Midday Prayer

Since we are totally dependent upon God, we must acknowledge and confess his dominion over us, continually giving him an unending sacrifice of praise. To that end, from the earliest days of the Church, Christians have devoted themselves to prayer at certain hours throughout the course of the day, one such time being in the middle of the day.

The structure of Midday Prayer is as follows:

O God, come to our aid.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
(and outside Lent) Alleluia.

A hymn or poem is sung or said.

Three Psalms or parts of Psalms are sung or said, each is preceded and followed by an antiphon (a verse chosen to emphasise a particular aspect of the Psalm or mark the day in the Church’s year), and each is followed by a moment of reflection and a prayer.

A short passage of scripture is read and, after a moment of reflection on it, a response is said.

A concluding prayer is then said; the prayer relates to the time of day or the day in the Church’s year.

Let us praise the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Midday Prayer is also called Sext (which in Latin means sixth, from the prayer being offered at the sixth hour, in the ancient reckoning of time).

On the Universalis website can be found the texts used for the Midday Prayer.

See also our series Introduction to the Prayer of the Church about The Liturgy of The Hours, including Midday Prayer (all the episodes are available as podcasts). 


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