With many of us having some extra time on our hands these days, we wanted to recommend a spiritual discipline that has the power to transform and enrich your relationship with our Risen Lord, and one we hope that you will continue as the world slowly reopens. We are referring to Morning and Evening Prayer.
Morning and Evening Prayer have been part of Episcopal and Anglican spirituality for centuries. Both are simple in form and relatively short in duration. Moreover, in this time of social isolation, praying these two offices (in the church “office” refers to a service in which we offer prayer to God; together Morning and Evening Prayer are called The Daily Office) joins us together with millions of other Christians around the world as we seek God united in our common reading of scripture and offering of common supplications.
The shape of both is simple. It consists of three parts: psalms, Bible readings with responsive canticles (canticles are scriptural songs and hymns), and prayers. Depending on how you use them, they can be as short as ten minutes and as long as twenty.
A few decades ago, praying the Daily Office was somewhat complicated: one had to identify which liturgical week we are in, which year (Year 1 or Year 2) we were in, and if there was a special feast day on a particular calendar day which superseded the scheduled daily readings. But now there are websites which do all that heavy lifting! https://www.dailyoffice.app offers the Daily Office in a text format easily readable on your phone, tablet, or computer (and even pulls up the correct office based on the time of day), while https://www.missionstclare.com offers the offices in both text and audio formats (sometimes also incorporating music).
In this time of sequestration please consider joining others in St. James’, the diocese, The Episcopal Church, and Anglicans worldwide in using Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer (or both!). We think you’ll be surprised by just how much ancient scripture speaks to our modern lives.
The Rev. Jon Feuss
The Rt. Rev. Frank Brookhart