by the office we mean the pattern of daily prayer of the christian church. while the Eucharist is particularly appointed for sundays and feast days, the office is a pattern of structured prayer through the day, every day.

the office is best celebrated in a group, but it is also quite suitable for individual prayer. what is particularly splendid about the office is that it is objective: it does not depend on the particular feelings we have right now, but upon our intentions of joining together in the common prayers. (and even if there are none physically near us when we pray, this intention is still operative!)

the two offices of morning and evening prayer have pride of place. to these are added one or more short offices in the midst of the day and bedtime prayers; some (especially monastics) add an early morning vigil.

but start small. pick one office, not a round of fifty. and stick to that office. be ready for the words to be strange some days, to be out-of-kilter with your own emotions and responses. this is as it should be. you are often praying for others, offering their prayers for them when they are unable to form the words themselves.

here are some web sites with forms of the office all laid out for easy use: