wondering how to go about beginning the practice with all the busyness that comes with having a family. I have 3 daughters under 5. My wife works and I am balancing work and graduate school. I struggle with all I already have to do but I can see how this might ground me too. Brandon, you mentioned how you praying this naturally led to your family joining you. I would love to hear your insights. I have experience doing morning prayer and night prayer through my time with FOCUS and being a Totus Tuus teacher many years ago but have fallen out of the practice. I someday wish to become a deacon and see this as a great step to begin preparing myself for that journey. I would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks!
So I have the iBreviary app – how exactly do I pray morning or evening prayer? Do I just read it silently to myself, or recited it out loud, or something else?
One of the difficulties in newbies praying the hours is in finding resources for explaining the “mechanics” of the hours (what pages when, etc.). If you are not already aware of it, the St. Thomas More House of Prayer (its mission is the promotion of the Liturgy of the Hours among the laity) has a website that includes the page numbers for each day in both the Christian Prayer 1 volume and the LOH 4 volume set. There are also blogs and posts by the Director of the House of Prayer, Nathan Wigfield, regarding how to’s etc. There also are special and seasonal programs available for retreats (overnight accomodations, including meals are available at the House). More info available at liturgyofthehours.org.
I’ve been holding off on buying the four volume set because I heard that a new translation would be coming out soon. Do you know if that’s true? I appreciate iBreviary, but I miss feeling (and smelling!) the book in my hands.
Yes, the new translation is supposed to be approved in 2023 and a new breviary set should be available in 2024. At least that’s what I’m hearing!
Consider DivineOffice.org Liturgy of the Hours app. It has audio and songs. It’s very pretty.
You mentioned starting with night prayer, and that morning prayer and evening prayer are the most important hours to read. Where does the Office of Readings fit in? Also, Brandon hinted recently on the Word on Fire Show that something concerning the Liturgy of the Hours will be forthcoming from Word on Fire in the near future. When will more information be available on that.