Catechism of the Catholic Church

304 Part Two 1173 When the Church keeps the memorials of martyrs and other saints during the annual cycle, she proclaims the Paschal mystery in those “who have suffered and have been glorified with Christ. She proposes them to the faithful as examples who draw all men to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she begs for God’s favors.” 45 The Liturgy of the Hours 1174 The mystery of Christ, his Incarnation and Passover, which we celebrate in the Eucharist especially at the Sunday assembly, permeates and transfigures the time of each day, through the celebra- tion of the Liturgy of the Hours, “the divine office.” 46 This celebration, faithful to the apostolic exhortations to “pray constantly,” is “so devised that the whole course of the day and night is made holy by the praise of God.” 47 In this “public prayer of the Church,” 48 the faithful (clergy, religious, and lay people) exercise the royal priest- hood of the baptized. Celebrated in “the form approved” by the Church, the Liturgy of theHours “is truly the voice of the Bride herself addressed to her Bridegroom. It is the very prayer which Christ himself together with his Body addresses to the Father.” 49 1175 The Liturgy of the Hours is intended to become the prayer of the whole People of God. In it Christ himself “continues his priestly work through his Church.” 50 His members participate according to their own place in the Church and the circumstances of their lives: priests devoted to the pastoral ministry, because they are called to remain diligent in prayer and the service of the word; religious, by the charism of their consecrated lives; all the faithful as much as possible: “Pastors of souls should see to it that the principal hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and on the more solemn feasts. The laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office, either with the priests, or among themselves, or even individually.” 51 1176 The celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours demands not only harmonizing the voice with the praying heart, but also a deeper “understanding of the liturgy and of the Bible, especially of the Psalms.” 52 45 SC 104; cf. SC 108, 111. 46 Cf. SC, ch. IV, 83-101. 47 SC 84; 1 Thess 5:17; Eph 6:18. 48 SC 98. 49 SC 84. 50 SC 83. 51 SC 100; cf. 86; 96; 98; PO 5. 52 SC 90. 957 2698 2700