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The Divine Office, also known as the Liturgy of the Hours, is the group of psalms, hymns, prayers, biblical and spiritual readings formulated by the Church for chant or recitation at stated times every day. Its origins go back to apostolic times, when it consisted almost entirely of Scripture readings and psalms. Every Catholic priest is required to pray the full daily office. Consecrated Religious who are not priests are obligated according to their rule of life.
The Church’s most authoritative explanation of the Divine Office appears in Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, § 83-101.
Lay faithful are most cordially invited to pray the Divine Office. The Church does not make it obligatory for us, as it is for priests, but if we fully understood what it has to offer, we would make it obligatory upon ourselves.
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