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A Little Office

For those interested in daily prayer and for whom the Divine Office is a bit too full on, here’s a little office that can be said once a day or morning and evening, as you wish.

Opening

Stand or kneel. Say the Name slowly.

In the name of the +Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

With devotion.

Open my lips O Lord : and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

O God make speed to save me : O Lord make haste to help me.

Psalmody

Chant the psalm for this office. If you don’t use a psalter, just start at Psalm 1 and read the next one at each subsequent prayertime. Just chant in a monotone, if you are worried about your singing, but chant.

Do your best to keep your mind harnessed to the words of the chant, returning your attention to the chant when it drifts.

Once you’ve chanted the psalm, you may move into Lectio Divina based on the text or simply move on to the reading.

Reading

Using either the lectionary reading for the day or a reading you choose – perhaps by simply working your way through a Gospel or other book of your choice – read the text aloud.

Optionally, move through the phases of Lectio Divina – lectio, ruminatio, oratio and contemplatio.

Contemplation

The preceding phases help to quiet the mind and settle the subtle body, which makes this an ideal moment for:

  • Shamatha meditation
  • Hesychastic prayer
  • Centering prayer

Prayer

From your heart, pray as you will. You may choose to:

  • intercede for those in need of prayer;
  • offer gratitude for blessings you have experienced;
  • offer praise to the Divine for the ongoing sacrament of life
  • reflect on the ways you have not lived up to your aspirations and pray for release from the debts you’ve incurred.

If there are several prayer times in the day – consider focusing on a particular kind of prayer every day at that time.

Closing

Slowly, treasuring the meaning of each phrase, with devotion.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy Name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory
Forever, Amen.

Lord, bless me and bring me to wholeness, compassion and understanding.
Amen