The Rule of 1221 and Statutes, Chapter 4: Prayer
Article 12: Rule
All are daily to say the seven canonical Hours, that is: Matins, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline. The clerics are to say them after the manner of the clergy. Those who know the Psalter are to say the Deus in nomine tuo (Psalm 54) and the Beati Immaculati (Psalm 119) up to the Legem pone (Verse 33) for Prime, and the other psalms of the Hours, with the Glory Be to the Father; but when they do not attend church, they are to say for Matins the psalms the Church says or any eighteen psalms; or at least to say the Our Father as do the unlettered at any of the Hours. The others say twelve Our Fathers for Matins and for every one of the other Hours seven Our Fathers with the Glory Be to the Father after each one. And those who know the Creed and the Miserere mei Deus (Ps. 51) should say it at Prime and Compline. If they do not say that at the Hours indicated, they shall say three Our Fathers.
Article 12: Statutes
a. Prayer is the core of growth in a life with God. Penitents must be committed to a life of prayer as outlined in this Rule. More prayer than what is listed, including daily mental prayer, meditation, and contemplation, is encouraged.
b. One may have to adjust one’s schedule to make time to pray. Unnecessary activities that inhibit one’s prayer life should be dropped. However, prayer should enhance and support one’s daily duties such as caring for family members, keeping house, or earning a living. Penitents may find it necessary to pray during the night, while driving, while doing house or yard work, and so on in order to complete their daily prayer schedule.
c. While the Liturgy of the Hours is the preferred method of prayer, any of the prayer options listed at the end of this section are equally permissible depending on the situation at the time of prayer.
d. There will arise certain days on which a penitent finds it difficult to say all the required prayers in any form. On such days, the penitent should at least raise their mind to God at the required prayer times and have the intention to pray even though the opportunity is not available.
e. All should renew the consecration of themselves and the Association to Our Lady regularly if not daily. The recommended prayer of consecration of the Association, The Marian Consecration Prayer, is in Appendix B.
f. All are to develop a formal pattern of prayer that is consistent with their lifestyle even if they develop it from the optional prayers. The recommended method of prayer for all following this Rule is the Liturgy of the Hours.
g. For those who have no breviary, other offices approved by the Church may be substituted. These include the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin or the Office of the Passion.
h. For those without breviaries or copies of other offices, other Psalms may be substituted from the Bible for each of the hours.
i. If a penitent cannot read or has no Bible, breviary, or Office book, the penitent may pray Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, and Glory Be’s in place of each office as directed below under Option Four.
j. All penitents who have completed Novice 1 formation, and others who wish to do so, are to pray daily the seven canonical Hours from the Liturgy of the Hours if it is available. The penitent is free to decide when these Hours are to be prayed, or to choose a different option of prayer if that is best.
k. In addition, for Morning Prayer, all are to add the Apostles’ Creed to their recitation of Psalms 51, 54, and 119 to verse 32. It is very acceptable to memorize these psalms to facilitate their recitation. If the Creed and Psalm 51 cannot be said for some reason, three additional Our Fathers should be said in place of these prayers.
l. For Night Prayer, in addition to Compline, right before retiring, all are to pray Psalm 51 and the Apostles’ Creed. If the penitent cannot say the Creed and Psalm 51 for some reason, three Our Fathers should be substituted for them.
m. The Glory Be to the Father is to be prayed after each psalm while praying the LOH unless otherwise stated in the psalter.
n. In addition, penitents should, if possible, spend a minimum of fifteen minutes daily in meditation, mental, or contemplative prayer.
o. Any one of the following prayer options may be used by the penitent to fulfill their daily prayer schedule. It is acceptable to mix and match prayer options for any of the hours on any day.
- OPTION ONE: PRAY THE COMPLETE LITURGY OF THE HOURS AS PRESCRIBED IN THE CURRENT BREVIARY
The Office of Readings may be prayed at any time during the day. The little hours of Terce (Mid-morning Prayer—about 9 a.m.), Sext (Mid-day Prayer—about noon), and None (Mid-afternoon Prayer—about 3 p.m.) are prayed at approximately the hours described. Penitents may combine these prayers and say them at alternate hours if their personal schedules require it. For example, the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer may both be said at dawn if need requires. Midmorning, Midday, and Midafternoon Prayer may be combined at noon and Evening Prayer and Night Prayer combined prior to bedtime. If need be, all seven hours can be prayed at one time if that is best for the individual. Clerics are to recite the Hours after the manner of the clergy.
- OPTION TWO: PRAY THE FULL TWENTY-DECADE ROSARY.
The full twenty decades of the Rosary can be broken up so that the Rosary is prayed, in part, throughout the day to approximately correspond to the times of the hours.
- OPTION THREE: PRAY AN HOUR OF MENTAL OR CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER DAILY.
This may be broken up into two 30 minute segments or four 15 minute segments. An ideal place for contemplative prayer is before the Blessed Sacrament.
- OPTION FOUR: PRAY OTHER PRAYERS AS FOLLOWS.
For the Office of Readings, twelve Our Father’s, twelve Hail Mary’s, and twelve Glory Be’s with the Requiem Aeternam after each; and for every one of the remaining hours, seven Our Father’s, seven Hail Mary’s, and seven Glory Be’s with the Requiem Aeternam after each. In total fifty-four Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s with the Requiem Aeternam after each constitutes a day’s prayer under this option.
- OPTION FIVE: OTHER SUBSTITUTIONS
Those parenting small children or otherwise suffering continuous distractions or time constraints may, with the permission of their spiritual director or confessors, substitute short pious ejaculations for the hours. These may be as simple as mentally lifting one’s mind to God. Penitents should, however, endeavor to pray Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer from the Divine Office if at all possible, unless dispensed from doing so by their spiritual director or confessors.
Article 13: Rule
The sick are not to say the Hours unless they wish.
Article 13: Statutes
a. The sick are exempt from saying the Divine Office unless they wish to do so. Their sickness and its pains becomes their prayer.
Article 14: Rule
All are to go to Matins in the fast of St. Martin and in the great fast, unless inconvenience for persons or affairs should threaten.
Article 14: Statutes
a. Since public recitation of Matins is rarely available these days penitents are encouraged to go to daily Mass when they feel they can. Also, during Advent and Lent penitents should make an extra effort to go to daily Mass.
b. At Mass, signs of devotion and reverence before the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist should follow the parish priest’s or the bishop’s directives where they have been given. Kneeling during the Consecration of the Mass, after receiving Communion, or in Adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is always encouraged and deemed appropriate in this Association and by its Visitor except where the bishop has otherwise specified. The Eucharist should always be received on the tongue where possible.