Bishop Fisher has directed that all Churches will be closed through Easter. Smith College, where my wife works, has cancelled graduation in May. It looks like we may need to settle in for the long haul. Sigh…. That means we all need to establish routines that will sustain us in the days ahead.
For people like me, the prospect of empty days stretching off into the unknown future is not very attractive. It will be important for me to do things like shower regularly, eat healthy meals at more or less normal times, and get appropriate exercise. Just doing those things already provides a helpful structure to my day.
Prayer can do the same. The Book of Common Prayer has four services of the “Daily Office” that are good for home use: Morning Prayer (pg 76f), Noonday Prayer (pg 103f), Evening Prayer (115f), and Compline (127f). The idea is that our day is punctuated by prayer. Evening Prayer has never worked very well for me, but I have long said the other three, though my prayers at noon take a different form than the Prayerbook suggests. Right now, the form doesn’t matter as much as committing to prayer at regular times.
I am streaming Morning Prayer each morning (except Sunday) at 8:00 on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/StDavidsFeedingHillsMA/). Bishop Fisher is leading Compline each evening at 8:00 on ZOOM (just click on this link: http://zoom.us/j/714336095). You can also say them on your own. If you don’t have a printed copy of the Prayerbook, you can find an online version at: https://www.bcponline.org/.
Obviously this situation is terrible. But if it leads us to develop more disciplined prayer practices, something good will come out of it. And one or more of the Daily Offices are really wonderful way to do that!
Fr. Harvey Hill
This blog is my occasional reflections on life, God, Christian faith, and the Church. I hope you find it helpful!