Daily Office

Every priest makes a promise to say the Daily Offices each day. When I first joined the Church, and long before I was ordained, I used to say the Office alone. I used the Roman Catholic Office because a friend did and whenever we went on Parish trips we used to say it together on the bus. It was always better saying it with another person.

When I was ordained and a Curate we said Morning Prayer together in the Cathedral with the clergy team and some others who joined us. But shortly before I was ordained I spent Holy Week with the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield where it was sung so beautifully that nothing ever really compared after that.

Then as a Parish Priest I have said the Office alone in my study. I will admit it is not always easy. Sometimes I have just prayed for my little flock. I have used different versions over the years: RC; Franciscan; SEC; Northumbrian Community; New Zealand and others. I’ve never really found one that really suits me and often think of writing my own.

But I have learned over these past few years when I have done Morning Prayer in church with others during Lent and Advent that whatever version I use it is a million times better to do it with others.

I wonder if it is an extrovert thing? That I just like being with people so much and that must include my prayer time. Or is it the discipline that works better for me? That left on my own I can procrastinate till the cows come home, but when I’m doing it with others I have to go – even on my day off.

Either way, it is good to be with others and good to pray.

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10 thoughts on “Daily Office

  1. on your day off???
    that must be an extrovert thing. Days off are when I get to pray alone.

    But even for me, it’s better to say the daily office with people. Evening prayer in church is proving to be a wonderful thing, as is virtual Lauds from the convent. Really who’d have thought nuns would convert me to virtual worship??– but then it’s more the structure of it. It happens at 7, so I am there at 7… whereas, on my own those precious quiet hours slip away.

    • The day off thing has been because I keep forgetting to ask someone else to do it – and I’m up anyway. Interested in virtual Lauds though. What’s the link?

  2. Yes, I agree. I have much more trouble doing it alone, no matter what I use. It’s a dilemma if you are not close to a place that has a group that regularly gathers for the Offices, and let’s face it, there are precious few outside of monasteries. We can offer offices at our own churches but it’s so difficult for people to drive over before or after work ….

    • Yes, I don’t have many turning up. It has ranged this Lent between 1 and 6. We did try combining it with dog-walking but one escaped and that put paid to that!

  3. It was easier to be present and do it when in community but I always enjoyed the times when I prayed it alone – the Carthusians have a good balance (not v balanced re length, though!). Using the CofE Daily Prayer has been a decent experience, more of a sense of ‘a few psalms, bit of Bible, bit of quiet, Ben/Mag, pray for folk, Lord’s Prayer, Collect’ than getting through a lot of words. Seems to have the best modern psalter translation. And it is online too, though not sure about praying in front of a bright screen.
    Enjoyed using the Prayer Book psalms for each day last Advent & was good just to go through them 1-150 rather than faffing about with ‘themes’ & jumping about the book.

    • I haven’t tried the CofE one so maybe I’ll give it a go. I do get the SEC one sent to Googlereader every day and it is okay but still prefer saying it with others. Might try going through the Psalter from beginning to end this Advent though. Good idea.

  4. This rings lots of bells with me. I too have accumulated many different versions of the Office – the important thing is, of course, to use it whatever the version! And I find that the version I can use best differs as to whether I’m saying the Office with someone else or on my own.

    I’m with you on going into church to say the Office on my day off – so much better than on my own, though largely (I’m afraid) probably due to the fact that I’ve already been up for breakfast with my sixth-former son and then can catch our church cleaning team straight after the Office. And all this – hopefully – makes a good start to the day off.

  5. How I used to feel guilty over having a ‘quiet time’ as I never seemed to make time for it. Then I found the Celebrating Common prayer and found that more fulfilling.Now at college I love the fact we say the offices in community. During the holidays there are enough of us around to maintain morning prayer monday to friday- though as yet we haven’t taken up evening prayer as well. I hope to have my curacy with a vicar who says morning prayer in church and would love to continue it when I become an incumbent. I find it such a joy to share it with others.

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