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Saints Are Us

Saints Are Us: The Daily Office – Different Settings

This is the last in the series on the Daily Office — the official liturgical prayer of the Episcopal Church as found in the Book of Common Prayer. All throughout the Anglican Communion and the rest of the Christian world, the Hours of the Office are prayed, both in the catholic and reformed traditions, as well as the Church of the Eastern Rites.

In addition to the spoken form of prayer there are other settings in which the Church prays. Music is the next common form. For instance, when Evening Prayer is set to and prayed through music, it is known as Evensong. There are ways of praying using different forms of chant, both traditional and contemporary. There are new and innovative forms to be used to pray, both verbal and musical, as well as using images both fixed and moving. Recently I experienced Evensong done in HipHop and I was very impressed and inspired.

The series of Evensong being sponsored by St. Dunstan’s at the chapel in the Highlands is an example of this expression of the Daily Office. We the Baptized are all called to a life of daily and continuous prayer. The Church gives us this means to help us in this endeavor of a living contemplative life in Jesus.

A specific note: The Celebration of Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion as we do on Sunday morning), along with the Daily Office makes up the daily prayer life of the church. These are two different liturgical expressions of the Church. Think of a coin with two different sides, yet both together making up the coin. Each fulfills a different way the Church prays. Ask one of us how you can get started on this contemplative journey, a way of reaching out in love to God.

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