Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Praying through the day

Many autumns ago now, I happened into a bookstore in Canterbury and found a little volume entitled “The Cuddesdon Office Book.” Amongst the many prayers and resources in it, I encountered for the first time the “Little Hours” of prayer through the day: Prime (6 AM), Terce (9 AM), Sext (Noon), None (3 PM), and Compline (before retiring at day’s end). It was an introduction to a form of prayer I had intuitively sought, but due to my upbringing, had no idea existed for anyone outside a monastery.

In the Online world, there are many places Anglicans can go for the major Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer, but not so many for the Little Hours. If, like me, you find that this type of prayer has real value in staying recollected before God through the “changes and chances” of each day, and if you find yourself at a computer or hand-held device fairly often, one resource that may prove helpful (and not too complicated) is found at The page on the Hourly Offices is found here.

This web site is focused on “traditional language” worship, so these Offices are all in the Elizabethan English we in the Episcopal Church tend to call “Rite I” these days. I’m still trying to locate a good site with these Offices in Rite II language.

The virtue with this site is that it is simple (some versions are very complicated). The focus of most of these services is the daily recitation of Psalm 119, a great resource for recollection and supplication. I have found this to be a tremendous aid in recalling myself to the task of active, conscious discipleship.

So, if you a) like to be reminded of God’s presence at (or around) fixed times in your work-day, and b) have the opportunity, this might be a good resource. The point is to pause from our work to give God praise, then getting back to our task renewed in the presence and sustaining grace of God.

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