• Lord_open_my_lips_by Seth H. Murray
  • Paperback: 103 pages ($10 – $12)
  • Publisher: North Bay Books (August 2004)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972520089

If you are going to start praying the Liturgy of the Hours using one of the common books, (as opposed to online or an iPhone) you are probably going to need some help. The format of the Liturgy of the Hours book was designed to minimize the number of pages the publishers had to print, so the organization of the book lends itself to some page flipping. Also since the Liturgy of the Hours is designed around the praying of the 150 Psalms in the Bible there is a natural repetition of the prayer cycle. This is done on a four week cycle for Ordinary Time. The other seasons of the Church have their own cycles of prayers. All of what I have just described creates some confusion in people new to praying the Liturgy of the Hours and this is why purchasing a book like this is advised.

From the Inside Flap
Lord, Open My Lips is a concise, class-tested, easy-to-use manual for praying the Liturgy of the Hours, designed to help laypeople integrate the Liturgy, or elements of it, into their prayer life. It serves as a guide to any of the standard editions of the Liturgy, whose language and organization most newcomers to the Hours will find dauntingly complex.” (end quote)

The author has done a good job of doing just what he has described. The book is set up with about 18 small chapters that describe what the Hours are and how it is prayed. The key to the book is the six chapters of tutorials. Using this book and highlighting the specific sections I thought important, I was able to learn how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours (using the book “Christian Prayer”). The book contains details about how to handle the special prayer days like Solemnities for Immaculate Conception or Sacred Heart. Also included in the book is a small glossary, how to “Chant”, how to set up a prayer group, and some recommended resources for additional help.

If you have someone to teach you how to pray The Liturgy of the Hours, you may not need the book. If you have to learn on your own, get this book, you will save your self $10 worth of frustration.