I am happy to say that one can now pray the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary from this website! I finally downloaded the prayers under Devotions/Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I will post a link at the bottom of this article but you can navigate to it from the headings above. Please pray that someday I can manage to have the entire Office prayed on You Tube presentations so that it will be audible! It will be an undertaking but with God all things are possible.
The beauty of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary is that it is one of the major parts of the Carmelite Order. Sad to say, that when the Rule was updated in the 60's, this devotion, as well as many of the Traditions that belong to Mary, were banished from Her Order. The Carmelite Order belongs to Mary in a special way and therefore, we should make every effort to preserve the devotions that give her the honor due Her name. Therefore, to follow the Old Rule, for this reason alone, is worth considering over choosing to live the new Third Order of Carmel. We need a restoration in Carmel more today than in the day of St. Teresa of Avila! May we seek to love and honor our Queen and Mother who deserves our love.
Below is a little info on the use of The Little Office of the BVM. Again, I will put the links at the bottom of this article.
Because this is a devotion in honor of Our Lady, it is traditional (although optional) to pray a Hail Mary slowly in silence before praying the Little Office thus we focus upon whom we are addressing. It is also customary to pick up the Little Office and kiss the book, while slowly making the sign of the Cross, mindful of whom we are about to give our love and hearts to.
The Traditional Lay Carmelite of Fatima is asked to do Morning and Evening Prayer which comprises of Matins and Lauds for Morning Prayer, (about 30 mins) and Vespers and Compline for Evening Prayer (about 30 min). If there is a desire and time to do more, then, of course, this is encouraged. It is better to pray with all one's heart the times required rather than attempting all 8 hours every day in haste and anxiety.
It is easy to fall away from this daily practice because Satan will throw every excuse at us for not doing it – leading us away from doing all things that are good! To do this in imitation of Mary and to beg Her intercession for ourselves, our family, the Church and the world are great reasons to make this our daily habit. It was asked of us by the Church to pray this Little Office while wearing the Brown Scapular. This has since been replaced with the Rosary but we can do both in reparation for the sins we see all around us – especially for the priest crisis. Below is some more info.
INFORMATION ON MORNING AND EVENING PRAYER
Matins: (from the Latin, matutinas vigilias, or “morning watches”) The hour of Matins was a nocturnal hour, it was celebrated at midnight onwards and often joined with Lauds as a continuing vigil of prayer. Within this is a great consolation, the realization that even now, in many parts of the world, midnight is the advent of the expectant new day... and "we do not know the hour when the Lord will come!"
Lauds: (pronounced: lawds) The word Lauds is derived from the Latin word laus meaning, praise. This is always an hour of praise, as is clear from the Psalms chosen within the text, which recall the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and the gift of new life that comes to us in this new God- given day.
Vespers: (Latin, Vespers Espera ) was a name given to the evening star of Venus, which rising in the evening was a call to prayer, a light in the Heavens announcing the drawing on of the day, Vespers is prayed before Compline.
Compline: (pronounced: complin) From the Latin word (Latin, complere, or to complete) so named because it is the last hour of the day to be prayed. Compline is a beautiful way to complete our day, to pray with Mary and to Mary for the dying and for all those upon whom during the night either of the spirit or in fact will soon fall. We pray for God’s protection for the night, conscious of the many evils perpetrated in the nocturnal hours. It is an hour in which we commend everything and surrender everything to God.
A big difference in using the Little Office vs. the Liturgy of the Hours is that one does not have to go to different sections or pages in the book each day. This is part of the beauty and simplicity of the Little Office. You repeat the same prayers each day. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the Readings until they come to you naturally, even by memory! This is not "rote". It is immersion in prayer. If we find that we have to rush then maybe it would be better to choose to do morning OR evening prayer so that it is done with the heart. We should take the time to read and learn the Latin, side by side as well, and in this way praying as the Carmelites did for 100 generations in a beautiful and unbroken continuity. Latin has always been the unique and distinctive language of the Catholic Church. Everything written from the Seat of Peter in Rome is written in Latin. Its beauty is ever ancient and ever new.
I have finally updated my website to contain the actual Little Office for Morning and Evening. You can find it under Devotions/Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary but I will put the link below this article.
This was achieved in part with the help of another website which I will give a link to underneath mine. I did receive the owner's permission to use this from that website and she was happy to let me use it. If you desire to do more than Morning and Evening – she has the other parts on her website. She is not 100% Traditional but there is a lot of good on this website.
Please note: Each of the Morning and Evening Prayers on this website are word documents - this makes it easy for you to print if you want. The other website might be easier to navigate on since they are not word documents.
Take care and God bless all of you. May we make a resolution to fit these beautiful prayers in our day and especially the beautiful hymns of Our Lady which are linked under Evening Prayer.
PS - For those who read "I Want to See God" under Formation. There is finally a new chapter posted!
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!