Divine Office Forum: Anticipate
Anticipate QUESTION from Ken Savio on October 20, 2002 A priest friend of mine said you can anticipate Office of readings and morning prayer after noon on previous day, then in the morning say day prayer,evening and night before noon. Is this permissable? Thank you, Ken
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on October 20, 2002 Dear Ken:
No, this is not permissible.
The General Instruction to the Liturgy of the Hours states:
11. The purpose of the liturgy of the hours is to sanctify the day and the whole range of human activity. Therefore its structure has been revised in such a way as to make each hour once more correspond as nearly as possible to natural time and to take account of the circumstances of life today.  Hence, that the day may be truly sanctified and the hours themselves recited with spiritual advantage, it is best that each of them be prayed at a time most closely corresponding to the true time of each canonical hour. 
The Office of Readings can be said anytime you want. But Morning Prayer needs to be said in the morning and Evening Prayer in the evening or it defeats the whole purpose of the prayers.
These prayers are not to be said just to be saying them. They are to sanctify the various hours of the day and thus they need to be prayed AT those hours of the day that are applicable to the Office.
As a general rule of thumb, in the Rule of St. Michael we have these range of times:
Office of Readings can be done at ANY time. Traditional time is from around 2am - 4am or just before Morning Prayer when Office of Readings and Morning Prayer are said one right after the other. But one can Pray this office anytime
For the other hours:
5:00 - 8:00am Morning Prayer (Lauds) 8:30 - 10:00am Mid-Morning Prayer (Tierce) 11:30 - 1:00pm Noon prayer (Sext) 2:30 - 4:00pm Mid-Afternoon Prayer (None) 4:30 - 7:00pm Evening Prayer (Vespers) just before bedtime Compline
These are our suggestions, but the point is that the particular office needs to be around the canonical time for that office.
The priest you talked to may be an older priest remembering some of the rules of the old Divine Office. The pre-Vatican II Divine Office did have some variations like that, I think, don't remember for sure. But the current rules require the offices to be said close to the canonical hours.
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