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 | Keishla Espinal

Local Catholic Creates a Prayer Guide for Families to Join in the Liturgy of the Hours

The prayer guide for A Family Psalter has been approved by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Praying the Liturgy of the Hours with your family, especially when you have little ones, can be a challenge. However, Ben Martin, a parishioner of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, in Tampa saw this as an opportunity. He found a way to help families pray together in a structured format.

“For many years, I had the desire to pray the Liturgy of the Hours regularly, but amid family life, I have hardly been able to pray more than Morning Prayer on weekdays,” said Martin. “I have desired to introduce the Liturgy of the Hours to my family, but my sons are still too young to appreciate the whole Divine Office.”

Back in 2020, when Mass could only be livestreamed because of COVID, Martin started a Bible study with some family members. At that time, he realized he had been familiar with the Psalms growing up Catholic, but never read through all 150, which led to the creation of A Family Psalter.

Martin stated, “As I was exploring the Psalms and trying to sort through them, I wondered if I could organize them in a way to mimic the most simple and ancient way that they were prayed. I came up with this idea of structuring them in a way that works as an introduction to the modern liturgies, the Liturgy of the Hours of the Roman Rite, but that I could pray this with my kids in just a couple of minutes.”

A Family Psalter contains the Psalms from the Bible, canticles, and a couple of fixed components. It allows for all 150 Psalms to be read in 20 parts. The whole psalter can be completed on weekdays in a four-week cycle.

Click A Family Psalter for more information.

“My hope is that anyone who is into the Office or familiar with it would want to share it with their kids in a simplified way,” Martin stated.

There are five different parts of the day, and you can pick and choose which parts to do with your family. Each part can be a few minutes long or can be expanded by bringing in various prayers of the day.

What is the Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office?

The mystery of Christ, his Incarnation and Passover, which we celebrate in the Eucharist especially at the Sunday assembly, permeates and transfigures the time of each day, through the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, "the divine office." This celebration, faithful to the apostolic exhortations to "pray constantly," is "so devised that the whole course of the day and night is made holy by the praise of God." In this "public prayer of the Church," the faithful (clergy, religious, and lay people) exercise the royal priesthood of the baptized. Celebrated in "the form approved" by the Church, the Liturgy of the Hours "is truly the voice of the Bride herself addressed to her Bridegroom. It is the very prayer which Christ himself together with his Body addresses to the Father. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1174)

To learn more about Liturgy of the Hours, visit