The Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office, or the Opus Dei, the Work of God, is a prayer of the Church to which we are all joined by the grace of the Sacrament of Baptism. Composed of Psalms, canticles, antiphons and prayers, the Liturgy of the Hours finds its historical roots in the ancient prayer of the synagogue. This was continued by early Christians through the monastic tradition. Clergy and religious have a canonical obligation to pray the Liturgy of the Hours (the Breviary) as official representatives of the Church. Following Vatican II, the laity were encouraged to pray the Liturgy of the Hours in community and/or individually.
7:30 AM Monday-Thursday, 8:00 AM Friday and Saturday
Each part of the Liturgy of the Hours follows an established procedure that is easy to learn and a guide is provided in the St. Joseph vestibule to assist you. Morning Prayer begins with the Invitatory Psalm, usually Psalm 95, and its accompanying antiphon, a short opening invitation to worship, praise, and thank our Lord and God. The antiphon is then repeated at the end of the Psalm. An opening hymn, chosen by the day's leader, lifts our hearts to God as we were called to do in Psalm 95: "Come, let us sing to the Lord and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us. Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving and sing joyful songs to the Lord."
Following the hymn, we begin the recitation of the psalter which includes two psalms and a canticle with accompanying antiphons. The verses alternate from one side of the church to the other, depending on who is leading on a given day. Each psalm ends with the "Glory Be...", or Doxology, before repeating the antiphon.
Upon completion of the psalter, an appointed reader will stand and read a short passage from scripture and lead the Responsory prayer. At Our Lady Star of the Sea, those gathered chant the antiphon and the Canticle of Zechariah, taken from Luke 1:68 to 79.
The leader then begins the Intercessions which are prayers of supplication to the Lord for particular intentions. At the end, those gathered may add their own particular intercessory prayers.
Morning Prayer concludes with the Lord's Prayer and another short prayer imploring God's help and grace for this day.
Evening Prayer, or Vespers, follows the same procedure as Morning Prayer, except the Invitatory Psalm is omitted, and the Canticle of Mary (Luke 1:46-55) is recited in place of the chanted Canticle of Zechariah. Evening Prayer at Our Lady Star of the Sea usually precedes Benediction on First Fridays.
Want to Learn More?
For more information, please email Dave B. or the Parish Office: 360-479-3777. Come join us! There is always someone who will assist you, and there are books available to borrow as you learn.