An Update on Family Prayer in ACNA’s Proposed Book of Common Prayer

The Liturgy Task Force (LTF) for the ACNA has updated numerous sections of its Texts for Common Prayer as of January 2018.  One proposed text in particular has captured my attention due to this blog’s emphasis on family catechesis and prayer.  Namely, the greatly abbreviated daily office for family prayer.

Previously, I brought attention to how the proposed ACNA daily office for family prayer is substantially lacking in terms of content when compared to the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. Indeed, I proposed and submitted to the LTF a slightly modernized and complete version of the family prayer daily office that Bishop Gibson originally authored.

My submission appears to have fallen on deaf ears as the only noticeable changes to the ACNA proposal is revising the Psalms and minor formatting.  The changes to the Psalms likely correspond with the LTF’s work on a “Revised Cloverdale Psalter.”  I had hoped that my submission (while rather large when compared to their current proposal) would at least encourage the LTF to expand the family prayer section more in tune to the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.  Although the LTF did not make any movement towards expanding their draft family prayer office, I remain hopeful that the LTF is open to further revision and expansion.

To that extent, the LTF has been very vocal lately in its call for feedback.  If you share my concern that the ACNA proposed family prayer daily office is lacking then I ask that you please contact the LTF at liturgytaskforce@anglicanchurch.net and respectfully ask that they consider using the full work of Bishop Gibson’s family prayers or at least update the version published in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.  Using the 1928 family prayer offices is a relatively easy route for the LTF to take as the REC 2003 Modern Language BCP has already done the LTF’s work for them by modernizing the text. (See pages 160-167).

Should the LTF decline further revision to the family prayer section of the ACNA BCP, I would like to publish my edited work of Bishop Gibson’s classic.  Please feel free to comment whether you would be interested in such a work.  My present work could be expanded with a guide on how to start a family oratory in the Anglican tradition and concluding with the edited version of Bishop Gibson’s family prayers.

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New Anglican Resources

Previously, I dedicated a post to resources to assist Anglicans in their daily prayer, catechesis, and devotional life: Online BCP, Sermon, & Catechesis Resources.  Since then, I have discovered a few additional resources that need to be shared.

For several years I have wished there was an app that would contain the Anglican formularies.  Someone has finally created an app for both iOS and Droid that contains the daily office from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. It is www.anglicanhours.com and the iTunes link is: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/anglican-hours/id1330286668?ls=1&mt=8 while the Droid link is: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.anglicanhours.lifeofprayer.

The app developer admits this is a work in progress and is extremely receptive to comments, suggestions, and identifying any bugs. He is to be commended for doing this work of love and I am very grateful to his contribution to making Anglican devotions easily accessible. I’m hopeful he will add the Athanasian Creed, Family Prayer sections from the 1928 BCP, Thirty-Nine Articles, and the Homilies.

Several excellent resources are located on the revamped Reformed Episcopal Church website: http://www.recus.org/resources.html. The Modern Language Edition of REC’s 2003 BCP (which is a slightly updated 1928 with modifications from the 1662) is now available here: http://www.recus.org/documents/ModernLanguageBCP.pdf. Also available is the REC’s Book of Occasional Services: http://www.recus.org/documents/Book-of-Occasional-Services.pdf. Finally, an excellent essay from REC’s Presiding Bishop Ray Sutton, entitled, “A Catechetical Model for Evangelism.” The REC continues to pave the way within the ACNA regarding how liturgical revision can occur and be faithful to the prayer book tradition.  May their tribe increase.

If you are aware of additional resources please feel free to leave a comment or contact me and I will include.

 

Teach Your Children Well

As the head of the family should teach them in a simple way to his household.

– Luther’s Small Catechism

And all Fathers, Mothers, Masters, and Mistresses, shall cause their Children, Servants, and Apprentices, who have not learned their Catechism, to come to the Church at the time appointed, and obediently to hear and to be ordered by the Minister, until such time as they have learned all that is here appointed for them to learn.

– U.S. Book of Common Prayer, Catechism, 1928

The duty of the head of the household is to teach the family the catechism of the church.  The catechism is not important in and of itself but is only insofar as it reflects the teaching of Scripture.  Fortunately, both Dr. Martin Luther and the catechism in the Book of Common Prayer are firmly rooted in Scripture.

Both catechisms focus on the ancient requirement that catechumens learn the Ten Commandments, the Apostle’s Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer.  The Ten Commandments are learned first to announce the law by which we have all fallen short.   The Apostle’s Creed and Lord’s Prayer are taught next to proclaim the good news that Christ has accomplished what the law requires.  In other words, law and Gospel.

It is important that fathers or the head of the household raise their children in the faith:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

– Deuteronomy 6:4-7

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

– Ephesians 56:4

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

– Proverbs 2:6

At first glance, the Book of Common Prayer may appear to rest the responsibility of catechesis on the church, but let’s reexamine the wording of the relevant rubric more carefully:

And all Fathers, Mothers, Masters, and Mistresses, shall cause their Children, Servants, and Apprentices, who have not learned their Catechism, to come to the Church at the time appointed, and obediently to hear and to be ordered by the Minister, until such time as they have learned all that is here appointed for them to learn.

The requirement that children learn from the local minister is not a universal command, but is contingent on those who have failed to memorize and understand the contents of the prayer book catechism.  When the father or head of household neglect their duty to catechize their children only then are they are required to send their children to the church to be taught the catechism by the resident clergyman.  This implies that the preferred and expected scenario is one in which the father has taught his children the catechism.

Unfortunately, many Christian parents neglect their duty to God, the church, and their own children by failing to teach them the faith.  The Book of Common Prayer’s catechism can and should be used by families to train their children to become disciples of Christ.  Additionally, the 1928 U.S. Book of Common Prayer contains several flexible and easy-to-use condensed daily offices to teach doctrine, encourage Bible reading, and teach the faith.  This section is known as the “Forms of Prayer to be used in Families” at pages 587-600 of the 1928 BCP.  (I have submitted my slightly modernized version with expanded content from Bishop Edmund Gibson to the ACNA Liturgy Task Force for their consideration in including in the 2019 ACNA BCP project.  If this proposed text is beneficial, please let the Liturgy Task Force know by contacting them.).

Reviewing the catechism provides a solid Biblical and theological foundation for children.  Additionally, teaching the catechism ensures that the children can be confirmed as members of the church and begin receiving Holy Communion.  The catechesis of children provides them with a library of information they can rely upon as they grow in faith.  Likewise, when asked about their faith, such as “what is a sacrament,” they will have a ready answer: “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us; ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof.”  In theory, they will be able to draw upon the wisdom of the church and have an answer regarding the basic facts of Christianity.

Teaching the catechism can be tailored to suit a child’s age and learning level.  Beginning with regular family prayer and including the memorization of one of the Ten Commandments, reciting the Apostle’s Creed, and praying the Lord’s Prayer is a great start.  Over time, the Ten Commandments will be memorized and the Creed and Lord’s Prayer will become second nature.  After learning the Ten Commandments, the Creed and Lord’s Prayer provide more than enough material to review in detail.  The bite-size theology within the Creed and Lord’s Prayer can easily be expanded upon when explaining to children, much less adults.  Eventually, the theological meat of the rest of the catechism can be broached as children advance to school-age.

It is our duty to discipline, or disciple, our children in our faith.  If we truly believe that God has revealed His love for us sinners through His Son then we not only need to share this good news but raise our children to know and understand these facts.  The catechism is not merely a tool to disciple our children but also a requirement for those of us within Anglicanism.  As parents, we would not fail to educate our children as to hygiene, nutrition, or the sciences.  Why then should we neglect to teach them the riches, depth, and joy of God’s mercy in providing for our salvation and the redemption of the world?

Catechesis through singing

Advent.  The season of the year in which singing resurges in religious and secular homes alike.  Songs such as “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, “Joy to the World” (yes, it is an Advent hymn), and “O Holy Night” (okay, a Christmas hymn) are staples this season of the year.  They are easily memorable tunes and verses.  Additionally, these songs are chock-full of incarnational and Trinitarian theology that can be reflected upon while singing.

Singing hymns with the family is immensely more fun for young children than teaching the catechism (at least in my experience!) and results in quicker memorization.  Granted, the deep riches of the verses of these songs and the meaning of the words may not be fully grasped by young children, but learning these songs will provide foundational doctrine that can be drawn upon at a moment’s notice.  My own understanding the incarnation has been enriched through the verses of traditional Christian hymnody.  Singing hymns can capture one’s heart in a manner that reading and listening to another simply cannot.

Teaching children classic hymns provides them songs directing them towards Christ and His work.  It is a natural educational tool for younger kids to draw upon.  My three year old daughter regularly belts out the classic African-American spiritual, “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and is excited to sing from our family hymnal.  It brings her such joy to sing hymns that she now asks to see the family hymnal and flip through its pages while singing what she thinks is on the page.  Another added benefit is she now wants to participate more in Sunday worship as the pew hymnal is familiar to her.

Although she has not learned a whole hymn to sing by heart, she can join in at various portions of several songs.  Additionally, during our evening devotion we discuss a verse and its meaning to explain the hymn.  Discussing a hymn’s content quickly becomes a lesson on why the wise men traveled to see Jesus and present Him gifts or and why Christ is called Emmanuel.

On a similar note, I commend the Reformed Episcopal Church in their new hymnal, Common Praise, for including several annotated sections of the Book of Common Prayer.  It would be wise for Anglican churches globally to sing portions of the prayerbook as families could teach the words of the BCP to their children through singing.  Indeed, it is a long-term goal of mine to learn Anglican chant and to incorporate it in our devotions.  REC’s Common Praise includes a short section on Anglican chant – a noteworthy addition that I greatly value and hope to utilize.

Practically speaking, I encourage families to begin with simple, short songs for their very young children.  We began with “Jesus Loves Me” and eventually progressed to more familiar traditional hymns, typically Advent and Christmas themed due to my own familiarity.  There is no right or wrong way to begin such a practice – just dive in!

Our custom is to sing one or two songs, share a Biblical story or parable of Christ, and conclude with the Lord’s Prayer and/or Apostle’s Creed.  As an Anglican, I use this pattern in order for my children to learn the requirements for confirmation: the Creed, Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer, and eventually the catechism.  See 1928 Book of Common Prayer, Rubric at end of Office of Instruction.  This pattern is easily amendable to Trinitarian Christians across the theological spectrum of Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, or Roman Catholic.  Start early with your children and no matter their age, starting today is better than beginning tomorrow.  Family devotionals are messy, but necessary to build up catechized and well-discipled members of the Church.

Reformation, Authority, Anglicanism, & the Home

On the eve of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses, we face the same question the Augustinian monk faced: authority. Be it a pope in the Vatican or a Baptist pronouncing truth as though he were pope Christians face the same question as to who, or what, is authoritative in the Christian life.

The Reformers answered the question by pointing to Scripture as the primary authority.  The English Reformation agreed that as it pertains to matters of salvation, sola scriptura wins the day. (Art. VI of 39 Articles of Religion).  The tradition of the church and church fathers were not discarded, as one can plainly read in the writings of the magisterial reformers and in the numerous citations to the church fathers in the Anglican two Books of Homilies.  Instead, the Reformers set the writings of the church fathers beneath the Scriptures to ensure that authority started and rested with the Word of God.

Unfortunately, contemporary Protestantism has forgotten the works of the Reformers and their actual teachings. Protestants today are typically more likely to read Scripture and interpret it as they subjectively feel and without any guidance of the church, much less ancient church fathers.  Shockingly, many denominations and their followers, have not the slightest idea about the confessions the Reformers subscribed to that detail their reformed or reforming Catholicism.

However, not everyone in Protestant circles have forgotten that Protestantism, at its best, is a reformed Catholic religion.  The Reforming Catholic Confession is an effort to demonstrate the highest common denominator of Protestant catholicity and is an effort to be commended, although certainly not a perfect exercise.

The lack of authority and trading in one pope in the Vatican for a dozen in every Bible study is not a uniquely Protestant problem, but a modern one.  The Bible study (or Christian denomination) that trades objective truth for “my truth” or “this is how I read/understand this passage” is not what the Reformers had in mind.  This stereotype serves as cannon fodder for Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic polemics (which ignores the same problem that infects both churches as well – this is a modern, cultural issues that does not limit itself to Protestant circles).

Indeed, the Anglican Communion has lost her way in holding to an authority that transcends the globe and unites multiple national churches behind a common belief.  In the spirit of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 theses, the Anglican churches and her members must remember what unites them as Anglicans.  In order to do so, Anglicans must remember what makes them Anglican.

Ultimately, the basis of our rule of faith is the Holy Scriptures, with the Apocrypha included for the edification of the Christian but not as a source for doctrine.  This decision to include the Apocrypha as useful instruction but not for determining doctrine firmly lies within church history by relying on the church fathers.  Article VI of the Articles of Religion cite St. Jerome for this proposition.  The ultimate rule as to our salvation comes from Scripture alone. But what if the Scriptures are silent? Article XX explains that the church has the authority to determine rites and ceremonies in addition to determining controversies but the church must never contradict the ultimate authority of Holy Scripture.

Anglicans have another guide to walking and living life as reformed Catholics, namely the 39 Articles of Religion. They have been tossed aside to small print and behind the section “Historical Documents” in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer or used as a weapon by those with Genevan sympathies to erect a hardline Calvinism.  But the 39 Articles are a work of genius that were enacted in the Elizabethan settlement and walk in and out of the theologies of Geneva and Wittenburg with a solid foothold on historic catholic teaching.  I dare say the 39 Articles embody the essence of a reformed Catholicism with the insight of Luther, Calvin, and historic Christianity.  All the while without throwing any babies out of the bathwater.

The old saying is the rule of prayer is the rule of belief: lex orandi, lex credendi.  Enter the next guideline for Anglicans, the Book of Common Prayer.  The classical prayer book serves as the source for public worship for reformed Catholics in the Anglican tradition.  The abbreviated daily office (from seven to two offices) allow the laity to worship in a manner similar to the Rule of St. Benedict.  The Eucharist is restored to the laity and encouraged to be performed often.  And the Ordinal attached is the defining fence post for church leadership and the role of  ordained minsters.

Fortunately, the three “guideposts” defining Anglicanism: the Book of Common Prayer, 39 Articles, and Ordinal are all included within published versions of the Book of Common Prayer.  One can even purchase the Holy Scriptures (with Apocrypha) and Book of Common Prayer (with 39 Articles and the Ordinal) in one bound volume (see picture at top).

As it relates to family oratories, the primary authority of Scripture, followed by the guidance of the Book of Common Prayer, 39 Articles, and the Ordinal serve as the backbone of practicing reformed Catholicism in the home.  The 1928, 2003 REC, and to a lesser extent the ACNA Books of Common Prayer also have the benefit of including family prayers to guide family praise, worship, and petitions.  Additionally, the church catechism provide a succinct overview of the Christian faith and life easily digestible for children and adults alike.

Singing can also be accomplished through singing the Psalter included in the Book of Common Prayer.  Since plainsong, chant, or metrical tune is rare (but if you want to learn check this out), the authorized hymnal can provide the source for singing in a family context.  Indeed, hymnals with theologically rich songs serve as a lesser authority to the Anglican formularies outlined earlier, but nevertheless can support the mission of an oratory to disciple children and adults in the faith.

Finally, a forgotten “semi-guidepost”, are the two Books of Homilies.  These sermons were officially written by the Church of England and although several are dated, can still be useful in the home when teaching and useful for laity in understanding the church’s doctrine.  Although not on the same level as the Book of Common Prayer and Articles of Religion, Article XI cites directly to one of the homilies for a deeper understanding of the official position for Anglicans on justification by faith.  This homily (Homily on Salvation, but cited as Homily on Justification in Article XI) refutes the typical polemic that Protestants reject good works by explaining succinctly:

Faith alone, how it is to be understood. Nevertheless, this sentence, that we be justified by faith only, is not so meant of them, that the said justifying faith is alone in man, without true repentance, hope, charity, dread, and the fear of GOD, at any time and season. Nor when they say, That we be justified freely, they mean not that we should or might afterward be idle, and that nothing should be required on our parts afterward: Neither they mean not so to be justified without good works, that we should do no good works at all, like as shall be more expressed at large hereafter. But this saying, That we be justified by faith only, freely and without works, is spoken for to take away clearly all merit of our works, as being unable to deserve our justification at GODS hands, and thereby most plainly to express the weakness of man, and the goodness of GOD, the great infirmity of our selves, and the might and power of GOD, the imperfectness of our own works, and the most abundant grace of our Savior Christ, and therefore wholly to ascribe the merit and deserving of our justification unto Christ only, and his most precious blood shedding.

They that continue in evil living, have not true faith. For how can a man have this true faith, this sure trust and confidence in GOD, that by the merits of Christ, his sins be forgiven, and be reconciled to the favor of GOD, and to be partaker of the kingdom of heaven by Christ, when he lives ungodly, and denies Christ in his deeds? Surely no such ungodly man can have this faith and trust in GOD. For as they know Christ to be the only savior of the world: so they know also that wicked men shall not enjoy the kingdom of GOD. They know that GOD hates unrighteousness (Psalms 5.5-6), that he will destroy all those that speak untruly, that those which have done good works (which cannot be done without a lively faith in Christ) shall come forth into the resurrection of life, and those that have done evil, shall come unto the resurrection of judgement: very well they know also, that to them that be contentious, and to them that will not be obedient unto the truth, but will obey unrighteousness, shall come indignation, wrath, and affliction, &c.

The bottom line is a Christian must be governed and rooted in an authority, the question is who or what?  Although contemporary Protestantism, Anglicanism, and frankly Christians of all persuasions have deviated to following what their gut, emotions, or a bad piece of cheese (as C.S. Lewis puts it) provide, there are guideposts that fence-in the beliefs and interpretations of reformed Catholics. Families seeking such a guidepost for their own discipleship should look to the Anglican path as one that provides a number of resources and tools that are catholic and reformed in the best sense of both words, and both worlds.

A New Oratory

Glad to see a new oratory arise, although this one is more of a “roving oratory” that has events from one place to the next. A unique idea fit for the times.  From the REC’s Diocese of Mid-America’s newsletter, The Crozier Connection:

This past Summer, the Most Rev. Bishop Sutton introduced the REC vision of recapturing and revitalizing our sense of Mission and our initiative of establishing 100 new REC parishes known as REC100. Following the missional lead of our beloved Bishop, Fr. Michael Templin, from the Church of the Holy Communion, formulated a vision for a new mission in Rockwall, twenty-five miles east of Dallas. Having received approval from the Chapel and CHC’s vestries we then formed The Anglican Oratory of Lake Ray Hubbard (www.anglicanoratory.com) to communicate who we are, what we do, and why we exist. What is an Oratory? The word Oratory identifies a place of prayer outside of a local parish church. During the middle ages, Oratory’s were established within communities to revitalize Christian piety and service. Christian homes and public spaces were set apart to keep the daily office, foster personal devotion, and for catechesis (Christian education). Their origin probably goes back to the chapels built over the tombs of the martyrs in the earliest times where Christians would stop and pray. The Anglican community established in the home of Nicholas Ferrar at ‘Little Gidding’ is a beautiful example of an Oratory. The Anglican Oratory gathers in different locations throughout the Lake Ray Hubbard area for one important purpose: to reform people into the image of Christ in the Anglican way. The Oratory consists of clergy and lay persons seeking to establish a common rule of life within a small community. We call people to communal prayer and study for growth in Christian piety, service, and evangelism. We are humbled to have been called to this important work and covet your prayers and support.

It is good to see a new take on oratories being done by the REC at The Anglican Oratory of Lake Ray Hubbard.  Those of us at Prattville Anglican Fellowship support our brothers and sisters and are convinced the best model for catechizing a new generation of Christians, especially those based on historic Christianity, is through a rule of life.

Through regular prayer and teaching, the home can serve not only as a training ground on how to worship but also as a central network for families and friends to naturally generate a church plant.  Look no further than the creation of Littlewood UE Chapel from Charles Bartlett’s own Queen Ann’s Oratory.

It is also good to see the REC engage in a focus on planting 100 mission churches over the next ten years, what it calls REC 100.  Traditional churches should consider networking and sharing ideas on church planting.  It would be fruitful to see a conference on family oratories and traditional church planting.  The first conference could be hosted completely online with Skype or livestreamed to defray extraordinary travel costs.  The ability to share ideas and hear from others could be very beneficial in encouraging others to start their own family oratories and a network, or circuit, of family oratories.

An Expanded Family Prayer Daily Office

My prior attempt at drafting a very modest and slightly updated version of the 1928 BCP Family Prayer Office can be found here. After examining the 2003 REC Modern Language rite, which is an update similar to my own proposal (with little, if any meaningful deviations), I was fortunate to have a colleague at The North American Anglican steer me to Bishop Edmund Gibson‘s original Family Prayer devotions, which can be found here and here. A side-by-side comparison of: Bishop Gibson’s Family Prayer devotions, the first three American BCP’s adaptations of those devotions, the 1928 BCP, and the 1979 BCP adaptations can be found here.

Bishop Gibson is an excellent standard the Liturgy Task Force should lean upon. He included a variety of prayers and an excellent preface to his works which should be republished.  My revised version of an updated language Family Prayer section for the proposed ACNA BCP incorporates much more of Bishop Gibson’s original prayers and adds a section regarding individual prayer.

It is interesting that Bishop Gibson took the step to create an individual prayer section since all worship is corporate throughout the BCP. This individual prayer devotion was originally addressed towards servants who were not always allowed inside the family’s worship and were too far away or consumed with their duties to attend distance church services. It is also evident that Bishop Gibson developed these extensive prayers to serve the American frontier, since all Anglican churches in the colonies were under his purview as Bishop of London.

The language Bishop Gibson utilizes is beautiful in both its wording and theological depth.  I prefer not to alter the wording, but since the proposed  ACNA BCP is to be written in contemporary language, I thought that taking a stab at “modernizing” (I hate that word) the Family Prayer devotions for the ACNA Liturgy Task Force’s consideration would be worthwhile.

Family prayer and catechesis within the family is ignored by the average American Christian.  The inclusion of a more extensive Daily Office for Families would help encourage laity to take up their responsibilities to the Lord in raising disciples within the home. It is imperative that ACNA, and every orthodox Anglican and Christian jurisdiction, take up the banner for pressing laity into service by calling them to have home oratories to bolster and strengthen the local parish. Our vocations are not merely limited to our careers but extend to fatherhood and motherhood. Through the Family Prayer Daily Office, parents are continually presenting supplications and blessings to the Lord in prayer and providing examples to their children. A new BCP without the traditional Family Prayer section would be a missed opportunity for ACNA.

Forgive the formatting, it has not translated well from my copy and paste job from Microsoft Word. I will try to reformat and republish as it appears in my Word version.

Updated Proposal to ACNA Liturgy Task Force for BCP Office for Family Prayer

FAMILY OFFICE MORNING PRAYER.

The head of the household having called together the Family says the following with all kneeling, and repeating with him the Lord’s Prayer.

Let us pray:

OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Here may follow the Collect for the day.

¶ Here may follow the Daily Lectionary reading from the Old and New Testaments.

¶ Here may follow the Daily Lectionary reading of the Psalter, read responsively.

Acknowledgment of God’s Mercy and Preservation through the Night.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, in Whom we live, move, and have our being, and whose mercy is all over Your works: We, your needy creatures, in a thankful sense of Your good Providence over us, give your our humble praises, for your preservation of us from the beginning of our lives to this day. Blessed be Your holy Name for the continued protection by Your hand, by which we have been defended within the changes and changes of this mortal life, and kept safe and delivered from innumerable dangers, and particularly from the dangers of the past night. To Your watchful Providence we wholly owe that regardless our fears and dangers around us, we are brought in safety to the beginning of this day. For your mercies, we bless and magnify your glorious Name; humbly asking you to accept this our morning sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; for the sake Him who lay down in the grave, and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dedication of Soul and Body to God’s Service.

 

Since it is of your mercy gracious Father that another day is added to our lives; We here dedicate both our souls and our bodies to your service, in a sober, righteous, and godly life. We renounce the devil and all his works, the vanities of this evil world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh; desiring nothing so much as to serve You faithfully all the days of our lives. Sincerely we resolve to improve in the time you are pleased to grant us in this world that we may each day become better servants of You and persevere in holiness and righteousness until the end. We ask you merciful God to confirm and strengthen us; that, as we grow in age, we may grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

But God, who know the weakness and corruption of our nature, and the many temptations which we daily meet; We humbly ask You to have compassion on our infirmities, and to give us the constant assistance of your Holy Spirit; that we may be effectually restrained from sin, and incited to our duty. When You see us giving into temptation, prevent us from being tempted beyond our ability, and stretch out Your helping hand to save and deliver us.

Imprint upon our hearts such a dread of your judgments, and such a grateful sense of your goodness to us, as may make us both afraid and ashamed to offend You. And, above all, keep in our minds a lively remembrance of that great day, in which we must give a strict account of our thoughts, words, and actions to Him whom you have appointed the Judge of quick and dead, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

¶ Here may follow a hymn, canticle, or the Apostle’s Creed

For Grace to guide and keep us the following Day, and for God’s Blessing

So we may give a good account of this day, give us grace to have You and your law before our eyes, that we may walk in it according to Your will with watchfulness and guarded consideration. We implore Your grace and protection for the ensuing day. Keep us sober and temperate in all things, including food and drink, and diligent in our several callings and professions which Your Providence has appointed us. Grant us patience under our afflictions and minds always contented with our present condition You see fit to lay upon us. Give us grace to be just and upright in all our dealings; quiet and peaceable among our neighbors; full of compassion towards the needy and afflicted; and ready to do good to all men, according to our abilities and opportunities. Through walking faithfully before You throughout our days, and being found watchful for our appointed time, we may from a life of righteousness be translated to a life of glory, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, our only Savior and Redeemer. Amen.

For God’s blessing upon the business of the day

[*Now we are entering upon the business of the stations which Your Providence has placed us, and we truly ask Your blessing this day upon our honest plans and work ahead. Direct us in all our ways and prosper the works of our hands.] We desire to walk in a constant sense of Your all-seeing Providence, therefore preserve our coming and going throughout this day. Defend us from all dangers and adversities; and be graciously pleased to take us, and all who are dear to us, under your fatherly care and protection. These things, and whatever else You shall see to be necessary and convenient for us, we humbly ask You, through the merits and mediation of your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

*On Sunday morning, instead of the bracketed text, say: And now we are going to public worship, therefore we ask you to let Your Holy Spirit accompany us, and make us devout, serious and attentive, raise our minds from the thoughts of this world, to the consideration of the next, that we fervently join in the prayers and praises of Your church, and listen to our duty with honest hearts, in order to practice it. And give us grace to dedicate this day, as You have appointed us, to Your service and the care of our souls. Direct us in all our ways, and guide our feet into Your paths.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

 

FAMILY OFFICE EVENING PRAYER.

The head of household with all the Family kneeling, and repeating with him the Lord’s Prayer.

Let us pray:

OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Here may follow the Collect for the day.

¶ Here may follow the Daily Lectionary reading from the Old and New Testaments.

¶ Here may follow the Daily Lectionary reading of the Psalter, read responsively.

Confession of Sins, with a Prayer for Contrition and Pardon.

Let us silently confess our sins before Almighty God.

MOST gracious and merciful God, who are of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, and has promised mercy and forgiveness to all those who confess and forsake their sins; We come before You in an humble sense of our own unworthiness, acknowledging our manifold transgressions of your righteous laws, in thought, word and deed. We have every day been doing those things which You have forbidden, and leaving undone the things which You have commanded. When we look upon our past lives and remember that You are privy to our most secret sins, we are afraid of Your judgements and are ashamed to lift up our eyes to You.

* But, O gracious Father, who desire not the death of a sinner, look upon us, we ask you to be merciful, in Your Son Jesus Christ, for the merits of His sufferings, and forgive us all our transgressions. Make us deeply aware of the great evil of them; and work in us a broken and contrite heart leading to a lamentation of our sins and a hearty repentance; that we may obtain forgiveness at Your hands, Who art ever ready to receive humble and penitent sinners; for the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ, our only Savior and Redeemer. Amen.

* Here let him who reads make a short pause, that every one may secretly confess the sins and failings of that day.

Prayer for Grace to reform and grow Better.

AND prior to our own frailty, or the temptations which encompass us, we be drawn again into sin, protect us through the direction and assistance of your Holy Spirit. Reform whatever is amiss in the temper and disposition of our souls; that no unclean thoughts, unlawful designs, or wrongful desires, may rest there. Purge our hearts from envy, hatred, and malice; that we may never allow the sun to go down upon our wrath; but may always go to our rest in peace, charity, and good-will, with a conscience void of offence towards you, and towards men: That so our hearts are fit for Your Holy Spirit’s dwelling and whether we wake or sleep, will be under His blessed protection, and have our whole spirit, soul, and body preserved pure and blameless, unto the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Intercession.

Accept O Lord as the testimony of our love and charity, our intercessions for all mankind. Let the light of your Gospel shine upon all nations; and may as many as have received it, live as becomes it. Be gracious unto Your Church; and grant that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may serve you faithfully. Bless all in authority over us; and so rule their hearts and strengthen their hands, that they may punish wickedness and maintain your true religion and virtue. Send down your blessings, temporal and spiritual, upon all our family, friends, and neighbors. Reward all who have done us good, and pardon all those who have done or wish us evil, and give them repentance and better minds. Be merciful to all who are in any trouble and affliction of mind or body; and do administer to them according to their needs; for the sake of He who went about doing good to the souls and bodies of men, Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

¶ Here may follow a hymn, canticle, or Apostle’s Creed

The Thanksgiving.

TO our prayers, O Lord, we join our sincere thanks for all your mercies; our life, our reason, and all other gifts of soul and body. We thank you Lord for our health, friends, food, clothing, and all the other comforts and conveniences of life. Above all, we adore Your mercy in sending Your only Son into the world, to redeem us from sin and eternal death, and in giving us the knowledge and sense of our duty towards You. We bless You for your patience with us, notwithstanding our many and great sins. We bless You for all the directions, assistance, and comforts of Your Holy Spirit; for Your continual care and watchful providence over us through the whole course of our lives; and particularly for the mercies and benefits of the past day. We humbly ask you to continue your blessings to us, and to give us grace to show our thankfulness in a sincere obedience to Your laws, through whose merits and intercession we received them all, Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayer for God’s Protection through the Night following.

IN particular, we ask you to continue your gracious protection to us this night. Defend us from all dangers and from fear that we may enjoy refreshing sleep for the duties of the coming day. And grant us grace always to live in such a manner that we may never be afraid to die; so that, living and dying, we may be Yours through the merits and satisfaction of Your Son Christ Jesus, in whose Name we offer up these our imperfect prayers. Amen.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

On Sundays, and on other days when it may be convenient, it will be proper to begin with a Chapter, or part of a Chapter, from the New Testament.

 

 

A SHORTER FORM OF THE FAMILY DAILY OFFICES:

MORNING.

After the reading of a brief portion of Holy Scripture, let the Head of the Household, or some other member of the family, say as follows with all kneeling, and repeating with him the Lord’s Prayer.

OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

LORD, our heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, Who has safely brought us to the beginning of this day; please defend us with Your mighty power; and grant that this day we not fall into sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings, being ordered by Your governance, may be righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

¶ Here may be added any special Prayers.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

EVENING.

After the reading of a brief portion of Holy Scripture, let the Head of the Household, or some other member of the family, say as follows with all kneeling and repeating with him the Lord’s Prayer.

OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Enlighten our darkness, we beg you O Lord; and by Your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Here may be added any special Prayers.

THE Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this night and evermore. Amen.

AN ORDER FOR PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL MORNING PRAYER

When you rise from bed in the morning, begin.

“I laid me down and slept, and rose up again, for the Lord sustained me.” Psalm 3:5.

Almighty and Everlasting God, in Whom I live, move, and have my being, and whose mercy is all over Your works; I give you my humble thanks for the preservation of my life.  I thank You that You have protected me from the perils and dangers of the past night and have given me quiet and comfortable rest and brought me safely to the beginning of this day.  Allow the same good Providence continue to watch over me and preserve my comings and goings, that I may be defended from all dangers, the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Give me grace to act with sobriety, diligence, honesty, in my vocation, and with duty and submission to those You have set over me; and to desire and endeavor to live in peace and love with my neighbors. Preserve a strict regard to truth and sincerity in all my words and actions and let no fear of punishment or displeasure from men ever make me transgress my duty to You.

To the end may I walk in Your fear this day, and all the days of my life; keep up in my mind a due sense and reverence of Your all-knowing wisdom, and the remembrance of the last day in which I must give a strict account of my thoughts, words, and actions; and according to the works done in my body, be sentenced by Your righteous judgment for eternity. Grant this, O Father, for the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ, my blessed Savior and Redeemer. Amen.

AN ORDER FOR PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL EVENING PRAYER

Just prior to entering your bed, begin.

Most gracious God, who by Your wise Providence have appointed to Mankind their several stations and offices in this life, I acknowledge Your wisdom and goodness in this and all other dispensations; desiring in all things to pay a ready and cheerful submission to Your holy will. To this end, provide me with a spirit of humility, patience, and contentment, as is suitable to the condition in which Your Providence has placed me. Bless me with good health, a comforted mind that I may perform the offices which belong to me with cheerfulness and doing my duty to You, and resting on the gracious promises for a reward of my labor and obedience in this life.

Since, through the frailty of my nature and the numerous temptations which I daily meet, I cannot always stand upright; I pray You to forgive me all transgressions of my duty, whether in thought, word, or deed, and especially forgive me the sings and failings of the past day, and enable me through the Holy Spirit to avoid them for the future, and to be ever rowing in the graces and virtues of the Christian life, as long as You shall be pleased to continue my life in this world. I thank You for your constant care over me considering the changes of this mortal life, and in particular for Your preservation of me during this past day.  I ask You to continue Your gracious protection to me this night that I may enjoy such quiet and refreshing sleep as may fit me for the duties of the next day.  I ask you for this in the Name, and for the merits of Your Son Jesus Christ, my blessed Savior and Redeemer. Amen. Our Father, which art in heaven; hallowed be thy Name. They kingdom come. They will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

“I will lie me down in peace, and take my rest, for I is Thou Lord only that makest me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:9.

ADDITIONAL PRAYERS

For the Spirit of Prayer.

ALMIGHTY God, who pours out on all who desires the spirit of grace and of supplication; Deliver us, when we draw away to your from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with a diligent mind and heart we may worship You in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In the Morning.

O GOD, the King eternal, who separated the day from the darkness, and turns the shadow of death into the morning; Drive far off from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep Your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that having done Your will with cheerfulness while it was day, we may, when the night arrives, rejoice to give You thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

ALMIGHTY God, who alone provided us the breath of life, and alone can keep alive in us the holy desires you do impart; We ask You for your compassion’s sake, to sanctify all our thoughts and endeavors; that we may neither begin an action without a pure intention nor continue it without your blessing. And grant that, having the eyes of the mind opened to behold things invisible and unseen, we may in heart be inspired by your wisdom, and in work be upheld by Your strength, and in the end be accepted by You as Your faithful servants; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

At Night.

O LORD, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in your mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.

O GOD, who are the life of mortal men, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead; We thank you for the timely blessings of the day, and humbly supplicate your merciful protection all this night. Bring us, we ask you, in safety to the morning hours; through Him who died for us and rose again, Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday Morning.

O GOD, who makes us glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of Your Son our Lord; Provide us this day such a blessing through our worship of your, that the days to come may be spent in Your service; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Quiet Confidence.

O GOD of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength; By the might of Your Spirit lift us, we pray to your presence, where we may be still and know that You are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Guidance.

O GOD, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly; Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what You would have us to do, that the Spirit of Wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in Your light we may see light, and in Your straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

For Trustfulness.

O MOST loving Father, who wills us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our care on you and who cares for us; Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which You have manifested to us in Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O HEAVENLY Father, You understand all Your children; through Your gift of faith we bring our confusion to the light of your wisdom, and receive the blessed encouragement of your sympathy, and a clearer knowledge of your will. Glory be to You for all Your gracious gifts. Amen.

For Joy in God’s Creation.

O HEAVENLY Father, who has filled the world with beauty; Open, we as You, our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of Him by whom all things were made, Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Children.

ALMIGHTY God, heavenly Father, who has blessed us with the joy and care of children; Give us light and strength so to train them, that they may love whatsoever things are true and pure and lovely and of good report, following the example of their Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

For the Absent.

O GOD, whose fatherly care reaches to the ends of the earth; We humbly ask you graciously to behold and bless those whom we love, now absent from us. Defend them from all dangers of soul and body; and grant that both they and we, drawing nearer to you, may be bound together by your love in the communion of your Holy Spirit, and in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Those We Love.

ALMIGHTY God, we entrust all who are dear to us to your never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come; knowing that you are doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Recovery of a Sick Person.

O MERCIFUL God, giver of life and health; Bless, we pray You that Your servant, [N.], and those who administer to him of your healing gifts; that he may be restored to health of body and of mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For One about to undergo an Operation.

ALMIGHTY God our heavenly Father, we ask You graciously to comfort Your servant in his suffering, and to bless the means made use of for his cure. Fill his heart with confidence, that though he be sometime afraid, he yet may put his trust in Your; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For a Birthday.

WATCH over Your child, O Lord, as his days increase; bless and guide him wherever he may be, keeping him unspotted from the world. Strengthen him when he stands; comfort him when discouraged or sorrowful; raise him up if he fall; and in his heart may your peace which passes understanding abide all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

For an Anniversary of One Departed.

ALMIGHTY God, we remember this day your faithful servant [N.], and we pray that, having opened to him the gates of larger life, you will receive him more and more into your joyful service; that he may rest, with You and Your servants everywhere, in the eternal victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

For Those in Mental Darkness.

O HEAVENLY Father, we ask you to have mercy upon all your children who are living in mental darkness. Restore them to strength of mind and cheerfulness of spirit, and give them health and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For a Blessing on the Families of the Land.

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who places us in families; We place in your continual care the homes in which your people dwell. Put far from them every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh; turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers; and so enkindle fervent love among us all, that we be endued with brotherly love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For all Poor, Homeless, and Neglected Folk.

O GOD, Almighty and merciful, who heals those that are broken in heart, and turns the sadness of the sorrowful to joy; Let Your fatherly goodness be upon all that You have made. Remember in pity those that are destitute, homeless, or forgotten of their fellow-men. Bless the congregation of your poor. Uplift those who are cast down. Mightily befriend innocent sufferers, and sanctify to them the endurance of their wrongs. Cheer with hope all discouraged and unhappy people, and by your heavenly grace preserve from falling those whose extreme poverty tempts them to sin; Although they be troubled on every side, let them not be distressed and though they be perplexed, save them from despair. Grant this, O Lord, for the love of Him, who for our sakes became poor, Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

For Faithfulness in the Use of this World’s Goods.

ALMIGHTY God, whose loving hand has given us all that we possess; Grant us grace that we may honor you with our substance, and remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of Your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A General Intercession.

O GOD, at whose word man goes forth to his work and to his labor until the evening; Be merciful to all whose duties are difficult or burdensome, and comfort them concerning their toil. Shield from bodily accident and harm the workmen at their work. Protect the efforts of sober and honest industry, and allow not laborers to be defrauded. Incline the heart of employers and of those whom they employ to mutual forbearance, fairness, and goodwill. Give the spirit of governance and of a sound mind to all in places of authority. Bless all those who labor in works of mercy or in schools. Care for all elderly persons, all little children, the sick and the afflicted, and those who travel. Remember all who by reason of weakness are overtasked, or because of poverty are forgotten. Let the sorrowful sighing of the prisoners come before You; and according to the greatness of Your power, preserve those that are appointed to die. Give ear unto our prayer, O merciful and gracious Father, for the love of Your dear Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Grace before Meat.

BLESS, O Father, Your gifts to our use and us to your service; for Christ’s sake. Amen.

GIVE us grateful hearts, our Father, for all Your mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.