My alarm goes off at 7.58am. I could sleep a bit longer. I shut my eyes. The next moment it is 8.05am. Uh-oh! Quick log in, the Liturgy of the Hours started already!

The Liturgy of the Hours has become my morning prayer. However, it is a commitment that I struggle with. Some of you may have noticed that I am sometimes late in logging in. Or perhaps I am the last person to log out of the zoom session… you guessed it, I probably dozed off. And there is that temptation to turn on Netflix once I wake up to continue my Korean drama or catch ‘shorts’ of Friends or The Big Bang Theory and have my LOL (Laugh Out Loud) moments. As I said I try my best not to be distracted. I guess I log in often enough that members of my household recognise Fr John’s voice in the morning.


Prayer in the Early Days

There is a rich history of prayers being said at specific times in the Jewish tradition, and the Bible also mentions several instances of prayers at regular times as well. Here’s just a couple of them.

In Daniel 6, we read how Daniel defies the king’s decree that anyone found praying to a god will be thrown in the lion’s den.

Daniel 6:10
Daniel… continued to go to his house, which had windows in its upper room open toward Jerusalem, and to get down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise him, just as he had done previously.

And in the Acts of the Apostles, when Peter healed a crippled beggar, he was making his way to the hour of prayer.

Acts 3:1-2
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in…

When Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire because of the Peace of Constantine, Christians were urged to pray without ceasing. Through the years, these prayers often recited publicly in large groups have evolved. I think many would be thankful that the prayers are not as lengthy as in the old days.


Jesus and the Psalms

The Psalms are a major part of the Liturgy of the Hours. Together with hymns, scripture readings, canticles and intercessions, the Liturgy of the Hours or often referred to as the Divine Office, is the duty of the clergy and religious. The laity too, are encouraged to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.

Paul Rose, creator of the YouTube channel “Sing the Hours”, offers Liturgy of the Hours daily online. He reminds us that Jesus himself would have recited the Psalms too as a child. Psalms that Mother Mary would have taught Him. So we, who are praying the Liturgy of the Hours, are saying the same Psalms that Jesus learnt and probably repeated over and over again more than 2000 years ago while He was growing up. How cool is that!

I can recall Jesus quoting scripture several times in the Gospel, for example, the temptation in the desert. Did Jesus quote the Psalms? My research revealed the following times Jesus quoted from the Psalms.2

When Jesus is hanging in agony on the cross (Matthew 27:46), He quotes Psalm 22:1
Psalm 22:1
“My Lord, My Lord, why have you forsaken me?”

To show how He would fulfill the Old Testament (John 15:25), Jesus quotes from Psalm 35:19 and 69:4
John 15:25
It was to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’”

To speak of betrayal at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:20-23), Jesus quotes Psalm 41:9
Psalm 41:9
Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.”

In His lament over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:39), Jesus quotes Psalm 118:26, He will redeem us.
Matthew 23:39
“For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’”


Let the Liturgy of the Hours Sustain Us

So how can we, I mean moi, be motivated to pray not only the Liturgy of the Hours in the mornings but at noon and in the evening too? Here are some reasons.3

Let’s pray as a community

We need to pray daily, as well as to pray with others. Whenever a Christian prays, he or she prays as a member of the body of Christ. Across the globe and at different times, Christians are reciting or singing the Liturgy of the Hours, the same set of Psalms and prayers, together.

Let’s pray with the Psalms

Praying with the Psalms gives us words for our dialogue with God. The Psalms speak of every human emotion.

Let’s pray as Intercessors

We pray the Liturgy of the Hours as intercessors for our community, the Church, and the world. The General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours states that “the whole body of the Church shares in the priesthood of Christ.” By praying the Liturgy of the Hours, we fulfill our baptismal call to pray and to intercede for each other, for all of humanity, and for all of creation.


Lastly, despite my sleepy demeanour, at each start of Lauds – Liturgy of the Hours in the morning, I am reminded of our mission – to evangelise and not be afraid to speak of our faith and to give glory to God.

Jesus is calling out to you too.

Lord, Open Our Lips
And We Shall Praise Your Name


To join the Liturgy of the Hours Zoom sessions, please email the Parish Admin Office

Written by
Karen R-Fong



(1) Mother Mary Teaches Her Son Jesus, Art and

(2) Jesus Quotes the Old Testament Book the Most,

(3) Liturgy of the Hours : Why, History, Development, Newsletter for Oblates of the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana, USA.