The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours by Daria Sockey is an invaluable source to anyone wanting to learn about how to go about praying this universal prayer of the Church. Her clear instructions take the mystery out of the page turning and the use of all those ribbons.
Daria begins her book with a history of The Liturgy of the Hours. She describes it origins, who prays it and why. Daria also gives some helpful tips on the various resources, both paper and digital, available on the market today. This section encompasses the first three chapters which she describes as “Liturgy of the Hours 101”. What struck me was when she stated the following:
“This symphony – a melody of praise, sometimes sung, sometimes spoken – travels from time zone to time zone, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. It is like a flaming torch of prayer being passed around the globe, relay style, by spiritual athletes.”
The second part of the book deals with the nuts and bolts of the Liturgy of the Hours. Here is where you will learn about each of the seven “hours” and the prayers that comprise each. Also covered in this part is Church calendar and how it effects what prayers you say when. By the end of this part you will have a working understanding of how to pray the Hours. This section is also a handy guide that can be returned to for reference. Basically this section serves as your road map to finding your way around in the volumes of the Liturgy of the Hours.
In the last part of the book Daria tackles some common complaints or questions about the Liturgy of the Hours. She uses the section to “highlight some strategies for making your journey of praying the Hours a personal and rewarding one.”
For those unfamiliar with this timeless prayer of the Church I highly recommend this book. Daria delivers what she set out to do. Offer a useful guide to bring more people to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Pope Benedict XVI stated in 2011, “I would like to renew my call to everyone to pray the Psalms, to become accustomed to the Liturgy of the Hours, Lauds, Vespers, and Compline.” Daria Sockey has given us a book that allows us to do just that. This is an easily read, 115 page guide that you will undoubtedly return to again and again.
I received a copy of this book for my review from Servant Books.