Universalis
 
Saturday 29 August 2015
The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
 (Saturday of week 21 in Ordinary Time)
About today  
 

Lauds (Morning Prayer)

The office of morning prayer was originally called "Matins", which made rather more sense; but a complicated shift of times and names (described in the page on the Office of Readings) left it called Laudes Matutinas, "morning praises", or Lauds for short. The Church of England, whose liturgical hours have not evolved since its separation from Rome, refers to its morning prayer as Matins.

The structure of the Hour

Lauds begins with two psalms separated by a canticle from the Old Testament.

A short reading follows. When Lauds is celebrated with a congregation, this reading can be replaced by a longer one.

Then comes the Benedictus, the canticle of praise by Zechariah at the birth of his son John the Baptist.

Then come prayers to consecrate the coming day's work to God.

The Our Father and a concluding prayer bring Lauds to an end.