Recently, Franciscan Sister Carol Ann Gambsky presented a session on the Liturgy of the Hours to our Sisters. Her presentation answered these questions, along with others:
What is the nature of liturgy and the New Testament meaning of liturgy?
Liturgy is a ‘public work’ or a service in the name of the people. Through the liturgy, Christ our redeemer and high priest, continues the work of our redemption in, with and through his Church. Celebrations of Liturgy are Mass, Sacraments and Liturgy of the Hours. Non-public prayer includes popular devotions e.g. May Crowning, rosary, novena stations of the cross and exposition.
Liturgy is the ministry to the Gospel.
Rm 15:15-16: “I have written to you rather boldly in some respects to remind you, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentile in performing the priestly service of the Gospel of God, so that the offering up of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”
Heb 8:2-6, 9-10: “We have such a high priest, since there are those who offer gifts according to the law…Now he has obtained so much more excellent a ministry as he is mediator of a better covenant, enacted on better promises.”
What are the foundations and landmarks of the Liturgy of the Hours?
The Hours always involves externals by words and objects. They are public. The Church invests itself in Liturgy of the Hours. It guarantees that we receive grace through Hours of the Hours.
The Liturgy of the Hours is essentially a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. Our praise leads us to consider who God is. Thanksgiving considers God in relation to us.