WHY PRAY THE DAILY OFFICES?
The offices of Morning and Evening Prayer are the daily public prayer of the Church. An office, even when said alone, is not private prayer, but real participation in the Church’s offering. We mingle our prayers with those of the whole church. We invite you to take part in this wonderful offering of praise and prayer to God.
Historically, the offices of Morning and Evening Prayer are derived from the Opus Dei laid out by St. Benedict in his Rule for his monks in the sixth century. It consisted primarily of Psalms and prayers sung eight times a day. Elements of these were recast by Thomas Cranmer into Matins and Evensong for the English prayer book of 1549. They were intended to be the daily prayer of the Church, in addition to the Mass, “both/and” services, not “either/or” ones.
Those with time for this practice will find it still a splendid form of daily prayer. It widens our exposure to scripture, especially the Psalms, assures a balance and objectivity in our daily prayer and will unite our prayers with that huge cloud of witnesses of which we are a part. If you are praying the offices at home or at work or even out-of-doors on a picnic or hike, an effort to go aside, to be free from as much distraction as possible, will add to its benefit to you. Use, and some attention to detail, will solve problems you may experience at first. Their use will surely deepen your relationship with God and strengthen the call to the ministry of prayer we all have .
Morning and Evening Prayer are prayed often at St. Mary's Church and we invite you to share in this offering to God. Check the calendar and weekly bulletin for times, which may vary from week to week or with the season. All of these services are open to everyone.