Do You Pray the Liturgy of the Hours?

For Catholics who know of the Liturgy of the Hours (or, the Divine Office, as it is also known) they may think about it as something priests and religious pray. It’s true that clergy and religious are obligated to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. But the Church encourages lay people to pray some portion of the Hours as well.

Here are five reasons we should all be engaged in this great prayer of the Church to whatever extent we are able.

The Mass is Still the Mass

I am deeply committed to the Novus Ordo promulgated by Pope Saint Paul VI in 1969… This commitment emanates from the enormous continuity between the old rite and the new.

Richard Clark

In this article by Richard Clark, Director of Music of the Archdiocese of Boston and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, we are reminded of the fundamental continuity between the ordinary form of the Mass (Novus Ordo) and that which came before. Sadly, of course, this continuity is sometimes eclipsed by less-than-ideal liturgical celebrations. He offers a number of practical suggestions that parishes can employ to make that continuity more clearly visible, which he derives from Pope Francis’ apostolic letter, Desiderio desideravi.

As you read the article, notice how many of the author’s suggestions are currently in place at St. Mark. We are truly blessed.

“Reform of the Reform”

With the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, it is appropriate to consider anew his contributions to the Liturgy, the so-called “reform of the reform” in particular. In this video, Fr. Joseph Fessio of Ignatius Press gives an in-depth presentation on liturgical reform in the context of his relationship with Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI.

God is NOT Ugly or Banal

It is no accident that much of the most beautiful art and music in the Western tradition has been religious, and that a good deal of that has been produced for use in the sacred liturgy.

William Schaefer

Evangelization isn’t just giving people a set of propositions, or a rulebook to follow. It’s inviting them into a relationship with the living God. But first we must get their attention. Human beings are by nature drawn to beauty. If we want people to fall in love with God, we must give them a glimpse of His loveliness. 

Of course, love is the primary way we do this. But it’s a mistake to think that the outward forms of the Faith—liturgy, music, art, architecture—are superfluous. Nothing could be farther from the truth. These outward manifestations of beauty reveal something of the great love of God for us. They are also a sign of our love for Him. 

There’s so much ugliness and banality all around us—it’s the hallmark of our post-Christian age. The Church must provide a refuge from all that. 

The article linked below describes the connection between beauty and right worship, and explains why “there are no box stores… in the City of God.”

Vatican II and the New Mass

This is not what we council fathers decided; this is against the decisions of the council. I cannot understand how the Holy Father could give his consent to such a thing.

Josef Cardinal Frings, 1969

The short article linked below gives us a little insight into how the Mass of Paul VI (aka the Ordinary Form) came to be.

The point of sharing this is not to shock our readers (though it might indeed raise some eyebrows). Rather, we just want to reaffirm why we are so concerned with conforming our liturgical celebrations to the authentic vision of Vatican II, as revealed in the document Sacrosanctum concilium

It’s not about mere aesthetics or nostalgia: it’s simply about being faithful and giving God what is due Him.