The Daily Office
As for many of my generation, Morning Prayer was the main service of the church three Sundays out of four, so it was not unfamiliar when a former priest asked five lay members of his congregation to each take a day of the week to say morning prayer in our parish church.  We became a small community, supporting each other even when it was not 'our day'.  With subsequent moves it became harder to find parishes that offered the daily office.   However, habits are hard to break and it had become habit for me.  I began to say it alone at home using the book of common prayer and Forward Day by Day.  From 2009 to 2012 I started to commute between the US and the UK to spend time with my mother, then in her 90s.  In the US I rented a cabin from St Leo Abbey, where I am an oblate (lay person vowing to live the Benedictine Rule and attached to a particular abbey).  When I was there I lived by the Abbey bells and prayed the daily offices with the monks.  In the UK my mother's parish church was a 900 year old priory, where they held daily morning prayer and evening prayer in the choir, sitting in medieval misericord stalls.
Nowadays the electronic age has caught up with me and I use the office online.  There are several wonderful sites that explain the origin of the daily offices (the early church merely continued the Jewish tradition of daily prayers).  In our Anglican tradition we follow a form of the monastic rites laid out by Cranmer in the first prayer books and expanded in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. You can do the full rite, meant to be celebrated in community, or the Daily Devotions.  Just remember that you will always be joining the world wide Anglican communion in spiritual companionship, never alone which can be incredibly comforting.  There are many variations so if this is something new for you I suggest trying several until you find something you are comfortable with.  For example if you use Forward Day by Day, you will want to use the lectionary order of the psalms.  If you use a website such as  you will have the same readings but the psalms will differ so that all 150 are said within a calendar month.  Some places celebrate feast days, some do not.  There are different prayer books to choose from - US, UK or New Zealand.  Just try saying morning or evening prayer for a while and see if it becomes habit!

Submitted by
Diana Tyson

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