The Obligation to Pray the Liturgy of the Hours in the Church

Author: Mateusz Cyrklaff


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There is no doubt that the Second Vatican Council introduced an enormous reform  of the Liturgy of the Hours. As J. Stefański rightly noticed, first of all this Council restored the Liturgy of the Hours to its original owner, that is the people of God. In the post conciliar period in some countries, Poland included, some were of the opinion that Church law exempted clergymen from the breviary obligation. However, conciliar and post conciliar documents, especially the Apostolic Constitution and General Introduction to the Liturgy of the Hours, not only do not reduce this duty, but even lay greater stress on it, clearly explaining why the Church imposes an obligation on clergymen to say the liturgic prayer that sanctifies the day. The fundamental reason is the will of the Saviour himself, who wants his Church to pray continually, as the Church is to prolong, along with the Saviour, his prayer to save the world. In the Church the special duty of saying such prayers is fulfilled by those whom the Lord Jesus involved in his priesthood. As in the Apostolic age, the same will remain true throughout all the history of the Church: ‚prayer and the ministry of the word’ (Acts 6:4) are essential elements of priestly vocation.


obligation, Liturgy of the Hours, breviary, clergymen