A new season is nearly upon us!
Like so many of you, I love advent. Our intentional journey toward Christmas is so much a part of me that I wonder how others do without it. From the blue vestments and hangings, to evergreens and advent wreaths, to the shift in our liturgy, it’s a wonderful way to anticipate and prepare for the light of God coming into the world.
As we’ve done the last few years, during Advent we’re going to use the service of Morning Prayer in place of our usual Liturgy of the Word. Morning Prayer, together with Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline (prayer at the close of day), are the church’s traditional daily prayer services, the Daily Office. While it’s uncommon these days, using the Daily Office in place of the Liturgy of the Word at Eucharist was the standard prior to the Book of Common Prayer’s revision in 1979. We use Morning Prayer this season as a way of calling our attention to the light who is coming into the world, Jesus Christ.
This is also a nice way to use a service we used to pray all the time (pre-1979) but rarely use anymore. The canticle texts, in particular, are familiar to many, even if they’re infrequently said. I’m grateful to have the chance to say them together again.
If you’re accustomed to straight-from-the-BCP Morning Prayer, this service might seem a little different. I’ve slightly altered the pattern to work for our Sunday morning worship. Rather than sing all the psalms and canticles—which can be a lot, even for a lover of church music—we’ve replaced a couple with hymns and will speak another. I’m happy with the balance but, as always, I’d be grateful for your feedback.