I think that the daily office is one of the gifts of Anglicanism to the Christian tradition. That is, the rhythm of marking the days with regular morning and evening prayer.
This innovation was drawn from the tradition of praying the hours, a practice that reaches way back into the history of the Church. However, the daily office was ground-breaking because it was in the common language, and could be found in the Book of Common Prayer, accessible to anyone. It was set up in such a way that one didn’t need to be a monk, nun or priest, or be in a special place to participate. Regular prayer could take place anywhere and be done by anyone.
Right now, when I find time feels like it is beginning to lose its meaning, I have found comfort in the regular rhythm of the daily office. I have been particularly nourished by my mentor, Rev. Philip, and his church, St. Paul’s Vancouver, who have been streaming the daily office on Facebook Live every weekday.
Most mornings and evenings, at 8am and 9pm, I have been tuning into this gift from our tradition, shared in this new and creative way. I like it. This new way of connecting people with regular prayer is consistent with the daily office itself – marrying the old with the new; a reminder that we are part of a living and adapting tradition.
Would you like to come try it out? You’re welcome to join too, because prayer can take place anywhere and be done by anyone.
Thanks be to God!