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Daily Office

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Contemplative page

an ancient form of christian prayer...

...the Daily Office is a practice to use in all times and places, by anyone seeking to deepen their life of faith.

Josh Thomas, founder of dailyoffice.org, wrote,

“From the beginning, Christians have found it helpful to pause for prayer at various times of day. We get so busy with our activities that it helps to set aside a few minutes to reflect on ... God and ... Jesus Christ. Over the years, Christians developed a structure for such moments of worship, keyed to the time of day and season of the year. Each Office includes a psalm of praise, a passage of Scripture, and a brief set of prayers.”

More strictly used, a Daily Office is often a prescribed cycle of Biblical texts read contemplatively over several occasions daily throughout each month and year. It becomes a way to “pray” through the Bible in a manageable way in order to listen for God’s presence and teachings in the text.

Less strictly interpreted, a Daily Office might incorporate a variety of sources the reader understands as spiritual and authoritative / informative for their life of faith.  Some folks use a favorite devotional guide as a sort of Daily Office.  Others have initiated a more unorthodox approach to this practice by including the reading of their local newspaper, with the mindful intent of listening for God in the words. This latter practice does not, of course, become a replacement for the Christian Bible, but rather a holy companion to help contextualize God’s Word for the here-and-now-world.

Some people are able to accomplish a Daily Office every day, several times each day, at specifically appointed moments.  But for others, the Daily Office is a once-a-day or even once-a-week occasion to enjoy an intimacy of God’s presence in the text.

The best way to start is to start. Pick out a regular appointed time to which you can remain committed. Don’t bite off more than you can manage. Less time, consistently attended to, is better than a schedule full of a Daily Office appointments that you never get around to honoring because of other business.

Below are just a few possibilities to get you started (click on each link below for more information):

          Northumbria Community Daily Office

          Lindisfarne Community Daily Office

          dailyoffice.org (Episcopal)

          dailyoffice -- blog version

          Divine Hours (explorefaith.org)     

          fixed-hour prayer (brief history)

          Methodist Daily Office

          Music of Silence:

          A Sacred Journey through the Hours of the Day (David Steindl-Rast)

          mydailyoffice blog (from U.C.C.)

          Oremus daily office (church of England)

           Taizé community daily Bible readings

          Thomas Merton's A Book of Hours

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