Book of Common Prayer (ECUSA)/The Daily Office/Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families

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Daily Devotions for
Individuals and Families

 

These devotions follow the basic structure of the Daily Office of the Church.

When more than one person is present, the Reading and the Collect should be read by one person, and the other parts said in unison, or in some other convenient manner.  (For suggestions about reading the Psalms, see page 582.)

For convenience, appropriate Psalms, Readings, and Collects are provided in each service.  When desired, however, the Collect of the Day, or any of the Collects appointed in the Daily Offices, may be used instead.

The Psalms and Readings may be replaced by those appointed in

a) the Lectionary for Sundays, Holy Days, the Common of Saints, and Various Occasions, page 888

b) the Daily Office Lectionary, page 934

c) some other manual of devotion which provides daily selections for the Church Year.

 

In the Morning

From Psalm 51

Open my lips, O Lord, *    
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, *    
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence *    
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again *    
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *    
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

A Reading

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

A period of silence may follow.

A hymn or canticle may be used; the Apostles’ Creed may be said.

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Collect

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day:  Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

At Noon

From Psalm 113

Give praise, you servants of the Lord; *    
praise the Name of the Lord.
Let the Name of the Lord be blessed, *    
from this time forth for evermore.
From the rising of the sun to its going down *    
let the Name of the Lord be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations, *    
and his glory above the heavens.

A Reading

O God, you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are fixed on you; for in returning and rest we shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be our strength.  Isaiah 26:3; 30:15

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Collect

Blessed Savior, at this hour you hung upon the cross, stretching out your loving arms:  Grant that all the peoples of the earth may look to you and be saved; for your mercies’ sake.  Amen.

or this

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, “Peace I give to you; my own peace I leave with you:”  Regard not our sins, but the faith of your Church, and give to us the peace and unity of that heavenly City, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

In the Early Evening

This devotion my be used before or after the evening meal.

The Order of Worship for the Evening, page 109, may be used instead.

O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

A Reading

It is not ourselves that we proclaim; we proclaim Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants, for Jesus’ sake. For the same God who said, “Out of darkness let light shine,” has caused his light to shine within us, to give the light of revelation — the revelation of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:5-6

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Collect

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread.  Grant this for the sake of your love.  Amen.

 

At the Close of Day

Psalm 134

Behold now, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, *    
you that stand by night in the house of the Lord.
Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the Lord; *   
the Lord who made heaven and earth bless you out of Zion.

A Reading

Lord, you are in the midst of us and we are called by your Name:  Do not forsake us, O Lord our God.  Jeremiah 14:9,22

The following may be said

Lord, you now have set your servant free *    
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *    
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *    
and the glory of your people Israel.

Prayers for ourselves and others may follow.  It is appropriate that prayers of thanksgiving for the blessings of the day, and penitence for our sins, be included.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Collect

Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us.  Amen.

 

Additional Directions

 

Morning and Evening Prayer

Any of the opening sentences of Scripture, including those listed for specific seasons or days, may be used at any time according to the discretion of the officiant.

The proper antiphons on pages 43-44 and 80-82 may be used as refrains with either of the Invitatory Psalms.

Antiphons drawn from the Psalms themselves, or from the opening sentences given in the Offices, or from other passages of Scripture may be used with the Psalms and biblical Canticles.

Gloria Patri is always sung or said at the conclusion of the entire portion of the Psalter; and may be used after the Invitatory Psalm or the Canticle “Christ our Passover,” after each Psalm, and after each section of Psalm 119.

The Gloria printed at the conclusion of certain Canticles may be omitted when desired.

The following pointing of the Gloria may be used:

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:

As it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever.  Amen.

In Rite One services of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, the following form of the Gloria may be used:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, *    
and to the Holy Ghost:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, *     
world without end.  Amen.

Metrical versions of the Invitatory Psalms, and of the Canticles after the Readings, may be used.

In special circumstances, in place of a Canticle, a hymn may be sung.

The Apostles’ Creed is omitted from the Office when the Eucharist with its own Creed is to follow. It may also be omitted at one of the Offices on weekdays.

The Lord’s Prayer may be omitted from the Office when the Litany or the Eucharist is to follow immediately.

In the Intercessions and Thanksgivings, opportunity may be given for the members of the congregation to express intentions or objects of prayer and thanksgiving, either at the bidding, or in the course of the prayer; and opportunity may be given for silent prayer.

A sermon may be preached after the Office; or, within the Office, after the Readings or at the time of the hymn or anthem after the Collects.

On occasion, at the discretion of the Minister, a reading from non-biblical Christian literature may follow the biblical Readings.

An offering may be received and presented at the Office.

 

When there is a Communion

When Morning or Evening Prayer is used as the Liturgy of the Word at the Eucharist, the Nicene Creed may take the place of the Apostles’ Creed, and the officiant may pass at once from the salutation “The Lord be with you,” and its response, to the Collect of the Day. A Lesson from the Gospel is always included.

The Intercessions on such occasions are to conform to the directions on page 383.

The service then continues with the [Peace and] Offertory.

 

Order of Worship for the Evening

Before this service, there should be as little artificial light as possible in the church.  A musical prelude or processional is not appropriate.

When the ministers enter, one or two lighted candles may be carried before them, and used to provide light for reading the opening Short Lesson and the Prayer for Light. From Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost, the Paschal Candle, if used, should be burning in its customary place before the people assemble; the officiant then goes to a place close by it to begin the service by its light.

The Short Lessons may be read from any version of the Scriptures authorized for public worship in this Church, and should be read without announcement or conclusion. When one or more Scripture Lessons are to be read later in the service, the Short Lesson may be omitted.

For the lighting of the candles at the Altar and elsewhere, in Easter Season the flame may be taken from the Paschal Candle.  At other times, the candle or candles carried in at the beginning of the service may be placed on or near the Altar, and other candles may be lighted from them. During Advent, the lighting of an Advent Wreath may take place after the Prayer for Light. On special occasions, lighted candles may be distributed to members of the congregation.

When this service is used in private houses, candles may be lighted at the dining table, or at some other convenient place.

If incense is to be used, it is appropriate after the candles have been lighted and while the hymn Phos hilaron is being sung.

When this service continues as a complete Office, Psalms and Lessons from the Office Lectionary or the Proper of the Day, or ones suitable to the season or the occasion, may be used. Psalms generally appropriate to the evening include:  8, 23, 27, 36, 84, 93, 113, 114, 117, 121, 134, 139, 141, 143. When desired, more than one Lesson may be read, with silence or singing between them.

If an additional hymn is desired, it may be sung immediately before the Blessing or Dismissal.

When a meal is to follow, a blessing over food may serve as the conclusion of this form of service.