Sunday, January 30, 2005
I was noticing the other day as I was exploring around with my Breviary something very interesting to me. When I first came to seminary, I developed, over time, a prayer that I now always say before any worship service. As the weeks and months went on, I tweaked it and played with it until it finally got to a form with which I was happy. Now, like I said, I pray it before each worship service I attend. It goes like this:
"Prepare my heart for worship, O Lord, and cleanse me of my sin, that I might be made clean and whole, ready to stand humbly before you through the saving power of your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen."
When I opened my Breviary, I discovered a prayer in there that is for the same purpose, before worship services. I was amazed at how similar the two were to one another, across the gulf of time. What that tells me is that I am being formed very well in this worshipping and intentionally prayerful community. Now, they're not exactly the same, but the constituent parts are similar in function if not form. Formation is very important, and little clues like this along the way to let you know you're on the right track are comforting. The Breviary prayer is:
"Open thou, O Lord, my mouth to bless thy holy name; cleanse also my heart from all vain, evil, and wandering thoughts; enlighten my understanding; enkindle my affections; that I may say this Office worthily, and with attention and devotion, and so be meet to be heard in the presence of thy divine Majesty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen."
Ryan have you forgotten or overlooked prayer #64 on page 833 of BCP? And all of the others that follow on page 834, good ideas I think. I also developed a private prayer to help me center at worship...I called to mind things that we all take for granted, the next breath, the heat beat, a drink of water....I use the private additions but that big #64 is powerful..."who pourest OUT on all who desire it the spirit of grace...." WOW! How was church at today? Tom
By 8:25 PM, at
I didn't forget or overlook that prayer, as it is quite a good one. What I was getting at was the similarity of the prayer I found in the Breviary and the prayer I came to use on my own. The BCP prayer for Before Worship isn't as similar, but it is very good.