Christian Prayer
Liturgy of the Hours

The Liturgy of the Hours is a traditional format for Christian Prayer that has been used since the earliest days of the Church. It enables us to pray the scriptures using the Psalter (Psalms) as its foundation. It runs on a 4 week cycle and includes prayers of intercession, as well as daily recitation of various New Testament canticles. Scripture readings are also included. The version published by the Daughters of Saint Paul is concise, as it is contained in a single volume, and is very affordable, especially when compared with the 4 volume set that is often sold in book shops.

Evening Prayer may be used as the foundation for a Charismatic prayer service (1). This enables the gifts of the Holy Spirit to flow freely while maintaining an orderly mode of praise and worship. This is done outside the context of the Mass and is done in a fellowship hall or other facility on the church property, such as a school auditorium or classroom. This allows the Eucharistic Presence of Christ to be a protection against intrusion of bad spirits.

The following is a suggested format for a Charismatic prayer service:

1) The prayer service begins with the introduction, God come to my assistance, Lord make haste to help me. This is followed by Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.

2) The prayer to the Holy Spirit is then offered:

Come Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your Divine Love.
Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created,
and You shall renew the face of the earth.

3) Praise and worship to the Lord is now offered using 3 or 4 contemporary worship songs. During praise and worship, and especially in between the songs, the participants should feel free to allow the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be manifested through speaking in tongues and prophesy. The singing may be led by a guitarist, keyboard player or an entire band. Singing may also be done "a cappella" (without musical instruments); the important thing is to lift your hearts, voices and holy hands to the Lord.

4) To close the praise and worship portion of the prayer service, the worship leader begins to pray the prayer to Saint Michael, with everybody joining in the prayer:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
Defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
And do you, O Prince of the heavenly host,
By the power of God, thrust into hell
Satan and all evil spirits
Who wander through the world
For the ruin of souls, Amen.

5) The worship leader and/or lectors now read the three Psalms and Canticles as prescribed. These serve as a continuation of the Praise and Worship, and should be done in a spirit of controlled joy and exuberance. This may be also be done in unison, with everybody reciting the Psalms along with the leader, or the Psalms may be chanted by a cantor, with the people responding with the antiphon after each group of verses.

6) The reading is done by the worship leader or a lector. Optionally, after the reading a speaker may offer a homily relevant to the reading, Gospel of the day or week, or speak about a subject that is of interest to the group.

7) The worship leader now leads the Responsory.

8) The Canticle of Mary is prayed as normal, with reverence and gratitude for our Blessed Mother who said "yes" to God's call in the most profound way imaginable.

9) Intercessory prayers are now offered. When the prayers have been completed, people are encouraged to offer prayers for themselves, their loved ones, and those on the Parish prayer list. If a Priest or Deacon is present, a special time of healing prayer may also be offered (see section on healing below).

10) The Our Father is prayed in unison. People are encouraged to hold hands if they feel so inclined, but they should not feel compelled to do so. During the Our Father, people are free to lift holy hands to the Lord.

11) The closing prayer is offered by the worship leader. If a Priest or Deacon is present, they may offer the closing prayer, followed by a blessing.

12) If a Priest or Deacon is not offering a blessing, the people pray in unison May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

This concludes the Charismatic prayer service, which may be followed by a time of fellowship and discussion.

The following items should be noted:

Some groups may wish to suspend the Charismatic prayer group during Lent in order to preserve the solemn nature of the season that is an integral part of Catholic Tradition. If this is your inclination, it is suggested that you continue to meet during the Lenten season to pray the Liturgy of the Hours in the traditional manner.

All Christians should be welcomed and encouraged to participate in the prayer service.

Non-Christians who feel drawn to the Catholic Church and/or Charismatic worship are encouraged to attend with a Christian friend who can help them understand the significance of the prayers and readings.

Because of the emotionally charged nature of this activity, you may choose to refrain from doing this unless a Priest or Deacon is presiding. Priests are encouraged to offer the Sacrament of Healing for those who are sick. Healing prayers and laying on of hands may be done after the prayer to Saint Michael. If a Priest is presiding, the Sacrament may be administered after the Homily.

Click here for a sample Charismatic prayer service.

(1) Some people may be concerned that Liturgies should not be combined with Charismatic worship. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you consult your Parish Priest before organizing such a service.

Copyright Notice

The Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1965, 1966 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Home        Christian Prayer        Charismatic Worship        Devotions        Books        Contact