The liturgical prayer of the Church, and the monastic experience of it, constitutes a theological and spiritual value which is the legacy of all Christians. In The Monastic Hours, Anne M. Field, OSB, provides an accessible aid not only to the monastics of men's and women's Benedictine monasteries, but also to the oblates and friends of these communities to assist them in understanding the significance of the monastic Liturgy of the Hours.
In 1977 the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship approved a series of recommendations that ensured that the praying of the monastic Office would be in keeping with the norms of the Council and the Rule of St. Benedict, as well as with tradition and contemporary needs. These recommendations were published in 1981 as the Directory for the Celebration of the Work of God, along with a parallel document known as the Directive Norms for the Celebration of the Monastic Liturgy of the Hours. These documents are republished for wide distribution here in a second edition that includes updated text, a new foreword by Abbot Primate Marcel Rooney, OSB, and a new introduction by Ruben M. Leikam, OSB
This publication of the documents presents the theological and celebrative element of the monastic Liturgy of the Hours. Together, these documents will encourage many to love and savor the prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. In that way they may promote a living and fruitful celebration, thus fulfilling the two-fold purpose of all liturgical action: the sanctification of men and women and the glorification of God.