This article is adapted from a blog post by Fr. Devin Rosa. Click here to read the full post.
The Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of the Church and is prayed every day by clergy, religious, and laity around the world. And the liturgy isn’t just any prayer! The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that “liturgy is a constituent element of the holy and living Tradition.” The liturgy, then, also is one of the ways we learn, transmit and live our faith.
So, if we want to study the faith that has been handed down to us from the apostles, one of the ways we can do so is by studying the liturgy. And with its many readings from the Church Fathers, Councils, and saints, the Liturgy of the Hours is a particularly privileged place to study our faith!
Here are three tips to study the faith with the Liturgy of the Hours.
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Add the Liturgy of the Hours to your Lectionary Layout
Verbum has a great Lectionary Layout, that allows you to study readings of the day, together with the prayers from the Mass of the day. You can also add the Liturgy of the Hours to the default Lectionary layout, and Verbum will open it to whatever date you selected. This can be a great way to remember to read the second reading from the Office of Readings, which is an especially fruitful way to study the Liturgy of the Hours.
To open the Lectionary Layout, the easiest way is to use a Lectionary card on the Home Page. You can either click the card to open the layout to today's date, or you can click the calendar icon to open the layout to any date you choose.
Tip: Make sure you have closed all of your resources before clicking the card, or it will only open the Lectionary, not the entire layout.
Now, add the Liturgy of the Hours to the Layout that was opened. Place it wherever you'd like, add or remove other resources and tools, and customize the layout to suit your needs. And don't worry about losing the default layout. You can always restore it by choosing Restore default layout.
You’re now ready to save your updated layout. Here's how:
- Click the Layouts icon on the toolbar to open the Layouts menu.
- Under the Home Page Layouts section, click the arrow to the right of Lectionary.
- Select Replace with current layout.
Verbum will indicate that you have customized this layout by adding the word “Custom” in grey.
The next time you open the Lectionary Layout from the Home Page, Verbum will open it exactly as it was when you saved it, except with today's readings displayed.
Use the Today button
Even without the Lectionary Layout, you can always navigate to “Today” in the Liturgy of the Hours. To do so:
- Open the Liturgy of the Hours.
- Click the navigation menu icon to open the sidebar
- Scroll up to the top of the table of contents.
- Click -Today-, and the Liturgy of the Hours will navigate to today’s reading.
Note: The -Today- option remains a work in progress. Currently, it works for 233 days of the year.
Search for topics within the Liturgy of the Hours
You can also quickly and easily search the Liturgy for topics of interest, like the Passover, using an Inline Search. All you need to do is click the Inline Search icon , enter Passover, and press Enter.
Verbum returns 57 times where the word Passover appears, including the following from St. Bonaventure:
For this passover to be perfect, we must suspend all the operations of the mind and we must transform the peak of our affections, directing them to God alone.
If you plan to do multiple searches inside the Liturgy of the Hours:
- Open a dedicated search panel by clicking the Search icon on the top toolbar.
- Open the Liturgy of the Hours in a panel next to your search.
- Click Basic in your search panel.
- Click Everything followed by The Liturgy of the Hours under the Open Resources heading.
This sets your search panel to look only within the Liturgy of the Hours for your search terms, and clicking any of your search results navigates directly to that location in the Liturgy.