Common elements in Books of Hours, both manuscript and printed:


A liturgical calendar showing feast days of the church year, both fixed, like Christmas, and “movable” (depending on cycles of the moon), like Easter. 

Important feast days were written or printed in red ink, hence the expression, “red-letter day.”





Short passages from the four Gospels, one from each Evangelist--John 1.1-14,

Mark 16.14-20-- essentially a synopsis of Christian belief.

The Hours of the Virgin – prayers, (mostly taken from Psalms) addressed to the Virgin Mary, to be recited at eight different periods, or “hours,” of the day:

Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline.