Saturday, 18 October 2014

Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1988 Catholic Publishing Corp. N.J.

The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a liturgy of daily prayers with a strongly Marian emphasis. It originated in the 8th century in monastic devotion. It is an alternative to the Liturgy of the Hours and has sometimes been discouraged in favour of that daily office.

Each day in the Little Office has a particular Marian theme:

Sunday: Mother of the Church
Monday: Immaculate Conception
Tuesday: Annunciation
Wednesday: Visitation to St. Elizabeth
Thursday: Birth of our Lord
Friday: Sorrowful Mother
Saturday: Assumption

The modern version I use is the Catholic Publishing Corp. edition. Unfortunately it uses modern English and the undignified New American Bible. However, it is still rich in theological depth, which is why I love this prayer book. An edition in more archaic language is published by Baronius, but it is a lot more expensive. The Catholic Publishing Corp. is cheap with an attractive immitation leather cover. The binding feels a little weak, however.

As well as morning and evening prayers for each day, this Little Office contains prayers for mid-morning, midday and mid-afternoon, as well as an office of night prayer. Several general prayers to Our Lady are included in the appendix, as well as the Litany of the Blessed Virgin and the Litany of Loreto.

I very much prefer the Little Office to the Liturgy of the Hours and I regularly use it in my own devotions. I love the Marian emphasis and the rich theology.

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