A Book of Hours was a prayer book used by Medieval Families or individuals in private homes. They were similar to The Breviaries (or Prayer books used by The Clergy in their daily prayers). Based on the 9th Century series of prayers and songs known as “The Hours of The Virgin”, the “hours” were recited at 8 specific hours of each day. A Book of Hours was usually the only book a family owned (Bibles being too expensive). As more literate people came into being, so did the inclusion of passages from The Gospels, Feast Day Prayers, etc. As time progress, many of these Books of Hours began to feature illustrations. Often given to families by The Church, more wealthy families commissioned highly ornate and illuminated books for their use. The practice of using The Book of Hours is still practiced today by lay and religious alike.