Divine Office

I first learned the basics of saying the Divine Office (or Liturgy of the Hours) when I was an undergrad at Oklahoma State University.  My friend Dan Mueggenborg (now Msgr. Mueggenborg!) and I would make the short trip from campus to Stillwater’s St. Francis Xavier Parish for evening prayer, a few times during one of our semesters.

I didn’t learn it well then and I wasn’t all that committed in those days, but I guess a small seed was planted.   I don’t recall ever doing it again until we started offering it for students of the St. Philip Neri Newman Center, while I was campus minister there.

Some of the students would meet for Morning Prayer, but I was present more for Evening Prayer as students ended their classes in the late afternoon and were on their way home for dinner.

Here at St. Fidelis, I’m learning much more discipline in this than I’ve ever had before.    Although I’m a lay volunteer, the friars have invited me to participate in their daily prayers, meditations and Mass.  I have to say the regularity and consistency of this has helped with my transition into this foreign environment.  There’s nothing like the universality of the Church to make you feel at home anywhere in the world.

Here’s the daily schedule:

6am:   Morning Meditation
6:30 am:  Morning Prayer
6:45 am:  Mass
Breakfast follows

12:15pm: Lunch

5:00 pm:  Meditation
5:30 pm:  Evening Prayer
6:15 pm:  Dinner

The schedule will change somewhat when school starts.  Right now, we do prayers and Mass in the friary chapel.  When the students arrive, we’ll move down to the campus chapel with some slightly different times.

I’m still getting the hang of the meditation parts.  For now, I usually do some reading in the morning, and say a rosary in the afternoon.

BTW, here they use the British/Australian version of the breviary.  It’s quite a bit different from the one used in the US and I’m of the opinion so far that this one is much better organized.

What about you?  Have you ever prayer Liturgy of the Hours on a consistent basis?  Any tips on how to be more disciplined with it or to appreciate it better?

(I know my SQPN friends are laughing because of the early schedule I keep every day now, and how I used to complain about our “early” board meetings at 7am.)

9 thoughts on “Divine Office

  1. Aww, Steve! Actually, do you guys say the Angelus Prayer over there? There is, indeed, comfort in the universality of the Church–no matter where you are in the world, the Mass is the same. It’s funny: whenever I’m in the Philippines, I find it very easy to get up early in the morning. You feel like you get more done during the day. (Also, it’s much easier to get stuff done in the early morning when it’s cooler. 😛 )

  2. Paul and I used to pray the Nighttime Prayer each evening along with our personal prayers. It’s something I really missed after he died – that regular rhythm of prayer. I am fortunate in that I have some awesome friends, and one of them volunteered to be my prayer partner at night. One of us calls each other and we use the Divine Office website. Paul used a breviary, but I have only ever used the website. I like the Nighttime Prayer because it’s a fairly straightforward prayer that is easier for beginners. Every once in a while I pick up Paul’s breviary and think, “maybe I will give Morning prayer a go” but then it just all seems so complicated with all the ribbons and such that I get intimidated and give up.

    So happy to see your updates! Praying for you.

  3. Do you require a British-American dictionary to help increase your understanding? I just can’t imagine reading The Office containing the phrases “Saint Michale’s armour” and “love thy neighbour”. If it becomes really annoying make sure to bring up how we saved their butts during WWII. If there was one universality in all of my international experiences its that a brusk, egotistical American attitude is always welcome.

  4. Hey Steve, I’m glad you’re getting into the Divine Office more…thanks for sharing. There is such a wisdom to the Church — ex: Morning Meditation right after everyone’s just rolled out of bed. It’s just easing you into the day. 🙂

    I appreciate the Divine Office because it punctuates my day with prayer and Scripture. As you continue to pray it, you’ll realize that it not only ‘sets the tone and rhythm’ for your day, but it also provides you with a ‘holy vocabulary.’ What I mean is: when I’m sad, I find myself remembering the Psalms of grieving, or when I’m happy, the Canticles come to my mind. The Divine Office really helps to purify your mind and emotions. It’s great!

  5. I’m a bit behind on your posts, but as I pray morning prayer, it’s nice to know someone’s been up priming the spiritual pipeline before I got there!

    Prayers for you good buddy! Yes, we miss you at the meetings, but hope you are having happy meetings of your own!

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