The Divine Office eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 261 pages of information about The Divine Office.

2.  At Prime (i) Preces Dominicales are said in all semi-doubles, simples, Ferial Offices.

(i) They are said at Little Hours if said at Lauds.

(ii) At Prime, Preces Feriales are said if they have been said at Lauds.

3.  At Vespers Preces Feriales are said (1) on ferias of Advent and Lent when office is of feria.

4.  At Compline, Preces Dominicales are said on all (i) semi-doubles, (ii) simples, (iii) all Ferias, unless at Vespers a double or an octave was celebrated.


1.  “And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen.”

They said to one another, “Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre?” (St. Mark, xv.).

2.  “And looking, they saw the stone rolled back....  And entering the sepulchre they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe; and they were astonished.  Who sayeth to them, Be not affrighted; you seek Jesus of Nazareth Who was crucified.  He is risen, He is not here” (St. Mark, xv.).

3.  “Behold Jesus sayeth to her (Magdalen) ‘Woman, why weepest thou?’”

4.  “Behold Jesus met them (the women) saying to them ‘All hail.’”

(5) “See my hands and feet, that it is I myself, handle and see” (St. Luke, xxiv.).

6.  “Bring hither thy hand and put it into My side and be not faithless.”

7.  “My Lord and my God” (St, John, xx.).

General Intentions.  The wants of the Church, peace among nations—­vocations to the priesthood—­Church students—­souls in Purgatory.

Personal Intentions.  A glorious resurrection; fervour in saying the Office; fervour in saying Mass; fervour in priestly work; forgiveness of all sin.

Special Intentions.  For Catholic Ireland; for the conversion of America; for peace throughout the world.


Etymology.  The name Prime is derived from the Latin prima because this part of the Office was said at the first hour of the day, 6 a.m., with us, following the old Roman distribution of the day.

Origin.  It was stated by some writers that this Hour was established by St. Clement and should therefore date from almost apostolic times.  But modern writers, following the statement of Cassian, date the origin of this Hour from about the year 382.  It was believed, too, that the monastery indicated by Cassian as the cradle of Prime was the monastery of Bethlehem, St. Jerome’s monastery.  But it was probably established not there, but in a monastery in the neighbourhood, Dair-er-Raociat (convent of the shepherds) or in Seiar-en-Ganheim (enclosure of the sheep).  Cassian tells us the reason that

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The Divine Office from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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