The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Liturgical Spirituality for Our Time

Tom's Digest

What is the Divine Office?

The Divine Office, also known as the Liturgy of the Hours (or “breviary” from the book containing the contents of the offices) forms, together with the Holy Eucharist, thefull spectrum of the official liturgical prayer of the Churchas Church—as the Body of Christ.

The Office as the collective, public prayer of the people of God developed very early on and, as its focus on the Psalms shows, has roots in ancient Judaism before the advent of Christianity. It has taken countless forms over the many centuries, in both East and West. Nonetheless, these forms have always shared some key common features:

  • Goal: To sanctify each period of the day with divine praises based on the Word of God.
  • Content: Based primarily on the Psalms of David and select Canticles from the Old and New Testaments, and enriched over the centuries with the…

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