O God, You are my God, for You I long; for You my soul is thirsting. My body pines for You like a dry, weary land without water. So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory. For Your love is better than life, my lips will speak Your praise. So I will bless You all my life, in Your name I will lift up my hands. My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, my mouth shall praise You with joy. On my bed I remember You. On You I muse through the night for You have been my help; in the shadow of Your wings I rejoice. My soul clings to You; Your right hand holds me fast.Copyright 2020 Christine Johnson. All rights reserved.[/caption] And the Psalms offer strength, too. They were written by people who struggled through famine and invasions and exile. They longed to see God – they longed for Him to come to their rescue. And when we look back, we can see that God answered in the fullness of time. But that timing is not necessarily our timing. Sometimes we must wait on the Lord. In the meantime, let’s wait in prayer. Resources for Liturgy of the Hours: DivineOffice.org is now accepting registrations again in an effort to help people pray together during this pandemic. There are bountiful resources on the history of Liturgy of the Hours and how to pray it. (They also have links for purchasing physical books to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. I use the single-volume Christian Prayer.) Universalis is another online resource with the readings for Mass, as well as Liturgy of the Hours. There is an app available, as well, in formats for Android, iOs, Windows, and Mac OS. The hymns in the books available for Liturgy of the Hours can be unfamiliar to some of us. I’ve been gathering up as I need it. I might start adding hymns that I’m familiar with, as well, but these are ones that I might have had trouble with at some point (or still have trouble with). And I’ll be honest, there are times when I read the hymn as a poem because I just can’t find any auditory guidance. Here's my playlist of hymns for Liturgy of the Hours. Philip Kosloski offers another guide for how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. He talks about using ribbons, but I’ve upped my place-marking game by adding little Post-It tabs to things that get a lot of use. the beginnings of liturgical seasons, the index of hymns, Sunday Week I Lauds (for solemnities), the Antiphons, etc. If I used it a lot, I put a tab on it to find it quicker. Copyright 2020 Christine Johnson. All rights reserved.[/caption] I want to add a final note: There are actually slight variations on praying the Hours. I learned that the prayers after Psalms were added and not necessarily required. Our Lay Dominican fraternity uses them in community prayer, but I skip them at home. The antiphons before each Psalm and canticle can be repeated, but I didn’t learn it that way. (Exceptions are the Canticle of Zechariah and the Magnificat.) Which is to say that if you do something for a while and learn you’ve been doing it differently than everyone else, relax. The prayer is important, not the exact execution. An imperfect offering made with our whole hearts is better than the perfect one made in order to look good to everyone who sees you.
Copyright 2020 Christine Johnson
About the Author
Christine Johnson has been married to Nathan since 1993 and is the mother of two homeschool graduates. She and Nathan live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, where she tries to fit in as a transplanted Yank. She blogs at Domestic Vocation about her life as a wife, mother, and Lay Dominican.