The Divine Office and the Mass are the prayers of the entire Church, the whole Christ, head and members. It is as members of Christ’s Body that monks celebrate the liturgy. Yet monks have always given the Divine Office a place of priority in their life. As Saint Benedict puts it, we put nothing whatever before the Work of God, and the Community Mass.
The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office reaffirms a monk’s commitment to worship God. It is the public prayer of the Church, a source of piety, and nourishment for personal prayer. We celebrate all seven hours of the Liturgy of the Hours every day. The first of these hours is Vigils at 3:30 a.m. and the last is Compline at 7:30 p.m.. At New Melleray Abbey we follow a two-week Psalm schema in the Divine Office. In other words all 150 Psalms are sung or recited during a 2 week period. On major celebrations of the Lord, of Mary, and of some saints Psalms thematically related to the theme of the celebration are chosen for the Divine Office.