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Praying With Your Bible

The Divine Office, also known as the Liturgy of the Hours, is one of the most ancient forms of communal prayer in the Church. It weaves together traditional prayers, hymns, litanies, and passages from Scripture, especially the Psalms, to praise and talk with God at appointed hours of the day. It was once called the Breviary because it is just that, an abbreviated collection of prayers, which, in today’s version, gathers Psalm readings into a four-week cycle, and is expanded into readings for every liturgical season, festival, and feast.

At least for individuals, however, the same format and ideals of the Divine Office can be followed using one’s own Bible. This modified method does not involve jumping around the Bible to duplicate the seasonal, liturgical, or holy day selections, but rather follows the order of the Canon as established centuries ago by the bishops of the Church. This method is in no manner a critique of the Lectionary or the Liturgy of the Hours. Rather, it is a means of encouraging Christians to spend more personal time in reading, praying, and memorizing the Word of God from their own Bibles.

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