Divine office
#1
Hello everyone. Recently I go into a good habit of reading the Bible and praying the rosary everdya and it is really bringing me closer to Christ. However, I have heard of the divine office. Should lay Catholics pray it or is it only something for priests? Also where can I get one and would anyone here recommend it?


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#2
It is fine for laity to pray it. When we lived in St. Marys, KS, you would often see people in the chapel during Office, especially Compline, praying with the priests and nuns. Search online under "traditional catholic books divine office" and you should pull something up.
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#3
BlessedKarl Wrote:Hello everyone. Recently I go into a good habit of reading the Bible and praying the rosary everdya and it is really bringing me closer to Christ. However, I have heard of the divine office. Should lay Catholics pray it or is it only something for priests? Also where can I get one and would anyone here recommend it?

The Divine Office is for everyone.  It was developed for clerics (since they and the nobility were about the only ones who could read), but it is part of the liturgy (the public prayer of the Church) and should be embraced by clerics, religious, and laypeople alike.  In fact, the Office is intimately conjoined to the Mass, and the Church has always viewed it as the extension of the praise offered at Mass throughout the hours of the day.  The psalms, which make up the majority of the Office, are the words of praise given to us by God to offer back to Him.  Our Lord Jesus Christ recited the psalms, as was the religious custom of the Jews of his day, as a means of worshiping the Father, and we should do the same.  Even if you don't take up reciting the Office, it is good to periodically recite the Seven Penitential Psalms, as they provide an excellent way of nurturing a spirit of contrition.
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#4
The Divine Office is the official prayer of the Church and it is an excellent idea for the laity to also take it up; it is not just reserved for the religious.

I might suggest the one volume to start. The 4 volume is expensive. But if you ever go to the four volume, I advise to NOT buy the vinyl which tends to crack and fall apart. I inherited my 4 volume set from a priest who died and I had to have them all rebound in hardcover. I pray the Office twice a day, morning and evening.
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#5
BlessedKarl Wrote:Should lay Catholics pray it
Yes, by all means.
Quote:or is it only something for priests?
Absolutely not. It is a great Liturgical travesty, far worse than even the Novus Ordo
Missae
, that the Divine Office has become virtually non-existent in the Latin Rite in the past 600-700 years.
The Divine Office is, after the Mass (with which it's intimately connected), the greatest prayer one can say. This is not opinion, but rather an objective statement. Not the Rosary, not the Stations of the Cross, not Litanies, nothing takes precedence over the Divine Office but the Mass itself. It’s the official public prayer of the Church.
Quote:where can I get one and would anyone here recommend it?

First off, I beseech everyone here not to turn this thread into a Liturgy of the Hours vs. Breviarium Romanum discussion! Please. Both Offices have their respective good features, both have their drawbacks. While a discussion of this nature should be had at some points (and indeed, already has been had), this thread should only be a general introduction to avoid overwhelming the OP with info.
The Liturgy of the Hours, the normative Office in the Latin Rite, is readily available in religious bookstores and online.
In the United States there are three basic editions, depending on the needs and dedication of those who pray the Office:
Shorter Christian Prayer: This basically has Lauds, Vespers and Compline (called "Morning Prayer," "Evening Prayer" and "Night Prayer" in the American translations) for the Time Throughout the Year (called "Ordinary Time" in the United States). In addition, this abridged version includes seasonal variations for times like Advent, Lent, Eastertime, etc. It's a good place to start if one's not familiar with the Office.
Christian Prayer: This has everything listed above, but it also accounts for the Feast Days of Saints, and other Holy Days throughout the year. One popular version also includes musical notation in the back for the hymns. I also believe there was some limited attempt to include the Day Hours as well.
Daytime Prayer: This includes all the "Little Hours" of the day, Mid-Morning (Terce), Midday (Sext), and Mid-Afternoon (None) for the year.
The Liturgy of the Hours: This four-volume behemoth has it all! It's for the serious Office-prayer, someone who feels called to throw themselves into the "Prayer of the Church." At around $120, it's a high price to pay, but if you're dedicated to saying the full Divine Office it's the best way to go ( it sure beats online printouts). The biggest feature of this, the complete version of the Divine Office, is that it has the Office of Readings for the entire year. The Office of Readings includes Psalms, it also appoints a hefty chunk of Scripture to be read in a consecutive fashion, as well as a reading from a Saint related to growth in the spiritual life. This is the version Credo uses.
There's really so much I could say about the Divine Office, it's been my "friend" since my high school days and it's something I have a great love of, but I’ll take a break for now.
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#6
Take a look at fellowfisheater's site;
http://lzkiss.net/cgi-bin/horas/brevi.pl

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#7
Credo Wrote:The Divine Office is, after the Mass (with which it's intimately connected), the greatest prayer one can say. This is not opinion, but rather an objective statement. Not the Rosary, not the Stations of the Cross, not Litanies, nothing takes precedence over the Divine Office but the Mass itself. It’s the official public prayer of the Church.

Amen.

The one thing I dislike most about my church is how rarely we do the Office.
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#8
While I do prefer the traditional Breviarium Romanum, I think it is best to pray the Office that goes with the particular rite of Mass in which you typically worship, because they are meant to complement each other.  If you go to the Novus Ordo, pray the Liturgy of the Hours.  If you go to the Tridentine Mass, pray the Breviarium Romanum.  If you mix and match, most of the year your liturgical prayer life will be schizophrenic.
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#9
rbjmartin Wrote:If you mix and match, most of the year your liturgical prayer life will be schizophrenic.

This is true.
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#10
<style></style>If this is off topic here, I apologize in advance.  I have a pamphlet called "Praying the Hours" from Forward Movement Publications (an Episcopal publisher).  At four pages, it is obviously a severely abbreviated form of the Divine Office, excerpting only a prayer from Prime, Terce, etc.

I find this format helpful to my prayer life.  I fully intend to graduate to a longer form of the Divine Office, but for now I see this as a stepping stone.  It is, as I pointed out, of Episcopal origin (even though the prayers are, I believe, derived from religious and monastic communities).  Are there a Catholic equivalents of an abbreviated Divine Office that I can explore? 
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