Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Daily Office

I don't mean the place where you may happen to work.  No, I'm talking about that ancient practice of daily prayer, in which we pause at specified times of the day to focus our attention on God.  I did a post about these prayers, often called the Divine Hours, a few years ago called Time is our Currency, in which you can read a bit about the history of this tradition.

Recently, while driving a long distance by myself, I listed to a series of conference talks on prayer put on by HTB, called Wisdom of the Ages.  (the one I refer to in this post can be found here.)  One speaker, Roy Seale, talked about his experience in the Northumbria Community and their practice of praying the daily office.

What intrigued me particularly was the noon office.  Many people set their cell phone alarms for noon every day and pray, often something as simple as the Lord's Prayer.  As he pointed out, it is wonderful to think of every hour starting with prayer, as people in every time zone pray this way.  In the Northumbria community, they have their own set of prayers (which always include the Lord's prayer).  The noon office is designed to be prayed in the middle of the day, "in the time it takes the kettle to boil."  The book of common prayer has a simliar short office, but I find the midday prayer of the Northumbrian community particularly helpful and beautiful.

I love the opening sentences:
Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us. 
Establish Thou the work of our hands; 
establish Thou the work of our hands.
(The entire office can be found here.)

What a wonderful way to invite God into the midst of our day and remind ourselves that our life in Christ encompasses our entire life!

What do you think?  Will you add your voice to the chorus of voices lifted up in prayer each day at noon?

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