Monday, February 13, 2006

New Daily Prayer Book

Now that June and I are back from Hawaii, our lives are once again beginning to settle into familiar patterns. We're both detertimed to return to walking, more regular "main" prayers (as C. S. Lewis calls them), simpler habits of life. One of my more or less regularities over the last five decades has been the use the Daily Office (from the Latin officium, "work") or Daily Prayer of the Church. Since the 60's I've used a now-out-of-print Book of Hours, edited by the the Benedictine Monks of Encalcat Abbey, 1956. As a prayer book, containing all the psalms, canticles, collects, and traditional services for daily prayer, it's been good to me, a real blessing. But, bless it, the old book is getting old, worn out, and ready for the shelf for Retired Biblia. In its place I'm awaiting the arrival of The Daily Prayer of the Church (DPC), newly published by the Lutheran University Press. Here's what I expect to find in the DPC:

A treasury of prayer in the centuries old Anglican, Lutheran, Roman Catholic tradition of the offices. The material is arranged to facilitate use by clergy and laity; to be a prayer book for all the people of God. It is intended for the faithful of many denominations--to be used whole or in part, in private, in families, or small groups in churches. This is complete prayer book “in the ancient way of offices” including text and music: Evening Prayer for each season of the Church year (Advent, Christmas-Epiphany, General Time, Lent, Holy Week, Easter); Morning Prayer for each season of the Church year; Compline; Forms for Prayer during the Day (mid-morning, noon, mid-afternoon); Proper antiphons with each Psalm and with the Gospel Canticles; Psalm prayers and prayers appropriate for each Old Testament and New Testament canticle; Hymns ancient and modern with music; Two-year BCP-LBW daily lectionary; Proper Responsories in Morning Prayer; An ecumenical course of collects, ancient and modern, for every Sunday of the year and for every day of Christmas, Lent, and Easter; An enriched calendar of festivals and commemorations; Prayers, intercessions, devotional prayers.
It should arrive today, perhaps tomorrow, surely by Wednesday. Rejoice with me when it comes!

1 Comments:

Blogger Mason Smith said...

Greetings:
I ran across an interesting book last year called "Celtic Daily Prayer," which included instructions for the daily office, but no Psalter or collects. It was a publication of a group called "The Northumbrian Community," which was trying to encourage use of the daily office by Anglicans, Catholics, and other Christians.
A humorous passage was included for certain Protestants (like United Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians) who do not normally make the sign of the cross. "It's not sinful. It's fine. No one will see you. You can do this." Apparently visitors to the Northumbrian Community's mother house in Great Britain found the formality of the service a comfort, and wondered why their traditions did not include such exercises.
The book has two years of readings, all of which are keyed to scripture. But I found the readings--taken from Celtic saints and modern writers in that tradition--to be too short, sometimes only a few lines. Also, the readings seemed to not relate to the scriptures assigned for that day. I haven't really been able to use it as intended.
I'd be interested in hearing more about the daily office and how that works in the new prayer book.
Best wishes,
Mason Smith

Tuesday, 14 February, 2006  

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