The Breviary, which is the Liturgy of the Hours, is a prayer book in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

The four-volume set follows the Liturgical Calendar of the Church. Volume I Advent to Christmas, Volume II Lent and Easter, Volume III Ordinary Time, Volume IV Ordinary Time.

The Breviary is a collection of prayers, hymns, psalms, readings from the Bible, and readings from the Fathers and Saints of the Church.

Note: All volumes have the main table of contents at the front. On the back are: Annex I – Songs and Gospel Readings for Vigils; Appendix II – Shorter forms of the intercessions to be used in the evening prayer; Appendix III – Additional Prayers for Use in the Liturgy of the Hours; Appendix IV – Poetry; Appendix V – Holidays for use in the Diocese of the United States or other particular countries. These Appendices are followed by Indexes to Psalms, Songs, Scripture Readings, Hymns, and the Alphabetical Index of Celebrations.

Volume I begins by giving The Decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship, The Promulgation of the Apostolic Constitution, Table of Liturgical Days, Principal Celebrations of the Liturgical Year, and the General Roman Calendar.

Now specific to the recitation of the daily Liturgy –

Volume I – The Catholic liturgical cycle begins with the time of Advent/Christmas.

All the prayers, readings, homilies and reflections are centered on the ancient hope, always fresh and constant: the coming of the Lord.

The soul focuses its daily prayer and meditation on this glorious and joyful expectation and on its fulfillment.

The Christmas season continues the celebrations with a deep and permanent thanksgiving until the feast of Mary, Mother of the Holy Child our Lord on the first of January and then until the Epiphany on the twelfth day of Christmas. The Baptism of Jesus on January 6 closes this cycle and the first Volume.

Volume III it is used from January 7 to the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, approximately ten weeks in Ordinary Time. (In simpler terms, the variations are determined by the date of Ash Wednesday, which, in turn, is determined by the date of Easter, a mobile Sunday in the calendar. For interest: Easter is calculated to be the first Sunday , after the first full moon, after the first day of spring in the Gregorian calendar.

To continue: The Psalms, Readings from both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, from the lives of the Saints or from their writings, hymns, and prayers continue sharply. The emphasis is on faithful daily obedience to the demands of the First Commandment: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind…’. Regular prayers of praise, adoration, thanksgiving, petition and contrition are our response to this Commandment, the cornerstone of the Christian life.

Volume II – continues with Easter Time. This begins on Holy Saturday at the Resurrection Vigil Mass and ends fifty days later on the Feast of Pentecost. The songs of the Liturgy, the psalms, the readings, all recount the wonders of God’s Love for His people – “The people settled in darkness saw a great light, and over those settled in the region of the shadow of death, Light has dawned” . Matthew 4:16

Volume III – Returning to the liturgical cycle Ordinary Time resumes from week ten to week seventeen in the same rhythm, always old, always new.

Please note that these seasonal cycles vary slightly. The last week of Ordinary Time before Lent and the last week of Ordinary Time before Advent are not constant.

Check online or with a priest to find the right day if you want to join the Church in the Breviary prayer life. The practice of the Liturgy of the Hours is a voluntary commitment. It is prudent to undertake this with the guidance of a priest, religious or lay person familiar with the practice.

Volume IV – contains the Liturgy from the eighteenth week to the thirty-fourth week and completes the cycle of the liturgical year with the celebration of the feast of Christ the King the last Sunday in ordinary time.

On the first Sunday of Advent the cycle begins again with Advent – Christmas in Volume I.

The simple prayer pattern is constant. Variations are found in selected content only according to seasons and holidays.

Tea hours means the time spent praying the specific section of the liturgy for the day; It is not usually a sixty minute hour.

The daily seven-hour prayers are usually said by cloistered religious, monks and nuns. All Persons with the necessary time can certainly pray to them. The five liturgical hours are usually prayed by the active clergy and the laity. Ordained ministers: bishops, priests, and deacons must pray the daily Office. Religious Orders follow their formats, generally in the Roman Rite. The laity pray the Liturgy of the Hours however they can.

For those who would like to adopt this Prayer of the Universal Church but do not have enough time, the christian prayer book He gives the morning and evening prayer called cardinal prayers or hinge of the Breviary.

Each Hour always begins with “God Come to My Help, Lord Hurry to Help me…” followed by the Glory Be, a hymn, the recited or sung antiphons, the psalms with responses, the Glory Be and the Psalm Prayer. Continuing in this way, the three psalm recitations are prayed with their antiphons and the psalm prayer (if present) ending with the last Glory Be at the end of the third psalm. The Bible readings followed by the Responsory prayer, the Antiphon, the Canticle of Zechariah in the morning, the Antiphon with the Canticle of Mary in the evening continue, then the Intercessions follow: the Universal Church prays for all peoples, then the Our Father, the closing. prayer and a short prayer of praise or request. “Let us praise the Lord and give thanks. Amen” or “May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and lead us to Eternal Life. Amen”.

The invariable daily cycle:

Office of Readings (30 minutes), Morning Prayer: before noon (15-20 minutes), Daytime Prayer: noon or early afternoon (10 minutes), Afternoon Prayer: after 4:00 pm (15-20 minutes) and Evening Prayer upon retiring (5-10 minutes). The Daytime Prayer is recited three times by those who pray the seven Liturgical Hours: one at mid-morning, another at noon and another at mid-afternoon. The Office of Readings can be prayed at any time of the day.

If some or all of the Hours are sung, the time spent with God in prayer is beautiful and longer.

The Liturgy of the Hours prayed by the Universal Church in all parts of the world unites the faithful in an ever new and endless work of piety. This form of prayer is not necessarily felt or understood personally until many days have been spent in faithful commitment. The realization of unity in prayer and purpose grows and deepens with devotional practice.

‘May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and lead us to eternal life’ – so pray the final blessings of the Morning and Evening Hours.

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