The Roman Breviary
The Catholic Divine Office Online

Praying the Divine Office with the Guild

Following the Liturgical Precepts of the Guild of St. Peter ad Vincula

The Roman Breviary

For those who have the time, the most perfect and ideal form of liturgical prayer is the daily recitation of the Divine Office contained in the Roman Breviary.  Oblates are highly encouraged to practice this devotion, which bestows all manner of graces and blessings on those who recite the Breviary attentively and devoutly.

Those who do not have the time to recite the entire Office are encouraged to recite a part of it, as their schedule permits.  There are many possible combinations that the Oblate would find suitable for either a fixed or flexible schedule, for example, the Morning Prayer of Prime and the Night Prayer of Compline, possibly accompanied by the scriptural lessons from Matins or the life of the saint of the day.

The Little Office of Our Lady

Prescribed by many religious orders and congregations for their Oblates and Third Order members, the Little Office of Our Lady is an excellent method for the laity to gain some familiarity with a form of liturgical prayer.  With very few changes during the course of the year, the Oblate will quickly find the prayers to be a familiar and welcome part of his prayer life.

Like the Roman Breviary, the Oblate is free either to say the entire Little Office, or adapt a combination of Hours that fits his schedule.

Liturgical Prayer for the Oblates

 Other than the daily recitation of the Guild Prayer of Restoration, the only part of the Rule which all Oblates are obliged to follow is the precept to recite, on a daily basis, some form of liturgical prayer.  Paragraphs 7.3.6 and 7.3.7 of the Rule explain this precept as follows:

7.3.6 THE DIVINE OFFICE

Oblates in major orders shall pray the Divine Office with becoming piety and devotion. Lay Oblates shall endeavour, according to their circumstances, to pray the whole or a part of the Divine Office according to the Roman rite, or at least the Little Office of Our Lady. Such participation in the official public prayer of the Church is a way of offering the highest and most acceptable form of prayer to God in the name of the Church. Liturgical prayer is highly encouraged, furthermore, as the key to fulfilling the Guild’s most cherished means of achieving her apostolate, and is a constant fount of graces and spiritual benefits, providing the Oblate with a daily source of material from Holy Scripture, the lives of the saints, papal decrees, and the writings of the fathers of the Church. The Divine Office may be offered for any intention, including thanksgiving for favours already received and in petition of new ones.

7.3.7 THE LITTLE OFFICE AND SHORT OFFICE FOR OBLATES

Oblates who are unable to recite either any part of the Roman Breviary or the Little Office of Our Lady, and who do not assist at any of the Canonical Hours said in community, shall pray instead the Little Office of the Oblates. For a reasonable cause, they may replace this by the Short Office for Oblates.

The Four Options

The Guild understands that our Oblates come from a variety of backgrounds, many of which preclude any kind of lengthy liturgical prayer.  For this reason, the Oblate is free to choose from the four options listed in the boxes on either side of this page, depending on which best fits his particular lifestyle.

The Little Office of St. Peter ad Vincula

The Little Office of St. Peter ad Vincula is similar to the Little Office of Our Lady in that the form of the Office changes little or not at all from day to day. 

Currently, the Little Office follows the same canonical Hours as the Roman Breviary, and the guidelines for scheduling these Hours should be maintained as closely as possible.  This helps the Oblate to sanctify his whole day, while keeping the spirit of the Guild.

Once again, the whole or a part of the Little Office may be said, according to the schedule and lifestyle of the Oblate.

The Short Office of St. Peter ad Vincula

The shortest option for the Oblate to satisfy his oblgation of reciting some form of liturgical prayer is the Short Office of St. Peter ad Vincula.

The Short Office consists of only two canonical Hours: Matins and Evensong.  Both Hours contain a very short form of the Office, based  on the format of Lauds / Prime and Vespers / Compline.

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