At the Proper Time with the Divine Office

My first brush with the Divine Office was as a nine-year old. We were on a rare vacation in Baguio, a mountain city in northern Philippines, and our parents brought my siblings and me to the Pink Sisters Convent where we attended the vespers. It was one of those childhood experiences that you remember rather well, but whose mark you fully understand only many years after.

Fast forward to the present. Three years or so into the Divine Office, I still consider myself a newbie. While I am not anymore confused with ribbon placements and the four-week Psalter rotation, I have to admit that I still have to be, uhmm, regular in praying the Divine Office. I am trying to do just the Morning and Night Prayers for now, which is more manageable and less overwhelming :-). Maybe -- and hopefully, in the not so distant future -- I can do the rest.

My Divine Office

This is what hit me recently. The Morning Prayer works if it is prayed at the first waking hour. The Night Prayer works if it is prayed long before the Sandman has used up his last grain of sand.

If I do my Morning Prayer after I have done a myriad of little chores that could actually wait, the purity of intention would have been diluted, the predisposition to immerse myself in the prayers and psalms would have been lessened, and the resolve to carry on with the Morning Prayer's inspirations throughout the rest of the days would have been weakened. Pffft...

In like manner, if I do my Night Prayer with my eyes half-closed and half of my mind in dreamland, the spirit of thanksgiving, repentance, and renewal becomes but a drowsy thought.

In the cycles of nature, activities are undertaken in their proper seasons. And with the course of daily prayers, the Divine Office in particular, it also pays to observe The Proper Time.

Perhaps this is a no-brainer for the Divine Office veterans, but for a newbie like me, it was actually a lightbulb moment!

The Lord will keep 
your going out 
and your coming in
from this time forth
and forever.

~ Psalm 121:8

You can pray the Divine Office online here.

You can read the Apostolic Constitution Promulgating the Divine Office as Revised in accordance with the Decree of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican here

You can check out Daria Sockey's blog Coffee and Canticles here


  1. As I am still learning so much about our Faith, I have not taken on the Divine Office. But I am sure I will.
    That said - in my current season, it feels like I would fail at it, and I am ripe with failings of various kinds. Sigh.
    I admire that you point out we must do things in the right order/time. I love that.
    Thank you.
    I miss the weekly posts. Still working on a solution.

    1. Hello, Em! Thanks for dropping by!

      I have barely taken on the Divine Office myself! Sometimes, it helps to actually hear somebody else recite or sing the prayers with you, and this is when logging onto divineoffice.org is a big help. Try that sometime.

      Yes, I miss your weekly posts. They were always encouraging and even contain practical advice. 'Hope to read one soon :-)

      Take care.


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