Q: After 15 years of saying the Liturgy of the Hours with some guests to our community, one visitor came up with an issue this morning. In the general instruction, it says that we should be standing during the gospel Canticle if we are saying the LOTH in common. I have found non-authoritative sources online that suggest a family or informal group should take any posture conducive to prayer. What do you think? Is the part of the general instruction about saying things in common referring to a group of lay people at a non-profit or some more distinguished setting for the Hours?
If you say the Liturgy of the Hours with another priest, do you stand for the canticle?
A: GILH 263 calls for standing at certain parts of the common recitation of the office, but it also envisions that this is taking place inside a church. See 258 for example. Also 255 says that clergy vest for the common recitation.
The GILH does not cover every instance of how the office may be prayed. As you are praying it outside a church and in an informal setting, it is logical to conclude that the postures from 263 do not apply.
At times, when I pray with other priests, we may stand for the gospel canticle in informal settings. But that’s because we feel like standing to give praise. We do not vest when praying the office informally in common. The same rules seem not to apply.