Join us for Morning Prayer before work from 7 to 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Ministry Center at 3908b Bell St. KCMO 64111.
The Daily Office in the Book of Common Prayer is an abbreviated rule of prayer taken from the ancient monastic tradition. The Roman Empire was organized into precise slices of time.
In each town and city, the forum bell would ring to mark the beginning of each day (6 am or prime), noon for lunch, 3 pm calling citizens back to work, and at the close of markets, 6 pm. Clement (c.150-215AD) and Origin (c.185-254) assumed Christian prayers in the morning and night—besides if possible the little hours (9,12,3). After Constantine’s conversion, such prayers would take place in basilicas and cathedrals. As monks and nuns devoted themselves to lives of prayer they used the following pattern:
1. Matins (at sunrise)
2. Prime (first hour of the day)
3. Terce (third hour of the day)
4. Sext (sixth hour of the day or noon)
5. None (ninth hour of day)
6. Vespers (end of day, sunset)
7. Compline (before retiring)
8. Vigils (during the night)
Thomas Cranmer, the chief architect of the Book of Common Prayer, wanted to make the Daily Office more accessible to mainstream society and to offer it in the language of the people. Up to the English Reformation, in Western Christendom, all services were held in Latin. It’s hard to imagine the sheer radical nature of such a shift.
The Daily Office came to be divided up into two sections, morning and evening prayer. The Book of Common Prayer’s Daily Office readings are found on pages 934 – 1001 and the prayer services for Morning and Evening Prayer are found on pages 37 – 146. Also, see the link below for Morning and Evening Prayer Services.