Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Daily Office

My good friend, Brian, over at The Faithful Skeptic has been complaining lately of a "spiritual void" in his life. I can't say that that feeling is foreign to me. Within the past few months, however, I have found a spiritual practice that works really well for me, and I thought I would offer it up to you as a possibility.

I prayer the daily office after the use of the Order of Saint Luke an organization of which I am now a member. That's right, I'm a monk now (of sorts), Br. David D. M. King, OSL. Anyway, the generic versions of all of the offices are now online and available for download. Try praying the Evening Office and the Morning Office first. These are the two main offices of the day. I also realy enjoy reading Compline, or at least the last bit of it, before I go to bed. There is also a good overview of the daily office available.

But these generic versions (or "commons") are just the shell of the office. If you find that you're enjoying this type of prayer and that it speaks to you, you'll want to have the real material that changes with the day and season (the "propers"). Go to OSL Publications and order the Daily Office Series. You'll want to start off with Volume 3 - Easter and Volume 6 - The Daily Lectionary. You might also want to pick up Volume 5 - For All the Saints, which is a great way to learn about how some people have lived out their faith to the fullest, both in the ancient and near past.

Please let me know how you like praying the daily office or if you have any questions about how to do it or about the materials I described. Of course, everyone has to find spiritual disciplines that work for them, but I find this to be a very meaningful way to start and end my day. The full office takes about 15 minutes, but if I'm in a rush, I can do a shortened version in just a couple of minutes. If you're already familiar with the daily office, I still recommend these materials from OSL because of the extremely well written prayers and the radically inclusive language, something not found in The Book of Common Prayer.


Blogger gavin richardson said...

i've been reading through the daily office for about a year now. when i am consistent with it, it really does set my days apart from others. unfortunately with a hectic work scheduele, it gets pushed around. i have really enjoyed using phylis tickle's prayer books, i'd recommend them.

my favorite part of the office is compline. there is something about going peacefully to bed and praying for others to have the same. morning office comes next.. afternoon and evening get lost in the shuffle too often.

9:24 AM  
Blogger david said...

I usually end up folding compline into the evening prayers, which I do at the time of compline. It's not the best, but you're right, it's hard to find the time at 6:00 to do evening prayer.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

David - this is definitely interesting. I'm just having trouble thinking about commiting to something like this when I'm barely keeping the rest of my life in order. I suppose that's probably the point though...

10:22 PM  
Blogger St.Phransus said...

I have found that my life is "ordered" more when I stop and breathe in the morning office. I'm not as consistent with mid day nor evening (though I try). But if I can start morning with prayer then I have something to take with me the rest of the day and I feel like I am in prayer for the entire day no matter what I'm doing.


10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

During the last 3 years I've worn out one copy of Robert Benson's "Venite" for morning prayer. Before that it was "The Book of Common Prayer". Since having major surgery last fall, it's been hard to get in the groove again. Tried Phyllis Tickle's books but couldn't form a commitment. I need the regularity of a prayer book, but something new. Back to Common Prayer or?

8:37 AM  
Blogger david said...

I really do highly recommend the OSL resourses. Check out The Daily Office Project. We're on Volume 3 at this point in the year until Pentecost next month. You might want to start out with Volume 4A so you have a little longer to try it out without buying two books. If you'd like to try a daily lectionary that's different than the BCP two-year cycle, check out volume 6. It has a daily lectionary that's based on the Revised Common Lectionary, with expanded and related texts.

11:10 PM  
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1:37 PM  

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