Daytime Prayer contains the complete hours of Terce, Sext, and None in a slim volume suitable for tucking into a purse or briefcase. it makes an excellent companion volume for devotees of the Divine Office who use either the four volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours or the single volume Christian Prayer. However, this book also has a significant flaw. It does not impede the book’s use by one who is accustomed to praying the daytime hours, but they present a significant source of confusion for the novice.
The book is roughly the same length and width as Christian Prayer, but only half an inch thick. It is bound in the same red imitation leather, with red edged pages and a single ribbon. It could really use a second ribbon, but I suspect the book’s slimness made this impossible. The pages of the psalter are bordered with a red stripe, but as all of the pages are red edged, this does not actually assist in opening the book straight to the psalter. The artwork is in the typical ugly Catholic Book Publishing Company style, unfortunate but expected.
Internally, the book is organized in a similar fashion to Christian Prayer: Proper of Seasons, Solemnities of the Lord in Ordinary Time, four week Psalter, Proper of Saints. There are two appendices, the complementary psalter and a selection of hymns. The book does not contain the newly translated collects. I doubt we will see updated collects until there is a revised translation of the breviary itself. There is no seperate Ordinary, the opening and closing of these hous is merely included in each day of the psalter. The Proper of Seasons is differently organized, but easy enough to understand. The introduction provides excellent instructions on how to pray the daytime hours. Everything is easy to use and understand, except the complimentary psalmody.
There are almost no instructions given on how to correctly use the complementary psalmody. The complementary psalmody contains three sets of three psalms to be said at the two daytime hours that the current psalmody is not said. The complemenary psalmody is also used at every hour on Solemnities. However these psalms also appear elsewhere in the Liturgy of the Hours, and if more than one daytime hour is prayed; there are special instructions on the use of the complementary psalmody at these times to prevent duplicating psalms in the course of the day. These instructions are completely absent from this book, and it caused me no end of confusion when psalms started repeating themselves. I eventually had to make notes in my four week psalter on which daytime hour should get the current psalmody and which sets of the complementary psalter to use for the other two hours.
Apart from this frustrating omission, Daytime Prayer is a fine book, simple to use and easily carried to make the daytime hours accessible even on a busy workday.
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