The Divine Hours

A form of prayer at specified times to be used by individuals or groups. The Divine Hours includes morning, midday, vespers (evening) and compline (before retiring) offices, having roots in the biblical tradition. By default the Divine Hours below is displayed based on Eastern Standard Time, U.S.

The Night Office
To Be Observed Before Retiring
The Call to Prayer
May the Lord Almighty grant me and those I love a peaceful night and a perfect end. Amen.†

The Request for Presence
Our help is in the Name of the Lord; the maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 124:8

The Greeting
Almighty God, my heavenly Father: I have sinned against you, through my own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, in what I have done and what I have left undone. For the sake of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me all my offenses; and grant that I may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your Name. Amen.†

The Reading
Moses called all Israel together and said to them, 'Listen, Israel, to the laws and customs that I proclaim to you today. Learn them and take care to observe them. 'YAHWEH our God has made a covenant with us at Horeb. YAHWEH made this covenant not with our ancestors, but with us, with all of us alive here today. On the mountain, from the heart of the fire, YAHWEH spoke to you face to face, while I stood between you and YAHWEH to let you know what YAHWEH was saying, since you were afraid of the fire and had not gone up the mountain. He said: ' "I am YAHWEH your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the place of slavelabor. ' "You will have no gods other than me. ' "You must not make yourselves any image or any likeness of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth; you must not bow down to these gods or serve them. For I, YAHWEH your God, am a jealous God and I punish the parents' fault in the children, the grandchildren and the greatgrandchildren, among those who hate me; but I show faithful love to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments. ' "You must not misuse the name of YAHWEH your God, for YAHWEH will not leave unpunished anyone who uses his name for what is false. ' "Observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy, as YAHWEH your God has commanded you. Labor for six days, doing all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath for YAHWEH your God. You must not do any work that day, neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servants—male or female—nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your animals, nor the foreigner who has made a home with you; so that your servants male and female, may rest, as you do. Remember that you were once a slave in Egypt, and that YAHWEH your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and outstretched arm; this is why YAHWEH your God has commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. ' "Honor your father and your mother, as YAHWEH your God has commanded you, so that you may have long life and may prosper in the country which YAHWEH your God is giving you. ' "You must not kill. ' "You must not commit adultery. ' "You must not steal. ' "You must not give false witness against your fellow. ' "You must not set your heart on your neighbor's spouse, you must not set your heart on your neighbor's house or field, or servant—man or woman—or ox, or donkey or any of your neighbor's possessions." 'These were the words YAHWEH spoke to you when you were all assembled on the mountain. Thunderously, he spoke to you from the heart of the fire, in cloud and thick darkness. He added nothing, but wrote them on two tablets of stone which he gave to me.'
Deuteronomy 5:1-22

The Gloria
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

The Psalm You Have Set My Heart at Liberty
My soul cleaves to the dust;* give me life according to your word. I have confessed my ways, and you answered me;* instruct me in your statutes. Make me understand the way of your commandments,* that I may meditate on your marvelous works. My soul melts away for sorrow;* strengthen me according to your word. Take from me the way of lying;* let me find grace through your law. I have chosen the way of faithfulness;* I have set your judgments before me. I hold fast to your decrees;* O LORD, let me not be put to shame. I will run the way of your commandments,* for you have set my heart at liberty.
Psalm 119:25-32

The Gloria
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

The Small Verse
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit; for you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth. Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings.†

The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your Name. May your kingdom come, and your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Petition
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen. †

The Final Thanksgiving
Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised; for these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, whom you have prepared for all the world to see: a Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.


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The Divine Hours © Copyright 2003 Phyllis Tickle

The Divine Hours are reprinted here with permission of Doubleday and Phyllis Tickle. Not for distribution without permission from the author.


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