GILH 10-11: The Consecration of Time

Section III of Chapter I begins to look at the Liturgy of the Hours, beginning with the concept of the “Consecration of Time”

10. Christ taught us: “You must pray at all times and not lose heart” (Lk 18:1). The Church has been faithful in obeying this instruction; it never ceases to offer prayer and makes this exhortation its own: “Through him (Jesus) let us offer to God an unceasing sacrifice of praise” (Heb 15:15). The Church fulfills this precept not only by celebrating the eucharist but in other ways also, especially through the liturgy of the hours. By ancient Christian tradition what distinguishes the liturgy of the hours from other liturgical services is that it consecrates to God the whole cycle of the day and the night. [See SC 83-84.]

11. The purpose of the liturgy of the hours is to sanctify the day and the whole range of human activity. Therefore its structure has been revised in such a way as to make each hour once more correspond as nearly as possible to natural time and to take account of the circumstances of life today. [See SC 88.]

Hence, “that the day may be truly sanctified and the hours themselves recited with spiritual advantage, it is best that each of them be prayed at a time most closely corresponding to the true time of each canonical hour.” [See SC 94.]

I hear that the pre-conciliar emphasis on requirement rather than authentic prayer (necessarily) somewhat sundered the connection between the liturgies and their proper hours. The quotes from Sacrosanctum Concilium derive from that document’s significant section (83-101) on the Liturgy of the Hours. I’ve often used the synonym, “Divine Office,” but I wonder if that term isn’t part of the pre-conciliar problem, focusing not on time, but on the notion of requirement from the term “Office.”

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to GILH 10-11: The Consecration of Time

  1. ppojawa says:

    As I understand it, the LOTH never ceased to be Divine Office: the Sacerd Duty of the Church.

  2. Rob F. says:

    It still says “Divine Office” on the title page, although in smaller type.

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