Community Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours

Christians have inherited a rich source of community prayer in the Old Testament (the oldest part of the Bible). Especially in the Psalms we see how the ancient Hebrews, the earliest believers in God as Father, expressed themselves in talking to Him. They were not afraid to complain about their troubles, but in all their tribulations they ended up by trusting in Him. When things went well they thanked Him. They expressed awe and wonder at the majesty of His creation and they glorified Him for His greatness.

It is round these ancient texts that our daily prayers are constructed. From the very beginning the Christian Church has been accustomed to recite them at set times in the course of the day. These, together with Scriptural readings and prayers make up what is known as the Liturgy of the Hours or the Prayer of the Church. The texts are divided up so that they can be fitted into the actual hours of people’s daily lives. In this way the Church continually gives praise to God the Father and intercedes for the salvation of the world.

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