How often we complain about the sad state of the Liturgy of the Hours? How it never quite made it out into the parishes as planned. How little enthusiasm people have for it. Why the laity (present company included) don’t embrace it in their daily lives. We worry, wonder, and fuss. We feel like liturgical failures because we don’t pray 7 times a day like the Benedictines or even 5 times a day like the Muslims.
Well, here’s one answer to the “why.” For most lay people with jobs, families, studies, and all the cares the flesh is heir to – the Liturgy of the Hours is just too much!
However, here’s a lovely alternative that sits right in front of us – and which many of us hear rung out regularly on the electronic carillon: The Angelus.
6 a.m., Noon, 6 p.m. – and if that doesn’t work for you, morning, lunch, and evening will work just fine. Easily memorized, no books or ribbons required.
Beginning with the recitation of three Hail Marys at evening and later popularized in the 13th century by those tireless evangelizers of the laity, the Franciscans, it’s perfect for the overwhelmed believer in the 21st century. And it honors the moment in history that changed everything!
And if you want to chant it, just sing along with this Latin version or translate the same into English for greater acceptance and wider distribution.