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. The Divine Hours below is displayed based on Australian Capital Territory Time (ACT).

You may find it helpful to read the introduction by the author, Phyllis Tickle.


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.&#8224

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.&#8224

The Reading

The Angels Will Deliver Us

When anyone prays, the angels that minister to God and watch over mankind gather round about him and join him in his prayer. Nor is that all. Every Christian—each of the "little ones" who are in the Church—has an angel of his own, who "Always beholds the face of our Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:10), and who looks upon the Godhead of the Creator. This angel prays with us and works with us, as far as he can, to obtain the things for which we ask. "The angel of the Lord," so it is written, "encamps beside those who fear the Lord and delivers them" (Psalm 33:8), while Jacob speaks of "the angel who delivers me from all evils" (Genesis 48:16): and what he says is true not of himself only but of all those who set their trust in God. It would seem, then, that when a number of faithful meet together genuinely for the glory of Christ, since they all fear the Lord, each of them will have, encamped beside him, his own angel whom God has appointed to guard him and care for him. So, when the saints are assembled, there will be a double Church, one of men and one of angels.

Origen of Alexandria

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

He Shall Give His Angels Charge Over You

Your eyes have only to behold* to see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD your refuge,* and the Most High your habitation, There shall no evil happen to you,* neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over you,* to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you in their hands,* lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and adder;* you shall trample the young lion and the serpent under your feet.

Psalm 91:8-13

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.&#8224

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. &#8224

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.

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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The Divine Hours © Copyright 2003 Phyllis Tickle www.phyllistickle.com

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