What is Liturgy of the Hours?
... the public, daily prayer of the Church, that is, of Christ and his
people, one element of the prayer which the Constitution on the
Sacred Liturgy describes as the sacred action surpassing all
others ... the primary and indispensable source of the true Christian
spirit. CL n. 7, 14
which is intimately related to the Eucharist and which the Church
understands as a preparation for and a continuation of the action of
the Eucharist throughout the day.
about the sanctification of time, that is, of each day, and is linked
with the Feasts and Seasons of the Liturgical Year as well as with the
natural rhythms of the day, especially the alternation of light and
which relies heavily on Scripture ... the psalms and the canticles as
well as readings from the old and new testaments for the bulk of its
which has a long history in the Church, going back to first centuries;
prayer which originated in gatherings of the people with their bishop
and later spread to monastic and other religious groups.
which has a basic formal structure, both within the
day and within each individual hour.
which is prayed communally in formal Church gatherings, in informal
groups of the faithful and even in families, but which may also be
prayed by individuals who are not able to pray it in common. Whether
prayed communally or by individuals, the Liturgy of the Hours is
always the liturgical prayer of the Church: the prayer of Christ the
priest and of the Body of Christ, the Church throughout the world and
the Communion of Saints in heaven.
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© Sister Janet
Composed for the Archdiocese of New York Liturgical Commission.