Little Office of the
Sacred Heart

Introduction to the Little Office of the Sacred Heart

The Little Office of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the many Little Offices that the Church provides as a way for the faithful to express their devotion to Our Lord.

What Is it?

Traditionally, the various Little Offices at different hours of the day would be prayed directly after that hour from the Divine Office. However, some of the lay faithful use the Little Offices on their own without the Divine Office as a way to sanctify their hours of the day. Praying the Little Offices by themselves allows the faithful to fulfill the duties of their lay state in life, while praying unceasingly.

All in all, they are an excellent tool for deepening your devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and sanctifying your day.

Hours of the Day

In a monastic context, the hours would typically be prayed at their traditional times, beginning with the night and early morning. Outside of a monastic context, there has always been some degree of flexibility in the scheduling of the hours. We are informed by the schedule handed down to us by tradition.

Matins

For monastics, Matins are prayed in the middle of the night, typically at about 2am. For secular clergy and laymen, Matins are prayed either just before Lauds, or anticipated the evening before (after Compline).

Lauds

Lauds are prayed at dawn, or shortly after rising. The exact time will depend on the season of the year. Lauds, along with Vespers, form the two major hours which would often be celebrated publicly.

Prime

Prime is the first of the 4 minor hours, and is prayed around 6am.

Terce

Terce is the second of the 4 minor hours, and is prayed around 9am.

Sext

Sext is the third of the 4 minor hours, and is prayed around noon.

None

None is the fourth of the 4 minor hours, and is prayed around 3pm.

Vespers

Vespers as the major office of the evening, occurs in the afternoon. Vespers are also the office most frequently celebrated in public, to commemorate feasts and their vigils in the public life of a parish. For monastics, they are typically prayed around around 6pm. For secular clergy and laity, they are frequently prayed earlier in the afternoon.

Compline

Finally, Compline closes the liturgical day, typically prayed shortly before retiring for the evening, often around 7pm.

Other Little Offices

Little Office of the BVM

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