The Daily Office

The real significance of the Divine Office is that in its recitation the individual or group enters the ancient cycle of prayer, by which day by day and hour by hour the church in the name of all creation adores and implores the eternal God.     – Evelyn Underhill In Paths in Spirituality, MacQuarrie

The Episcopal/Anglican tradition calls for a weekly Eucharist and daily prayer. The Daily Office: Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline, can be prayed by individuals, families, or worshiping communities. The office is always communal in nature, because we pray with the whole church and the communion of saints.

St. Catherine’s participates in the church’s daily offering of praise as individuals at home, and as a community at 5:30 p.m. Evening Prayer, Monday – Thursday in our Chapel.

If you would like some guidance in how to say the Office speak with one of the clergy and/or attend a related Foundations Course. If you would like to join a team of Evening Prayer leaders, please contact Mother Susan+ for training.

Daily prayer in the prayer book tradition embodies a spiritual practice that is practical, ordered, and not dependent on feelings that are subject to change. The daily offices of the prayer book are intended to be familiar, regular, and participatory, leading to what one author calls a “divine monotony."  Indeed, the word “office" is derived from the Latin officium, meaning the performance of a task or duty. The offices have a corporate familiarity that leads us deeper into the regular rhythms of the day and of our life with God Opening the Prayer Book; by Jeffrey Lee 1999

  The value of the Office is its objectivity. It is a means by which we pray with the whole church, uniting our prayer with that of millions of other Christians living and dead. This is true whether one is alone or in a group, for the Office is essentially a corporate act. It is objective too in that it does not depend on our feelings, but gives our prayer life a regularity and a disciplined framework – Kenneth Leech True Prayer

 The Office holds up in a public way the fact that the journey with and to God is central – God is all in all. It enables a connecting-up process where individual and community are held in contact with God. In a very particular way it builds community, providing bricks and mortar wherewith God’s community is continually brought to be. It releases love, not simply for the community, or even perhaps not at all for the community sometimes, as far as they can perceive it. It feeds into the invisible economy of Grace, God’s hidden plumbing, for the good of the world. From – What shall we say about the Daily Office? by Father George Guiver CR

 …a way by which we keep ourselves in constant awareness of the divine order; an order of love and justice which embraces and underlies all order …. “The cantus firmus is the recurring rhythmic pattern which serves as the basis for the music, giving it a unity and consistency. …it is the recurring cycle of prayer and communing with God which gives, as it were, the dominant ‘set’ to life. But over that cantus firmus all kinds of distinct melodies may be heard interweaving in a complex texture” …. “…the offices keep us in touch with the whole church. They do not impede the individual’s spiritual growth, but both nourish it and supply a standard by which it is to be judged” …. “..we need immersion too in Christian truth if we are rightly to interpret life and culture – John MacQuarrie in Paths in Spirituality

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