Liturgy of the Hours (a.k.a "The Divine Office")

Jesus made prayer a daily habit.  We know he prayed at certain times of the day, such as in the morning (Mark 1:35). and in the evening (Matt 14:23, Mark 6:46).  The concept of the set of prayer books known as the Liturgy of the Hours (LOTH) shown below (also called the "Divine Office" and sometimes referred to as "praying from the breviary") flows out of the Jewish and Christian tradition of praying at certain times of the day as a means of sanctifying the hours of the day with prayer.  

There are several parts (referred to as "hours") in the LOTH prayer books  that have psalms and other Scriptures and prayers to be prayed at the various times of the day, including Morning Prayer (also called Lauds), Evening Prayer (also called Vespers), Nigh Prayer (also called Compline).  The hours may be prayed on one's own, or in a group (hence, the books are helpful, because then everyone can pray the same thing in unison).

In the Catholic Church, clergy and religious are required to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.  Laity are highly encouraged (but not required) to pray it.  The LOTH is available in a 4 volume set (example below), or via apps for the phone.  There is also a 1 book format called "Christian Prayer" which is a shortened version of the LOTH with less hours, and contains Morning and Evening prayer.

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), "The Hours are a meditative dialogue on the mystery of Christ, using scripture and prayer...In the Hours, the royal priesthood of the baptized is exercised..."

Helpful Links to Learn About or Pray the Liturgy of the Hours

Free Apps for Android and Apple:



The Te Deum Prayer / Hymn

The historical prayer hymn "Te Deum Laudamus" (God We Praise You), dating back to the late 300's A.D., and authorship is attributed to a handful of writers dating from the same time period including St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, or St. Hilary of Poitiers.  It has been widely used in Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox circles.  It is often simply referred to as "the Te Deum".

In the Liturgy of the Hours revision promulgated by Pope Paul VI (the current version in use in the Catholic church), the "Te Deum" is sung at the end of the Office of Readings on all Sundays except those in Lent, on all Solemnities and Feasts, and during the octaves of Easter and Christmas.  Here is the prayer:

You are God: we praise you; You are the Lord; we acclaim you;  
You are the eternal Father:  All creation worships you.  

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:  Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.  

The glorious company of apostles praise you. 
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. 
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.  

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you;  
Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.  

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father.  
When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin's womb.  

You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.  
You are seated at God's right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge.  

Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood,  
and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.