Selections From the
of the


Spirituality: 1-33; Psalmody (100-125); Sacred Silence (201-203)

Congregation for Divine Worship, 2 February 1971Institutio generalis de Liturgia Horarum SCCD Institutionem generalem de Liturgia Horarum publici iuris fecit Die 2 februarii 1971



in the




1. 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 Acts of the Apostles give frequent testimony to the fact that the Christian community prayed with one accord. (See Acts 1:14, 4:24, 12:5 and 12. See also Eph 5:19-21. )

I. Publica et communis oratio populi Dei inter munera Ecclesiac primaria merito habetur. Inde ab initio qui baptizati stint « erant perseverantes in doctrina Apostolorum et communione, fractione panis et orationibus » (Act. 2,42). Pluries autem Actus Apostolorum testantur communitatem christianam unanimiter oravisse.

The witness of the early Church teaches us that individual Christians devoted themselves to prayer at fixed times. Then, in different places, it soon became the established practice to assign special times for common prayer, for example, the last hour of the day when evening draws on and the lamp is lighted, or the first hour when night draws to a close with the rising of the sun.

Singulos quoque fideles certis horis in orationem incubuisse Ecclesiae primaevae testimonia docent. In variis deinde regionibus consuetudo mox invaluit peculiaria tempora communi precationi destinandi, veluti postremam diei horam, cum advesperascit ac lucerna accenditur, vel primam, cum nox sub diurni sideris ortum vergit ad finem.

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 together at the third hour. (See Acts 2:1-15. ) 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).

Decurrente autem tempore, precatione communi sanctifica bantur ceterae quoque Horae, quas Patres in Actibus Aposta lorum adumbratas legebant. Ibidem enim discipuli perhiben• tur hora tertia congregati. Apostolorum Princeps « ascendil in superiora ut oraret circa horam sextam » (10, 9); « Petrus et Ioannes ascendebant in templum ad horam orationis na nam » (3, 1); « media ... nocte Paulus et Silas orantes laudabant Deum » (16, 25).

2. Such prayer in common gradually took the form of a set cycle of hours. This 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.

2. Huiusmodi orationes in communi peractae paulatim ad mu dum definiti Horarum cursus instruebantur. Haec Liturgia Horarum seu Officium divinum, lectionibus quoque ditata est praecipue oratio laudis et deprecationis, et quidem oratic Ecclesiae cum Christo et ad Christum.



Chapter I-I. Prayer of Christ




Christ The Intercessor With The Father

Christus exorator Patris.

3. When the Word, proceeding from the Father as the splendor of his glory, came to give us all a share in God’s life, “Christ Jesus, High Priest of the new and eternal covenant, taking human nature, introduced into this earthly exile the hymn of praise that is sung throughout all ages in the halls of heaven.” (SC art. 83.  From then on in Christ’s heart the praise of God assumes a human sound in words of adoration, expiation, and intercession, presented to the Father by the Head of the new humanity, the Mediator between God and his people, in the name of all and for the good of all.

3. Cum venit ad Dei vitam hominibus impertiendam, Verbuni quod a Patre procedit ut splendor gloriae eius, « summus Novi atque Aeterni Testamenti sacerdos, Christus Iesus, humanarr naturam assumens, terrestri huic exsilio hymnum ilium invexit qui in supernis sedibus per omne aevum canitur ». 3 Exinde in corde Christi laus Dei resonat verbis humanis adorationis propitiationis et intercessionis: quae omnia novae humanitatil princeps et Mediator Dei et hominum nomine et in bonurr omnium Patri exhibet.

4. In his goodness the Son of God, who is one with his Father (see Jn 10:30) and who on entering the world said: “Here I am! I come, God, to do your will” (Heb 10:9; see Jn 6:38), has left us the lesson of his own prayer. The Gospels many times show us Christ at prayer: when his mission is revealed by the Father; (cf. Lk 3:21-22.) before he calls the apostles; (cf. Lk 6:12) when he blesses God at the multiplication of the loaves; (cf. Mt 14:19, 15:36; Mk 6:41, 8:7; Lk 9:16; Jn 6:11) when he is transfigured on the mountain; (cf. Lk 9:28-29) when he heals the deaf-mute; (cf. Mk 7:34) when he raises Lazarus; (cf. Jn 11:41ff) before he asks for Peter’s confession of faith; (cf. Lk 9:18) when he teaches the disciples how to pray; (Lk 11:11)when the disciples return from their mission; (cf. Mt 11:25.ff; Lk 10:21ff) when he blesses the little children; (cf. Mt 19:13) when he prays for Peter. (cf. Lk 22:32)

4. Ipse autem Filius Dei, « qui cum Patre suo unum est » (cf. Io 10, 30) et ingrediens mundum dixit: « Ecce vcnio ut taciam Deus, voluntatem tuam » (Hebr. 10,9; cf. Io. 6, 38), orationit suae dignatus est etiam documenta concedere. Saepissime enirr eum orantem referunt Evangelia: cum eius missio a Patre re velatur, 4 antequam Apostolos vocet, ° cum Deum in panis mul tiplicatione benedicit, “ cum transfiguratur in monte,’ curr surdum mutumque sanat 8 et Lazarum resuscitat, “ antequarr a Petro confessionem postulet,10 cum discipulos docei orare,’1 cum discipuli a missione revertuntur, 72 cum parvulo: benedicit’3 et pro Petro rogat.

The work of each day was closely bound up with his prayer, indeed flowed out from it: he would retire into the desert or into the hills to pray, (cf. Mk 1:35, 6:46; Lk 5:16. cf. also Mt 4:1 & pl.; Mt 14:23) rise very early (cf. Mk 1:35) or spend the night up to the fourth watch (cf. Mt 14:23 and 25; Mk 6:46 and 48) in prayer to God. (cf. Lk 6:12)

Cotidiana eius navitas arcte cum oratione nectebatur; quin et iam ex ea quasi fluebat, cum ipse in desertum vel in monterr secedebat ut oraret, 15 diluculo valde surgens 16 aut sero usque ad quartam vigiliam noctis 19 pernoctans in oratione Dei.

We are right in thinking that he took part both in public prayers: in the synagogues, which he entered on the Sabbath “as his custom was;” (cf. Lk 4:16) in the temple, which he called a house of prayer; (cf. Mt 21:13 & pl) and in the private prayers that for devout Israelites were a daily practice. He used the traditional blessings of God at meals, as is expressly mentioned in connection with the multiplication of the loaves, (cf. Mt 14:19 & pl.; Mt 15:36 & pl) the last supper (cf. Mt 26:26 & pl) and the meal at Emmaus. (cf. Lk 24:30) He also joined with the disciples in a hymn of praise. (cf. Mt 26:30 & pl)

Ipse quoque, ut merito creditur, partem habuit in precibus tum iis, quae publice fundebantur et in synagogis, quas intravit die sabbati « secundum consuetudinem suam », 19 et in ternplo quod domum orationis appellavit, 2° tum iis, quae privatim a piis Israelitis de more cotidie recitabantur. Proferebat etiam traditas benedictiones Dei in cenis, ut expresse narratur in multiplicatione panis, 2’ in Cena sua novissima, 22 in cena Em-maus; 23 similiter cum discipulis hymnum dixit.

To the very end of his life, as his passion was approaching, (cf. Jn 12:27ff) at the last supper, (cf. Jn 17:1-26) in the agony in the garden, (cf. Mt 26:36-44 & pl) and on the cross, (cf. Lk 23:34 and 46; Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34) the divine teacher showed that prayer was the soul of his Messianic ministry and paschal death. “In the days of his life on earth he offered up prayers and entreaties with loud cries and tears to the one who could deliver him from death and because of his reverence his prayer was heard” (Heb 5:7). By a single offering on the altar of the cross “he has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb 10-14). Raised from the dead, he lives for ever, making intercession for us. (cf. Heb 7:25)

Usque ad extremum vitae, appropinquante iam Passione, 25 in novissima Cena, 26 in agonia 2’ et in cruce 28 orationem divinus Magister ostendit id esse quod ministerium suum messianicum, et paschalem exitum animaret. Ipse enim « in diebus carnis suae preces, supplicationesque ed eum, qui possit ilium [22] salvum facere a morte cum clamore valido et lacrimis offerens, exauditus est pro sua reverentia » (Hehr. 5, 7), et perfecta oblatione in ara crucis « consummavit in sempiternum sanctificatos » (Hebr. 10,14); suscitatus denique a mortuis, semper vivit et orat pro nobis.



Chapter I-II. Prayer of the Church




Command to Pray

Praeceptum orationi.

5. Jesus has commanded us to do as he did. On many occasions he said: “Pray,” “ask,” “seek” (Mt 5:44, 7:7, 26:41; Mk 13:33, 14:38; Lk 6:28, 10:2, 11:9, 22:40 and 46) “in my name.” (Jn 14:13ff., 15:16, 16:23ff. and 26) He taught us how to pray in what is known as the Lord’s Prayer. (cf. Mt 6:9-13; Lk 11:2-4) He taught us that prayer is necessary, (cf. Lk 18:1) that it should be humble, (cf. Lk 18:9-14) watchful, (cf. Lk 21:36; Mk 13:33) persevering, confident in the Father’s goodness, (cf. Lk 11:5-13,18:1-8; Jn 14:13, 16:23) single-minded, and in conformity with God’s nature. (cf. Mt 6:5-8, 23:14; Lk 20:47; Jn 4:23)

5. lesus, quod ipse fecit, nobis quoque facere praecepit. « Orate » enim saepe dixit, « rogate « petite », 3° « in nomine meo »; 81 formam etiam precandi tradidit in oratione quae dominica dicitur, 62 et orationem monuit esse necessariam, S3 et quidem humilem, 64 vigilantem,” perseverantem et in bonitate Patris confidentem, b6 intention puram et Dei naturae consentaneam. 97.

Here and there in their letters the apostles have handed on to us many prayers, particularly of praise and thanks. They instruct us on prayer in the Holy Spirit, (cf. Rom 8:15 and 26; 1 Cor 12:3; Gal 4:6; Jude 20) through Christ, (cf. 2 Cor 1:20; Col 3:17) offered to God, (cf. Heb 13:15) as to its persistence and constancy, (cf. Rom 12:12; 1 Cor 7:5; Eph 6:18; Col 4:2; 1 Thes 5:17; 1 Tm 5:5; 1 Pt 4:7) its power to sanctify, (cf. 1 Tm 4:5; Jas 5:15ff.; 1 Jn 3:22, 5:14ff) and on prayer of praise, (cf. Eph 5:19ff.; Heb 13:15; Rv 19:5) thanks, (cf. Col 3:17; Phil 4:6; 1 Thes 5:17; 1 Tm 2:1) petition, (cf. Rom 8:26; Phil 4:6) and intercession for all. (cf. Rom 15:30; 1 Tm 2:1ff.; Eph 6:18; 1 Thes 5:25; Jas 5:14 and 16)

Apostoli vero, qui in Epistolis passim orationes, praesertim laudis et gratiarum actionis, nobis tradunt, et ipsi nos monent de orationis in Spiritu Sancto, 38 per Christum 39 Deo oblatae, 40 instantia et assiduitate 41 deque eius efficaci vi ad sanctificatio[23]nem 42 necnon de oratione laudis, 43 gratiarum actionis, 44 petitionis 45 et pro omnibus intercessions.

Christ’s Prayer Continued by the Church

Orationem Christi Ecclesia continuat.

6. Since we are entirely dependent on God, we must acknowledge and express this sovereignty of the Creator, as the devout people of every age have done by means of prayer.

6. Cum homo totus a Deo sit, hanc Creatoris sui dominationem agnoscere et fateri debet, quod pii homines omnium temporum orando revera fecerunt.

Prayer directed to God must be linked with Christ, the Lord of all, the one Mediator (cf. 1 Tm 2:5; Heb 8:6, 9:15, 12:24) through whom alone we have access to God. (cf. Rom 5:2; Eph 2:18, 3:12) He unites to himself the whole human community (cf. SC art. 83) in such a way that there is an intimate bond between the prayer of Christ and the prayer of all humanity. In Christ and in Christ alone human worship of God receives its redemptive value and attains its goal.

Oratio vero, quae ad Deum dirigitur, conectatur oportet cum Christo omnium hominum Domino, unico Mediatore, 44 per quem solum habemus accessum ad Deum. 48 Ipse enim ita universam hominum communitatem sibi coagmentat, 40 ut intima vigeat necessitudo inter orationem Christi atque orationem totius generis humani. Nam in Christo in coque solo religio humana pretium salutiferum finemque attingit.

7. There is a special and very close bond between Christ and those whom he makes members of his Body, the Church, through the sacrament of rebirth. Thus, from the Head all the riches belonging to the Son flow throughout the whole Body: the communication of the Spirit, the truth, the life, and the participation in the divine sonship that Christ manifested in all his prayer when he dwelt among us.

7. Specialis tarnen atque arctissima necessitudo inter Christum intercedit illosque homines, quos tamquam membra in suum corpus, quod est Ecclesia, per sacramentum regenerationis assumit. Sic enim a capite in totum corpus diffunduntur omnes divitiae, quae sunt Filai: communicatio nempe Spiritus, veritas, vita et participatio eius divinae filiationis, quae in tota eius oratione, cum apud nos degeret, manifestabatur.

Christ’s priesthood is also shared by the whole Body of the Church, so that the baptized are consecrated as a spiritual temple and holy priesthood through the rebirth of baptism and the anointing by the Holy Spirit (cf. LG no. 10) and are empowered to offer the worship of the New Covenant, a worship that derives not from our own powers but from Christ’s merit and gift.

Sacerdotium etiam Christi a toto corpore Ecclesiae participatur, ita ut baptizati per regenerationem et Spiritus Sancti unctionem consecrentur [24] in domum spiritualem et sacerdotium sanctum, 60 fiantque capaces Novi Testamenti cultus, qui non e viribus nostris, sed e Christi merito ac donatione procedit.

“God could give us no greater gift than to establish as our Head the Word through whom he created all things and to unite us to that Head as members. The results are many The Head is Son of God and Son of Man, one as God with the Father and one as man with us. When we speak in prayer to the Father, we do not separate the Son from him and when the Son’s Body prays it does not separate itself from its Head. It is the one Savior of his Body, the Lord Christ Jesus, who prays for us and in us and who is prayed to by us. He prays for us as our priest, in us as our Head; he is prayed to by us as our God. Recognize therefore our own voice in him and his voice in us.” (Augustine, Enarrat. in Ps. 85, 1: CCL 39, 1176)

« Nullum maius donum praestare posset Deus hominibus, quam ut Verbum suum, per quod condidit omnia, faceret illis caput, et illos ei tamquam membra coaptaret, ut esset Filius Dei et Filius hominis, unus Deus cum Patre, unus homo cum hominibus, ut et quando loquimur ad Deum deprecantes, non inde Filium separemus, et quando precatur corpus Filii, non a se separet caput suum, sitque ipse unus salvator corporis sui Dominus poster Tesus Christus Filius Dei, qui et oret pro nobis, et oret in nobis, et oretur a nobis. Orat pro nobis ut sacerdos poster, orat in nobis ut caput nostrum, oratur a nobis ut Deus noster. Agnoscamus ergo et in illo voces nostras et voces eius in nobis ».5,

The excellence of Christian prayer lies in its sharing in the reverent love of the only-begotten Son for the Father and in the prayer that the Son put into words in his earthly life and that still continues without ceasing in the name of the whole human race and for its salvation, throughout the universal Church and in all its members.

In eo igitur posita est christianae dignitas orationis, ut ipsam Unigeniti pietatem erga Patrem eamque orationem participet, quam ille in vita terrestri verbis expressit, quaeque nunc, no-mine quoque et in salutem totius generis humani, in universa Ecclesia et in omnibus eius membris indesinenter perseverat.

Action of the Holy Spirit

Actio Spiritus Sancti

8. The unity of the Church at prayer is brought about by the Holy Spirit, who is the same in Christ, (cf. Lk 10:21, the occasion when Jesus “rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said: ‘I thank you, Father...’”) in the whole Church, and in every baptized person. It is this Spirit who “helps us in our weakness” and “intercedes for us with longings too deep for words” (Rom 8:26). As the Spirit of the Son, he gives us “the spirit of adopted children, by which we cry out: Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15; see Gal 4:6; 1 Cor 12:3; Eph 5:18; Jude 20). There can be therefore no Christian prayer without the action of the Holy Spirit, who unites the whole Church and leads it through the Son to the Father.

8. Unitas vero orantis Ecclesiae a Spiritu Sancto efficitur, qui idem est in Christo,” in tota Ecclesia et in singulis baptizatis. Ipse « Spiritus adiuvat infirmitatem nostram » et « postulat pro nobis gemitibus inenarrabilibus » (Rom. 8, 26); ipse, utpote Spiritus Filii, ingerit nobis « spiritum adoptionis filiorum, in quo clamamus: abba, Pater » (Rom. 8,15; [25] cf. Gal. 4,6; 1 Cor. 12, 3; Eph. 5,18; Iud. 20). Nulla ergo oratio christiana haberi potest sine Sancti Spiritus actione, qui, totam Ecclesiam uniens, per Filium ducat ad Patrem.

Community Character of Prayer

Indoles communitaria orations.

9. It follows that the example and precept of our Lord and the apostles in regard to constant and persevering prayer are not to be seen as a purely legal regulation. They belong to the very essence of the Church itself, which is a community and which in prayer must express its nature as a community. Hence, when the community of believers is first mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, it is seen as a community gathered together at prayer “with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and his brothers” (Acts 1:14). “There was one heart and soul in the company of those who believed” (Acts 4:32). Their oneness in spirit was founded on the word of God, on the communion of charity, on prayer, and on the eucharist. (cf. Acts 2:42 Gr)

9. Exemplum proinde et praeceptum Domini atque Apostolorum semper et instanter orandi habenda sunt non tamquam regula mere legalis, sed pertinent ad intimam essentiam ipsius Ecclesiae, quae communitas est quaeque indolem suam cornmunitariam orando quoque debet declarare. Hinc in Actibus Apostolorum, cum primum de communitate fidelium sermo fit, congregata ipsa in actu orationis apparet « cum mulieribus et Maria Matre Iesu et fratribus eius » (Act. 1,14). « Multitudinis autem credentium erat cor unum et anima una » (Act. 4,32), quorum unanimitas verbo Dei, communione fraterna, oratione et Eucharistia innitebatur. Rs

Though prayer in private and in seclusion (cf. Mt 6:6) is always necessary and to be encouraged (cf. SC art. 12) and is practiced by the members of the Church through Christ in the Holy Spirit, there is a special excellence in the prayer of the community. Christ himself has said: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst” (Mt 18:20).

Licet autem oratio, quae fit in cubiculo et clauso ostio, b4 semper quidem necessaria et commendanda, F5 a membris Ecclesiae per Christum in Spiritu Sancto peragatur, orationi tamen communitatis dignitas competit specialis, cum ipse Christus dixerit: « Ubi sunt duo vel tres congregati in nomine meo, ibi sum in medio eorum » (Mt. 18, 20).







Consecration of Time

Consecratio ternporis.

10. Christ taught us: “You must pray at all times and not lose heart” (Lk 18:1). The Church has been faithful in obeying this instruction; it never ceases to offer prayer and makes this exhortation its own: “Through him (Jesus) let us offer to God an unceasing sacrifice of praise” (Heb 15:15). The Church fulfills this precept not only by celebrating the eucharist but in other ways also, especially through the liturgy of the hours. By ancient Christian tradition what distinguishes the liturgy of the hours from other liturgical services is that it consecrates to God the whole cycle of the day and the night. (cf. SC art. 83-84)

10. Cum Christus praeceperit: « Oportet semper orare et non deficere » (Lc. 18,1), Ecclesia, huic admonitioni fideliter obtemperans, preces fundere [26] numquam intermittit atque hisce verbis nos adhortatur: « Per ipsum (Iesum) offeramus hostiam laudis semper Deo » (Hebr. 13,15). Huic praecepto satisfit non tantum Eucharistia celebranda, sed etiam aliis modis, praesertim Liturgia Horarum, cuius inter alias liturgicas actiones id ex antiqua traditione christiana proprium est, ut totus per earn cursus diei ac noctis consecretur.58

11. The purpose of the liturgy of the hours is to sanctify the day and the whole range of human activity. Therefore its structure has been revised in such a way as to make each hour once more correspond as nearly as possible to natural time and to take account of the circumstances of life today. (cf. SC art. 88)

11. Quoniam ergo sanctificatio diei totiusque operositatis humanae ad finem pertinet Liturgiae Horarum, eius cursus ita instauratus est, ut Horis veritas temporis, quantum fieri pos-set, redderetur, simulque ratio haberetur hodiernae vitae condicionum. 5 r

Hence, “that the day may be truly sanctified and the hours themselves recited with spiritual advantage, it is best that each of them be prayed at a time most closely corresponding to the true time of each canonical hour.” (cf. SC art. 94)

Quare « praestat sive ad diem revera sanctificandum, sive ad ipsas Horas cum fructu spirituali recitandas, ut in Horarum absolutione tempus servetur, quod proxime accedat ad tempus verum uniuscuiusque Horae canonicae ». 5`

Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharist

Ratio inter Liturgiam Horarum et Eucharistiam

12. To the different hours of the day the liturgy of the hours extends (cf. PO no. 5) the praise and thanksgiving, the memorial of the mysteries of salvation, the petitions and the foretaste of heavenly glory that are present in the eucharistic mystery, “the center and high point in the whole life of the Christian community.” (CD no. 30)

12. Liturgia Horarum dilatat 59 ad varias diei boras laudes et gratiarum actiones, necnon memoriam mysteriorum salutis, deprecationes ac caelestis praelibationem gloriae, quae praebentur in mysterio eucharistico, quod est « centrum et culmen totius vitae communitatis christianae ». 89

The liturgy of the hours is in turn an excellent preparation for the celebration of the eucharist itself, for it inspires and deepens in a fitting way the dispositions necessary for the fruitful celebration of the eucharist: faith, hope, love, devotion, and the spirit of self-denial.

Eucharistiae vero celebratio per Liturgiam Horarum et ipsa optime praeparatur, cum dispositio[27]nes ad fructuosam Eucharistiae celebrationem necessariae, ut sunt fides, spes, caritas, devotio seseque abnegandi studium, a ea congrue excitentur et alantur.

Priesthood of Christ in the Liturgy of the Hours

Christi sacerdotalis muneris exercitatio in Liturgia Horarum.

13. In the Holy Spirit Christ carries out through the Church “the task of redeeming humanity and giving perfect glory to God,” (SC art. 5) not only when the eucharist is celebrated and the sacraments administered but also in other ways and especially when the liturgy of the hours is celebrated. (cf. SC art. 83 and 98) There Christ himself is present - in the gathered community, in the proclamation of God’s word, “in the prayer and song of the Church.” (SC art. 7)

13. « Humanae redemptionis et perfectae Dei glorificationis opus » °1 Christus in Spiritu Sancto per Ecclesiam suam exercet non tantum cum Eucharistia celebratur et sacramenta administrantur, sed etiam, prae ceteris modis, cum Liturgia Hora-rum persolvitur. 62 In ea ipse praesens adest, dum coetus congregatur, dum verbum Dei profertur, « dum supplicat et psallit Ecclesia ». B3

Sanctification of God’s People

Sanctificatio hominis.

14. Our sanctification is accomplished (cf. SC art. 10) and worship is offered to God in the liturgy of the hours in such a way that an exchange or dialogue is set up between God and us, in which “God is speaking to his people ... and his people are responding to him by both song and prayer.” (SC art. 33)

14. Ita auteur sanctificatio hominis efficitur “1 et Dei cultus exercetur in Liturgia Horarum, ut in ea quasi commercium instituatur seu dialogus ille inter Deum et homines, quo « Deus ad populum suum loquitur, ... populus vero Deo respondet tum cantibus turn oration ». 85

Those taking part in the liturgy of the hours have access to holiness of the richest kind through the life-giving word of God, which in this liturgy receives great emphasis. Thus its readings are drawn from sacred Scripture, God’s words in the psalms are sung in his presence, and the intercessions, prayers, and hymns are inspired by Scripture and steeped in its spirit. (cf. SC art. 24)

Sanctificationem profecto uberrimam ex Liturgia Horarum assequi possunt participantes per salutare Dei verbum, quod in ea magnum momentum obtinet. Ex sacra enim Scriptura lectiones fiunt, Dei verba in psalmis tradita in conspectu eius canuntur, atque eius afflatu instinctuque aliae preces, orationes et carmina perfunduntur. “

Hence, not only when those things are read “that are written for our instruction” (Rom 15:4), but also when the Church prays or sings, faith is deepened for those who take part and their minds are lifted up to God, in order to offer him their worship as intelligent beings and to receive his grace more plentifully. (cf. SC art. 33)

[28] Non solum ergo quando leguntur ea quae « ad nostram doctrinam scripta sunt » (Rom. 15, 4), sed etiam dum Ecclesia orat vel canit, participantium fides alitur, mentes in Deum commoventur, ut rationabile obsequium ei praestent gratiamque eius abundantius recipiant.87

Praising God With the Church in Heaven

Laus Deo tributa, in unione cum Ecclesia caelesti.

15. In the liturgy of the hours the Church exercises the priestly office of its Head and offers to God “without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17) a sacrifice of praise, that is, a tribute of lips acknowledging his name. (cf. Heb 13:15) This prayer is “the voice of a bride addressing her bridegroom; it is the very prayer that Christ himself, together with his Body, addresses to the Father.” (SC art. 84) “All who render this service are not only fulfilling a duty of the Church, but also are sharing in the greatest honor of Christ’s Bride for by offering these praises to God they are standing before God’s throne in the name of the Church, their Mother.” (SC art. 85)

15. In Liturgia Horarum Ecclesia, sacerdotale Capitis sui mu-nus exercens, « sine intermissione » B8 Deo hostiam laudis offert, id est fructum labiorum confitentium nomini eius. 89 Haec oratio est « vox ipsius Sponsae, quae Sponsum alloquitur, immo etiam oratio Christi cum ipsius Corpore ad Patrem ». 70 « Omnes proinde qui haec praestant, tum Ecclesiae officium expient, turn summum Sponsae Christi honorera participant, quia laudes Deo persolventes stant ante thronum Dei nomine Matris Ecclesiae ». 71

16. When the Church offers praise to God in the liturgy of the hours, it unites itself with that hymn of praise sung throughout all ages in the halls of heaven; (cf. SC art. 83) it also receives a foretaste of the song of praise in heaven, described by John in the Book of Revelation, the song sung continually before the throne of God and of the Lamb. Our close union with the Church in heaven is given effective voice “when we all, from every tribe and tongue and people and nation redeemed by Christ’s blood (see Rv 5:9) and gathered together into the one Church, glorify the triune God with one hymn of praise.” (LG no. 50; SC art. 8 and 104)

16. Laudem in Horis Deo tribuens, Ecclesia illi concinendo lau-dis carmini consociatur, quod in supernis sedibus omne per aevum canitur; 72 praegustat simul caelestem illam a Ioanne in Apocalypsi descriptam, quae assidue ante sedem Dei et Agni resonat. Arcta enim coniunctio nostra cum Ecclesia caelesti ad effectum deducitur, cum « divinae maiestatis laudem socia exsultatione concelebramus, et universi, in sanguine Christi ex omni tribu et lingua et populo et natione redempti (cf. Ap. 5, 9) atque in [29] unam Ecclesiam congregati, uno cantico laudis Deum unum et trinum magnificamus ». 73

The prophets came almost to a vision of this liturgy of heaven as the victory of a day without night, of a light without darkness: “The sun will no more be your light by day, and the brightness of the moon will not shine upon you, but the Lord will be your everlasting light” (Is 60:19; see Rv 21:23 and 25). “There will be a single day, known to the Lord, not day and night, and at evening there will be light” (Zech 14:7). Already “the end of the ages has come upon us (see I Cor 10:11) and the renewal of the world has been irrevocably established and in a true sense is being anticipated in this world.” (LG no. 48) By faith we too are taught the meaning of our temporal life, so that we look forward with all creation to the revealing of God’s children. (cf. Rom 8:19) In the liturgy of the hours we proclaim this faith, we express and nourish this hope, we share in some degree the joy of everlasting praise and of that day that knows no setting.

Quam caelestem liturgiam Prophetae in victoria diei sine nocte, lucis sine tenebris fere praeviderunt: « Non erit tibi amplius sol ad lucendum per diem, nec splendor lunae illuminabit te, sed erit tibi Dominus in lucem sempiternam » (Is. 60, 19; cf. Ap. 21, 23.25). « Erit dies una, quae nota est Domino, non dies neque nox, et in tempore vesperi erit lux » (Zac. 14, 7). lam vero « fines saeculorum ad nos pervenerunt (cf. 1 Cor. 10,11) et renovatio mundi irrevocabiliter est constituta atque in hoc saeculo reali quodam modo anticipatur ». “ Nos ita per fidem de sensu etiam vitae nostrae temporalis edocemur, ut cum omnibus creaturis revelationem filiorum Dei exspectemus.75 In Liturgia vero Horarum hanc fidem proclamamus, hanc spem exprimimus et alimus, gaudium perpetuae laudis et diei, qui nescit occasum, quodammodo participamus.

Petition and Intercession

Deprecatio et intercessio.

17. But besides the praise of God, the Church in the liturgy of the hours expresses the prayers and desires of all the faithful; indeed, it prays to Christ, and through him to the Father, for the salvation of the whole world. (cf. SC art. 83) The Church’s voice is not just its own; it is also Christ’s voice, since its prayers are offered in Christ’s name, that is, “through our Lord Jesus Christ,” and so the Church continues to offer the prayer and petition that Christ poured out in the days of his earthly life (cf. Heb 5:7) and that have therefore a unique effectiveness. The ecclesial community thus exercises a truly maternal function in bringing souls to Christ, not only by charity, good example, and works of penance but also by prayer. (cf. PO no. 6)

17. At praeter Dei laudem, Ecclesia in Liturgia vota et desideria omnium Christifidelium refert, immo pro totius mundi salute Christum et, per eu1n, Patrem interpellat.78 Quae vox non est tantum Ecclesiae, sed etiam Christi, cum preces proferantur Christi nomine, hoc est « per Dolninum nostrum Iesum Christum », et sic Ecclesia eas preces supplicationesque facere pergat, quas Christus effudit in diebus carnis suae, quaeque idcirco singulari effica[30]citate poilent. Itaque non tantum caritate, exemplo et paenitentiae operibus, sed etiam oratione ecclesialis communitas verum erga animas ad Christum adducendas maternuln munus exercet.78

The concern with prayer involves those especially who have been called by a special mandate to carry out the liturgy of the hours: bishops and priests as they pray in virtue of their office for their own people and for the whole people of God; (cf. LG no. 41) other sacred ministers, and also religious. (cf. no. 24 of this Instruction)

Quae res praesertim ad omnes attinet, qui ad Liturgiam Hora-rum persolvendam speciali mandato vocati sunt: episcopi videlicet et presbyteri, pro plebe sua ac toto Dei populo ex officio precantes, 79 aliique ministri sacri necnon religiosi. 8°

Culmination and Source of Pastoral Activity

Culmen et fons actionis pastorales.

18. Those then who take part in the liturgy of the hours bring growth to God’s people in a hidden but fruitful apostolate, (cf. no. 24 of this Instruction) for the work of the apostolate is directed to this end, “that all who are made children of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of this Church, to take part in the sacrifice, and to eat the Lord’s Supper.” (SC art. 10)

18. Qui ergo in Liturgia Horarum partem habent, plebem dominicam arcana fecunditate apostolica dilatant; 81 labores enim apostolici ad id ordinantur, « ut omnes, per fidem et baptismurn filii Dei facti, in unum conveniant, in medio Ecclesiae Deum laudent, sacrificium participent et cenam dominicam manducent ». 82

Thus by their lives the faithful show forth and reveal to others “the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church. It is of the essence of the Church to be visible yet endowed with invisible resources, eager to act yet intent on contemplation, present in this world yet not at home in it.” (SC art. 2)

Sic fideles vivendo exprimunt et aliis manifestant « mysterium Christi et genuinam verae Ecclesiae naturam, cuius proprium est esse ... visibilem invisibilibus praeditam, actione ferventem et contemplationi vacantem, in mundo praesentem et tarnen peregrinam » . 92

In their turn the readings and prayers of the liturgy of the hours form a wellspring of the Christian life: the table of sacred Scripture and the writings of the saints nurture its life and prayers strengthen it. Only the Lord, without whom we can do nothing, (cf. Jn 15:5) can, in response to our request, give power and increase to what we do, (cf. SC art. 86) so that we may be built up each day in the Spirit into the temple of God, (cf. Eph 2:21-22) to the measure of Christ’s fullness, (cf. Eph 4:13) and receive greater strength also to bring the good news of Christ to those outside. (cf. SC art. 2)

Vicissim lectiones et preces Liturgiae Horarum fontem vitae christianae efficiunt. E mensa enim sacrae Scripturae et verbis Sanctorum vita illa nutritur, precibus vero roboratur. Nam Do-minus solus, sine quo nihil facere possumus, 8” a nobis rogatus, [31] operibus nostris efficacitatem et incrementum dare potest, 8.’i ita ut cotidie aedificemur in templum Dei in Spiritu, 86 usque ad mensuram aetatis plenitudinis Christi, 8r simulque vires nostras roboremus ad Christum evangelizandum iis, qui foris sunt.88

Harmony of Mind and Voice

Mens concordet voci.

19. Mind and voice must be in harmony in a celebration that is worthy, attentive, and devout, if this prayer is to be made their own by those taking part and to be a source of devotion, a means of gaining God’s manifold grace, a deepening of personal prayer, and an incentive to the work of the apostolate. (cf. SC art. 90. Rule of St. Benedict ch. 19) All should be intent on cooperating with God’s grace, so as not to receive it in vain. Seeking Christ, penetrating ever more deeply into his mystery through prayer (cf. PO no. 14; OT no. 8) they should offer praise and petition to God with the same mind and heart as the divine Redeemer when he prayed.

19. Ut autem oratio illa sit propria uniuscuiusque eorum, qui earn participant, itemque fons pietatis et multiplicis gratiae divinae, atque orationis personalis actionisque apostolicae nutrimentum, oportet ut in ea digne, attente ac devote persolvenda mens ipsa voci concordet.89 Supernae gratiae seduli omnes cooperentur, ne earn in vacuum recipiant. Christum quaerentes, eiusque mysterium oratione semper intimius penetrantes, 90 Deum laudent supplicationesque fundant eadem illa mente, qui divinus ipse Redemptor precabatur.







Celebration in Common

a) De celebratione in communi agenda.

20. The liturgy of the hours, like other liturgical services, is not a private matter but belongs to the whole Body of the Church, whose life it both expresses and affects. (cf. SC art. 26) This liturgy stands out most strikingly as an ecclesial celebration when, through the bishop surrounded by his priests and ministers, (cf. SC art. 41) the local Church celebrates it. For “in the local Church the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church is truly present and at work.” (CD no. 11) Such a celebration is therefore most earnestly recommended. When, in the absence of the bishop, a chapter of canons or other priests celebrate the liturgy of the hours, they should always respect the true time of day and, as far as possible, the people should take part. The same is to be said of collegiate chapters.

20. Liturgia Horarum, sicut ceterae actiones liturgicae, non est actio privata, sed ad universum corpus Ecclesiae pertinet, illudque manifestat et afficit.91 Eius vero ecclesialis celebratio tunc maxime elucet, ac proinde summopere suadetur, quando cum suo Episcopo, a presbyteris et ministris cir[32]cumdato, 92 illam peragit Ecclesia particularis, « in qua vere inest et operatur una sancta catholica et apostolica Christi Ecclesia ». 98 Quae celebratio, etiam cum, absente Episcopo, a capitulo canonicorum vel ab aliis presbyteris peragitur, semper fiat veritate temporis servata ac, quantum fieri potest, cum populi participatione. Quod dicendum est etiam de capitulis collegialibus.

21. Wherever possible, other groups of the faithful should celebrate the liturgy of the hours communally in church. This especially applies to parishes - the cells of the diocese, established under their pastors, taking the place of the bishop; they “represent in some degree the visible Church established throughout the world.” (cf. art. 42. cf. also AA no. 10)

21. Alii fidelium coetus, inter quos eminent paroeciae, velut dioecesis cellulae, localiter sub pastore vices Episcopi gerente ordinatae, quique « quodammodo repraesentant Ecclesiam visibilem per orbem terrarum constitutam », 94 Horas praecipuas, ubi fieri possit, in ecclesia communiter celebrent.

22. Hence, when the people are invited to the liturgy of the hours and come together in unity of heart and voice, they show forth the Church in its celebration of the mystery of Christ. (cf. SC art. 26 and 84)

22. Si ergo fideles ad Liturgiam Horarum convocantur et in unum conveniunt, corda et voces simul consociantes, manifestant Ecclesiam mysterium Christi celebrantem.95

23. Those in holy orders or with a special canonical mission (cf. AG no. 17) have the responsibility of initiating and directing the prayer of the community; “they should expend every effort so that those entrusted to their care may become of one mind in prayer.” (CD no. 15) They must therefore see to it that the people are invited, and prepared by suitable instruction, to celebrate the principal hours in common, especially on Sundays and holydays. (cf. SC art. 100) They should teach the people how to make this participation a source of genuine prayer; (cf. PO no. 5) they should therefore give the people suitable guidance in the Christian understanding of the psalms, in order to progress by degrees to a greater appreciation and more frequent use of the prayer of the Church. (cf. nos. 100-109 of this Instruction)

23. Munus autem eorum, qui sacro ordine insigniti vel peculiari missione canonica praediti sunt, 98 est indicere et dirigere orationem communitatis: « laborem impendant ut omnes quo-rum cura sibi est commissa, unanimes sint in oratione ».” Curent ergo ut fideles invitentur et debita catechesi formentur ad celebrandas in communi, diebus praesertim dominicis et festis, potiores Liturgiae Horarum partes.98 Eos edoceant sinceram orationem ex [33] eius participatione haurire, 89 ideoque per aptam institutionem illos dirigant ad psalmos sensu christiano intellegendos, ita ut gradatim ad ampliorem gustum et usum orationis Ecclesiae manuducantur.100

24. Communities of canons, monks, nuns, and other religious who celebrate the liturgy of the hours by rule or according to their constitutions, whether with the general rite or a particular rite, in whole or in part, represent in a special way the Church at prayer. They are a fuller sign of the Church as it continuously praises God with one voice and they fulfill the duty of “working,” above all by prayer, “to build up and increase the whole Mystical Body of Christ, and for the good of the local Churches.” (CD no. 33; cf, also PC nos. 6, 7, 15; AG no. 15) This is especially true of those living the contemplative life.

24. Communitates canonicorum, monachorum, monialium aliorumque religiosorum, quae vi Regulae vel Constitutionum, sive communi sive particulari ritu Liturgiam Horarum integre aut ex parte persolvunt, Ecclesiam orantem specialiter repraesentant: etenim exemplar Ecclesiae, quae sine intermissione concordi voce Dominum laudat, plenius exhibent et officium explent « adlaborandi », imprimis oratione, « ad aedificationem et incrementum totius mystici Corporis Christi et in bonum Ecclesiarum particularium ».101 Quod dicendum est praesertim de üs qui vitam contemplativam agunt.

25. Even when having no obligation to communal celebration, all sacred ministers and all clerics living in a community or meeting together should arrange to say at least some part of the liturgy of the hours in common, particularly morning prayer and evening prayer. (cf. SC art. 99)

25. Sacrorum administri et clerici omnes, qui non sunt aliunde celebratione communi astricti, conviventes vel in unum convenientes, curent ut aliquam saltem Liturgiae Horarum partetn in communi persolvant, pracsertim Laudes mane et Vesperas scro. 102

26. Men and women religious not bound to a common celebration, as well as members of any institute of perfection, are strongly urged to gather together, by themselves or with the people, to celebrate the liturgy of the hours or part of it.

26. Etiam religiosis utriusque sexus sodalibus, qui ad celebrationem in communi non obligantur, et cuiusvis Instituti perfectionis membris, cnixe suadetur ut in unum conveniant, seorsum vel cum populo, ad hanc Liturgiam vel eius partem celebrandam.

27. Lay groups gathering for prayer, apostolic work, or any other reason are encouraged to fulfill the Church’s duty, (cf. SC art. 100) by celebrating part of the liturgy of the hours. The laity must learn above all how in the liturgy they are adoring God the Father in spirit and in truth; (cf. Jn 4:23) they should bear in mind that through public worship and prayer they reach all humanity and can contribute significantly to the salvation of the whole world. (cf. GE no. 2; AA no. 16)

27. Laicorum coetus ubivis congregati invitantur ut Ecclesiae officium expleant,10 4 Liturgiae Horarum partem celebrantes, quacumque de causa, orationis, apostolatus, aliusve rationis sunt adunati. Oportet enim discant praeprimis in actione liturgica Deum Patrem in spiritu et veritate adorare,106 meminerintque se publico cultu et oratione omnes ho-mines attingere et ad totius mundi salutem non paulum con-ferre posse.

Finally, it is of great advantage for the family, the domestic sanctuary of the Church, not only to pray together to God but also to celebrate some parts of the liturgy of the hours as occasion offers, in order to enter more deeply into the life of the Church. (cf. AA no. 11)

Expedit denique ut familia, quasi domesticum sacrarium Ecclesiae, non tantum communes preces Deo fundat, sed etiam partes quasdam Liturgiae Horarum pro opportunitate persolvat, quo Ecclesiae arctius se inserat.106

Mandate to Celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours

b) De mandato Liturgiam Horarum celebrandi.

28. Sacred ministers have the liturgy of the hours entrusted to them in such a particular way that even when the faithful are not present they are to pray it themselves with the adaptations necessary under these circumstances. The Church commissions them to celebrate the liturgy of the hours so as to ensure at least in their persons the regular carrying out of the duty of the whole community and the unceasing continuance of Christ’s prayer in the Church. (cf. PO no. 13)

28. Sacrorum administris Liturgia Horarum tam peculiari modo concreditur, ut singulis, etiam cum populus abest, persolvenda sit, utique cum aptationibus exinde necessariis. b Eccle sia enim illos ad Liturgiam Horarum deputat, ut munus totius communitatis certe et constanter saltem per eos adimpleatur, et oratio Christi indesinenter perseveret in Ecclesia. 107

The bishop represents Christ in an eminent and conspicuous way and is the high priest of his flock; the life in Christ of his faithful people may be said in a sense to derive from him and depend on him. (cf. SC art. 41; LG no. 21) He should, then, be the first of all the members of his Church in offering prayer. His prayer in the recitation of the liturgy of the hours is always made in the name of the Church and on behalf of the Church entrusted to him. (cf. LG no. 26; CD no. 15)

Episcopus, utpote qui eminenti et aspectabili modo Christi personam gerat et sui gregis sacerdos magnus sit, a quo vita suorum fidelium in Christo quodammodo derivatur et pen det,10B primus in ora[35]tione inter Ecclesiae suae membra esse debet, eiusque oratio in Liturgiae Horarum recitatione semper Ecclesiae nomine ac pro Ecclesia sibi commissa peragitur. “9

United as they are with the bishop and the whole presbyterium, priests are themselves representative in a special way of Christ the Priest (cf. PO no. 13) and so share the same responsibility of praying to God for the people entrusted to them and indeed for the whole world. (cf. PO no. 5)

Presbyteri, cum episcopo cunctoque presbyterio coniuncti, et ipsi personam specialiter gerentes Christi sacerdotis,110 idem munus participant, Deum deprecantes pro toto populo sibi commisso, immo pro universo mundo. ‘ 11

All these ministers fulfill the ministry of the Good Shepherd who prays for his sheep that they may have life and so be brought into perfect unity. (cf. Jn 10:11, 17:20 and 23) In the liturgy of the hours that the Church sets before them they are not only to find a source of devotion and a strengthening of personal prayer, (cf. SC art. 90) but must also nourish and foster pastoral missionary activity as the fruit of their contemplation to gladden the whole Church of God. (cf. LG no. 41)

Hi omnes boni Pastoris ministerium adimplent, qui pro suis rogat, ut vitam habeant et ideo lint cosummati in unum.112 In Liturgia autem Horarum ab Ecclesia ipsis proposita non solum inveniant fontem pietatis et orationis personalis nutrimentum,113 sed etiam ex abundantia contemplationis actionem pastoralem ac missionalem alant foveantque in oblectamentum totius Ecclesiae Dei. ‘ 14

29. Hence bishops, priests, and other sacred ministers, who have received from the Church the mandate to celebrate the liturgy of the hours (see no. 17), should recite the full sequence of hours each day, observing as far as possible the true time of day.

29. Episcopi ergo et presbyteri, aliique ministri sacri, qui man-datum ab Ecclesia acceperunt (cf. n. 17) Liturgiam Horarum celebrandi, integrum eius cursum cotidie persolvant, Horarum veritate, quantum fieri potest, servata.

They should, first and foremost, attach due importance to those hours that are, so to speak, the two hinges of the liturgy of the hours, that is, morning prayer and evening prayer, which should not be omitted except for a serious reason.

Debitum in primis momentum tribuant Horis, quae huiusmodi Liturgiae sunt veluti cardo, id est Laudibus matutinis et Vesperis, caveantque ne has Horas omittant, nisi gravi de causa.

They should faithfully pray the office of readings, which is above all a liturgical celebration of the word of God. In this way they fulfill daily a duty that is peculiarly their own, that is, of receiving the word of God into their lives, so that they may become more perfect as disciples of the Lord and experience more deeply the unfathomable riches of Christ. (cf. DV no. 25; PO no. 13)

Officium quoque lectionis, quod est potissimum celebratio liturgica verbi Dei, fideliter peragant; ita munus, peculiari ratione sibi proprium, verbum Dei [36] in seipsos recipiendi, cotidie adimplent, quo perfectiores fiant Domini discipuli et profundius sapiant investigabiles divitias Christi.’“

In order to sanctify the whole day more completely, they will also treasure the recitation of daytime prayer and night prayer, to round off the whole Opus Dei and to commend themselves to God before retiring.

Quo melius totum diem sanctificent, cordi insuper ipsis erit recitatio Horae mediae et Completorii, quo ante cubitum integrum « Opus Dei » perficiant seseque De() commandent.

30. It is most fitting that permanent deacons recite daily at least some part of the liturgy of the hours, to be determined by the conference of bishops. (cf. Paul VI, Motu Proprio Sacram Diaconatus Ordinem, 18 June 1967, no. 27)

30. Maxime decet stabiles diaconos aliquam saltem Liturgiae Horarum partem, ab Episcopali Conferentia definiendam, cotidie recitare. “a

31. a. Cathedral and collegiate chapters should celebrate in choir those parts of the liturgy of the hours that are prescribed for them by the general law or by particular law.

31. a) Capitula cathedralia et collegialia illas partes Liturgiae Horarum in choro persolvere debent, quae iis iure communi vel particulari imponuntur.

In private recitation individual members of these chapters should include those hours that are recited in their chapter, in addition to the hours prescribed for all sacred ministers. (cf. SCR, Instr. InterOec no. 78b)

Singuli vero horum Capitulorum sodales, praeter Horas, quae omnibus sacrorum administris persolvendae surit, illas Horas soli recitare debent, quae in eorum Capitulo persolvuntur.117 c

b. Religious communities bound to the recitation of the liturgy of the hours and their individual members should celebrate the hours in keeping with their own particular law; but the prescription of no. 29 in regard to those in holy orders is to be respected.

b) Communitates religiosae Liturgia Horarum adstrictae, earumque singuli sodales, Horas celebrent ad normam iuris sui particularis, salvo praescripto n. 29 circa eos, qui Ordinem sacrum acceperunt.

Communities bound to choir should celebrate the whole sequence of the hours daily in choir; (cf. SC art. 95) when absent from choir their members should recite the hours in keeping with their own particular law; but the prescriptions in no. 29 are always to be respected.

Communitates vero choro adstrictae integrum cursum Hora-rum cotidie in choro persolvant; 118 extra chorum autem soda-les Horas recitent ad normam iuris sui particularis, salvis semper praescriptis sub n. 29.d

32. Other religious communities and their individual members are advised to celebrate some parts of the liturgy of the hours, in accordance with their own situation, for it is the prayer of the Church and makes the whole Church, scattered throughout the world, one in heart and mind. (cf. Acts 4:32) This recommendation applies also to laypersons. (cf. SC art. 100)

32. Ceterae religiosae Communitates, earumque singuli sodales, monentur ut, pro adiunctis, in quibus versantur, aliquas partes celebrent Liturgiae Horarum, quae est Ecclesiae oratio, omnes ubique dispersos efficiens cor unum et animam unam.119 Eadem hortatio etiam laicis adhibetur.120

Structure of the Celebration

c) De structura celebrationis.

33. The structure of the liturgy of the hours follows laws of its own and incorporates in its own way elements found in other Christian celebrations. Thus it is so constructed that, after a hymn, there is always psalmody, then a long or short reading of sacred Scripture, and finally prayer of petition.

33. Liturgia Horarum suis legibus ordinatur, peculiari modo componens ca elementa, quae in ceteris celebrationibus christianis inveniuntur, ct ita instruitur, ut semper habeatur, praemisso hymno, psalmodia, deinde longior vel brevis lectio sacrarum Scripturarum, denique precationes.

In a celebration in common and in private recitation the essential structure of this liturgy remains the same, that is, it is a conversation between God and his people. Celebration in common, however, expresses more clearly the ecclesial nature of the liturgy of the hours; it makes for active participation by all, in a way suited to each one’s condition, through the acclamations, dialogue, alternating psalmody, and similar elements. It also better provides for the different literary genres that make up the liturgy of the hours. (cf. SC art. 26, 28-30) Hence, whenever it is possible to have a celebration in common, with the people present and actively taking part, this kind of celebration is to be preferred to one that is individual and, as it were, private. (cf. SC art. 27) It is also advantageous to sing the office in choir and in community as opportunity Offers, in accordance with the nature and function of the individual parts.

Sive in ccicbrationc communi, sive in recitatione a solo facta, essentialis structura huius Liturgiae manet, colloquium nempe inter Deum et hominem. Celebratio taxmen communis clarius manifestat naturam ecclesialem Liturgiae Horarum, favet participationi activae omnium secundum uniuscuiusque condicionem per acclamationes, dialogum, alternam psalmodiam et alias res huiusmodi, et meliorem rationem habet variorum expressions generum.12’ Proinde quoties celebratio communis cum frequentia et actuosa participatione fidelium fieri potest, ea praeferenda est celebrationi singulari et quasi privatae.’22 Praestat insuper Of&cium iuxta suam cuiusque partis naturam singularumque partiuln munus in choro et in communi pro opportunitate cantare.

In this way the Apostle’s exhortation is obeyed: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you in all its fullness, as you teach and counsel each other in all wisdom by psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing thankfully to God in your hearts” (Col 3:16; see Eph 5:19-20).

Sic denique monitio adimpletur Apostoli: « Verbum Christi habitet in vobis abundanter, in omni sapientia docentes et cornmonentes vosmetipsos psalmis, hymnis et canticis spiritualibus, in gratia cantantes in cordibus vestris Deo » (Col. 3, 16; cf. Eph. 5, 19-20).


in the




Chapter 3.1.  Psalms and Their Connection With Christian Prayer




100. IN the liturgy of the hours the Church in large measure prays through the magnificent songs that the Old Testament authors composed under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The origin of these verses gives them great power to raise the mind to God, to inspire devotion, to evoke gratitude in times of favor, and to bring consolation and courage in times of trial.

[52] 100. In Liturgia Horarum Ecclesia magna ex parte orat illis praeclaris carminibus, quae, divino aillante Spiritu, sacri auctores composuerunt in Vetere Testamento. Ex origine enim sua talem habent virtutem, qua hominum mentes ad Deum attollant, pios et sanctos in eis excitent affectus, in rebus secundis mire eos adiuvent ad gratias agendas, in adversis consolationem aflerant animique firmitatem.

101. The psalms, however, are only a foreshadowing of the fullness of time that came to pass in Christ the Lord and that is the source of the power of the Church’s prayer. Hence, while the Christian people are all agreed on the supreme value to be placed on the psalms, they can sometimes experience difficulty in making this inspired poetry their own prayer.

101. Psalmi tarnen umbram tantum referunt illius plenitudinis temporum, quae apparuit in Christo Domino et ex qua vim suam accipit oratio Ecclesiae; quapropter fieri interdum potest ut, quamvis omnes christifideles in summa psalmorum aestimatione consentiant, quaedam tarnen its difficultas occurrat, dum conentur veneranda illa carmina orando facere sua.


David's Psalms
the Garden
of Eden

102. Yet the Holy Spirit, under whose inspiration the psalms were written, is always present by his grace to those believers who use them with good will. But more is necessary: the faithful must “improve their understanding of the Bible, especially of the psalms,” (SC art. 90) according to their individual capacity, so that they may understand how and by what method they can truly pray through the psalms.

102. Sed Spiritus Sanctus, quo aillante psalmistae cecinerunt, semper eis gratia sua adest, qui bona voluntate credentes illa carmina psallendo proferunt. Insuper vero necesse est, ut « biblicam, praecipue psalmorum, institutionem sibi uberiorem comparent »‘ pro suis quisque viribus, ideoque intellegant quomodo quaque methodo recte orare queant illos recitantes.

103. The psalms are not readings or prose prayers, but poems of praise. They can on occasion be recited as readings, but from their literary genre they are properly called Tehillim (“songs of praise”) in Hebrew and psalmoi (“songs to be sung to the lyre”) in Greek. In fact, all the psalms have a musical quality that determines their correct style of delivery. Thus even when a psalm is recited and not sung or is said silently in private, its musical character should govern its use. A psalm does present a text to the minds of the people, but its aim is to move the heart of those singing it or listening to it and also of those accompanying it “on the lyre and harp.”

[53] 103. Psalmi non sunt lectiones neque preces, oratione so-luta compositae, sed poemata laudativa. Etsi ergo aliquando more lectionis proferri potuerunt, tarnen e genere suo litterario recte in lingua hebraica vocantur « Tehillim », id est « cantica laudis » et in lingua graeca « psalmoi », id est « cantica ad sonum psalterii proferenda ». Vere enim omnibus psalmis inest indoles quaedam musica, qua determinatur modus conveniens proferendi. Quare etsi psalmus sine cantu recitatur, immo a solo et in silentio, regatur oportet indole sua musica: praebens quidem textum menti fidelium, magis tarnen tendit ad movenda corda psallentium et audientium, immo ludentium « psalterio et cithara ».

104. To sing the psalms with understanding, then, is to meditate on them verse by verse, with the heart always ready to respond in the way the Holy Spirit desires. The one who inspired the psalmist will also be present to those who in faith and love are ready to receive his grace. For this reason the singing of psalms, though it demands the reverence owed to God’s majesty, should be the expression of a joyful spirit and a loving heart, in keeping with their character as sacred poetry and divine song and above all with the freedom of the children of God.

104. Qui ergo psallit sapienter, meditando percurrit versum post versum, semper corde paratus ad respondendum, sicut Spiritus vult, qui inspiravit psalmistam idemque aderit pifs hominibus, ad gratiam suam accipiendam paratis. Quare psalmodia, licet reverentiam exigat quae Dei maiestatem decet, ex gaudio animi atque caritatis dulcedine procedere debet, sicut sacrae poesi divinoque cantui convenit, maxime autem libertati filiorum Dei.

105. Often the words of a psalm help us to pray with greater ease and fervor, whether in thanksgiving and joyful praise of God or in prayer for help in the throes of suffering. But difficulties may arise, especially when the psalm is not addressed directly to God. The psalmist is a poet and often addresses the people as he recalls Israel’s history; sometimes he addresses others, including subrational creatures. He even represents the words as being spoken by God himself and individual people, including, as in Ps 2, God’s enemies. This shows that a psalm is a different kind of prayer from a prayer or collect composed by the Church. Moreover, it is in keeping with the poetic and musical character of the psalms that they do not necessarily address God but are sung in God’s presence. Thus St. Benedict’s instruction: “Let us reflect on what it means to be in the sight of God and his angels, and let us so stand in his presence that our minds are in harmony with our voices.” (Rule of St. Benedict ch. 19)

105. Saepe quidem verbis psalmi facilius et ferventius orare possumus, sive gratias agentes et magnificantes Deum in exsultatione, sive deprecantes de profundis angustiarum. Attamen— maxime si psalmus non immediate alloquitur Deum — difficultas quaedam aliquando exoritur. Psalmista enim, quippe qui poeta sit, saepe loquitur ad populum, revocans scilicet historian Israel; aliquando alios interpellat, ne exceptis qui-dem its creaturis, quae rationis capaces non sunt. Immo Deum ipsum et homines inducit loquentes et etiam, sicut in psalmo secundo, inimicos Dei. Inde patet psalmum non eandem habere rationem orationis, quam precem seu collectam ab Ecclesia compositam. Praeterea cum poetica et mu[54]sica indole psalmorum convenit, ut non necessario alloquantur Deum, sed ut cantentur ante Deum, sicut monet sanctus Benedictus: « Consideremus qualiter oporteat in conspectu Divinitatis et angelorum eius esse, et sic stemus ad psallendum, ut mens nostra concordet voci nostrae ».

106. In praying the psalms we should open our hearts to the different attitudes they express, varying with the literary genre to which each belongs (psalms of grief, trust, gratitude, etc.) and to which biblical scholars rightly attach great importance.

106. Qui psallit, cor suum aperit iis affectibus, quos spirant psalmi, secundum peculiare litterarium genus, sive est genus lamentationis, fiduciae, gratiarum actionis, sive sunt alia genera, quae exegetae merito extollunt.

107. Staying close to the meaning of the words, the person who prays the psalms looks for the significance of the text for the human life of the believer.

107. Adhaerens sensui verborum, psallens attendit ad momentum textus pro humana credentium vita.

It is clear that each psalm was written in its own individual circumstances, which the titles given for each psalm in the Hebrew psalter are meant to indicate. But whatever its historical origin, each psalm has its own meaning, which we cannot overlook even in our own day. Though the psalms originated very many centuries ago among an Eastern people, they express accurately the pain and hope, the unhappiness and trust of people of every age and country, and sing above all of faith in God, of revelation, and of redemption.

Constat enim unumquemque psalmum in adiunctis peculiaribus compositum esse, quae tituli in psalterio hebraico praepositi adumbrare intendunt. Verum quidquid est de eius origine historica, quilibet psalmus habet sensum proprium, quern etiam nostris temporibus neglegere non possumus. Etsi illa carmina complura abhinc saecula apud Orientales exorta sunt, dolores et spem, miseriam et fiduciam hominum cuiusvis aetatis ac regionis apte exprimunt, fidemque praecipue in Deum, et revelationem atque redemptionem concinunt.

108. Those who pray the psalms in the liturgy of the hours do so not so much in their own name as in the name of the entire Body of Christ. This consideration does away with the problem of a possible discrepancy between personal feelings and the sentiments a psalm is expressing: for example, when a person feels sad and the psalm is one of joy or when a person feels happy and the psalm is one of mourning. Such a problem is readily solved in private prayer, which allows for the choice of a psalm suited to personal feelings. The divine office, however, is not private; the cycle of psalms is public, in the name of the Church, even for those who may be reciting an hour alone. Those who pray the psalms in the name of the Church nevertheless can always find a reason for joy or sadness, for the saying of the Apostle applies in this case also: “Rejoice with the joyful and weep with those who weep” (Rom 12:15). In this way human frailty, wounded by self-love, is healed in proportion to the love that makes the heart match the voice that prays the psalms. (cf. Rule of St. Benedict ch. 19)

108. Qui psallit in Liturgia Horarum, non tam in propria persona psallit quam nomine totius Corporis Christi, immo et in persona ipsius Christi. Haec si quis prae oculis habet, evanescunt difficultates, si forte animadvertat sensus sui cordis, dum psallit, discrepare ab iis affectibus quos psalmus exprimit, quando nempe, tristi et maerore affecto psalmus obvenit iubilationis, felici autem psalmus lamentationis. Quod quidem in oratione mere privata facile vitatur, in qua facultas est eligendi psalmum congruum affectui proprio. In Officio autem divino baud [55] privatim, sed nomine Ecclesiae publicus cursus psalmorum peragitur etiam ab eo, qui fortasse solus Horam persolvit. Qui autem Ecclesiae nomine psallit, semper causam laetitiae vel tristitiae invenire potest, quia etiam hac in re vim suam servat illud Apostoli: « gaudere cum gaudentibus et flere cum flentibus » (Rom. 12, 15), et ita humana fragilitas, amore sui sauciata, eo gradu caritatis sanatur, quo mens voci psallenti concordet.’


Moses sees
in the

109. Those who pray the psalms in the name of the Church should be aware of their full sense (sensus plenus), especially their Messianic sense, which was the reason for the Church’s introduction of the psalter into its prayer. This Messianic sense was fully revealed in the New Testament and indeed was affirmed publicly by Christ the Lord in person when he said to the apostles: “All that is written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled” (Lk 24:44). The best-known example of this Messianic sense is the dialogue in Matthew’s Gospel on the Messiah as Son of David and David’s Lord, (cf. Mt 22:44,ff.) where Ps 110 is interpreted as Messianic.

109. Qui nomine Ecclesiae psallit, debet ad plenum sensum psalmorum, praesertim ad sensum messianicum, attendere, propter quem Ecclesia Psalterium induxit. Sensus ille messianicus in Novo Testamento factus est plene manifestus, immo declaratus est ab ipso Christo Domino dicente Apostolis: « Quoniam necesse est impleri omnia, quae scripta sunt in lege Moysis et prophetis et psalmis de me » (Lc 24, 44). Cuius exemplum notissimum est ille dialogus aput Matthaeum de Messia, Filio David Dominoque eius, d in quo psalmus 109 intellegitur de Messia.

Following this line of thought, the Fathers of the Church saw the whole psalter as a prophecy of Christ and the Church and explained it in this sense; for the same reason the psalms have been chosen for use in the liturgy. Though somewhat contrived interpretations were at times proposed, in general the Fathers and the liturgy itself had the right to hear in the singing of the psalms the voice of Christ crying out to the Father or of the Father conversing with the Son; indeed, they also recognized in the psalms the voice of the Church, the apostles, and the martyrs. This method of interpretation also flourished in the Middle Ages; in many manuscripts of the period the Christological meaning of each psalm was set before those praying by means of the caption prefixed. A Christological meaning is by no means confined to the recognized Messianic psalms but is given also to many others. Some of these interpretations are doubtless Christological only in an accommodated sense, but they have the support of the Church’s tradition.

Hanc viam prosecuti, sancti Patres totum Psalterium acceperunt et enarraverunt tamquam prophetiam de Christo et de Ecclesia; eademque ratione in sacra Liturgia psalmi electi sunt. Etsi aliquando quaedam interpretationes contortulae proponebantur, tarnen generatim tam Patres quam Liturgia in psalmis legitime audierunt Christum clamantem ad Patrem, aut Patrem loquentem cum Filio, immo vocem agnoscebant Ecclesiae, Apostolorum vel martyrum. Haec methodus interpretationis etiam medio aevo floruit: in multis enim Psalterii codicibus ea aetate scriptis, titulo singulis psalmis praeposito sensus christologicus psallentibus proferebatur. Interpretatio christologica nequaquam refertur ad illos tantum psalmos, qui messianici existimantur, sed ad [56] multos etiam extenditur, in quibus sine dubio sunt merae accommodationes, traditione tarnen Ecclesiae commendatae.

On the great feasts especially, the choice of psalms is often based on their Christological meaning and antiphons taken from these psalms are frequently used to throw light on this meaning.

Maxime in psalmodia dierum festorum, psalmi ratione qua-dam christologica electi sunt, ad quam illustrandam plerumque antiphonae ex ipsis psalmis excerptae proponuntur.



Chapter 3.2. Antiphons and Other Aids to Praying the Psalms




110. In the Latin tradition of psalmody three elements have greatly contributed to an understanding of the psalms and their use as Christian prayer: the captions, the psalm-prayers, and in particular the antiphons.

110. Tria in traditione latina multum contulerunt ad psalmos intellegendos vel in precationem christianam vertendos, scilicet tituli, orationes super psalmos et praecipue antiphonae.

111. In the psalter of The Liturgy of the Hours a caption is given for each psalm to explain its meaning and its import for the personal life of the believer. These captions are intended only as an aid to prayer. A quotation from the New Testament or the Fathers of the Church is added to foster prayer in the light of Christ’s new revelation; it is an invitation to pray the psalms in their Christological meaning.

111. In Psalterio Liturgiae Horarum, unicuique psalmo praemittitur titulus de eius sensu et momento pro humana credentis vita. Hi tituli in libro Liturgiae Horarum tantum ad utilitatem psallentium proponuntur. Ut autem foveatur oratio in lumine revelationis novae, additur scntentia Novi Testa-menti vel Patrum, invitans ad orandum sensu christologico.

112. Psalm-prayers for each psalm are given in the supplement to The Liturgy of the Hours as an aid to understanding them in a predominantly Christian way. An ancient tradition provides a model for their use: after the psalm a period of silence is observed, then the prayer gives a resume and resolution of the thoughts and aspirations of those praying the psalms.

112. Orationes super psalmos, quae recitantes adiuvent in eorum interpretatione praecipue christiana, in Supplemento libri Liturgiae Horarum pro singulis psalmis proponuntur et possunt ad libitum adhiberi ad normam veteris traditionis, ita scilicet ut, absoluto psalmo et aliquo silentii spatio observato, oratio psallentium affectus colligat et concludat.

113. Even when the liturgy of the hours is recited, not sung, each psalm retains its own antiphon, which is also to be said in private recitation. The antiphons help to bring out the literary genre of the psalm; they highlight some theme that may otherwise not attract the attention it deserves; they suggest an individual tone in a psalm, varying with different contexts: indeed, as long as farfetched accommodated senses are avoided, antiphons are of great value in helping toward an understanding of the typological meaning or the meaning appropriate to the feast; they can also add pleasure and variety to the recitation of the psalms.

113. Etsi Liturgia Horarum sine cantu persolvitur, suam quisque psalmus habet antiphonam, etiam a solo diceudam. Antiphonae enim adiuvant ad illustrandum psalmi genus litterarium; psalmum in orationem personalem vertunt; in luce meliore ponunt sententiam attentione dignam, quae potest, effugere; colorem quendam peculiarem alicui psalmo diversis in [57] adiunctis tribuunt; immo, dummodo excludantur insolentes accommodationes, multum iuvant ad interpretationem typologicam vel festivam; iucundam et variam reddere possunt recitationem psalmorum.

114. The antiphons in the psalter have been designed to lend themselves to vernacular translation and to repetition after each strophe, in accordance with no. 125. When the office of Ordinary Time is recited, not sung, the quotations printed with the psalms may be used in place of these antiphons (see no. 111).

114. Antiphonae in Psalterio ita instructae sunt, ut possint in 2f linguas vernaculas converti, immo post unamquamque stropham repeti, iuxta ea quae dicuntur n. 125. In Officio vero per annum sine cantu, loco harum antiphonarum, adhiberi possunt pro opportunitate sententiae psalmis adiunctae (cf. n. 111).

115. When a psalm may be divided because of its length into several sections within one and the same hour, an antiphon is given for each section. This is to provide variety, especially when the hour is sung, and also to help toward a better understanding of the riches of the psalm. Still, it is permissible to say or sing the complete psalm without interruption, using only the first antiphon.

115. Quando psalmus pro sua longitudine in plures partes dividi potest intra unam eandemque Horam, singulis partibus apponitur propria antiphona ad varietatem inducendam, praesertim in celebratione cum cantu, necnon ad psalmi divitias melius percipiendas; licet tamen psalmum integrum sine interruptione persolvere, adhibita prima tantum antiphona.

116. Proper antiphons are given for each of the psalms of morning prayer and evening prayer during the Easter triduum, on the days within the octaves of Easter and Christmas, on the Sundays of the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, on the weekdays of Holy Week and the Easter season, and from the 17th to the 24th of December.

116. Antiphonae propriae habentur pro singulis psalmis ad 2 Laudes et Vesperas in triduo paschali, diebus infra octavas Paschae et Nativitatis, necnon in dominicis temporis Adventus, Nativitatis, Quadragesimae et Paschae, item in feriis Hebdomadae sanctae, temporis paschalis et diebus a 17 ad 24 de cembris.

117. On solemnities proper antiphons are given for the office of readings, morning prayer, the daytime hours, and evening prayer; if not, the antiphons are taken from the common. On feasts the same applies to the office of readings and to morning prayer and evening prayer.

117. In sollemnitatibus, ad Officium lectionis, Laudes matu- 2 tinas, Tertiam, Sextam, Nonam et Vesperas, antiphonae propriae proponuntur; secus sumuntur e Communi. In festis idem servatur ad Officium lectionis, Laudes matutinas et Vesperas.

118. Any memorials of the saints that have proper antiphons retain them (see no. 235).

118. Si quae memoriae Sanctorum antiphonas proprias habent, eas retinent (cf. n. 235).

119. The antiphons for the Canticles of Zechariah and of Mary are taken, during Ordinary Time, from the Proper of Seasons, if they are given there; if not, they are taken from the current week and day of the psalter. On solemnities and feasts they are taken from the proper if they are given there; if not, they are taken from the common. On memorials without proper antiphons the antiphon may be taken at will either from the common or from the current week.

119. Antiphonae ad Benedictus et Magnificat, in Officio de : Tempore, sumuntur e Proprio de Tempore, si adsint, secus e Psalterio currente; in sollemnitati[58]bus et festis, sumuntur e Proprio, si adsint, secus e Communi; in memoriis vero quae antiphonam propriam non habent, ad libitum dicitur antiphona vel de Communi vel de feria currente.

120. During the Easter season Alleluia is added to all antiphons, unless it would clash with the meaning of a particular antiphon.

120. Tempore paschali, omnibus antiphonis additur Alleluia, nisi forte a sensu antiphonae discrepet.



Chapter 3.3. Ways of Singing the Psalms




121. Different psalms may be sung in different ways for a fuller grasp of their spiritual meaning and beauty. The choice of ways is dictated by the literary genre or length of each psalm, by the language used, whether Latin or the vernacular, and especially by the kind of celebration, whether individual, with a group, or with a congregation. The reason for using psalms is not the establishment of a fixed amount of prayer but their own variety and the character proper to each.

121. Prout cuiusque psalmi genus litterarium vel longitude postulat, utque ipse psalmus lingua vel latina vel vernacula dicitur, atque praecipue prout a solo vel a pluribus, vel cum populo congregato fit celebratio, alius alios psalmos recitandi modus proponi potest, quo facilius ii qui psallunt percipiant illam quasi fragrantiam spiritualem et venustatem psalmorum. Psalmi enim non adhibentur ut quantitas quaedam orationis, sed varietati consultum est et indoli propriae uniuscuiusque carminis.

122. The psalms are sung or said in one of three ways, according to the different usages established in tradition or experience: directly (in diredum), that is, all sing the entire psalm, or antiphonally, that is, two choirs or sections of the congregation sing alternate verses or strophes, or responsorially.

122. Psalmi canuntur vel dicuntur aut uno tractu (seu « in di-rectum u), aut alternis versibus vel strophis a duobus choris vel coetus partibus, aut modo responsoriali, secundum diversos traditione vel experientia probatos usus.

123. At the beginning of each psalm its own antiphon is always to be recited, as noted in nos. 113-120. At the end of the psalm the practice of concluding with the Glory to the Father and As it was in the beginning is retained. This is the fitting conclusion endorsed by tradition and it gives to Old Testament prayer a note of praise and a Christological and Trinitarian sense. The antiphon may be repeated at the end of the psalm.

123. Sua semper psalmi cuiusque initio proferatur antiphona, ut supra dictum est nn. 113-120; in fine vero totius psalmi, servatur usus concludendi cum Gloria Patri et Sicut erat. Gloria enim ea est apta conclusio, quae traditione commendatur, quaeque tribuit orationi Veteris Testamenti sensum laudativum, christologicum et trinitarium. Post psalmum vero, pro opportunitate, repetitur antiphona.

124. When longer psalms occur, sections are marked in the psalter that divide the parts in such a way as to keep the threefold structure of the hour; but great care has been taken not to distort the meaning of the psalm.

124. Quando adhibentur psalmi longiores, tales partitiones psalmorum signantur in Psalterio, quae membra psalmodiae ita dividant, ut ternariam Horae [59] structuram adumbrent, respectu tarnen stricte habito sinceri eiusdem psalmi sensus.

It is useful to observe this division, especially in a choral celebration in Latin; the Glory to the Father is added at the end of each section.

Quam divisionem convenit observare, praecipue in celebratione chorali lingua latina persolvenda, addito Gloria Patri in fine uniuscuiusque partis.

It is permissible, however, either to keep this traditional way or to pause between the different sections of the same psalm or to recite the whole psalm and its antiphon as a single unit without a break.

Licet tarnen vel hunc modum traditum retinere, vel moram inter partes diversas eiusdem psalmi interponere, vel psalmum integrum uno tractu proferre cum sua antiphona.

125. In addition, when the literary genre of a psalm suggests it, the divisions into strophes are marked in order that, especially when the psalm is sung in the vernacular, the antiphons may be repeated after each strophe; in this case the Glory to the Father need be said only at the end of the psalm.

125. Practerea, quando genus litterarium psalmi id suadebit, divisiones strophicae ideo indicabuntur, ut, praesertim si psalmi lingua vernacula canantur, possint persolvi interiecta antiphona post anamquamque stropham, et tunc sufficiet Gloria Patri post finem totius psalmi adicere.


 Chapter 3.12 Sacred Silence


Chapter 3.12 Sacred Silence




201. It is a general principle that care should be taken in liturgical services to see that “at the proper times all observe a reverent silence.” (SC art. 30) An opportunity for silence should therefore be provided in the celebration of the liturgy of the hours.

201. Cum generatim in actionibus liturgicis curandum sit, ut re sacrum quoque silentium suo tempore servetur 1e in ipsa persolvenda Liturgia Horarum opportunitas silentii praebeatur.

202. In order to receive in our hearts the full sound of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and the public voice of the Church, it is permissible, as occasion offers and prudence suggests, to have an interval of silence. It may come either after the repetition of the antiphon at the end of the psalm, in the traditional way, especially if the psalm-prayer is to be said after the pause (see no. 112), or after the short or longer readings, either before or after the responsory.

202. Pro opportunitate ergo et prudentia, ad plenam vocis Spiritus Sancti in cordibus resonantiam assequendam, et ad orationem personalem arctius cum verbo Dei ac publica Ecclesiae voce coniungendam, spatium silentii interponi licet aut post singulos psalmos, repetita sua antiphona, secundum morem maiorum, et praecipue si, post silentium, additur oratio psalmica (cf. n. 112); aut post lectiones, sive breves, sive longiores, et quidem sive ante sive post responsorium.

Care must be taken to avoid the kind of silence that would disturb the structure of the office or annoy and weary those taking part.

Cavendum est tarnen, ne tale silentium introducatur, quod structuram Officii deformet, aut molestiam seu taedium participantibus afferat.

203. In individual recitation there is even greater freedom to pause in meditation on some text that moves the spirit; the office does not on this account lose its public character.

203. ln recitatione vero a solo, amplior facultas est moram faciendi in meditatione alicuius formulae, quae spiritualem affecturn promoveat, neque hac de causa Officium suam publicam amittit indolem.

xcxxcxxc  F ” “ This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 1990....x....   “”.