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Liturgy of the Hours 
 
Liturgy of the Hours, Divine Office and Breviary are all names that refer to the official prayer of the Church prayed at different times of the day in order to “sanctify” it. Priests and religious are obliged canonically, as official representatives of the Church, to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. The Liturgy of the Hours traces its beginnings back to Jewish worship and the Old Covenant, where morning and evening sacrifices were offered by the Aaronic priests (Ex. 29:38-29). At the time of the Babylonian Exile, the Temple did not exist. However, synagogue services developed Torah readings, psalms and hymns, as a “sacrifice of praise”, substituting them for the original bloody sacrifices. In the Old Testament we read David’s words “Seven times a day I praise you", (Ps. 119:164).
 
After the Exile, the Jewish people returned to Judea, and they rebuilt the Temple. To the custom of Morning and Evening prayers, they added  prayers at the Third, Sixth and Ninth Hours of the day. Christians continued the custom of prayers at these Hours, as noted in the Acts of the Apostles, (Third: Acts 2:15; Sixth: Acts 10:9; 10: 3, 13).
 
The Monastic and Eremitical (hermit) life in the early Church regarded Psalms as the perfect form of prayer, although specific customs and practices  differed among the individual monasteries. Praying the entire Psalter (150 Psalms) each day eventually evolved into a weekly cycle built around certain hours of the day. The Second Vatican Council replaced the traditional one-week Psalter cycle with a four-week cycle. The basic structure of combining Psalms, prayers, canticles and readings, has been relatively constant since the 11th century, and is the basis for our current ‘Liturgy of the Hours’.
 
 
Liturgy of the Hours -- Classic                                Liturgy of the Hours -- Our Monastery
Hour of the Day 
 Latin Name  
  English Name     
Hour of the Day  
 Name
 During the Night  Matins  Reading    6:00 a.m.  Office of Readings, then Morning Prayer
 Sunrise  Lauds  Morning Prayer    (Suppressed)  
 First Hour of the Day  Prime  (Surppressed)      
 Third Hour of the Day  Terce  Midmorning Prayer    8:00 a.m.  Midmorning Prayer
 Sixth Hour of the Day   Sext  Midday Prayer    12 noon  Combined Midday and Midafternoon Prayer  
 Ninth Hour of the Day  None  Midafternoon Prayer       
 Evening Approaches  Vespers  Evening Prayer    5:00 p.m.  Evening Prayer
 Nightfall  Compline  Night Prayer    6:00 p.m.  Night Prayer