This is the first of a trilogy of prayer manuals compiled by Phyllis Tickle, Contributing Editor in Religion for Publishers Weekly and author of God Talk in America. The author states that fixed-hour prayer, along with the Eucharist, is "the oldest surviving form of Christian spirituality." The Desert Fathers of the third century had one group pass the praying of the office on to another each day. The ancient Benedictine tradition of "praying the hours" was seen as "prayers of praise offered as a sacrifice of thanksgiving and faith to God and as a sweet-smelling incense of the human soul before the throne of God."

Over the centuries, Christians have created their own breviaries, containing prayers, psalms, and scriptural readings. This salutary work presents the medieval Book of Hours in contemporary language. The offices are four in number: morning, noon, vespers, and compline ("the dear office"). The appointed prayers are from The Book of Common Prayer and the texts for sacred readings are mostly from the New Jerusalem Bible. The hymns come from a wide variety of sources.

This devotional resource can be used on a daily basis by individuals or small groups, by clergy and laity alike. All those who use The Divine Hours will derive great contentment from the knowledge that this practice puts them in sync with Christians all around the world who are using daily prayer to draw close to God in adoration.