The Daily Office

Since I am rather 'new' to the Episcopal tradition, there is a lot I still have to learn. But one thing that my good friend told me (he also happens to be the rector of our parish!) is that when we come together, we are not just there with those around us. These people are not our only family. There are those across town. There are those in the next city. There are those in the next county. There are those in the next state. There are those in the next country. There are those in the next continent. And then, there are those who have gone on before us. There are those who will come after us. The point is, we are so much more than just the persons next to us when we are at church. Our family is world wide and centuries old.

I also learned that some parts of our Sunday morning service goes back to the second century. Talk about feeling 'connected'!

This got me thinking. There are a lot of times, even when I'm sitting in a 'church service', that I feel alone, isolated, not connected with those around me. This is primarily my fault, of course, as I have yet to get 'plugged in' to do more things at St John's. But, there is great comfort in knowing that, even though I don't 'feel like it', I am a part of this great family and we are all having the same service all around the world together. Space and time may separate us, but I know that I am having the same service that my parents are having many miles away. Even though there not beside me, they are with me.

That is what is amazing about the Internet. I have discovered that the morning service (as well as the noon and evening ones) can be found on line. I used to just read through the Morning Ritual of the Daily Office in the Book of Common Prayers but wasn't sure exactly what parts to read or what parts to skip. I also didn't know how (for certain) to handle the rectors part (even though I just read over it). But, as providence would have it, I ran into the rector at a local pub a few weeks back. I was about to leave when I spotted him and he was sitting with this young woman. They invited me to join them and we had a wonderful conversation. It turns out that this young lady was about to be ordained as a priest! (The Episcopal tradition has been doing this for thirty years now.) As we were talking I told them about my struggles with the Daily Office. She said that one of the great comforts to her is that she can just wake up in the morning and start reading from it right there in her bed knowing that she is having the same service as the people that are at church. That was pretty cool. She then said that the service is online and that it is really a great way of staying connected. We had some more things to talk about and after a half hour or so I thanked them for the invitation and the conversation and went home.

The next morning I found the Daily Office online. At first I didn't know exactly which one to select but decided to just click on the 'Click for Today's Prayer Service' button. The page loads with the correct service and I can follow along nicely. It even has the music for the songs. For those of you who haven't discovered this wonderful tradition of the Christian faith, I highly recommend it. I have some links on the main page regarding the Episcopal church and I added the link for the Daily Office too.

May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.



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