23 May 2011

PrayNow

Any reader of this blog knows how greatly I value the Treasury of Daily Prayer - it is simply a wondrous gift to the Church, putting into a single volume so much wisdom and joy from the Church's prayer life and made so accessible that anyone can follow it with ease.  Can it get any better?  Um, yes.  I picked up an iPad a couple months back and have all put abandoned my physical copy of Treasury, using instead the PrayNow app that CPH offers.  It's Treasury without the bulk and without needing to flip pages at all.  You can set up Matins and Vespers to autofill all the propers for each day and voila, the service is before you!  You can even show the Psalms with their markings (or not, if you choose to speak them).  I also have PrayNow on my phone, and it makes for a wonderful way to open a devotion at the start of a meeting or such, or for praying the Litany while you're waiting outside a hospital room or such.  They recently added the short orders for Daily Prayer from Lutheran Service Book to the app as well.  Wonderful stuff - thanks, CPH!

37 comments:

Dan at Necessary Roughness said...

PrayNow rocks. It's easy to do Compline in the dark as my kids are going to sleep.

Paul McCain said...

And...we have added additional prayer orders in the latest update of PrayNow.

William Weedon said...

You don't read very carefully do you, McCain? ;)

Terry Maher said...

Oy. Communal prayer, now digitally delivered to an individual's hand held device.

William Weedon said...

So that individuals may join in the church's communal prayer and rise above being individuals - as members of the one body of Christ. Sweet, isn't it???

Terry Maher said...

OK. Next Sunday I'll just open an edition of LSB and join in the church's communal prayer and rise above being an individual as one body of Christ. No church needed, just my handheld!

William Weedon said...

Terry, if no one is there, everyone is still there when you join in! But it's absolutely best when prayed together. As Dan mentioned - Compline with the kids! Or in my case, when sung in the church and folks join in. My all time favorite was walking over one night and finding a whole family waiting to join in Compline. If my schedule would allow it, I'd just set regular hours for each of the offices and post them for folks to daily join in. Sigh. Maybe someday.

Terry Maher said...

I can't remember if amid the cut and pasting from this that and the other that TDP offers in its idiosyncratic cornucopia of the Hours if the traditional prayer toward the end of an "hour" for the brothers who are absent is retained. But, if nobody is there but everybody is there, man, what a dilemma of neoPlatonism -- leave it out because everybody is here, or say it because in fact everybody is absent!

Anonymous said...

If my schedule would allow it, I'd just set regular hours for each of the offices and post them for folks to daily join in. Sigh. Maybe someday.

When we pray in the name of the Holy Trinity, whether communally or privately, we do indeed pray as the Body of Christ.

If I recall correctly Luther was in favor of retaining Matins and Vespers in the aftermath of the Reformation and people did gather to pray them in church.

I think that's one of the geniuses of the Book of Common Prayer as it evolved in the Anglican tradition. The rites are there for the Sunday liturgy, including the early service of Matins which is offered before the later Eucharistic service, and Anglicans/Episcopalians I have known always carried their personal copy of the BOC for daily prayer.

When I was still in my ELCA parish we used to pray Vespers from the Lutheran Book of Worship during Advent and Lent and it was quite lovely. More's the pity now that the ELCA has jettisoned the LBW.

The Lutheran Hymnal used many of the Anglican texts that still exist in the Book of Common Prayer so there is a precedent in the TDP for this.

Perhaps if families learned to pray a simplified liturgy in the home, especially Compline, the Sunday liturgical service would take stronger root.

All of this is very different from the complicated 7 canonical hours that clergy and religious were obligated to pray in the Church of Rome and which Luther referred to as burdensome babbling.

Now, having acquired a Kindle, thanks to Pastor McCain's fine guidance at Cyberbrethren, I too am relieved of the burden of "bulkiness" as I begin to assemble my own personal Kindle library. eReaders rock!!

Christine



If my schedule would allow it, I'd just set regular hours for each of the offices and post them for folks to daily join in. Sigh. Maybe someday.
Well, Luther did refer to the older canonical Roman hours that the clergy and religious were obligated to pray as burdensome babbling and with good reason. Got much too complicated and were not intended for the laity in any event.

As Lutherans we have the freedom to explore other options. Years ago when I was still in my ELCA parish we used to pray Vespers from the Lutheran Book of Worship during Advent and Lent and it was quite lovely and a good introduction for those who had never known liturgical prayer outside of the Sunday service. More's the pity now that the ELCA has jettisoned the LBW.

Believing Anglicans/Episcopalians I have known always carried their personal copy of the BOC for daily prayer, which contained a simplified form of liturgical prayer for families and individuals. The Lutheran Hymnal used many of the Anglican texts that still exist in the Book of Common Prayer and some of those same texts have now been carried over to the LSB and TDP, both of which offer structured prayer that can be tailored to anyone's time constraints (plus the added advantage of texts from our beautiful hymns).

Perhaps if we learned to pray a simplified liturgy in the home, especially Compline, the Sunday liturgical service would take on a whole new light, as one would naturally lead to the other as we pray in the one Body of ChristA.

eReaders and all those other new-fangled i-gadgets do relieve the burden of "bulkiness", no doubt about that. I think Luther would have liked them, communicator that he was.

Christine

Have to post this as Anonymous, blogger seems to be playing tricks with me.

Anonymous said...

Gott hilf mir, and I'm playing tricks on myself. Ended up posting an orignal and revised post of my own writing.

Arrgghh!

Christine

Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

Christine, I use the kindle version of TDP as well, but after looking at PrayNow, I'd say it's even more user friendly. The Kindle aps have been a Godsend to me for the last couple of months, my wife has had several health issues which mean I spend a great deal of time in waiting rooms while she makes an appointment. Now I can read TDP, review the lection with The Lutheran Study Bible, do my Book of Concord reading and usually whatever else is on the front burner. I suspect an iPad or similar device is in my future.
Well done CPH!

Anonymous said...

Christine, I use the kindle version of TDP as well, but after looking at PrayNow, I'd say it's even more user friendly.

Hi Pastor, I'm sure that PrayNow is very user friendly indeed. I just downloaded a free Crossways ESV Bible to my Kindle just to see what kind of search features it has and was happily surprised that I can search by book, chapter and verse.

I'm probably going to stick with the Kindle for a while because it's so easy to carry while I commute to work. I suspect Kindle, like all these marvelous devices will continue to evolve but once I am officially retired I have a feeling an iPad or something similar will be in my future as well.

I'm glad I have hard copies of LSB, TDP, BOC etc. at home where I still like the feel of a "real" book at my leisure, but on the road the e-stuff is so much easier to lug along. I was also amazed at how these reading devices really do fade into the background and the text becomes another book in my mind's eye.

Thanks for the input!

Now, let's see if I can post this
properly this time :)

Christine

P.S. It's all Pastor McCain's fault, he made the eReaders sound so attractive that I finally had to capitulate :) and I'm glad I did!

Terry Maher said...

People did gather to pray them in church. That's the point. People did gather. In church. When it says not to neglect the prayers and the breaking of bread, there is no provision that since we're all baptised we're all to-gether anyway so it's ok to read this stuff yourself, be it on a scroll, book, or ereader.

It's fine if one wants to read community public prayer as an individual private devotion, but to think this is anything but a tangential connexion to community public prayer is just an illusion, pleasant though it may be.

Anonymous said...

People did gather to pray them in church. That's the point. People did gather. In church. When it says not to neglect the prayers and the breaking of bread, there is no provision that since we're all baptised we're all to-gether anyway so it's ok to read this stuff yourself, be it on a scroll, book, or ereader. Of course they gathered in church, in the aftermath of the Reformation in Lutheran churches as well, at a time when the local parish was usually located in the cetner of town, within walking distance, women didn't work and the church wasn't miles away in the suburbs. But that's why I find the model of the BOC and the TDP so creative. They both offer a simplified form of the liturgy that people hear in those communally prayed services that could be adapted and prayed by families and individuals at home and elsewhere as well.

It's fine if one wants to read community public prayer as an individual private devotion, but to think this is anything but a tangential connexion to community public prayer is just an illusion, pleasant though it may be. I don't think there's an implication here that we're trying to replicate the Sunday liturgy in our homes. If one compares the daily prayers for individuals and families in the BOC with Rites I and II as they are celebrated on Sundays it becomes very clear which is which and yet how they connect it all. Those prayers are also available in TDP. Roman Catholics for the most part have never had those kinds of resources and getting the laity to pray the official "Liturgy of the Hours" has been spotty, at best. I find the Lutheran options far better.

Without some grounding we are left with doing "what is right in every man's eyes", to quote the prophet, which has led to the problem of evangelically-minded parishes that have no use for liturgy at all.

And yes, we are linked in Christ through baptism. That's what makes us brothers and sisters spiritually speaking and incorporates us into the royal priesthood that has continual access to the throne of grace. Which is not to say that it doesn't matter how we live our lives or express our faith.

Christine

Terry Maher said...

Communal is communal. No community, no community prayer. It's just as simple as that.

The Divine Service and the Divine Office are the communal public prayer of the church. There is no Private Office any more than there is a Private Mass.

William Weedon said...

Not quite. I'd remind you of these words from before the Vatican II that you hate so much:

"The breviary is above all the prayer of the Church, the prayer said in the name of the Church. It is helpful to understand the difference between private prayer and liturgical prayer. In private prayer, I pray, mostly, for my self and my own affairs. It is the isolated person who stands in the center of the action, and the prayer is more or less individualized. But in liturgical prayer, and therefore in the breviary, it is not primarily I who am praying, but the Church, the Bride of Christ. The object of her prayers is broader too: all the needs of God's kingdom here on earth. In liturgical prayer, I feel more like a member of a great community, like a little leaf on the great living tree of the Church. I share her life and her problems. The Church is praying thorugh my mouth. I offer her my tongue to pray with her for all the great objectives of redemption, and for God's honor and glory. We weep too, or rather the Church weeps through our tears, together with those who weep, rejoices through our joys together with those who rejoice, does penance with the repentant. All the sentiments of Holy Mother Church find their echo in our heart. This gives a deeper content to our prayer; we spread far beyond our own selves....So important, so essential is this basic understanding of liturgical prayer that we should write on the opening pages of the breviary and read it over at the beginning of each liturgical hour: Now the Church is praising God through my mouth; now the Church is struggling after souls with my hands!"

You will not doubt recognize the words of Pious Parsch, and his point is very important for a correct understanding of praying the Daily Prayer of the Church. In the Daily prayers of the TDP you will note that universal sweep of intercession.

Terry Maher said...

That's Pius Parsch.

Liturgical prayer is, well, liturgical, not private, and that is what he speaks of, all quite applicable if your life is that of, say, an Augustinian Canon Regular at Stift Klosterneuburg.

As he was.

Anonymous said...

But things have changed on Mt. Idy since then.

The general instructions for the Roman Liturgy of the Hours (miserable as the ICEL translation is) encourage and acknowledge that the laity may choose to pray the LOH, especially morning and evening prayer.

They further state:

Finally, it is of great advantage for the family, the domestic sanctuary of the Church, not only to pray together to God but also to celebrate some parts of the liturgy of the hours as occasion offers, in order to enter more deeply into the life of the Church. [106]

The instructions are careful to point out that even when recited individually the LOH is still the prayer of the church.

Sigh. Does anything ever stay the same :)

Anonymous said...

Ooops, forgot to add my name.

Christine

Blogger is still grouchy.

Terry Maher said...

There is no Morning Prayer any more in the LOH. There is an Office of Readings adaptable for use any time. Matins is abolished. Roman directions for its new Hours don't make much of a case for Lutherans I wouldn't think. Roman directions for its old Hours either.

The rationalisations for why community prayer sans community really isn't sans community are exactly the sort of stuff, though, one used to hear for Roman priests who were secular not regular clergy having to read all that stuff.

William Weedon said...

I don't consider it "all that stuff." It's mostly God's Word in Psalm and readings, with a hymn and the prayers and some of the great writings from across the centuries. But whatever, my friend. No one says YOU have to like it or whatever.

Many of us, however, know ourselves connected to the wider Church as we pray it, that we are - as Parsch said - the Church offering her prayer in the Spirit through the Son to the Father. O Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare Your praise! And as offer this in our homes or wherever we find ourselves, we realize we pray together with many, many fellow members of Christ's body. And also wonderfully, when we have to miss a time of prayer, we are comforted in knowing that other members of the Body still offered that prayer and remembered us before the throne of God, as Pr. Kinnaman's beautiful intro to the Treasury explains.

You think of it as you will; those of us who use it regularly realize what a true treasure we have!

Anonymous said...

There is no Morning Prayer any more in the LOH. There is an Office of Readings adaptable for use any time. Matins is abolished. Roman directions for its new Hours don't make much of a case for Lutherans I wouldn't think. Roman directions for its old Hours either.

Grrr. You know that broom I use to fly to Blocksberg for the Maitag celebration (let the reader understand)? I may have to turn it into a projectile!

The preconciliar world no longer exists. Whether you, I or the man in the moon like it the official "office" of the Roman church now has Morning and Evening prayer according to the rites of Vatican II and that is what people will use. Yes, the definitions have changed and that's that.

I don't see a strict parallel between TDP and the current Roman "hours" which I never cared for in any event. I find the rich foundation of Scripture in the TDP far superior to the Roman LOH and furthermore, we aren't beholdin, as they said back in the day, to make our prayer forms conform to Rome or anyone else.

If Luther felt free to kick out the Roman canon with its "stink of oblation" as one wag put it, then we have the freedom to arrange our prayer life as we see fit.

I still think the TDP has much to commend it. Lutheran prayer is catholic in both its communal and individual components.

Now, further die Christine sayeth not :)

William Weedon said...

Lutherans from the beginning adapted the office, usually by simplifying it. Matins as Lutherans pray it is a conflation of Matins/Lauds/Prime. Vespers a conflation of Vespers/Compline, though almost all Lutherans have now restored Compline as its own office. THE most consistent piece of the Lutheran reform of the Daily Office was the insertion of much longer readings of Scripture - so it is not unusual to have whole chapters read at a time. TDP continues in this vein. Another feature was never feeling compelled to recite the entire Psalter within a set time frame, and again TDP reflects this (you can pray the Psalm assigned for each day; use the monthly Psalter; or even use a weekly Psalter - all are provided for).

So when the Roman rite was reformed after the council to emphasize Morning and Evening Prayer as the key offices on which the minor offices hinge, it was actually reflecting the same intuition that lead to the way Lutherans reformed the Office.

Anonymous said...

THE most consistent piece of the Lutheran reform of the Daily Office was the insertion of much longer readings of Scripture - so it is not unusual to have whole chapters read at a time.

As is also true of the Divine Service. Our readings are generally much longer than those found in the Roman mass.

Christine

Terry Maher said...

Her prayer? That prayer? Singular, for what is in fact a plurality of forms and practices?

Or Parsch as a defence for an order he would in no way have recognised as legitimate but from outside the visible church?

I'm hardly against Psalms and readings arranged for daily use. Or for the major hours as part of congregational life. But the rest is just Platonic fantasy and is best left to those who refuse to participate in life and become monks instead of learing something useful, like plumbing.

William Weedon said...

Her prayer, for I think even Parsch would recognize the commonality of singing Venite and Te Deum at Matins; of the verse from Psalm 141 and the Magnificat with the Collect for Peace at Vespers.

William Weedon said...

In fact, he MIGHT recognize what we do as a bit more familiar to him than the modern "Office of Readings!"

Terry Maher said...

Grrr? It wasn't I who brought up either pre or postconciliar RC quotes. And my point about the latter was just that, it really has no relevance to Lutheran services. Where is Grrr in that?

Commonality? The Magnificat may be associated with Vespers in the West, but it's the Lumen Hilare (Phos Hilarion) in the East with the Magnificat with Sunday Matins. There just is no one "prayer of the church" except metaphorically and the church's prayer without ceasing is not a matter at all of private observance of communal prayer.

Hell, you can cobble stuff to-gether from all sorts of sources -- pretty much what TDP is -- and call it Matins if you want, Vespers, Compline, or cobble some more as LSB does and have a Morning and Evening Prayer to boot, or, one can pick one of the traditional orders instead and insist on sticking to that and only that, but in absolutely none of these cases is one joining with some prayer, singular, of the entire church -- especially when done in isolation from the community whose prayer it is.

And that last is really my only point. As an elder I've heard this same kind of justification for privatising a communal observance from those who feel quite connected grooving on their own or with a few familiars. As in RC I've heard this same kind of justification for why priests who do not live in community pray like those who do.

Anybody actually prayed this kind of stuff -- forget which version, any of them -- as what it is, liturgy, which is communal, consistently and over an extended period of time?

What a wonderful moment, when the single voice of the cantor intones the incipit of the Psalm antiphon then your voice joins with all the others and fills the space with praise.

What a wonderful moment when after the Psalm verses are chanted antiphonally both sides come to-gether and all bow their heads in submission to the Triune God in the Gloria Patri. (To this day I still reflexively bow my head at the Doxology!)

What a wonderful moment, though with a certain pain in the heart, when one prays for the brothers who are absent, people you know as well as the challenges they face in what requires them to be absent.

Communal moments.

Anonymous said...

Grrr? It wasn't I who brought up either pre or postconciliar RC quotes. And my point about the latter was just that, it really has no relevance to Lutheran services. Where is Grrr in that?

The Grrr is that we are neither RC nor Orthodox and not required to conform to either. The Book of Common Prayer also uses Western and Eastern liturgical forms for communal and individual prayer, the TDP is hardly a lone wolf.

Bottom line is, if you don't like, it, don't use it.

Now that TDP is available in an e-form I will definitely get it. The daily scripture readings and writings of the Lutheran fathers alone are worth it.


Christine

Terry Maher said...

Well, again, I am not speaking of conformity. Nor were the two quotes offered. Nor is the form itself the or at least my point.

We do claim to stand in a tradition. TDP like all recent liturgical efforts from anywhere stands in no particular tradition but is a cut and paste crazy quilt of a bunch of them, a characteristic of C20 "liturgical movement" types.

The "praise" types do no different, just use different sources for the crazy quilts they offer. No wonder they prefer them in the Crazy Quilt Wars. No wonder.

Not to worry, after examination of it I have no interest whatever in using it, or in using anything like some monachus perigrinus.

If my parish chooses to pray as church using some order of the Office I'd be happy to join. Communal prayer is communal prayer, that's my point.

Happy non-feast of Bede btw. (He wasn't dead yet on the 25th, he died on the 26th, but as Gus of Canterbury already did that, he is celebrated the next day the 27th or he boofs Gus and is celebrated on his dies natalis, as Loehe lists it. As you say, we do not need to conform to Rome, who boofed Gus for Gregory VII, one of their "popes" and lately boofed Bede to the 25th.)

Anonymous said...

If my parish chooses to pray as church using some order of the Office I'd be happy to join. Communal prayer is communal prayer, that's my point. The opportunity for parish communal prayer outside of Sunday's in this hectic 21st century world just isn't going to happen very often. People's schedules are too erratic. That's why I think it's great that the TDP offers both communal forms and the Daily Prayer for Individuals and Families, which offers the beauty of ancient prayers such as the Phos Hilaron. Christians praying at home are also part of "where two or three are gathered . . ."

Lutherans have always felt free to adapt to times and circumstances and that includes the way we understand "tradition", which the "praise" types do not, taking their models from American evangelicalism, a very recent culture on the stage of history.

As you say, we do not need to conform to Rome, who boofed Gus for Gregory VII, one of their "popes" and lately boofed Bede to the 25th.) Nope, that's Rome's baggage and we need not concern ourselves with. As you say, better those monastics should have learned something useful such as plumbing.

Wow, Amazon just delivered a nice sample of the TDP to my Kindle, I can't believe how smoothly it reads. Thanks Amazon and CPH, good job!

Wonder if Blogger is still grouchy?

Christine

Terry Maher said...

The thing is, lately we DO conform to Rome, and follow in the footsteps of the liturgical but heterodox churches that have already done so, coming up with our own versions of the C20 cut and paste crazy quilts that are the Contemporary Worship of that crowd.

Not at all the reform measures of the Reformers.

Bede is a very minor but nonetheless representative example of that, which I mention because it's his feast day to-day in Rome's latest calendar -- it's Rome's baggage indeed but we are concerned with it because we follow suit!

Yeah I used to hear about modern hectic lifestyles all the time, Sundays too, don't need to come to church, where two or three, hey church is already here, it's a 24/7 world now, it's all good, etc etc.

Communal prayer is communal prayer. Public prayer is public prayer. End of story.

If one wants to pray a community's prayer apart from it, fine. If one wants to pray a community's public prayer privately, fine. If one wants a treasury of daily prayer, fine. What isn't fine is to elevate these practices over any others in which Christians pray privately or individually, or to imagine such practices amount to any participation in or experience of the communal public prayer of the church.

William Weedon said...

You are nothing if not persistent; but then you've met your match here, buddy! ;) It's fine that you think of it that way. Whatever. I know when I join in praying Matins and Vespers, I am praying together with the Church and the Church is praying through me. So there. I'm not budging, not to please your Vatican-II hating hide one little bit. LOVE YOU, TERRY!!!

Anonymous said...

The thing is, lately we DO conform to Rome, and follow in the footsteps of the liturgical but heterodox churches that have already done so, coming up with our own versions of the C20 cut and paste crazy quilts that are the Contemporary Worship of that crowd.

No, oh HELL no!! Being a veteran of postconciliar RC liturgical monkery (not in the monastic sense) and a survivor of the politically correct mess that is the New American Bible, I have yet to hear an LCMS sermon that intentionally omits the readings about wives and husbands for fear of offending like they do in RC parishes.

And nothing like the advertisement in my former Catholic parish about the "new" Sunday evening "contemporary youth mass" which yes, oh HELL yes, you can tap your toes to!

Nor am I addressing the necessity of weekly Sunday worship. The fact is that more and more of the corporate world is going to flex time and people don't all work "regular" hours anymore. The Sunday liturgy should always be the priority.

TDP works just fine.

Christine

Terry Maher said...

Please me? Who in the hell needs to do that?

Vatican II? Who brought that up? Or for that matter cited a poetic image from a preconciliar RC encomium on stuff like the Canons Regular at Stift Klosterneuburg do, or did, not what we were discussing here?

It's this kind of irrational hyperliturgicalism that makes me understand more and more the resistance to liturgy among us. Understand, not agree with, but no wonder they remain unpersuaded.

Terry Maher said...

Wasn't talking about any of that stuff, Christine, as an example of how we do in fact follow Rome.

So what was I talking about? Zum B, it was you who brought up the general instructions from the postconciliar LOH stating that individual use is still the prayer of the church. Oder besser it was you who dismissed how Bede ended up on the 25th at Rome's hands in 1970 as Roman baggage with which we are not concerned, except we are because our "Ordinary Form" calendar now puts him there too.

Anonymous said...

it was you who brought up the general instructions from the postconciliar LOH stating that individual use is still the prayer of the church.

No, not STILL. I recognize the difference between the usage in the preconciliar church and what is practiced NOW. That is indeed part of the general instructions since Vatican II, that the laity are encouraged to join in the "Prayer of the Church" and are instructed that even when reciting the LOH alone they are joined to the entire church in their prayer.

Oder besser it was you who dismissed how Bede ended up on the 25th at Rome's hands in 1970 as Roman baggage with which we are not concerned, except we are because our "Ordinary Form" calendar now puts him there too.

Can't get all that excited about it. My main concern is what the man had to say about the Christian life, and I suspect that's true of most Lutheran and Catholics, for that matter. Because we share some common observances with Rome doesn't mean we are headed straight for Babylon.

And you did mention this:

Yeah I used to hear about modern hectic lifestyles all the time, Sundays too, don't need to come to church, where two or three, hey church is already here, it's a 24/7world now, it's all good, etc etc.

Which is why I brought up the context of Sunday worship which is the main obligation for a Christian. The the daily offices aren't and I find no problem with someone praying any of them privately. We are Lutherans and don't need to adhere to pre or post RC standards.

I don't know any serious Christian who doesn't try to attend on Sunday, unexpected circumstances notwithstanding.

I used to hear that a lot as a Catholic, that a really "good" Catholic would try to make it to daily mass as much as possible. I think Luther, with his respect for the vocation of the laity, would have had some strong words of correction for that. Lutherans don't judge their spiritual life by how long the lights in the church are turned on.

Christine