One of the significant moves in liturgy at the Second Vatican Council was to encourage the whole Church to reclaim as the prayer of all people, what is variously called The Prayer of the Church or the Liturgy of the Hours. More and more, parishes are facing the question of how to pray together daily when it is not possible to celebrate mass. The Diocesan Liturgy Council will soon publish a 'Practice Note' on this issue.
The ideal liturgy for weekdays is The Prayer of the Church, most commonly prayed by the clergy and Religious, and by increasing numbers of people. Many pray the Prayer of the Church individually. Ideally as a liturgy, it is prayed communally.
It takes time to grow in familiarity and love of this prayer. A good place to start is by developing one's appreciation of the psalms. Download a short introductory article, Lord Teach us to Pray. The article is in the recently released October issue of Celebration. We are grateful to Celebration Publications for their permission to make it available for general use in our diocese. You might like to read it yourself, or in a group, and explore the psalms it speaks about as you go. Try some of the activities it suggestions.
The most effective way to learn the Prayer of the Church is to pray it, alone or together, in the Church, at home, as the prayer at meetings. Pray it reflectively. It reminds us that God is present with us, each hour of every day such that each day becomes a 'liturgy of hours'. Click on the following links for – Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Night Prayer. The site you will be taken to is one of several sites that provide Apps for download to your various electronic devices. Today the Prayer of the Church goes with you wherever you are.
To assist you further we have prepared templates for the Monastic version of Morning Prayer and the Cathedral of shorter version of Evening Prayer. It is hoped these will assist you if you need to prepare leaflets for the community.
Those who would like to like deepen their understanding and appreciation of the Prayer of the Church could read The General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours.