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An explanation of the Divine Office and the Breviary

  • Jul 29, 2011
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The Divine Office is an ancient Christian practice of praying psalms, reading the scriptures and other Church writings at prescribed hours throughout the day. Its origins can be traced to the ancient Judaism, and it has undergone many modifications and expansions throughout millennia. The practice brings certain discipline to devotional life, and it is required part of the daily routine for all Catholic clergy and religious. Laity have traditionally not been expected to recite the Divine Office, and it is not hard to see why: the Breviary, the book of the prayers that make up the Divine Office, is anything but brief, and in its full form extends over several densely-written volumes. Navigating it and knowing which prayers are appropriate for each hour of each liturgical year can be rather daunting, and most people are anyways too busy with their daily lives to have enough time to invest in this practice. However, in recent years with the advent of the Internet and especially with the arrival of Internet enabled smartphones it has become almost a trivial matter to partake in this wonderful prayer practice. I have been using on and off an iPhone version of the Breviary for almost a year, and have been really happy with this addition to my daily prayer life. However, even if you are able to follow the Breviary you may not be able to fully understand its internal rationale and logic. With that in mind, a book like Edward Quigley's "The Divine Office" would be a great source of information and explanations about the Breviary and praying of the hours. The book was originally published in 1920, and many of its statements and injunctions feel dated. Furthermore, its targeted audience are the priests, but even so can be used by general lay public. The book quotes many sources in Latin, but does not generally provide translations of those passages. In that respect it harkens to days when all priests, in the Roman rite at least, were assumed to be completely versed in that language. The writing in the book is very informative, but it also tends to be a bit dry and matter-of-fact - this book is certainly not a page-turner. However, it is a useful first step in understanding the Divine Office and a practical guide to its practice as a daily prayer. Anyone who is interested in implementing this practice in their prayer life would benefit from reading this book.

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Bojan Tunguz ()
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I am a benevolent rascal. I love lounging in bed on a Sunday morning. Rainy days make me melancholy, but in a good kind of way. I am an incorrigible chocoholic. I hate Mondays, but I get over it by Wednesday. … more
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This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. This text refers to the Bibliobazaar edition.
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Details

ISBN-10: 1110739087
ISBN-13: 978-1110739080
Author: Quigley, E. J.
Publisher: BiblioBazaar

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