You can find the Divine Office online here: https://universalis.com/, on the Universalis App or in a breviary.
St Benedict gives detailed direction as to how the principal community prayer – the Opus Dei or Work of God – is to be carried out. The monks are expected to leave whatever task occupies them and gather in the church of the monastery to pray the psalms together and listen to readings. Seven times each day the community gathers, at given signals, for this spiritual work, and once during the night:
- Vigils, or the Night Office
- Lauds, or morning prayer, said as dawn breaks
- Prime, an office which was suppressed in the 1960s
- Terce, Sext and None, shorter offices recited at the third, sixth and ninth hours
- Vespers, or evening prayer, said as the light of the day fades
- Compline, or night prayer, said before retiring to bed.
Benedict is conscious that, during the praying of the Work of God, we should be more than ever aware that we are in the divine presence. He exhorts his monks to ‘Sing wisely’ and in such a way that ‘our minds are in harmony with our voices’. In other words, he asks that we bring our total self to this work of prayer and praise.
The prayer of the Divine Office has been the Church’s prayer throughout her history. With it, she invites her members to join in one heart and one soul to offer a sacrifice of praise to God and also to take up the necessary work of the consecration of each day and each place in which we pray.
At the heart of the Work of God is the praying of the psalms. These ancient poems and songs which are knit into Israel’s self expression have passed seamlessly into Christian mouths since the moment Christ himself prayed them. They are a timeless expression of the human person’s need to live into and out of his relationship with God, a God of all history and time, who enters into every experience and listens as we cry out to him, a God who waits for his children to give voice to their joys and sorrows, fears and triumphs, consolations and desolations.
In Portglenone the monastic community prays the Work of God, with a few minor adjustments from time to time, according to the following daily schedule:
4.00am – Vigils
7.45am – Lauds
9.45am – Terce
12.45pm – Sext
2.45pm – None
6.00pm – Vespers
8.00pm – Compline
Why not join us at some time each day, perhaps before noon for morning prayer and before bed for evening prayer, in consecrating your day with many others giving voice to the same ancient prayers?