How to Pray the Daily Office
or How I learned to stop worrying and love the Prayer Book
But the Book of Common Prayer isn’t exactly user friendly. Rubrics, ordinaries, proper liturgies over here, collects and litanies over there, and did you say two liturgical calendars? Wait, what? Clergy are (ideally!) trained to use it, since most of its contents are forms for public worship.
But two of its most important liturgies, those for Morning and Evening Prayer (collectively known as the “Daily Office” from the Latin officium, or “service”) are designed to be used by all God’s people as part of their daily devotional discipline. Alas, this discipline has fallen by the wayside (even among clergy, sadly), not least because the task of penetrating the Prayer Book seems so daunting. How many ribbon-markers does that book have?!
At the request of some of you eager to pry open this treasure chest of our tradition, for the next three Sundays I will be walking us through How to Pray the Daily Office, or How I learned to stop worrying and love the Prayer Book. We will meet from 6:00 to 7:00 after the service.
As I find that understanding the development and logic of a liturgy is key to praying it intentionally, we will spend some time looking at the formation of “the Daily Office” over time before diving into the particulars of actually praying it. Topics to be covered are: