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by Dr. Brant Pitre

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the “Liturgy of the Hours” — also known as the “Divine Office” or the “Breviary” — is “the public prayer of the Church” (CCC 1174). In recent years, this prayer has grown in popularity amongst Catholics of all stripes, clergy, religious, and laity. Yet what are the biblical roots of the Liturgy of the Hours? Why does the Catholic Church require its priests to pray it multiple times throughout the day? And why does it consist of so many selections from the Book of Psalms? How can we come to understand this prayer better?

In this extraordinary new lecture, Dr. Pitre uses his knowledge of the Old Testament liturgy at the time of Jesus to shed fresh light on the Jewish roots of this most Catholic of prayers. In this new series, you will learn:

• The Jewish custom of praying Morning, Midday, and Evening Prayers
• Why these ancient Jewish Prayers were tied to the “Perpetual Sacrifice” in the Temple
• The New Testament evidence that the Apostles prayed at set hours during the day
• The Psalms that were sung daily by the Levites in the Temple
• How the book of Psalms was Jesus’ primary ‘Prayer Book’, even in his dying breath
• The mysterious convergence between Jewish Morning and Evening Prayer and the Passion and Death of Christ
• What the Jews in the Temple were praying for when Jesus died on the Cross

Once you understand the biblical roots of this prayer, you will never see the Liturgy of the Hours the same again. Far from being a repetitious duty imposed by the Church on her clergy, the Liturgy of the Hours is nothing less than a participation in and extension of the way Jesus himself prayed in his humanity and the way he wishes his Bride to pray with him now, throughout the world, “without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17).

If you’ve ever wanted to understand the Liturgy of the Hours better, or if you have a priest, deacon, or religious person in your life that you would like to encourage in their prayer life, then this is the Bible study for you.

A printable outline of this talk is available here.

Catholic Productions, CD, 65 minutes