(Saturday of week 24 in Ordinary Time)
“Seven times a day I praise you.” – Psalm 118(119):164
The Lord has commanded us to pray without ceasing, and this is what the Hours help us do.
Morning Prayer – at the start of the day's work and the coming of the light.
Evening Prayer – at the end of the day's work, to offer up what we have done.
Night Prayer – last thing at night, to commend our souls to God.
And finally, there is the magnificent Office of Readings, at whatever time of day is best for us to reflect on the mystery of salvation, with the help of Scripture and the writings of the Fathers of the Church.
“The purpose of the Divine Office is to sanctify the day and all human activity.” – Apostolic Constitution, Canticum Laudis.
The Liturgy of the Hours is the richest single prayer resource of the Christian Church, with prayers, psalms and readings for each of the Hours, changing each day and through the seasons.
But such riches come at a price. With more than a thousand different Hours every year, the books are thick and using them is complex. So complex that it is rare to find anyone reciting the Hours apart from the clergy and religious. Which is not as it should be. This treasure is too marvellous to be the exclusive possession of our servants:
“The Office is... the prayer not only of the clergy but of the whole People of God.” – Apostolic Constitution, Canticum Laudis.
Follow the links on this page today, to read the Hours for today. Follow them tomorrow, and they will give you the Hours for tomorrow. Bookmark them and they will always be within reach.
There are some drawbacks. For copyright reasons we're not allowed to use some of the official translations, such as the Grail psalms or (for Americans) the NAB Bible for the readings at Mass. There is a time limit on the site as well: just today, and yesterday, and the week to come. And of course, to read any web page, you need to be connected to the Internet.
We haven't forgotten the Mass. This site has the readings at Mass and the Order of Mass; and the Universalis apps and downloads have an extra feature: a special Mass Today page which combines the two, so that you don't have to look in two places at once.
You can install Universalis apps and programs on Android, iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch, Mac, and Windows. Here is what they give you:
Full liturgical calendar including many national and local calendars.
About Today – pages for every saint and feast.
Liturgy of the Hours – Psalms, prayers and readings from every Hour: Morning Prayer, the three daytime Hours (Terce, Sext and None), Evening Prayer, Night Prayer and the Office of Readings. Translations: The readings are from the Jerusalem Bible and the psalms are the Grail version, which is used across the English-speaking world.
The Order of Mass – The new English translation of the Order of Mass, which came into use in 2011. You can optionally view the text in Latin and some other languages side by side with the English.
Readings at Mass – First Reading, Responsorial Psalm, Second Reading, Gospel Acclamation and Gospel, plus the antiphons and prayers for the Mass of the day. Translations: You have a choice between the Jerusalem Bible readings with the Grail psalms (used in most of the English-speaking world) and the New American Bible readings and psalms (used in the USA).
Mass Today – A single page that gives you the whole of the Mass of the day: the Order of Mass with all the readings, antiphons and prayers filled in.
You can view any date, past, present or future, and (after the initial installation) you can view them anywhere, because an Internet connection is not needed.
Read about it here – prices, downloads, and free trials.
If you prefer, our servers can send you your chosen Hours every day, either all at once or in separate emails. Read about it here.
Not every kind of device has a Universalis app. And of course, e-book readers such as the Nook and Kindle aren't programmable devices at all, so they can't use apps. Never mind: there is a way to get your Hours as an e-book, a week, a month, or even a year at a time. Read about it here.
If you want just the liturgical calendar, with notes on the saints and feasts, every one of the Universalis apps and downloads has a free version that gives you just that. Go to this page and pick the system or device you are interested in. Or see the Yearly Calendar or About Today pages.
If you read blogs with a feed reader, you can get some Universalis content in the same way. Read about it here.
Our Facebook page also posts the saint of each day. If you Like it, you will see the saint of day in your news feed.
If you have your own web site, you can incorporate a banner which will show your visitors the saint or feast of the day, every day, automatically. Here is an example:
There are other free services for webmasters as well. Read about them here.
The Universalis web site gives you quick and simple access to this resource, and to the liturgical calendar, and also to each day's readings at Mass.
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