The Liturgy of the Hours of Prayer Essay

The Liturgy of the Hours of Prayer Essay

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Growing up, prayer was not something that was embedded unto my brothers or me by my parents. Neither was Mass for that matter. Yet, even though prayer life was not encouraged, my soul still longed for a connection with something, someone, a supreme being or an entity. As I grew in Christ, my prayer life started to blossom. I have had my share of downfalls along the way but prayer has always been present even if it is only a shadow lurking in the background. Now that I am a seminarian my prayer life has changed a bit for the better. I am praying what I have never prayed before and doing it three times a day. It is the prayer of the Divine Office or Liturgy of the Hours.
The Liturgy of the hours is the prayer of the Church. It is composed of Psalms, Biblical and non-biblical readings, intercessions, and prayers. All these things unite God’s people and strengthen the Church. We can see in the Acts of the Apostles how our fathers in the faith would pray at different hours of the day. “The next day, while they were on their way and nearing the city, Peter went up to the roof terrace to pray, about the sixth hour” (Holy Bible Acts 10:9). “Now Peter and John were going up to the temple area at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour” (Holy Bible Acts 3:1). “About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (Holy Bible Acts 16:25). The meaning of these different hours of prayer makes reference to the Jewish calendar. Today we count days from midnight to midnight but the Jews do not. In Jewish tradition, the day was from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hence, the third hour refers to 9 in the morning- three hours after 6 a.m., the sixth hour refers to noon- six hours after 6 a.m., and the ninth hour refers to 3 in the afternoon- nine hour...


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...te today in the liturgy along with the entire Church. This prayer paints the face of Christ, gathers all the Church’s prayers and presents them to the Father. The Liturgy also is in intertwined with the Holy Mass. The readings, psalms or teachings of each Mass are similar to that of the Divine Office for each day. The Liturgy of the Hours celebrates along with the Church and each Mass every feast, memorial, solemnity, and season of the Catholic Church.
The prayer of the Divine Office has helped me to grow spiritually and to love the Church even more. My hope is to not let a day pass without saying my Office, as a Seminarian and God willing, as a Priest. This prayer reunites all of God’s people in a single voice asking the Father to makes us one so that the world may believe again.


Works Cited
The New American Bible. Iowa Falls: World Bible Publishers, Inc. 1987.

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