If you’ve never experienced the beauty of the Liturgy of the Hours, I highly recommend finding a Catholic App that provides the call to prayer or open Universalis on your web browser. Mostly associated with the prayer life within Religious orders and communities, the Liturgy of the Hour has provided guided prayer and contemplation for centuries. I remember as a child visiting a Midwestern Franciscan order mother-house and participating in the Liturgy of the Hours. The ethereal beauty of female voices chanting the responses fills my mind all these years later as though I’m present kneeling in their chapel. All these years later, I’m rediscovering the tantalizing beauty of the Liturgy of the Hours. From Dawn until Night, regardless of religious community affiliation, people are invited to partake.
During Compline or Night Prayer, a beautiful Canticle called the Nunc Dimitis provides the conclusion to various prayers, hymns, scripture passages, and responses right before the concluding Marian Anthem. As I write this blog post not sleeping, the clock ticks towards midnight. Part of the Nun Dimitis resounds in my thoughts providing a soothing and calming almost lullaby quality. The prayer frames my previous day in a fresh perspective, preparing my mind, body, and soul for restorative sleep, and provides hope for the day ahead.
“Save us, Lord, while we are awake; protect us while we sleep; that we may keep watch with Christ and rest with Him in peace.”