Prayer became a trendy, Internet “thing” a few years back. It seemed like every Catholic blogger I read at the time was singing the praises of praying the Liturgy of the Hours, otherwise known as the Divine Office.
Yeah, the fact that it has two names may hint to where I am going with this post.
They talked about how this ancient prayer provided wonderful stops in their day, how they were blessed by the words of Scripture, how it fed their soul. And then they would talk about multiple volumes of prayer books and ribbon placements. Or there was an app for that and bells that could be set on your phone.
I was hearing bells all right.
Clanging, clamoring bells of confusion.
I struggled making the Liturgy of the Hours a fixture in my life because I am one of those people who needs to understand something before doing it.
To me, they whys and what of something has to precede the how.
That is when I was fortunate enough to find The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours by Daria Sockey. This book gave me exactly what I needed it.
It not only breaks down exactly how to pray the Hours, but also the history of the prayers, its place in the overall Church, and gives multiple resources — technology and old-school versions for integrating these important prayers into your daily life.
Enlightening and informative, I put it at the top of my favorite Catholic books list. It’s just that good.
Once all of the confusion was cleared, I was anxious and happy to pray. I even wrote a quick-start guide to help people just get started praying the hours, if they are not the kind who needs to know why or if they want to start praying as they are reading Daria’s book.
Do I pray every Hour every day?
Not even close.
I truly enjoy starting my day with Morning prayer, and I less frequently end the day with Night prayer. My prefered mode of prayer delivery is auditory with the Morning Prayer, Lauds and Night Prayer, Compline apps. Even that little bit goes a long way to feed my soul.
Have you tried praying the Liturgy of the Hours? I’d love to hear your experience.
Pam Barnhill is a Catholic convert and homeschooling mom. She and her husband Matt are raising three beautiful, but loud, children in southern Alabama. You can find homeschooling resources, ideas to inspire kids to read, and free homeschool planning forms on her blog, EdSnapshots. Her book Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace walks you step-by-step through how to create a homeschool plan perfect for your family.
This post is part of the 31 Days of Resources for Catholic Moms: tools to inspire and challenge you in your Catholic faith. Check out all the posts or sign up to get them delivered in your email.
I was the same way when I first started. I started off with the App to get me into it, then I made the leap and bought the single volume. That is where all the confusion began for me.
I was already informed of how the format went, but the ribbons were enough to drive me crazy!
I read that book to give some context and background information and that helped a lot. Then I thought that there must be a proper way for ribbon placement, and the truth is (thanks to a Sister who was explaining it) that the ribbons were just placeholders.
Once armed with that information, I decided to let loose and just enjoy the prayers. Now, several years later and 4 volumes, I enjoy it immensely. I still make use of my App (Divine Office) since there are times that I cannot open a prayer book and feed a newborn but I wouldn’t change it for anything.