After Spy Wednesday evening's Tenebrae services, I conversed with a small clique about our upcoming plans for the rest of the Triduum. We agreed to attend one of the area's Byzantine rite churches on Friday for Vespers, the procession, and the burial service (Slavic tradition, different from the Greek and Arab praxis). A woman proximate to us inquired as to what the service entail. After explaining it, she asked, "So what, there's no Communion? I'll go to [Tradistan] instead. There's Communion here." Retrospectively, this was a formative moment in my understanding of why the Divine Office's popularity tapered off in recent generations: because we expect something whenever we go to church.
In the Mass or Divine Liturgy, we take bread and wine and the Lord gives us His Body and Blood which we offer "for the sins of all Christians, living and dead" (Roman offertory), "we offer You Your own from what is Your own, from all and for all" (Anaphora of St. John Chrysostom). In return, we are permitted to partake of the Lord's mystical supper and benefit definitely from the propitiatory sacrifice made. The result satisfies our prehensile souls.
The Divine Office has no such trait. In it we pray for many things, including the specific intentions of the litanies of the Eastern rites as well as the preces and suffrages of the Latin tradition. Still, nothing concrete is given in return, which we have grown accustomed to expect. For centuries people attended weekday low Masses in the Western Church without any distribution of Communion at all. Perhaps this was a deviation from the purpose of confecting the Sacrament, but the point stands: the congregants attended the Mass not because they were expecting something to be given to them, but because they wanted to see the "Miracle of the Mass," they believed that the action itself had value before God.
The same is true of the Office. Nothing tangible and immanent should be expected in return for praying it. Praying the Divine Office is praising God for God's own sake alone.
Or I could be wrong!