Introduction to Family Devotions

More good observations on family prayer.

Cogito, Credo, Petam

Reproduced below is the introduction to Family Devotions, from the Book of Common Prayer: With prayers at the communion, from bishops Taylor, Ken, and Beveridge, compiled by Thomas Stephen in 1841. Since this Mr Stephen was also the author of The Confession of Faith of the Church of England in the Thirty-nine Articles, and in the piece below refers to the prayer of ‘the Reformed Catholic Church’, we can well be assured of his commitment to the scriptural piety that is the standard of the Church of England.

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An established religion is as necessary and useful in a family, which is a little kingdom, as in the state. In both, the voluntary system is pernicious, and will not be found to work well; for what is left to the good pleasure of every man’s own discretion will perhaps be left entirely undone. The learned and pious Dr. Doddridge has very…

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

A blessed and happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. Here is a selection from St. Patrick’s Breastplate:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

May our daily prayer and meditations be fixed upon Christ and His redemption and may our faith in Him be reflected in good works, almsgiving, and loving our neighbor. Lord have mercy on our failings and awaken us to how we miss the mark. Refocus us on resting in your grace in order to walk the path and do the hard work set before us.  Help us to see You in the people who are in need and strengthen us to always render assistance. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

Family Prayer: An Uncommon Habit

Many thanks to my friends at The Homely Hours for publishing “Family Prayer: An Uncommon Habit.”

The Homely Hours

Thank you to Andrew Brashier for submitting this post to our series on family prayer. Andrew volunteers as Chancellor for the ACNA Special Jurisdiction of Armed Forces and Chaplaincy and is an attorney at the Beasley Allen law firm in Montgomery, AL. He blogs about family oratories and the impact they can have in reigniting Anglicanism at https://thruamirrordarkly.wordpress.com/

Habits are common, but a good habit requires discipline. One does not fall into a good habit, but falling into a bad habit is as easy as rolling downhill.  Discipline is what makes good habits uncommon.  Perhaps the most uncommon habit, yet the most important, is prayer.

Prayer is sadly neglected all too often in the life of the average Christian, I myself being no exception.  Therefore, I rejoice at the great resource that is the Book of Common Prayer.  Its prayers are directed to the Triune God, in gentle rebuke…

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Starting a Family Oratory

I am convinced the hardest thing about any spiritual discipline is beginning. Whether it is prayer, fasting, reading Scripture, etc. it is taking the first step in developing the habit that remains the most difficult.

Lent is a time for taking on a new discipline and starting a family oratory is an activity in which the entire family participates.  But where to start, and how?  The 1928 Book of Common Prayer’s Family Prayer section provides “A Shorter Form” version of morning and evening prayer that consist of three short prayers. 

After regular use of the “Shorter Form,” the family can advance to the full Family Prayer version of morning and evening prayer (which are longer and found just prior to the “Shorter Form.”).  Finally, as the family’s children grow in age the full versions of morning and evening prayer can be used, along with incorporating the church catechism and 39 Articles of Religion.  Essentially, the beauty of the oratory is gradual catechesis of the family. 

Personally, my wife and I have a toddler so the Shorter Form is perfect for us.  However, we take the liberty of doing not only the Lord’s Prayer, but also singing the Doxology and reciting the Apostle’s Creed.  Within a matter of a couple of weeks our toddler has learned the Doxology and is slowing catching on to the Lord’s Prayer and Apostle’s Creed.

A renewed Anglicanism will require a new generation who understand their faith and are disciplined in the habit of common prayer. The path to such a renewal begins within the home when fathers and mothers turn their house into an altar of prayer.