Tag Archives: Noonday Prayer

Daily Office Basics – Daily Prayer Origins

I’m delighted to announce that my series of posts called Daily Office Basics is now available in video form!

This first video introduces you to the origins of daily prayer in the Christian church, tracing how daily prayer has changed over time and how we came to have the form of Morning and Evening Prayer that we use in the Episcopal Church today.

Over the next four days, videos will cover finding your place in the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible and then will look at the three parts of the Daily Office — Psalms, Lessons and Canticles, and Prayers — in turn.

I am particularly grateful to Grace Abounds, the online ministry of Grace Episcopal Church in Sheboygan, for filming and producing these videos. The Ven. MIchele Whitford is content manager, and Zachary and Nicholas Whitford filmed and edited the videos.

The series will reside at dailyofficebasics.graceabounds.online — in addition to the videos, that landing page includes some resources for you to download and use as you prepare to pray the Daily Office.

Thanks also to Andy Barnett and the Theodicy Jazz Collective for permission to use music from their album Vespers. You can listen and buy online from their website.


Daily Office Basics

Daily Office Basics

The Daily Office Anchor Society will be actual, not just virtual, in February.

Join me on Saturday, February 15 from 8:30 to noon at St. Thomas Church, 226 Washington Street, Menasha WI 54952 for a program on Daily Office Basics.

Many Christians choose to observe Lent with “special acts of discipline or self-denial” such as praying Morning or Evening Prayer.

On February 15, you will not only learn how to pray the Church’s daily offices but you will also receive a variety of resources to help you navigate what may be an unfamiliar or confusing practice. We will have plenty of time for questions and sharing with each other.

We will enjoy coffee and light refreshments at 8:30 am and begin with Morning Prayer at 9 am. The program will conclude promptly at noon.

Your going out and your coming in

Mark Rothko no-10

The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; *
it is he who shall keep you safe. 
The LORD shall watch over your going out and your coming in, *
from this time forth for evermore. (Psalm 121:7-8)

Noonday Prayer, like Compline, is meant to be short and relatively the same every day.

Where Compline is a brief pause before going to bed, Noonday Prayer is a brief pause in the middle of a day full of “going out and coming in.”

Many years ago, I worked as editor of The Covenant, the newspaper of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee. The diocesan offices are in Nicholson House, the former bishops’ residence. A lovely feature of the house is a small chapel off the landing of the main staircase; at the time I worked there it had just been restored.

The staff of the diocese got into the habit of stopping for Noonday Prayer in that little chapel each day; it took only about 15 minutes, but it centered the day and reminded us that the Lord was watching over our activity.

We used the service from the prayer book to create a simple handout and inserted seasonal readings and collects to give a little bit more variety over the course of the year.

Perhaps you might also benefit from a pause in the middle of the day. Are there others where you work or at home who might join you?

Not neglecting to meet together …

And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb. 10:24-25)

Today I will be attending the Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac.

The day begins with Morning Prayer, during which the Deans will be commissioned. In between business sessions, Bishop Jacobus will deliver his pastoral address in the context of Noonday Prayer.

It is good to pray the Offices with others, in part because you realize that even when you pray the Office by yourself, as most of us do, you are not truly al0ne.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name, you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen. (BCP 102)

Going Out and Coming In

The Forward Movement Daily Prayer Anytime site is a real treasure, especially on days like this which I am spending in transit.

Today Psalm 121:8 caught my attention:

The LORD shall watch over your going out and your coming in, *
from this time forth for evermore.

Does your sense of trust in God’s presence seem clearer when you think of the present moment or when you think of eternity?

According to Parker Palmer, many people of faith are “functional atheists” — that is to say, in the moment their actions are indistinguishable from those of a nonbeliever.

Practicing daily prayer, the regular Offices of the Church, is one time-tested way to bring awareness of God’s presence closer and closer to the present moment.

Whether you read them in a book or follow a link during a midday break, use the Offices to keep yourself “functionally faithful” and to inform your actions throughout the day.