The further I delve into the study of chant, the more I realize that the Church does little more than give lip service to the public celebration of the Divine Office, the Liturgy of the Hours.
Why do I say this?
1) Consider the fact that, 20 years after the publication of the second edition of the LOTH, there is still no official english translation of it. The official translation of the 1974 edition is so poorly presented that, unless one is a liturgical scholar, knowing which texts to select becomes an exercise in futility. And the psalm translation used is presented in such a way that it is far from conducive to the use of Gregorian Chant.
2) Consider the fact that, 30+ years after the new Office's official promulgation, it is rare to hear it even recited at the parish level. In November 1995, newly received into the Catholic Church, I wrote to the local Latin Ordinary, reminding him of section 100 of Sacrosanctum Concilium: “Pastors of souls should see to it that the chief hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and the more solemn feasts. ” He wrote back to me, suggesting that I speak to the rector and organist of the Cathedral. I did that, and, although I spent the next 2-1/2 years as a cantor there, there was never a celebration of the Vespers, let alone any other hour. The reason? In the words of the rector, “We have to find the right time to do it.” When is not the right time to pray?
3) Consider the fact that no chant has been officially promulgated for the antiphons in the new office. Yes, Liber Hymnarius, vol. 2 of the new Antiphonale Romanum has been published, and, thankfully, contains many newly recovered old Latin hymns (but, again, not english translation is yet available, after 24 years). But there is no music for the antiphons. Contrast this with the last major reform of the Office, Pius X's Breviarium Romanum of 1911. The companion Antiphonale Romanum was published in 1912 - the next year.
As to the Eastern Catholic Churches, I cannot say for sure. I know that my own parish does not regularly celebrate the Office; Great Compline on Christmas Eve, Great Friday Matins (on Thursday evening), Great Friday Vespers, Jerusalem Matins, and an abbreviated Paschal Matins is the extent of it.
If the Divine Office is indeed the prayer of the Church, why is it not better promoted?
If the Divine Office is the means whereby the Royal Priesthood is exercised, why is it not better promoted?
Why don't the Catholic Churches truly support this gift from God?