Friday, January 1, 2010

Daily Office 1

On Wednesdays I plan to post about practicing the Daily Office. Post number one is an introduction.

The Daily Office is an ancient form of prayer that has its roots in the ancient Jewish synagogue -- the kind of synagogue where Jesus worshiped (i.e., Jesus prayed a form of the Daily Office). It is a way of praying that is structured around a regular praying of the Psalms. Early Christians embraced this practice and it become common in the early centuries of Christianity for believers to gather twice a day for prayer - morning prayer before the work day and evening prayer after the work day. The heart of this prayer time centered around praying the Psalms but in time other prayers were added. Of course, there was always space for free intercessions.

From about the 5th century onward, praying the Daily Office became mostly a practice in monasteries -- some moving from twice a day to seven times a day (taken from Psalm 119:164 - Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules).

During the English Reformation of the 16th century this practice was restored in the Church of England through the use of the Book of Common Prayer. Since then, this has been an integral part of the Anglican way of praying.

Next week we will look at the nuts and bolts of the Daily Office. After that, the rationale for this way of praying.

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