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.