By Jonathan Maedche & Mother Rebecca

The Catechism in The Book of Common Prayer teaches that “prayer is responding to God, by thought and by deeds, with or without words.” (BCP, p. 856). By defining prayer as a response to God, we acknowledge that God continually is communicating with us – is longing to be in relationship with us.

Prayer is central to the spiritual life and health of all believers. In his First Letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul writes a community of new Christians encouraging them spiritually. At the end of this letter, Paul counsels the Christians in Thessalonica in hopes of strengthening their bonds of faith, love, and charity. “Pray continually,” he tells them.

Continuous prayer is a challenge for all Christians, especially those of us who lead busy lives, full of distractions. Having a structured time to pray with others is one way to begin to follow Paul’s advice. This is where the Daily Office can help.

Early religious monastic communities developed a structured framework for prayer that came to be known as the Liturgy of the Hours, originally eight brief prayer services which marked the hours of the day by creating regular opportunities for Christians to enter into meditative prayer. In the Rule of St. Benedict, the offices included

  • Matins, prayed during the night around 2 am
  • Lauds, at dawn, around 5 am
  • Prime (first hour), at 6 am
  • Terce (third hour), at 9 am
  • Sext (sixth hour), at noon
  • None (ninth hour), at 3 pm
  • Vespers (“at the lighting of the lamps”), at 6 pm
  • Compline (before bed), around 7 pm

When he compiled the first Book of Common Prayer, Thomas Cranmer simplified the Liturgy of the Hours into Morning and Evening Prayer and included the “little hours” of Noonday Prayer and Compline. These four services are known by Anglicans as the Daily Office. Around the world, Anglicans in every time zone regularly are praying the Daily Office, effectively blanketing the earth in continuous prayer.

In 2020 when Transfiguration closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mtr. Rebecca started offering the Daily Office over Facebook as a way to lead the Transfiguration community in prayer for our world and to help us maintain connection and community during a time of sickness and separation. For two months, we prayed all four services in the Office every day. During this time, our members were joined by Christians as far away as Alaska, Maine, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and England.

Over time as we returned to more regular activities, we reduced the number of prayer services we lead online. Yet even today, Transfiguration members and guests from around the world pray together online regularly. This ministry connects us with our brothers and sisters locally and afar, across time and space. Our prayer lives have been enriched, and a deeper sense of community has emerged.

We invite you to join us in prayer. Morning Prayer is offered Monday–Friday at 8:00 a.m., and Compline is offered Monday–Thursday at 9:00 p.m. You can find us on the church’s Facebook page: “Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration.” We are led by a small group of volunteers, Jonathan Maedche at the helm. The group is always seeking additional prayer leaders. If you are interested in learning more about leading prayers with us, please email Jonathan.

Pray continually! See you on Sunday!

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