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Chanted Prayer Made Easy
on January 14, 2014
The Liturgy of the Hours, or Divine Office, is the Catholic Church's official way of providing structured prayer throughout the day. Each day is divided into segments called "hours," and each hour is assigned a portion of the Psalms along with hymns, responsories, and readings from Scripture. Clergy are bound to recite the entire Office, whether in private or public; laity are encouraged to recite whatever parts they can and wish to. The hour recited before going to sleep is commonly called "Compline," from the Latin phrase "ad completorium," or "at the completion [of the day]." Compline is the shortest and most accessible hour, the best place to start if you want to learn how the Liturgy of the Hours works.
I once had a long-stalled personal project to produce the equivalent of this book. I'm glad I didn't finish it, because Fr. Weber's work is superior to anything I could have done. Texts and chants are typeset beautifully, the edition is clearly laid out, and the binding is durable and attractive. I'm looking forward to incorporating chanted Compline into my family's prayer time once a week, or more often if circumstances permit.