Clergy and the religious have an obligation to pray the Liturgy of the Hours (sometimes called the Breviary or The Divine Office). But the laity are also encouraged to participate in the Prayer of the Church.
The Liturgy of the Hours comes in a 4 volume set from Catholic Book Publishing. One edition is in a colored imitation leather (click here) at $149 and the other edition is black leather (click here) at $179. Shopping it from other retailers can save some money.
Folks who begin to learn to pray The Hours find it confusing to know just where to flip within the books for that day's readings, psalms, and prayers. There is a St. Joseph's Yearly Guide that does help (click here) for $2.
Even with this guide, some still find it confusing. But, with new technology, there is an easier way.
Those with Apple iPhones or the Apple iPod Touch can install an application called iBreviary. This application sells for only $.99! That price is accurate. The application contains all of the prayers and text of the printed Liturgy of the Hours. Each day, pressing the refresh button downloads all of that day's prayers for each hour. It matches the book version exactly and is also a good guide to help you learn how to use the books. It includes that day's readings for mass. And it contains many popular prayers. The beauty of the application is in its simplicity and portability. You no longer have to worry about packing a volume with you while traveling. And it also makes it easier for you to pray the daytime hour while away from your normal praying place. The prayers it includes are:
- Hail Mary
- Hail Holy Queen
- Magnificat (beautiful Revised Standard Version translation)
- Our Father
- Apostles Creed
- Act of Faith
- Act of Hope
- Act of Charity
- Act of Contrition (traditional and second version)
- Morning Offering
It is highly recommended and might just be that excuse you're looking for to purchase an iPod Touch or an iPhone.
See below for a few screen shots of the application.