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litany of the hours
Question from wonder on 9/23/2006:

what are litany of the hours and about how long does it take for a priest to pray them?

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 9/25/2006:

The Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of the Church. Priests and religious are required to celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours, but anyone is free to pray it. The prayers include psalms, readings from Scripture and the tradition of the Church, hymns, canticles and other prayers.

The Liturgy of the Hours includes the following:

The Office of Readings -- which can be celebrated at any time of the day Morning Prayer Midmorning Prayer Midday Prayer Midafternoon Prayer Evening Prayer Night Prayer

Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer are the hinge hours -- that is, the critical hours to pray. Generally speaking, a person only prayers one of the three middle hours.

The total length of time needed to pray the Liturgy of the Hours varies, depending on the speed of recitation, whether it is prayed in common or individually, etc. I suppose the fasted it could be prayed would be about 30 minutes total. But that doesn't seem very devout.

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