26 October 2008

Scattered Thoughts on the Treasury

Now that I have the Treasury of Daily Prayer in hand, I must confess to being even more impressed than I was in looking through the PDF files CPH shared. The book is MASSIVE - it couldn't be anything else, since it included so many gems and treasures.

Among the hidden gems, the one that I've been most blessed by is found tucked away on page 1441. It's a pre-communion prayer of St. John Chrysostom:

Know, O Lord my God, I am unworthy that You should enter beneath the roof of the temple of my soul, because it is all empty and dead. There is in me no worthy place where You may lay Your head....

Gems such as this are literally strewn across the pages of the book.

My suggestion to those who will be using the TDP as a daily Breviary for Matins and Vespers is to turn to the Psalter on pages 1323-1423 and, using the Schedule for Reading the Psalms Over Thirty Days (pp. 1436, 1437), mark at the head of each set of Psalms the day and the time (m for morning; e for evening). This will eliminate the need to refer to the Psalm chart. Thus, at Psalm 1, write: 1-M and at Psalm 6 write: 1-E, and so on.

Don't miss the fine prayers that are provided for each day of the week (pp. 1306-1309). These are fitting additions to the Matins or Vespers.

It is appropriate to append the reading about a given day's Commemoration, Feast or Festival to the end of Matins, and perhaps to include the Prayer of the Day following the announcement of what is being commemorated.

Note that Compline is printed exactly as in the hymnal, therefore you need to know that the traditional Compline Psalms are 4, 91, and 134. The traditional Compline hymn is "Before the Ending of the Day" LSB 889. You might want to copy it and keep it with Compline or better yet, just memorize it.

The simplest way to use the Treasury is to confine one's self to the Psalmody and readings provided for each day. That's what I suspect the majority of our laity will do, but it certainly can be used for a more complete office. The introductions provide invaluable help in this regard. I particularly appreciated these words on page 20:

"The Daily Office is not an isolated, individual endeavor. Instead, it is the way an individual participates in the prayer life of the community, the Church. Thus, one does not need to feel a burden to participate in a particular office every day or feel guilty because a time of prayer was missed. Rather, when you miss a time you typically set aside for prayer, be conscious that the prayer goes on as the people of God throughout the world call on their dear Father."

With the vast resources of this work, how easily the Daily Office could again come to be sung and prayed in our Churches (at least Matins and Vespers) - ideally daily but certainly at least during the great Penitential Seasons. As the Eucharist has been restored to its rightful place among us as the Chief Service each Lord's Day, the prayer offices have in many places become unfamiliar to our people. Time to bring them back and show that rather than replacing the Eucharist, they lead toward it and accompany us after receiving it!

More later, I'm sure. But what a gift the good folks at CPH have given us this time, people loved by God! What a gift!

21 comments:

Paul McCain said...

Good suggestion on the "how to mark" the Psalms.

Another practical and wonderful tool for this book, or any book, such as the hymnal, or any book where you might have several spots you want to mark and come back to, is to us Post-it flag and page markers. They are fantastic.

http://www.3m.com/us/office/postit/products/prod_ft_port.html

Anonymous said...

Bill,

I got my yesterday morning (Saturday). I saw pastor yesterday afternoon and he was a bit jealous that I got mine first. He said his had been pre-ordered for weeks. Things only got worse when I told him I ordered mine Friday morning! LOL!!

Jeff

William Weedon said...

Too funny, Jeff!

Neil W. said...

Yesterday, I ended up going through 4 of the offices. Using the book of Concord selection in place of the sermon/Small Catechism for either Matins or Vespers. Not doing the Psalter in the year, just the included Psalm...if I do both Matins and Vesper I've been using the second Psalm. I also like the propers for the responsery & antiphon, which I've never had at my access.

revalkorn said...

Apparently I'm the redheaded stepchild of the LCMS and all its resources. I'm the last to get EVERYTHING. I'm already getting advice about the book, and my copy is sitting in a truck somewhere. It's not fair!!!

*slinks off to bemoan his lot in life*

I'll keep this one bookmarked until I get my copy. I'll admit to being the victim of heavy anticipation.

Rev. James Leistico said...

Al,
you're not the last to get it yet. I ordered the book (2 copies, one for home and one for church) - and my account's order history still says, "Item will be shipped when available." (And I only live one hour away from StL on top of that!)
now off to use the pdf version of the book... a cheap substitue for me, but at least it's there.

Sean said...

may I ask this question: What happens if, as a result of this or any other resource- or even as a result of a pastor's teaching on the subject of daily prayer, members of your parish begin to gather together to pray the daily office in some capacity themselves? I suppose it could either be in the absence of more "formal" services being offered at the parish, or in addition to services offered at the parish. Do you think the notion of a broader Christian community over time & space (we might say catholic ;) would be a negative thing, damaging the more parochial and local communities?

Paul McCain said...

Not to worry....we are catching up with all the backorders and should have them out of the building by today or tomorrow.

O.H. Lee said...

Even with the Rev. McCain's assurance, I'm still jealous of those who have theirs already. I think I check the FedEx tracking deal every hour.

Paul McCain said...

Sean, the Treasury itself is very clear that when we pray the offices, either alone, or in smaller groups, we are not doing so in isolation from the Church, but precisely with the knowledge that we are joining with the Church in the unending prayer that is constantly being offered.

If the Treasury were to be used to try to replace the Divine Service, that would be an abuse of the resource; or was used in any way that was sectarian or schismatic, this would be contrary, entirely and completely, to its intention and purpose.

Rev. James Leistico said...

oh happy day. I got my email saying TDP is on its way to me!

J.G.F. said...

oooo oooo ooo I got my email that the "book's in the mail" today too!!!! Can't wait!

Lutheran Lucciola said...

I may have to get this. Not sure if it would be too advanced or something, though.

William Weedon said...

Tracey,

You want it! It's totally flexible: simple and easy to use or as complicated as you want to make it. The guts of the book, though, are as easy to use as finding the given calendar date. Great stuff!

markel said...

We are planning on bringing a demo copy of the TDP to the Good Shepherd Institute this upcoming weekend for those who are in the area and would like to see the whole thing.

Stop on by the CPH table in the registration area! We'll be happy to see you there.

I just got my hands on one today and I have to say that I am likewise impressed with the composition of this kind of resource. I have never seen anything quite like it before, and I think that it has amazing potential to unify the prayer life of our people in amazing ways. It can be read and used on many levels, and I am excited to see so many enthusiastic people receiving it.

Lutheran Lucciola said...

OK, I'm ordering now...wake up, Pastor Irish, I'm sending you my order! ;-)

Lutheran Lucciola said...

I wonder if my pastor has ordered one. I would like to give him this for Christmas, but odds are he probably already has one on order.

Hmm. What to do.

Lutheran Lucciola said...

Alright, I went whole hog and ordered two leather bound deluxe ones.

What the frell, it does sound pretty wonderful.

Paul McCain said...

I'll work to get copies up to our bookstore in Fort Wayne this weekend, if they are not already there.

PTM

Paul McCain said...

To be precise: I'll ask for copies to be sent up, if they have not already been sent. Others will do the actual work to get that done!

: )

Paul McCain said...

CPH already has them on the way.

Warehouse picked it yesterday, almost 200 of the regular and 130 of the deluxe.