A non-creedal missional community in a progressive ecumenical universalist christian way, 5920 N. Owasso Ave, Turley, OK 74126 918-691-3223, 794-4637, 430-1150. Service. Community. Discipleship. Worship. All are Welcome. See below or Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for the latest gatherings. We often worship with others on Sunday. We hope you respond to the call to service to and with others in an Abandoned Place of the American Dream Marketplace Empire.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
An Octave of Prayer: Praying The Hours
On Sunday, July 15 we will be introducing Praying the Hours. We will be developing up both an online and face to face prayer community. Here is the handout we will be using for the lesson and conversation during our weekly missional worship gathering, followed by communion followed by common meal, and tomorrow followed by the great film Into Great Silence, about the contemplative life of monks in a monastery in the French Alps, as the film is itself a portal into contemplation and prayer. Much of this comes from the book Praying the Hours in Ordinary Life by Lauralee Farrer and Clayton J. Schmit. There is an orientation to the hour; the prayer refrain; contemplation on the focused hours; an example from the poet Rainer Marie Rilke's Book of Hours, and liturgies. For our ongoing praying the hours we will also be drawing from various Book of Hours and from original and other sources.
An Octave of Prayer
Prime…6 to 9 am…
The day is lit. Choose your course….
pounds in Your rhythm. Syncopate my
life, O God….
The sun is up, stopping and praying
shapes the day instead of the day shaping us. Each day is Resurrection Day;
there can be an end to repetition. Bring forth the Song in you. Be careful to
spend the energy of this hour on dissipated goals. Brief prayers, perhaps
during the commute to work, praying for those you know you will meet, and for
those you don’t yet know whom you will meet during the day.
No idea is too small for me. I love
it no matter what. I paint it on a background of gold. Make it large and hold
it high. Even though I don’t know yet, whose soul it will entice. Rilke book of
O God, the
sun has risen. With it, lift up our
hearts and prepare us for all that the day will bring. Be with us in our
humble and deliberate beginning of the day,
in work as in prayer. O Come, let us sing to the Lord, let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Come into
God’s presence with thanksgiving. Awake
my soul. My heart pounds in Your rhythm.
Terce…9 am to Noon…
The light climbs. The worker pauses.
I worship You, with primal joy,
We have found the rhythm and focus of
the day, and our last intuition is to stop. And yet we need to, because as
Benedict of Nursia reminds us, work is not our purpose. As Rabbi Abraham
Herschel says, It is a blessing to be; just to live is Holy. This is the hour
of the Pentecost. We make room for the Spirit so that our actions flow from it
and not from our own desires. We pause to remember the Joy of Life. The work
that remains to be done when we return to work is the same, but we are
Like waters swell and ebb into the
open sea, I want to proclaim Your name, in mounting waves, like no one has done
into our hearts. Into our thoughts. Into
our work. Into this day. May God be gracious to us and bless us and shine
upon us. With Primal Joy, Living God, I
Sext…Noon to 3 pm…
The sun is overhead. The traveler reaches
Give me courage for this hour.
The hour when the fruit of the
forbidden tree is eaten. The hour Jesus hangs upon the cross. The dull center
of ordinary time. The mid-life crisis of our day. Tempted to lethargy and
apathy and despair. Hard to hold on. We can’t look at the sun directly. We can’t
look directly at this hour. Half of life is spent and night is coming. Still
God prepares the way, and opens the door. God works to unseal the heavy doors
that we have built around our hearts. News from God comes rushing through dark
alleys into your heart (rilke).
One, may we know You more clearly, love
you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day.
the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds, lifts up the downtrodden. You shall go out in joy and be led back
in peace. The mountains and the hills
before you shall burst into song and all the trees of the field shall clap
their hands. Give me courage for this
None…3 to 6 pm…
Shadows grow. No one lives forever.
When daylight wanes, and shadows lengthen, to
forgive is to make whole.
The time of melancholy, of loss, when
we crave the transcendent and the permanent. We feel in suspense, incomplete.
When Jesus cried out on the cross, O God why have you forsaken me? In this hour
we learn to trust. To turn our attention toward the land of hope. To move from
loss to legacy, to what we will leave behind. We will not be asked if we
sinned, but if we loved.
I am like a tree that grows next to a
grave holding high in its mighty branches the dream a lost boy once dreamt
though he lies in my roots’ embrace forever gone in sadness and lament. Rilke
be with us in the waning of the day. As shadows
lengthen, strengthen our hold on Life itself.
keep your life, God will keep your going
out and your coming in, from this time forth and forevermore. To forgive is to make whole.
Vespers…6 to 9 pm…
Sundown. We gather together.
The sun recedes, we worship You. We
eat, we pray, we drink, we sing.
The hour when we gather for food and
friendship and family at the dying of the daylight. Embracing life as we
embrace one another. We set aside petty grievances and forgive, and feed each
other with new energy. We light candles for the light of hope that the sun will
I have hymns that I have not sung. I
am out of your reach, but my heart bows to you. You think of me as great; but I
am near. Rilke
It is you
who lights my lamp, my God lights up my
darkness. We eat, we pray, we drink,
Now the day is over. Night is drawing
night. Shadows of the evening. Steal across the sky.
Compline…9 pm to Midnight….
The moon has risen. We enter the
You lay me down in the arms of night. You guard and teach me as I dream.
The hour for sleep. Sleep is made
common by its familiarity, yet what could be more strange, more intimidating? We
enter the unknown world of dreams. Nearly half our lives are in a wonderland of
absurdity. Into that dark we go alone. And we emerge often with little memory
of where we have been or for how long. We have been made however for this
Sabbath daily. So why not enter it with intention? Prayer guides us into the
peace of the night. Into the Great Silence we keep until morning. We learn from
compline how to enter into death not with fear but with wonder.
around God, the tower of old, and I spin
amidst thousands of years, Yet I remain unclear of my role-am I a Falcon, a storm, or a beautiful
The Lord be
with you. And also with you. Lift up
your hearts. We lift them up to God. Let
us give thanks to God. Thanks be to God.
Come to me all you who are weary and heavy-laden. And I will give you rest. You guard and teach me as I dream.
Vigils…Midnight to 3 am…
The moon is overhead. We wait.
Here I am,
here I am, Your servant, I AM.
The longest hour. The bridge between
sleep and sunrise. Vigils means wakefulness. Keeping vigil is not just not
being able to sleep, but it is purposeful wakeness at a time when otherwise we
would be asleep. As in when watching over someone who is ill or who has died.
When we know the steadfast love of God never ceases, so neither do our prayers.
This too is an hour for longest sadness. The soundtrack for this hour is
Silence. Mystery. Listening.
I raised my tired hands to You, in
nameless pleading, that I would find my eyes again, with which I once beheld
From the end
of the earth I call to you. When my
heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you are my refuge. Grant us a
quiet night and peace at the last.
shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give
light to you by night; but God will be your everlasting light, and your God
will be your glory. Neither death nor
life nor angels nor rulers nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor
height nor depth nor anything else in all Creation will be able to separate us
from the love of God. Here I am, here I am, your servant, I Am.
Watch now, O
God, with those who watch or weep tonight,
and guard over those who sleep. Tend to the sick, rest your weary ones, bless your dying ones, soothe your suffering ones, be merciful for your afflicted ones, shield your joyous ones, liberate your
oppressed ones, All for Love’s sake.
Lauds…3 to 6 am…
The sun returns. The sleeper awakes.
Spirit, clothe me in the light.
This is the time from the sky’s first
lightening to the sun’s release into the sky from the horizon. Joy cometh from
mourning in the morning. This is the time of the new, of release and of relief,
of celebration. Still for many in grief and despair the dawn brings dread. It
is a time when there is the conflict between our dreams and our dawning
reality. Prayer helps lead us where we do not want to go, from the is, to the
is not, to the still to be. This is the time for the smallest of things to lead
us into the biggest of things. A holocaust survivor tells of concentration camp
misery being lightened by the song of a morning bird. A parent in a hospital is
soothed by the smile of a sick child. The softest word turns rage away. Tender
mercies of the Intimate and the Ultimate come to us in this hour.
the land they call life. You will know
it by its sincerity. Give me your hand.
Out of the
depths I cry to you, I wait for You more
than those who watch for the morning,