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Book of Hours, f.58v, (184 x 133 mm), 15th cen...

Book of Hours, f.58v, (184 x 133 mm), 15th century, Alexander Turnbull Library, MSR-02. (Photo credit: National Library NZ on The Commons)

I’ve been ill the last few days, and starting to find my rhythm again.

The Daily Office, or Praying the Hours is my anchor in this.  These times set apart to God are the stalwart stones around which the rest of my life flows.

The nature of how I spend these times has altered over the years.  When I first began my contemplative journey, taking time apart several times a day was new to me, so I started simply.

I thoughtfully prayed the Lorica, or the Breastplate of St Patrick, in the mornings with my children.  It took several months to memorise at it’s so long, but you know you’ve thoroughly prayed when you’re done!

Noon was the Lord’s Prayer, and around 3pm, the Prayer of St Francis.

These prayers are not all long, but they are powerful if we keep ourselves mindful as we pray.  I’ve especially found the Prayer of St Francis formative and helpful as I often pray it just before my teenagers get home from school!

In the evening, the family joins me again for Compline.  We use the compline prayers from Celtic Daily Prayer, a different one for each evening, meant to be prayed together.  This is a beautiful communal way of prayer, where some portions are read by individuals, and some all together.  It’s a settling time preparing for peaceful sleep.

More on praying the hours in an upcoming post.  Blessings!



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