…the laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office, either with the priests, or among themselves, or even individually.

Pope Paul VI

The Liturgy of the Hours is the official, universal prayer of the Catholic Church. 

“Public and common prayer by the people of God is rightly considered to be among the primary duties of the Church.” From the very beginning those who were baptized, “devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the community, to the breaking of the bread, and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).

The witness of the early Church teaches us that individual Christians devoted themselves to prayer at fixed times. In the course of time other hours came to be sanctified by prayer in common. These were seen by the Fathers as foreshadowed in the Acts of the Apostles.

There we read of the disciples gathered at the third hour. The prince of the apostles “went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour” (10:9); “Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour” (3:1); “about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (16:25).

Such prayer in common gradually took the form of a set cycle of hours. The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office, enriched by readings, is principally a prayer of praise and petition. Indeed, it is the prayer of the Church with Christ and to Christ.” (These excerpts are from The General Instructions of the Liturgy of the Hours, §1-2)

From the USCCB: The Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office or the Work of God (Opus Dei), is the daily prayer of the Church, marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer.  The Hours are a meditative dialogue on the mystery of Christ, using scripture and prayer.  At times the dialogue is between the Church or individual soul and God; at times it is a dialogue among the members of the Church; and at times it is even between the Church and the world.  The Divine Office “is truly the voice of the Bride herself addressed to her Bridegroom. It is the very prayer which Christ himself together with his Body addresses to the Father.” (SC 84)  

Classes are scheduled throughout the year for those who would like to learn how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours using the 4-volume set or the single volume Christian Prayer.

Upcoming Classes via ZOOM:

  • Learn to pray the Liturgy of the Hours in Ordinary Time:
    • Christian Prayer Book – Saturdays 10:00AM beginning August 3 – Aug 24, 2024
    • The 4-Volume Set – Sundays, 1:00pm – beginning May 19 – June 9, 2024

Please contact Charmaine Carter at 727-347-9702 or ccarter@cathedralofstjude.org for more information.

The Liturgy of the Hours can be accessed through iBreviary. Click on the button to go to the iBreviary. This tool provides the prayers for the Hours each day.