What is the Divine Office
We find the origins of the Liturgy of the Hours in the Old Testament. The psalms, the 150 prayers in the Old Testament, are the real basis of the Liturgy of the Hours. Throughout the Old Testament, we see the Jews praying the psalms. They prayed the psalms at regular hours. Jesus Himself knew the psalms, quoted the psalms, and prayed the psalms. Jesus not only prayed the psalms: He fulfilled them and revealed their deepest meaning. Jesus, Who is the fullness of God’s revelation, also reveals the fullness of the psalms. So, for example, the words “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” [Psalm 22:2] were the prayer of someone whose heart was in anguish and who cried out to God in a time of desperate need. These words as prayed by Jesus on the Cross, as they rise from His heart to the heavenly Father, now have a new richness for us. They reveal to us the heart of Jesus and His prayer in His time of suffering. The same is true of all the psalms: All acquire a wonderful new richness in Jesus.
The Divine Office as we have it Today