Sunday, 1 November 2009


If I one day have to lose the recitation of the Divine Office (which is RC but used by many Anglicans) for my daily prayers I think I'm going to experience quite a bereavement. It has seen me through thick and thin in sickness and in health over the years both as layman and after Ordination. It feeds me, nourishes me, guides me and helps me. Most importantly it opens the door and enables me to live in the same household with the living God on a daily basis. It also joins me with the rest of the 'family', both of catholic Anglicans and Roman Catholics where we seek to live together and serve the Father in prayer. Although we may not meet in the same houses of prayer at the same moment to say the Offices, we are joined together by the knowledge that we are all following the same pages all over the world and uniting as Christians of the same family praying to the same God roughly at the same time. If we are ill we know that if we miss these prayers and readings they are still being prayed and read for us by our brothers and sisters in Christ on our behalf. I hope that this rich treasury of daily prayers each different for the Calendar and seasons of the church year will not be lost because of a direction to use an Anglican  book of common prayer as part of  a  more general 'Patrimony' that we may be taking with us. Where would be the wisdom in that I wonder? Many of us left the BCP in private offices as a result of Vatican Two years ago. Also would this be wisdom at the very time that the fruits of united prayer for unity in the daily Office are bearing such fruit at this time? We could still continue to use the BCP in sung and public services. Of Wisdom... " Her, then I would take to myself, to share my home; to be my counsellor  in prosperity, my solace in anxiety and grief."( Book of Wisdom ch. 8) 

1 comment:

  1. Work is in progress on an English version of the full Sarum Breviary which you might find even more to your taste than the Divine Office. Much of it is already to be found in the office books published S. Mary's Press, Wantage, in the 1950s and earlier. The McMaster University project to put the Latin version online, complete with music, is making steady progress - see the Music of the Sarum Office website.