23 January 2008

For Darian

My friend, Darian, has asked me to share specifics of my practice for daily prayer. It's really quite simple:

My general rule is Matins from LSB, using the Psalm chart (p. 304) and the daily lectionary's first reading (pp. 299-304) in the morning; and using the same Psalm chart and the daily lectionary's second reading for either Vespers or Evening Prayer.

For office hymns, I frequently use the ones provided in the Brotherhood Prayer Book, and also use its form of commemorations following Matins, though I also use those traditional office hymns that are included in LSB. For example, all during Advent at Matins I sang: "Savior of the Nations" and at Vespers "Creator of the Stars of Night."

At either Matins or Vespers I will include an extended time for intercession for those who have asked me to remember them (I have to keep a list of them or I would forget!), and I generally use the form provided here:

http://www.stpaullutheranchurchhamel.org/DailyIntercessions.html

I include that after the collect of the day and before either the collect for grace (Matins) or peace (Vespers).

A few other points:

* There are days that I miss one office or the other because of unpredictable changes in my schedule, and when I do, I never obsess about "catching up" - I just pick up with where I should be for that service and go on from there. If you're praying them regularly, you'll pick up with those psalms and readings next time round. Don't sweat it; the goal is to be faithful in praying, not to "keep score."

* In general, I find that I pray the office with greater attention and care if I chant the psalms, sing the hymn, and read the lesson out loud, and sing the canticles, and so on. It slows down and then I'm not flying through things without really praying and listening.

* Hand in hand with that, I seem to pray with less distractions at Church than elsewhere (that's sort of a "duh" but needs saying), and sometimes folks surprise me by joining me when I'm praying at Church - always a blessing.

* What about Compline? Sadly, I haven't built Compline into my regular daily prayer. It is a service that I love and that we pray on Wednesdays together, but that most nights I do not pray. I do, however, try to pray it daily during Lent.

* When the Treasury of Daily Prayer comes out from CPH, it will be even easier to follow the Office as in the LSB because it will have readings printed out, the entire Psalter available, and other readings from various church fathers across the centuries provided in one volume. Also some hymn verses for each day, I believe. Keep your eyes out for that gem!

9 comments:

Christopher Esget said...

Thanks for posting this; I find it quite helpful.

Would you mind explaining to me how you understand, in the Daily Intercessions, the evangelical meaning of [regarding the clergy] "... and by their prayers have mercy upon me and save me, a sinner"?

William Weedon said...

It is asking God to hear the prayers of those who shepherd me when they ask for my perseverance in faith and coming at last to the joys of the heavenly Feast. To "save" means, in this case, to get safely through my earthly pilgrimage to heaven without falling from the faith; to finish the race that has been begun. The pastors of the Church are to pray daily for such things for their flocks - and in my case, I trust my DP and hope my SP prays for these things for me and for all the pastors.

Christopher Esget said...

Thanks for the explanation. I think I have a bit of difficulty with it - but I will try praying it for a month or so and reevaluate.

You are a good example to your brothers-in-office and I am grateful.

William Weedon said...

Thanks for the kind words, my friend. I think your idea of trying it for a while and checkint it out is quite sound. The idea behind it is similar to St. Paul's telling Timothy that by attending to his sound doctrine he can "save himself and his parishioners" - by which the Apostle means, I take it, bring them to the safe harbor of eternal life.

For pastors I also suggest praying this prayer for your people daily - it was originally a prayer of parents for children, but it works well for a pastor as the father of his parish to pray as well:


O God, our heavenly Father, You love mankind, and are most merciful and compassionate, have mercy upon all the members of my parish (and especially...), for whom I humbly pray You, and commend them to Your gracious protection. Be, O God, their guide and guardian in all their endeavors; lead them in the path of Your truth, and draw them near to You, that they may lead a godly and righteous life in Your love and fear; doing Your will in all matters. Give them grace that they may be temperate, industrious, diligent, devout and charitable. Defend them against the assaults of the enemy, and grant them wisdom and strength to resist all temptation and corruption of this life; and direct them in the way of salvation, for the merits of Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Christopher Esget said...

Oh, I will definitely use this. Praying for my parishioners has not been done in an intentional, deliberate way, and this will help. Thank you!

Stoleman said...

Pastor Weedon,

First, I must apologize for not responding sooner. "...Have mercy upon me a sinner..."

Second, I am humbled by your sharing of your daily prayer schedule. Like a lot of things, daily prayer needs to/should take a more central role in the daily lives of all children of God. Yet, sadly we relegate the TV to the central role.

On a personal note, I am enjoying the daily offices of Matins and Vespers and the continuous reading of scripture. The Psalter is a jewel as you have indicated other places on your blog. I only wish my parish pastor had talked more about its lovely use. I have been missing it.

I look forward to the release of the text you referenced in this post. It should be helpful in the daily offices.

Again, thank you for sharing and your ministry on the world wide web!!!

YIC,
Darian L. Hybl

Heather said...

Pastor,

Thank you for posting this and many of the other encouraging bits I've found on your blog over the past week or so.

This particular post has encouraged me to begin a similar practice. I am relatively new to the LCMS (7 years since my transition from the ELCA) and have only recently been exposed to prayer offices on campus at River Forest. Now, I am a deaconess intern finding immense consolation for my sense of isolation in joining in the prayer of the Church.

However, I am very unfamiliar with some of the canticles and my musical ability is limited to hearing something over and over. After hearing that link to the Ft. Wayne Kantorei singing the Te Deum, I am wondering if you know of any resource out there (a CD, tape or something) that might help me to learn these tunes?

In Christ's service,
+ Heather

William Weedon said...

Dear Heather,

Sorry it took me so long to reply. I asked Pr. Vieker if there any plans for producing the music for these offices, and he said not yet.

I am wondering if we might twist CPH's arm to record the music to go along with the publication of the Treasury of Prayer? Maybe.

Best solution in the meantime, is to grab a musician (I know you've got a few around RF) and ask them to record the music for you. It wouldn't take long and the offices are really very easy to sing - all the music in them.

Sorry not to be of more help!

Vernon Camp said...

Thanks so much! I just got my Treasury of Daily Prayer and I have to admit I am overwhelmed. I am trying to figure out how to break down the readings and prayers for each day. For instance, since today is Thursday, I have to figure out when to pray the daily prayer, when to pray the prayer for November 9 and when to pray my personal prayers. Finally I don't know when to use the daily intercessions from the LSB. I guess instead of getting overwhelmed I should try to do a little bit at a time so I don't get burned out. Thanks again!