The Divine Office or Canonical Hours

Revised 14 January 1997

Medieval monastic life was highly structured. As one would expect, a good portion of each day was spent either meditating, reading, or praying. Below is a typical monastic day. This is the structure that a book of hours was designed to imitate. A book of hours is a devotional book for those not following the monastic life in order to remind them of the passion of Christ and to help maintain their faith. Because manuscripts were very expensive and treasured items, only the wealthy (nobles mostly) owned and used books of hours. The Divine Office is as follows:

[The Divine Office]

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